Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for February 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”.

So what is “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some January books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, small town mysteries, paranormal mysteries, historical mysteries, police procedurals, legal thrillers, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, domestic thrillers, men’s adventure, missing girls, stolen women, lost memories, serial killers, vigilantes, lawyers, innocents on death row and much more.

Don’t forget that Indie Crime Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Indie Crime Scene, a group blog which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things crime fiction several times per week.

As always, I know the authors at least vaguely, but I haven’t read all of the books, so Caveat emptor.

And now on to the books without further ado:

Treachery on Tap by Constance BarkerTreachery on Tap by Constance Barker:

Ghost Hunters on the Loose

The Grumpy Chicken Pub is infiltrated by a famous Ghost Hunting television show and our ghost chicken is not amused. When one of the ghost hunting crew ends up on the opposite side of the living, Ginger and her ragtag of misfits leap into action. Will the Grumpy Chicken ghost help solve the crime like before, or are there more ghosts to contend with?

Find out in this next installment of The Grumpy Chicken Irish Pub Series.

An Occupied Grave by A.G. BarnettAn Occupied Grave by A.G. Barnett:

A village of secrets finds its past lies waiting…

When mourners gather in the village of Lower Gladdock, the grave is found to be already occupied. The victim is soon linked to a tragedy that tore the village apart five years ago and is handed over to the Bexford police to solve.

Detective-sergeant Guy Poole is hoping to put his traumatic past behind him and settle into his new station at Bexford. Now history is threatening to raise its head again, and he has a murder case to contend with.

Detective Inspector Sam Brock has a new recruit to take under his wing, and he’s determined this one isn’t going to die. As if that wasn’t enough of a headache, his wife is coming home and may be on the verge of discovering the lie he’s been telling her.

Newly paired duo Brock & Poole must track down the killer before more lives are lost.

The Starlet and the Dead Duke by Bianca BlytheThe Starlet and the Dead Duke by Bianca Blythe:

Murder. Manor homes. Malfunctioning chandeliers.

Hollywood starlets are supposed to be happily on set in sunny California, and not trapped in drafty manor houses during ferocious snowstorms.

But after Cora Clarke’s best friend and fellow actress elopes with an English earl, Cora visits England to help her friend brave the aristocratic disapproval of her new husband’s family.

Unfortunately the holiday turns nightmarish when a chandelier crashes down and kills somebody. When suspicion falls on her friend, Cora vows to figure out the identity of the murderer. After all, blizzards have a habit of preventing the police from arriving, and body counts have a dreadful habit of growing.

Flesh Trade by Cora BuhlertFlesh Trade by Cora Buhlert:

1966: Freelance troubleshooter Todd Donovan is hired to locate four American college students who have gone missing while doing humanitarian work on the Caribbean island of San Ezequiel.

While punching suspects and taking names, Todd learns that the college students as well as a young nun were kidnapped by a local crime boss named Cabeza.

So now Todd is engaged in a desperate race against time to rescue the kidnapped women before they can be sold to the highest bidder.

This is an adventure novelette of approx. 9800 words or 35 pages in the style of the men’s adventure pulps of the 1960s.

Tell Me I'm Wrong by Adam CroftTell Me I’m Wrong by Adam Croft:

What if you discovered your husband was a serial killer?

Megan Miller is an ordinary woman with a young family — until a shocking discovery shatters her perfect world.

When two young boys are brutally murdered in their tight-knit village community, Megan slowly begins to realise the signs all point to the lovable local primary school teacher — her husband.

But when she begins to delve deeper into her husband’s secret life, she makes discoveries that will make her question everything she knows — and make her fear for her young daughter’s life.

Facing an impossible decision, she is desperate to uncover the truth. But once you know something, it can’t be unknown. And the more she learns, the more she wishes she never knew anything at all…

Change of Fortune by Jana DeLeonChange of Fortune by Jana DeLeon:

Sinful, Louisiana, is always a hotbed of activity, and despite the steamy heat, August is no exception. Godzilla is terrorizing the town, looking for a home-cooked meal, and Gertie is worried someone will take the gator out before she can get him under control. Francine has a situation of her own at the café, where food is missing from inventory. And Celia is always up to no good.

But summer is almost over, which could mean huge changes for Fortune Redding. Her undercover time in Sinful has always been limited to three months, and that time is almost up. With Ahmad still on the loose, Fortune is forced to remain in hiding, but soon she’ll have to move to another town and start all over with a new identity. And that’s the last thing she wants to do. Determined to get her life back, Fortune decides to draw Ahmad out and end this once and for all.

Can Fortune take down one of the most dangerous men in the world? And if she can, does she have a future in Sinful?

30 Days of Justis by John Ellsworth30 Days of Justis by John Ellsworth

She’s a daughter he didn’t know he had. Until she calls him…from death row.

From USA Today bestselling author John Ellsworth comes another book so thrilling the pages all but turn themselves. Written as a standalone novel.

Michael Gresham meets his lost daughter, Cache, in her prison cell. She is scheduled for execution in 30 days. Her other lawyers have given up; there is nothing left to do. On a hunch, Michael reviews ancient records. He is astonished at what he finds. He goes before the appeals court. The lawyers at the other table hammer him; the judges pursue him. He leaves with a heavy heart. With gathering speed, the days tick past.

30 Days of Justis is the story of a frantic father who happens to be a lawyer–but is he lawyer enough to save his child? Will there be a last minute call? Or is he in Cache’s life only as the last face she sees before it goes dark? A psychological thriller? Yes, definitely. A legal thriller? Yes, definitely. And so much more.

Murder at Macbeth in Susan HarperMurder at Macbeth by Susan Harper:

There’s nothing more relaxing than a day at the theater…until Macbeth is actually murdered

Kendell, a fiery flight attendant, and Pauline, a globe-trotting retiree, get stuck in London. Determined to make the best of their layover, they decide to take in a play at the Globe Theater. When the lead actor is murdered on stage, the new friends are thrust into a murder investigation. Can the new friends work together to clear their names and catch the real killer of Macbeth?

Murder at Macbeth is part of the Flight Risk Cozy Mystery series. If you like fast paced mysteries with interesting characters and unexpected twists, you’re going to love the Flight Risk Cozy Mystery series.

A Stolen Woman by Catherine LeaA Stolen Woman by Catherine Lea:

“Find Me!”

Those are the words on the note crumpled in Laney Donohue’s disabled sister’s hand. All Laney knows is that the young nurse aid who wrote them was taken by a man, and no one stopped him. Laney owes this young woman. She cared for Laney’s sister when Laney couldn’t. Now she’s disappeared without trace. Laney intends to find out why.

Meanwhile, it’s Elizabeth McClaine’s birthday. Or it would be if her PA had gotten the date right. So what better time to leave her unwanted party than when the call comes telling her a client of her charitable foundation has been found beaten and left cowering in a closet, her nurse aid missing.

But from the moment Elizabeth asks the first question, it’s obvious someone out there is hell-bent on stopping her. And when the trail left by Laney Donohue leads to the brothels and casinos of an organized crime syndicate two states away, Elizabeth must pit her wits against the brilliant and ruthless crime boss to save her. The problem is…

…he already knows she’s coming.

Freaky Places by Amanda M. LeeFreaky Places by Amanda M. Lee:

Mystic Caravan Circus is heading to the West Coast, and while everyone is happy for the change of scenery there’s a pall settling over the group.
Poet and Kade are in a good place and planning for a change, but it’s something Poet can’t focus on because she feels as if someone is watching … and whoever it is has evil in his or her heart.
The festival location is different, and instead of space, the circus denizens have festival workers and artisans on every side. They’re open and exposed, and hiding their secret has never been more important.
When one of their own goes missing, Poet is determined to figure out exactly what’s going on. The answers won’t be easy, though, and there are all different types of evil.
A fight is coming, and the enemy is different from anything they’ve ever faced. They’re outnumbered and might find themselves outmaneuvered.
Who will survive? More importantly, who will be lost to something even worse than death? Sometimes death really is better.

Take Five by Vishal ReddyTake Five by Vishal Reddy:

Every death starts with a life…

The first 48 hours of a murder investigation are critical… but what about the last 48 hours of the victim’s life?

TAKE FIVE (Book 2 in the Equinox Mystery Series) turns the classic police procedural on its head by alternating between the first 48 hours of the murder investigation and the last 48 hours of the murder victim’s life, told from her point of view.

THE VICTIM

In Sunnyvale, California, — the heart of Silicon Valley – Daisy Hale is a 24-year-old coder for MagnaSwift, one of the tech industry’s fastest-growing companies. Despite experiencing tragedy as a child and homelessness as a young adult, Daisy has overcome numerous obstacles to create a life of her own.

But MagnaSwift is a misogynistic hotbed of mistreatment and harassment, and Daisy’s furious that her impressive skills aren’t helping her advance within the company. So she comes up with a plan that will not only destroy MagnaSwift… but will also make her $10 million richer.

But Daisy’s fate is sealed, because she’s also dealing with a toxic boyfriend, a violent loan shark, a creepy stalker, and others who would rather kill her than see her succeed in life.

THE DETECTIVE

Meanwhile, Detective Stellan Coleman of the Sunnyvale Homicide Department needs to find out who murdered Daisy, the brilliant young woman cut down in the prime of her life. And like Daisy, Stellan has dealt with his share of tragedy too. Recently widowed and taking care of his young and tech-obsessed daughter, Stellan — together with his volatile partner, Detective Enrique Montoya — will stop at nothing to find justice for Daisy.

As Daisy and Stellan’s timelines alternate back and forth, the line between lies and the truth becomes blurred beyond recognition. Because in this fast-paced mystery full of heart-stopping twists, everybody’s a suspect… and nobody’s confessing.

Vanishing Girls by Lisa ReganVanishing Girls by Lisa Regan:

When Isabelle Coleman, a blonde, beautiful young girl goes missing, everyone from the small town of Denton joins the search. They can find no trace of the town’s darling, but Detective Josie Quinn finds another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and unresponsive, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Josie can get from her is the name of a third girl and a flash of a neon tongue piercing that matches Isabelle’s.

The race is on to find Isabelle alive, and Josie fears there may be other girls in terrible danger. When the trail leads her to a cold case labelled a hoax by authorities, Josie begins to wonder is there anyone left she can trust?

Someone in this close-knit town is committing unspeakable crimes. Can Josie catch the killer before another victim loses their life?

13th Avenue by Thomas Shark13th Avenue by Thomas Shark

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO SAVE YOUR OWN SKIN?

Detective Nicholas Graves never wanted to be a murderer, but during one long Sunday afternoon on 13th Avenue, he became exactly that. With his secret safe and buried for three whole years, it comes as a shock when he receives an anonymous email, threatening to expose his secret.

Over the next 12 hours, Detective Graves finds himself in a game with a killer who is smarter, more cunning and deranged than he could ever be. His only hope is his rookie partner, Detective Stasia Rhine, who becomes the final wall between Graves and his demise.

There’s only one problem.

The killer has a game for Stasia too…

The Hate Crime by Rachel SinclairThe Hate Crime by Rachel Sinclair:

Heather’s back!

Heather Morrison is back in Damien’s office, but this time, she’s not just there to work. Her boyfriend, Beck Harrison, is accused of killing a transgendered friend of Heather’s. The prosecutors are charging the murder as a hate crime. Beck insists that he’s innocent. After investigating Beck’s background, Damien’s not so sure. Beck has a dark past of involvement with the Aryan Brotherhood. But Damien soon finds out that this case is nothing like it seems. The victim’s past soon becomes the target of the investigation, as Damien finds the one key that will break this case wide open.

Did Damien solve the crime or was there somebody else that he never even thought of who might have been the culprit? A surprise witness at the 11th hour provides the clue.

Meanwhile, Connor has his own case for Damien. He’s been working with underprivileged youth, trying to steer them straight and not walk the same path that he has. He presses Damien to represent Tina, who is charged with drug distribution. Damien sees many parallels between Tina’s life and his own, and he can’t help wanting to save her.

But can he?

Imperfect Memories by Jody WennerImperfect Memories by Jody Wenner:

After losing her husband and daughter in an all-too-common act of senseless terror, Nina Rogers thinks she might also be losing her mind. Is she slipping because of the tragedy, or is her memory actually failing her? Is she experiencing the same thing her mother did, or is this something different? It might be easy to figure out in a normal person, but Nina is anything but normal. She has hyperthymesia: the ability to recall every minute of every day of her life.

As the days go on, she sinks even deeper into madness and knows that she needs to find some answers to what is happening to her before it’s too late. Tragically, the one person who may be able to help is also the man who killed her family.

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