Title: Brush with Death Author: Karen MacInerney Published: May 8th 2013 by Midnight Ink Format: Paperback, 322 pages Genre: Cozy Mystery Series: Gray Whale Inn Mystery #5
With many returning characters, readers of the Gray Whale Inn Mysteries will only have to get used to a couple of new faces in book number five. Very little of previous books is discussed, but when it is, Karen MacInerney does a good job in explaining past situations so a reader does not necessarily need to read this series in order.
Natalie Barnes is the owner of the Gray Whale Inn on Cranberry Island in Maine. It is the middle of winter and a slower time. Perfect to take a long needed breather and relish in the fact that the refinance of her inn is complete.
With John off the island finishing up his continuing education to keep his deputy sheriff badge, Natalie is a bit lonely, but that does not last for long went her niece Gwen must change her artistic direction to please a new gallery owner, a world renown artist visits the island and is not what she appears to be, Gwen’s mentor is found dead, Natalie’s future mother in law is now on the island and has a surprise of her own, Claudette’s daughter in law has moved in with her and is more than a handful and to top it off, Natalie’s Inn has not been refinanced, her accountant has stolen the money and Natalie might lose her property. No worries, she always has the right ingredients to make dessert.
There is a lot going on in this book. Character’s weave in and out of the story and even though parts are obvious, it does take Natalie a while to put all the pieces together.
There are a few downfalls in this book; the most glaring for me was the repeated definition of who Catherine was. The reader got it after seven times; Catherine is Natalie’s future mother in law. Did Natalie have to keep repeating it because she was unsure of whom the woman was or she had to convince herself that John was the man that she is engaged to? That was just too annoying for me.
For such a small island, it is amazing what Natalie gets herself involved in. This is an easy to read book and series that fills in a weekend. I would call it a beach read, but with the winter theme, it is better for a comfy chair and a fireplace.