Berried to the Hilt by Karen MacInerney is the fourth book in the “Gray Whale Inn” cozy mystery series. Publisher: Midnight Ink, November 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?

It’s been two years since we last saw Natalie and she’s been sorely missed. When a shipwreck is discovered offshore, archeologists descend on Cranberry Island and will need a place to stay. All is well until one of the guests is found dead and one of the locals is arrested for his murder. Believing in his innocence, Natalie does what she does best and that is snoop. With a clever plot, illustrious characters and a nice island locale, this lighthearted mystery and enjoyable read kept me both intrigued and wanting more. My rating: 4 stars

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