Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Book Review: Claws for Alarm by Karen MacInerney (Gray Whale Inn Mysteries #8)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Wonderful setting, characters, and plot
Cons: Timeline issue (that will be edited in future editions of the book)
The Bottom Line:
Murder and mayhem
Mixed with calm island retreat
Another winner

Don’t Be Alarmed.  You’ll Enjoy This Mystery

Some series feel like home.  You love the characters and setting so much, that you can’t wait to go back.  One of those series for me is Karen MacInerney’s Gray Whale Inn Mysteries, so you can bet I was glad to be back to visit in Claws for Alarm.

Maine bed and breakfast owner Natalie Barnes thought that having the participants of a yoga retreat staying at the Gray Whale Inn would be relaxing for her as well.  Unfortunately, they have brought a lot of drama with them, and Natalie has found herself getting pulled in to the squabbles.

But that’s nothing compared to the drama brewing on the island.  Francine has recently moved to Cranberry Island, and Francine is trying to turn it into her version of what the island should look like.  She’s made almost everyone on the island mad, but she’s pushed Natalie’s friend Claudette far enough that the two of them get into a food fight in the island’s store.  When Francine is found murdered the next morning, Natalie knows that Claudette will be the prime suspect.  Can she find the real killer and keep her friend out of jail?

Let’s start by getting the bad out of the way first.  There’s a timeline issue, and a rather major one.  However, the good news.  Karen has told me she is working on fixing it as fast as she can, so once the edits go out, it won’t be an issue in further editions of the book.

And that’s a good thing because I really did love the book otherwise.  The characters in the series are fantastic.  They feel like good friends, and I’m always thrilled to go back and visit them again.  Couple that with a setting I find relaxing (even with the murders), and you’ve got a winner right there.  We get some interesting updates on a few of the series regulars, and I’m curious to see what happens to them next (and I’m betting I know at least one thing happening in the next book).  And that’s not to discount the suspects.  They are just as real as the main characters, making it hard to figure out the killer.

Speaking of which, I thought I had the killer pegged early, but I turned out to be wrong.  And yet, the twists of the plot and the ultimate solution were completely logical.  I love it when that happens.

And we can’t leave out the recipes.  We get five of them here, plus two bonus recipes, for such things as a flourless chocolate cake, avocados stuffed with crab salad, and lemon cookies.

Claws for Alarm is another wonderful book that is over all too soon.  It’s the next best thing to a relaxing island retreat.

Enjoy more trips to Cranberry Island with the rest of the Gray Whale Inn Mysteries.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


  1. Thanks for the review, Mark! I love this series and just got #7. Can't wait to read it!

  2. I read the first 2 books in the series and really enjoyed them both though what I remember most was is the recipes! Thanks for the reminder to get back to the series!