MacInerney, Karen 1970-

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MacInerney, Karen 1970-


Born 1970; married; children: two. Education: Undergraduate degree in German; graduate studies in ecology.


Home—Austin, TX. E-mail—[email protected].


University of Texas, Austin, writing instructor; worked previously as a public relations writer and advertising account executive.


Sisters in Crime, Writers League of Texas, Austin Mystery Writers (founder).


Murder on the Rocks (first novel in the "Gray Whale Inn Mystery" series), Midnight Ink (Woodbury, MN), 2006.

Dead and Berried (second novel in the "Gray Whale Inn Mystery" series), Midnight Ink (Woodbury, MN), 2007.

(With Barbara Burnett Smith) Beads of Doubt, Berkley (New York, NY), 2007.

Coauthor of the blog Cozy Chicks.


A woman with eclectic interests, Karen MacInerney majored in German in college, worked in advertising and public relations, and left her career to pursue a graduate degree in ecology. A trip to visit friends on a remote island in Maine reminded her of childhood summers spent with her grandparents on Pool's Island in Newfoundland, Canada; this triggered the idea of writing a murder-mystery set in the picturesque region. The result is a series in the culinary—or "cozy"—genre called the "Gray Whale Inn Mysteries." MacInerney's goal as a writer, as she stated to Austin American-Statesman staff writer Kitty Crider, is simple: "To create this wonderful little world that people can escape to."

The world MacInerney created for her first two novels is an island community off the coast of Maine that is on the cusp of losing its charm and small-town allure to a resort developer. In Murder on the Rocks, a bed-and-breakfast owner becomes the suspect of a murder investigation, even as she battles to protect her small inn from being torn down. Included at the end of the novels are a number of recipes taken from the protagonist's kitchen. Who Dunnit reviewer Alan Paul Curtis commented: "Ms. MacInerney is an outgoing, captivating writer, and her book is worth the money just for the recipes she includes." A contributor to Cozy Library wrote: "Anyone who's read many cozies can identify a good one before they've read more than a dozen pages—some books just feel cozy. Murder on the Rocks is one of them." MacInerney was described by a Publishers Weekly reviewer as a "new cozy author worth investigating," and the novel as an "appealing debut."

The next novel in the series, Dead and Berried, follows the protagonist as she continues her trials and successes as an innkeeper. This is coupled with more personal tribulations: a deteriorating friendship, an ex-fiancé who tries to persuade her to go back to her home town in Texas, and the murder of a local chaplain. A Cozy Library reviewer remarked that the "plotting is tidy" and the "author's skill at creating a sense of place superb."



Publishers Weekly, March 27, 2006, review of Murder on the Rocks, p. 62.


Austin American-Statesman Online, (March 24, 2007), Kitty Crider, "Austin Writer Has Acquired a Taste for Mystery."

Cozy Library, (May 14,2007), reviews of Murder on the Rocks and Dead and Berried.

Karen MacInerney Home Page, (May 14, 2007).

Who Dunnit, (March 3, 2006), Alan Paul Curtis, review of Murder on the Rocks.