Gray Whale Inn Mysteries Books in Order

The Gray Whale Inn Mysteries books have become so popular over the years that generation after generation, people keep going back to them.

If you're just starting with it and want a reading list, you're in luck. Here we list out all the Gray Whale Inn Mysteries books in order; keeping in mind various factors like the publication year, reviews, its popularity among readers, etc.

It’s always a good idea to read such book titles in sequence so that you don't miss out on the story plot and its discussions in the book clubs.

Publication Order of A Gray Whale Inn Mystery Books

Murder on the Rocks

Karen MacInerney 2006

Trading in Texas heat for Maine's tangy salt air, Natalie Barnes risked it all to buy the Gray Whale Inn, a quaint bed and breakfast on Cranberry Island. She adores whipping up buttery muffins and other rich breakfast treats for her guests until Bernard Katz checks in.

The overbearing land developer plans to build a resort next door where an endangered colony of black-chinned terns is nesting. Worried about the birds, the inevitable transformation of the sleepy fishing community, and her livelihood, Natalie takes a public stand against the project.

But the town board sides with Katz. Just when it seems like things can't get any worse, Natalie finds Katz dead. Now the police and much of the town think she's guilty. Can Natalie track down the true killer before she's hauled off to jail...or becomes the next victim? Murder on the Rocks is an Agatha Award nominee.

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Dead and Berried

MacInerney, Karen 2007

In this delicious follow-up to Murder on the Rocks, developers have returned to Cranberry Island. This time, they're planning to wipe out a natural cranberry bog, along with the island's namesake berries, to build a luxury subdivision. Natalie Barnes isn't sweet on the idea of commercial interests souring their cozy oasis, but the single innkeeper has other problems on her plate: a withering relationship with her best friend Charlene, the sudden appearance of her ex-fiancé with a tempting proposal, and eerie bumps in the night suggesting the Gray Whale Inn is haunted.

Worst of all, there's a killer on the loose, picking off people like ripe fruit. When Charlene's lover―the handsome chaplain with a stake in the development― is stabbed to death, Natalie promises to find the murderer for her griefstricken friend, who's also the number-one suspect.

Praise:"A delicious sequel to Murder on the Rocks . A developer wants to destroy a cranberry bog on the island but that's not the only problem as a murderer strikes and Natalie's best friend becomes the prime suspect."―Mystery Scene "A truly smart and gripping cozy mystery.

"―OnceUponARomance.net "Deliciously clever plot. Juicy characters. Karen MacInerney has cooked up a winning recipe for murder. Don't miss this mystery!"―Maggie Sefton, author of Knit One, Kill Two; Needled to Death; and A Deadly Yarn

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Murder Most Maine

MacInerney, Karen 2008

It's springtime on Cranberry Island―and love is in the air. It seems like every woman has the hots for buff trainer Dirk De Leon. He and his equally-gorgeous business partner, Vanessa Black, are leading a weight-loss retreat at the Gray Whale Inn―forcing innkeeper Natalie Barnes to lighten up her butter-laden breakfast menu.

The mood on the island darkens when two grisly discoveries are made. The first is a skeleton walled up at the island's lighthouse. The second is a corpse of the fresh variety―the handsome Dirk! Could the spirit that once embodied the skeletal remains―perhaps the lighthouse keeper who disappeared a century ago―be responsible for Dirk's death? The police pin the blame on Natalie's boyfriend who―to her dismay―had a long-ago fling with Vanessa.

To find the true killer and ease her own aching heart, Natalie must untangle the knot of jealous girlfriends and spurned admirers that once surrounded the hunky trainer. Praise: "MacInerney adds a dash of the supernatural, throws in some touristy tidbits and finishes with some tasty diet-right recipes.

"―Publishers Weekly "All thumbs up for Murder Most Maine, another in the engaging series of Cranberry Island mysteries. Karen MacInerney writes with verve and vitality, and her Natalie Barnes is a Maine original. I'm ready to book a room at the Gray Whale Inn!"―Susan Wittig Albert, bestselling author of Nightshade and other China Bayles Herbal Mysteries

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Berried to the Hilt

MacInerney, Karen 2010

When a lobsterman discovers a sunken ship, Cranberry Island is abuzz with excitement. Is the wreck the remains of the Myra Barton, the missing ship of island sea captain Jonah Selfridge? Or the elusive Black Marguerite, which belonged to one of the most notorious pirates of the 17th century and vanished without a trace―except for the ghost ship that old-timers say roams the water on fog-shrouded nights? Soon the island is swarming with marine archaeologists and treasure hunters.

It's good news for Natalie―and for the Gray Whale Inn―until a body turns up floating near the wreck. Natalie finds herself immersed in the world of pirates and sunken treasure, both past and present. Will she solve the mystery and find the killer in time? Or will Natalie be the next to join the lost ship's crew, down in Davy Jones' locker? Praise: "The fourth in this pleasant cozy series highlights the glories of Maine, which this time include several recipes chock-full of cranberries.

"―Kirkus Reviews "The satisfying conclusion will whet the reader's appetite for Natalie's next adventure."―Publishers Weekly "MacInerney is at her whimsical best in her fourth visit to the charming Gray Whale Inn on Cranberry Island, Maine."―Mystery Scene

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Brush with Death

MacInerney, Karen 2013

For Natalie Barnes, the flurry of trendy artists setting up shop on Cranberry Island promises to be the perfect recipe for relaxing and enjoying the holiday season. But Natalie's good luck is turning out to be a stroke of misfortune for her niece, Gwen.

The local gallery's new owner hates Gwen's paintings, and her mentor Fernand is too distracted by a competing artist to help Gwen improve her style. When Natalie finds Fernand dead, seemingly the victim of suicide, she can't believe someone who had so much joy and success in his life would kill himself.

Finding clues at Fernand's home that support her suspicion of murder, Natalie's hunt for answers places her next on the killer's list. Will she be able to solve this murder masterpiece before it's too late? Praise: "A welcome return to Maine's Cranberry Island and its sleuthing innkeeper, Natalie Barnes.

"―Library Journal "The fifth Gray Whale adventure provides complex characters, stunning scenery and many recipes."―Kirkus Reviews

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Death Runs Adrift

MacInerney, Karen 2014

With her own wedding fast approaching and her mother-in-law dating an unexpected beau, the last thing Natalie Barnes needs is to find a young man shot dead in a dinghy. A note she finds with the body suggests the dearly departed had a secret rendezvous planned with somebody on the island.

But when suspicion is cast on a fisherman Natalie believes to be innocent, she begins to wonder if the murder was the result of a lover's quarrel...or a lobsterman's disagreement gone horribly wrong. Includes recipes! "MacInerney's charming sixth offers beautiful scenery, an assortment of appended recipes, and one of her strongest mysteries to date.

"―Kirkus Reviews "This book is an absolute gem."―Suspense Magazine

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Whale of a Crime

MacInerney, Karen 2017

The long-awaited seventh book of the bestselling Gray Whale Inn Mysteries is finally here! When a tour company books the Gray Whale Inn for a full week, innkeeper Natalie Barnes can’t wait to get cooking — and to hitch a ride on the antique schooner Summer Breeze, getting up close and personal with the local whales.

But when one of the humpback whales turns up dragging a mass of fishing gear from its tail, the tour takes a dark turn. It turns darker still when the schooner’s handsome captain winds up attached to the vessel’s anchor, sixty feet underwater… and not by accident.

Before long, the tour naturalist (and Natalie’s best friend’s beau) is behind bars, charged with a murder Charlene swears he didn’t commit. Stir in a surprise visit from Natalie’s quarrelsome sister, midnight kitchen sabotage, a sick orphan kitten, and a mysterious investor with plans for a massive resort on the quaint island, and Natalie’s got a recipe for potential disaster.

When a second body turns up just outside the inn, the heat is on Natalie to solve the double murder… or risk ending up with her own goose cooked. "I'm ready to book a room at the Gray Whale Inn." -- Susan Wittig Albert, NYT bestselling author

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Claws for Alarm

MacInerney, Karen 2018

It’s summertime on Cranberry Island, and things are heating up for innkeeper Natalie Barnes. She may be hosting a yoga retreat, but the mood at the Gray Whale Inn is anything but Zen. Between juggling dietary restrictions and managing flaring tempers, Natalie’s about ready for a retreat of her own… far away from the inn’s fit but finicky guests.

Unfortunately, there’s no reprieve on the island. The lobster co-op and pier are under threat once again, this time by a new arrival whose vision for Cranberry Island looks more like a spread in Coastal Living than a quaint Maine fishing village. When the instigator turns up dead next to the co-op and the police start fishing for suspects, Natalie’s dear friend Claudette is the one they haul up.

Will Natalie trap the killer in time? Or will she be next?

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Scone Cold Dead

MacInerney, Karen 2019

The ninth book in the bestselling Gray Whale Inn mysteries is finally here! Innkeeper Natalie Barnes is living her dream life, creating scrumptious scone recipes and relishing cool summer days on quaint Cranberry Island, Maine… until she stumbles across a dead body tucked under the blueberry bushes.

Could the killer be one of her artsy out-of-town guests? Or will the murderer turn out to be uncomfortably close to home?

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Anchored Inn

MacInerney, Karen 2020

Tea, scones, and old bones...It may be autumn on Cranberry Island, Maine, but things are heating up for innkeeper Natalie Barnes—and not just because of the cranberry scones in the oven. When a research team discovers the remains of a long-missing German U-Boat just offshore, the Gray Whale Inn becomes the center of operations for the eccentric multimillionaire funding the team.

But the excitement over the discovery is soon dampened when something else turns up next to the long-lost sunken vessel: the body of a young woman who went missing twenty years ago, tied to an antique anchor that vanished at the same time. Soon, a second, more recent body, that of a local handyman, turns up next to the inn, a knife from friend and island selectman Tom Lockhart’s kitchen in his back.

Natalie is dismayed to learn that several people close to her—including her husband, John, best friend, Charlene, and Tom himself—were connected with the missing girl, and may now be suspects in her long-ago disappearance. When Charlene’s young niece Tania disappears without a trace, Natalie fears that history is about to repeat itself.

Can she find the culprit—and the missing young woman—before tragedy strikes Cranberry island again?

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Publication Order of Gray Whale Inn Short Stories/Novellas

Blueberry Blues

MacInerney, Karen 2012

When innkeeper Natalie Barnes volunteers to host the Cranberry Island Clambake at the Gray Whale Inn, she's looking forward to good food, good friends -- and maybe even a bit of good press. The day is perfect and the event as smooth as Natalie's crème anglaise -- until a mysterious illness grips several islanders, and the police finger the inn's blueberry pies as the culprit.

Will Natalie sniff out the source of the poisoned pies before she -- and the Gray Whale Inn -- end up in hot water? (Includes the Gray Whale Inn recipe for Double-Berry Lemon Muffins.)

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Pumpkin Pied

MacInerney, Karen 2015

It's almost time for the Cranberry Island Harvest Festival and Pie Bake-Off... and the much-anticipated annual Great Pumpkin Contest. But trouble starts brewing when the front-running pumpkin is sabotaged... and flickering, ghostly lights set island tongues wagging.

When the corn maze goes up in smoke, things really start heating up... and it's up to innkeeper Natalie Barnes to get to the bottom of things. Is it really a ghost? Or is it someone's twisted idea of Halloween hijinks -- which may take a deadly turn?

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Iced Inn

MacInerney, Karen 2018

It's Christmastime at the Gray Whale Inn. The inn's kitchen smells like ginger and spice, the ground is frosted with snow, and wedding bells are about to ring out for innkeeper Natalie's favorite niece, Gwen. It's a joyous time... until the families of the bride and groom descend on the island, bringing nasty tempers and a wicked winter storm with them.

Add a baffling rash of thefts, a dash of romantic intrigue, and an unexpected power shutdown, and Natalie's plans for a magical season are looking more like a recipe for disaster. Can Natalie find the missing gifts before the big holiday? And will the happy couple make it to the altar.

.. or will the wedding go up in flames?

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Lupine Lies

MacInerney, Karen 2020
The lupines aren't the only thing coming up on Cranberry Island this spring. You won't be able to put this seaside cozy mystery story down! Read More

And that's the end of the complete list! Now that you have it - the next step for you is to of course purchase them and dive into reading Gray Whale Inn Mysteries books. Worry not, we've done the tedious job for you and added amazon direct book links including AudioBook, Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover versions as applicable.

Happy reading!


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