Murder returns to a beautiful island off the coast of Maine.
For better or worse, innkeeper Natalie Barnes, who’s currently busy with guests at the Gray Whale Inn and plans for her wedding to artist and local deputy John Quinton, is no stranger to violent death on Cranberry Island (Brush with Death, 2013, etc.). On a blueberry-picking expedition, she spots a skiff floating loose. Inside is the dead body of Derek Morton, who’d been working as a stern man for Adam Thrackton, Natalie’s niece’s boyfriend, until he was fired for using Adam’s boat without permission. Derek had been dating Tania, the niece of Natalie’s best friend, Charlene, who runs the local store and knows all the island gossip. Tania, who’s distraught at the news, ends up in jail when an anonymous tip leads the police to a marijuana stash in her room. When Natalie visits Smuggler’s Cove with two of her guests, who are investigating their own mystery from the past, they are run down by a skiff that Natalie suspects belongs to a lobster boat using a false name that’s often been sighted in the area. Lucky to get herself and the guests to a nearby beach, Natalie remains undeterred from sleuthing. Warned off by John and the police, she refuses to quit despite her near-death experience. Her problem is too many suspects.
MacInerney’s charming sixth offers beautiful scenery, an assortment of appended recipes and one of her strongest mysteries to date.