Death Runs Adrift
A Natalie Barnes, Gray Whale Inn Mystery by Karen MacInerney
Review: Cranberry Island B&B owner Natalie Barnes gets her fair share of unusual (though mostly interestingly unusual) guests and this year the Gray Whale Inn has had a couple: a mystery writer, and a woman researching her family's history. But it is the dead body that Natalie finds that tops them both, in Death Runs Adrift, the sixth mystery in this series by Karen MacInerney.
While crossing the lake in her little skiff after picking blueberries, Natalie had noticed another skiff, this one apparently empty, floating on the waves. Although she didn’t know who it belonged to, she had turned around to get it and tow it back to the dock. When she neared it, however, she was surprised to see a man’s body lying horizontal on the bottom of the boat. It turns out the young man was Derek Morton, who was disliked by almost everyone who knew him. Except Tania Kean, Natalie's best friend Charlene’s niece, who lives with Charlene and was in love with him. The police, after a sloppy (according to Natalie) investigation, takes Tania in for questioning. While doing a search of Tania's room, they find a plastic packet containing drugs. Also, it turns out Derek was involved with another woman, making Tania very jealous and giving her a motive for murder. With a further search, the gun that was used to kill Derek is found in the trash can behind Charlene’s home. The police, of course, believe they have their killer but to Natalie, this seems all too much like a set-up.
Convinced that Tania is innocent, Natalie and Charlene set out to do some investigating on their own. They find that anyone who Derek had worked for — and because he had a hard time holding down a job, there were many — disliked him enough to fire him. Some even threatened him. When it seems that Natalie could be on the trail of identifying Derek's killer, and even guessing why he was killed, Natalie realizes her life is in danger.
Death Runs Adrift is a wonderfully entertaining mystery, effortlessly (and often quite creatively) interweaving the multiple plot threads together in a way that is completely unexpected for the reader. The characters are well drawn and Maine island setting ideal for a murder mystery. Natalie is preparing for her upcoming wedding and her future mother-in-law is settling in and helping out around the inn, all domestic bliss amid the somewhat chaotic investigation into whodunit. All in all, a charming, solidly plotted and executed entry in this enjoyable series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Death Runs Adrift.
Acknowledgment: Midnight Ink provided an eARC of Death Runs Adrift for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Mother's Day Out
Karen MacInerney (Ebook), June 2012
ISBN-13: ; ISBN-10:
Location(s) referenced in Death Runs Adrift: Maine
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Death Runs Adrift by Karen MacInerney — A Natalie Barnes, Gray Whale Inn Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: May 2014
List Price: $14.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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