It's been two years since the last installment of this mystery series was published and I have been anxiously awaiting this fourth one. I have checked on the author's website to find out when this would be available and was ecstatic when I found out another one was on its way. To immediately cut to the chase, it was well worth the wait.
The "Gray Whale Inn" mysteries are set on Cranberry Island, Maine and the focal point is the B&B on the island. With various guests arriving and departing and a host of interesting characters (though only 100 people actually live on the island), all the ingredients for an interesting and fun mystery are there. This installment finds Natalie with few guests at the inn until a ship wreck is discovered in the waters surrounding the island. Two different, competing teams of marine archeologists arrive to try to claim the wreck and to determine exactly which ship they have found since there appear to be two possibilities. When a dead body is discovered and a local man is arrested for the murder, Natalie is in the thick of things in trying to clear his name as well as handling the tensions of the two competitive archeological teams.
This has to be one of the best cozies of the year. The book is well-written with a nice range of characters and a wonderful setting. One of the strengths of the narrative is the setting of Maine itself and the author does a masterful job of utilizing the setting without it overpowering the mystery. To further strengthen this effort, the story actually has believability which is often lacking in this genre.
For anyone who enjoys an island setting, the state of Maine, B&Bs, and an interesting mystery, you can't go wrong here. I hope I don't have to wait two more years for the next book, but am glad that quality is more important than quantity in this series.