Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Done with “Murder on the Rocks" by Karen MacInerney

I enjoyed this book. Author Karen MacInerney’s descriptions of the coast of Maine made me feel like I was there. I could almost hear the sounds of the ocean waves and the songs of the ocean birds. It was just like looking at a cover of an L.L. Bean catalog.

Her female-sleuth Natalie Barnes is a likeable, sensible and down-to-earth gal. She clears her name with the police and uncovers the murderer at great peril to herself.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

You can buy the book here:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Terns, Goats and Murder

Re: Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney

Cranberry Island is home to a large tern population as the birds nest in the cliffs along the shore. Natalie belongs to a local conservation group called “Save Our Terns”. The group consists of just two other members: Charlene, who is Natalie’s best friend, and Claudette.

Claudette is seen by her fellow Cranberry Islanders as being pretty eccentric. She keeps goats, and she knits sweaters and hats from their wool. Her goats manage to escape her yard quite often. They can be found munching on other people’s gardens and even their laundry, which does nothing to endear Claudette or her goats to her neighbors.

As for the terns - they will be endangered if Bernard Katz is successful in developing his resort. Unfortunately the Cranberry Island Board of Selectmen has decided to approve his plans. Natalie is of course against the resort.

To clear her mind on the day after the Selectmen’s decision, Natalie decides to take a walk along the cliff overlooking the terns’ nesting area. She accidentally takes a tumble down the cliff part-way and in doing so, sees the body of Bernard Katz lying on the rocks further down. He appears to be dead.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here's a pun for you to enjoy (or not) from my classic-punster husband:

Hear about the new knife that can cut through a lot of bread at one time?
It's a four-loaf cleaver.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney

I just started reading this book. It's the first in the "Gray Whale Inn" bed & breakfast mystery series.

The female-sleuth is Natalie Barnes and she has mortgaged her future to relocate from Austin Texas to the coast of Maine when an opportunity to purchase the quaint bed and breakfast inn presented itself. The Gray Whale Inn is a 150-year old former sea captain's house located Cranberry Island, which is accessible only by boat.

Her college-aged niece Gwen has come to stay with Natalie for the summer to clean rooms and help with other chores.

One of Natalie's guests, developer Bernard Katz, has come to convince the town planning commission (the Cranberry Island Board of Selectmen) to approve his latest development called the Cranberry Island Premier Resort. Mr. Katz tells Natalie that his resort will bring in a lot of business for her. She is opposed to the resort and doesn't buy his argument, especially after niece Gwen finds a blueprint tucked away in Katz' room. It shows the Gray Whale Inn being replaced by a parking lot!

What would Joni Mitchell think?

(photo courtesy

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Done with “Cha Cha Cha” by Jane Heller

This was an interesting book with a good and suspenseful ending. I would say it was more of a romance novel with some humor and a murder mystery thrown in for good measure.

Alison manages to exonerate herself while figuring out who the killer was and leading that person to the police.

She even gets a chemistry professor to help her by promising him she’d help him get his book published!

You can buy the book here:

Now what should I read next?

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Re: Cha Cha Cha by Jane Heller

To her utter surprise Alison finds that she is the main suspect in Melanie Moloney’s murder despite the fact that she is innocent.

The police base this on the fact that they found powder on Melanie’s desk and thought it was cocaine. So they think Alison has a cocaine habit and that Melanie confronted Alison with this information, so Alison had to kill her to shut her up.

Wrong. The police never tested the powder to see what it was (it's not cocaine).

Also someone has planted a real bag of cocaine in Alison’s refrigerator and have tipped the police off about it. So one of the officers tricks her into opening her refrigerator by asking for a glass of cold milk. Alison’s attorney has a field day with that.

The police in this novel are extremely incompetent and inept. Not unlike many novels about amateur sleuths!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Plot Sickens - and So Does Alison

Re: Cha Cha Cha by Jane Heller

The subject of recently murdered author Melanie Moloney’s tell-all book, Senator Alistair Downs, was on the surface a great guy - a former dance instructor who made it big in Hollywood and later became a respected U.S. Senator.

But Alison has stumbled upon Melanie’s notes for the book, which state that Senator Downs was part of Senator Joe McCarthy’s witch-hunting committee in the 1950’s and was supplying names of supposed ‘Communist sympathizers’ to McCarthy. The notes have information that Downs was also a secret member and active supporter of white supremacist groups. Alison is mortified by these revelations.

Alison also finds out (through the book notes) that Downs had a girlfriend back in the old days whom he promised to marry, but then backed out on her and married someone else. The unknown girlfriend moved on with her life, got married, had children and then moved to the same community that Downs himself moved to - Layton. Downs and the girlfriend rekindled their romance and secretly kept seeing each other even while both were married. The woman thought Downs would leave his wife for her, but alas he never did.

Then Cullie finds some old photos of Downs and the girlfriend dancing, and Alison thinks the girlfriend looks a lot like her mother. She is astounded when she realizes it IS her mother in those pictures. When she puts two and two together, Alison is sickened when she realizes that her mother has been carrying on with Senator Downs all these years.

And that makes Alison’s mother a suspect in Melanie Moloney’s murder because Melanie’s book would have exposed that sordid affair.