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 August 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, culinary mysteries, historical mysteries, medieval mysteries, Victorian mysteries, Asian mysteries, paranormal mysteries, children’s mysteries, police procedurals, crime thrillers, adventure thrillers, spy thrillers, legal thrillers, private investigators, amateur sleuths, spies, assassins, lawyers, kipnappings, intrepid reporters, werewolves and witches in 16th century Germany, murder in Tokyo, Hawaii, Korea and Australia, aboard cruise ships, in Hollywood, in circusses and cupcake shops 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:
Homicide on the Hunt by Stacey Alabaster:
When a treasure hunt turns deadly, the hunt for money and a murderer heats up.
The annual Eden Bay treasure hunt is usually a time of great fun. Secrets abound as Alyson and Claire face off, each determined to win the prize. When a dead body interrupts the hunt, the girls must find the killer before they can win the prize. Can their secrets and friendship provide a murder on the treasure hunt?
Homicide on the Hunt is the sixth book in the Hang Ten Australian Cozy Mystery series, a fast paced cozy mystery with an authentic Australian flair. If you quirky characters and unexpected twists, you’re going to love the Alyson and Claire.
Of Witches and Werewolves Trilogy Boxed Set by Cory Barclay:
Of Witches and Werewolves is a box set containing all three of the historical mystery books listed below in one epic tome.
Devil in the Countryside
It’s 1588 and a killer is loose in the German countryside. Is it the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg or something even more sinister? As the body count mounts and the mystery deepens, an unconventional investigator, a savage hunter seeking revenge, a conflicted priest, and a determined farmer’s daughter all search for answers, against the backdrop of a country reeling in religious turmoil.
In the Company of Wolves
In 1592, amid the chaos of regular witch-hunts and continued religious strife tearing Europe apart, three sets of travelers venture out on their own quests for peace and prosperity: A young thief from the slums, a ship of pirates, a priest and his wife. And as power, greed, and family secrets threaten to destroy them, their seemingly separate adventures converge in a place that may hold the key for them all.
The Beast Within
By the end of 1592, the city of Bedburg is still reeling from the horrific werewolf and witch trials that have consumed the city. Offering no comfort, a despotic lord rules with an iron fist and no one is safe. But an unlikely hero emerges, offering a group of improbable misfits their best hope for freedom: Returning to the chaos and tyranny they left behind to confront the face of pure evil head-on.
When a Russian defector is assassinated in a sleepy English seaside town, Group Fifteen agents John Milton and Michael Pope find themselves in a rush to uncover the culprits and bring them to justice.
Their investigation leads them to Moscow and a confrontation with Directorate S, the agency responsible for seeding Russian sleeper agents around the world. When lies and double crossing mean that no-one is what they seem, the two agents – alone and without backup – struggle to achieve their goals under the most dangerous of circumstances.
Set one week before the opening of The Cleaner, this compulsive thriller turns back the clock to Milton as a barely functioning alcoholic, still tormented by the ghosts of the men and women he has killed in the service of his country.
Milton must fight his own demons as well as the Russian assassin sent to eliminate him. Will he be able to complete his mission and escape with his life?
The Highland Murders by J.S. Donovan:
Rachel Harroway, a homicide detective with the ability to see the dead, balances the responsibilities of being a mother alongside her life’s calling to guide orphaned spirits home. Teaming up with her long time homicide partner Jensen Peak, she hunts for the latest crafty killer to strike in her little corner of the Appalachian Mountains. The investigation gets personal when her adopted daughter enters the crosshairs. How far will Rachel go to protect her own? How much will she be willing to give up?
Michael Gresham Box Set by John Ellsworth:
Enjoy the first three Michael Gresham legal thrillers at 50% off!
Grab the first three of this set of international best sellers while you can for one-half off the cover price. These are the books that made Michael Gresham a household name for those who love legal thrillers. But a word of warning: get ready to stay up late, because the Gresham books are known for portraying characters that readers love and want to follow.
Book 1: Lies She Never Told Me
The story of Michael Gresham’s heritage, beginning with his father’s father. The book features mob wars in 1920’s Chicago; World War II invasions and POW camps; romance between powerful men and beautiful women; the most infamous mass murder in 1960’s Chicago; and the complete growing-up story of Michael Gresham himself, from young boy to young lawyer. The book recounts the first meeting between Michael and his famous investigator Marcel in Operation Desert Shield when both young men are soldiers on the track of Saddam Hussein.
Finally, when Michael’s grandmother comes to him with a request that he track down and kill one man, can he refuse? He’s been trained as a lawyer, he believes in the rule of law, and he believes that no man is above the law. But his grandmother won’t let him go. She tells him a certain man must die for his crimes. Michael loves his grandmother with every cell in his body. Can he refuse her dying wish? Will he honor the vow he makes to this most important woman in his life?
And so the hunt begins.
Who will Michael find first: the killer or himself?
Book 2: Michael Gresham: The Lawyer
Michael Gresham is a criminal attorney with a client accused of murdering a judge’s wife. As the story progresses, the judge whose wife was murdered suddenly tries to hire Michael Gresham for himself. New revelations have the judge backed into a corner in this legal and financial thriller. Can an attorney battle the system and win the notorious case other lawyers turned down? Can Michael Gresham turn the tables on those who would see him dead? And who is going to pay for the injury and disfigurement they left him with?
A legal financial thriller that introduces the first in a five-book series about Michael Gresham, the Chicago lawyer who defends hopeless cases everyday. Watch from your front row seat as Michael walks into this courtroom drama a huge underdog. Cheer him on as he uses all his wit and cunning to defend the indefensible.
Book 3: Secrets Girls Keep
Michael Gresham is a criminal attorney whose priest has fathered a son. The boy is now seventeen, acting-out, and suddenly arrested for first-degree murder. A serious question arises as to the boy’s guilt. The priest asks Michael to take his son into his home so he can be released on bail. Michael and his wife agree and the boy, with his snake and mice, moves in.
One young client who looks more guilty with each new death…
The new houseguest gets questioned by the police for yet a second murder. Michael Gresham and his wife become uneasy and, when the young man begins acting out, they finally move him out. The snake and mice move out with him. What follows is the story of a trial for first degree murder. All pertinent witnesses take the stand and are questioned in this book. The tension mounts. A verdict is rendered by the jury, but the crime doesn’t end there. Now it becomes personal to Michael and Danny.
Murdered By News by Dianne Harman:
He was a Pulitzer Prize winning publisher. She was a celebrity newscaster. Someone hated one of them enough to commit murder.
Kat’s shocked when she’s asked to help solve the murder but it looks like her daughter may be marrying into the decedent’s family. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing. Nice to know there’s a Rottweiler at your back!
Dangerous Seas by Lily Harper Hart:
Ten years ago, Rowan Gray’s father didn’t return from a routine day at work. The police believed he accidentally drove into a nearby lake thanks to inclement weather, but no sign of him or the car he was driving was ever found.
Now, Rowan Gray is a photographer on a cruise ship. She’s in love with the head of security Quinn Davenport, and living a life she never thought possible. Things are going well … and her father is back. Paul Gray is going by another name but he’s a guest on The Bounding Storm, which happens to be hosting a group of high-profile authors from across the world. And, yes, Rowan’s father is among them.
The reunion process doesn’t exactly go smoothly, especially when the most famous author in the bunch turns up dead. Julia West wasn’t a pleasant woman, but she had a legion of fans.
The problem facing Rowan and Quinn is they can’t figure out who’s to blame. Was it one of the other authors? An errant fan who somehow snuck on board? Or the diabolical enemy that forced Paul Gray to abandon his only daughter a decade before? The stakes are high as the truth comes out. The only thing that’s absolutely certain is that Rowan and Quinn’s lives will never be the same again … if they can hold onto their lives, that. Nothing is a given in this brave new world.
Slash in the Pan by CeeCee James:
Georgie Tanner and her best friend, Kari have known each other their whole lives. Georgie was maid of honor at Kari and Joe’s wedding, so when Joe is accused of a horrific murder, Georgie is determined to learn the truth.
The details look bad- a body was found in the subdivision under construction where Joe is the general contractor. The body has Joe’s favorite knife sticking out of it. To make things worse, the dead man is Devon Walters, Joe’s professional rival.
Joe doesn’t have a good alibi, and the DA quickly discovers that Devon was about to file a lawsuit against Joe. As Georgie finds out when she digs deeper, Devon had a good reason to file a lawsuit. Despite Joe’s underhanded dealings, Kari begs Georgie to prove he didn’t do it… but the more Georgie digs, the worse things look.
Worse, Georgie unearths clues that seem to tie back to her fiancé, who died years ago… this may be one case where the truth is too hard to face.
On Deadline and Under Fire by Amanda M. Lee:
There’s nothing Avery Shaw loves more than a challenge … at least when it comes to tracking down a story. The challenge she’s facing this time is the one thing she might not be able to overcome, though.
Vacation. That’s right, not only is Southeastern Michigan’s busiest reporter off work for a week … but she’s also on the receiving end of a visit from her boyfriend’s mother.
Eliot Kane is tough as nails but he’s obviously nervous about the two most important women in his life crossing paths. The fact that he’s nervous makes Avery agitated … and she worries about very little other than who she can upset and how quickly she can make her enemies cry.
As luck would have it, Avery stumbles on a story when she should be enjoying her time off. A high-rise apartment fire leaves one dead … and ties to organized crime are abundant. The only thing Avery knows about the mob is what television and movies have taught her. That doesn’t mean she’s not keen to learn.
Avery is in a pickle. She has to uncover the motives behind a murder, get her boyfriend’s mother to like her without losing herself, and keep her family out of trouble even though they’re sniffing around and causing mischief. Oh, and she has to pull it all off without melting down or letting Eliot know what she’s up to.
Things are about to get wacky and dangerous in Avery’s world. She wouldn’t have it any other way … even if it ultimately kills her.
Go for the Juggler by Leanne Leeds:
A jarring homecoming.
An uncertain fate.
To save everyone, one witch must perform the juggling act of a lifetime
When Charlotte returns home with Gunther, Devana, and Ethel Elkins in tow, she doesn’t think her life can get any more complicated. But when one of her parents’ Animal Shelter volunteers turns up dead, her control begins to slip as her old human life and her new paranormal life collide.
While racing to come up with a plan to defeat the Witches’ Council, Charlotte must defend her family against an intrusive police investigation that risks exposing their true nature to the human world—an act which will condemn them all.
Go for the Juggler is the fourth book in the hypnotizing Magical Midway paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, and twisty mysteries, then you’ll love Leanne Leeds’ crowd-pleasing whodunit.
Lady Rample and the Silver Screen by Shéa MacLeod:
When an invitation to a Hollywood wedding arrives in London, Lady Rample and Aunt Butty are living the glamorous life among the rich and famous in California. But when their movie producer host is found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot, they find themselves embroiled in a mystery involving a silver screen starlet, a conniving butler, and kidnapping gangsters!
Suspicious from the start, Lady Rample is determined to prove that their friend didn’t commit suicide. Unfortunately, proving murder might end in another murder…her own.
Lose yourself in 1930s Hollywood with the latest installment of the popular historical cozy mystery series, Lady Rample Mysteries.
Overboard by Dawn Lee McKenna:
Due to a past trauma, Lt. Maggie Hamilton has a paralyzing fear of sharks that has kept her out of her beloved Gulf all her adult life.
When a group of drug dealers dumps the Sheriff’s Office investigator overboard one night, leaving her to her fate, Maggie finds herself in the middle of her most terrifying nightmare, with no hope of waking up safe in her own bed.
To survive, Maggie must not only meet her fear head on, but overcome it, so that she can stay alive long enough to be rescued or make her way back home.
Maggie’s husband, former Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton, and the town’s most notorious criminal, Bennett Boudreaux, join forces in a desperate search for Maggie.
They’re in a race against time to save her before the Gulf, her fear, or the thing she fears most takes her life.
Phyllis Wong and the Waking of the Wizard by Geoffrey McSkimming:
Phyllis Wong, that brilliant young magician and clever sleuth, is faced with a quest which began in the time of her great-grandfather, Wallace Wong, Conjuror of Wonder! He wanted to track down one of history’s greatest magicians … but does the person even exist? To find the answer, Phyllis will have to Transit across thousands of miles and hundreds of years.
While she follows the trail of the master prestidigitator, a sinister figure haunts her every step. What is the Great Whimpering, and who is the dastardly man intent on bringing it about? Can Phyllis find one of the most mysterious figures from history? Can she complete her mission in time to prevent the greatest calamity ever to befall mankind?
Another astonishing mystery starring Phyllis Wong, from the ever-scrawling pen nib of Geoffrey McSkimming.
The third Phyllis Wong: Time Detective Mystery.
Curse of the Poppy by Emily Organ
A woman dies in a burglary in Fitzrovia. A man is murdered in an opium den in Limehouse. Gutsy Fleet Street reporter Penny Green suspects the two deaths are connected, but how can she prove it?
The answer may lie in Whitehall where the India Office reaps the benefits of Britain’s opium trade. But when Inspector James Blakely of Scotland Yard begins investigating, an unforeseen danger looms.
Soon Penny is forced to act alone and is put to the ultimate test when her quest becomes personal.
The Moving Blade by Michael Pronko:
When the top American diplomat in Tokyo, Bernard Mattson, is killed, he leaves more than a lifetime of successful Japan-American negotiations. He leaves a missing manuscript, boxes of research, a lost keynote speech and a tangled web of relations.
When his alluring daughter, Jamie, returns from America wanting answers, finding only threats, Detective Hiroshi Shimizu is dragged from the safe confines of his office into the street-level realities of Pacific Rim politics.
With help from ex-sumo wrestler Sakaguchi, Hiroshi searches for the killer from back alley bars to government offices, through anti-nuke protests to military conspiracies. When two more bodies turn up, Hiroshi must choose between desire and duty, violence or procedure, before the killer silences his next victim.
THE MOVING BLADE is the second in the Tokyo-based Detective Hiroshi series by award-winning author Michael Pronko.
The Tiger Awakens by L.P. Ring:
Senior Inspector Choi only wants to keep his head down and lick his wounds after his latest investigation went horribly wrong. So when he picks up a simple home invasion angle with a ready-made prime suspect, it looks like this will be an easier day than most. Except someone wanted Young-bae Kim to suffer. And Choi can’t shake the feeling than there is more to this than a simple burglary gone wrong.
The Tequila Killings by Robert W. Stephens:
A deadly fall. A dodgy past. Can Poe uncover the truth before a match made in paradise ends in disaster?
Edgar Allan “Poe” Rutherford has the luxury of picking and choosing the cases that spark his curiosity. So when his love-struck mother-in-law demands he trail her latest squeeze, he thinks he’s wasting his time. Until a mysterious woman from the boyfriend’s past falls off his balcony to her death.
As he digs deeper, he discovers a chain of underground connections starting with a rising tide of corruption in Miami and washing up on Maui’s white sandy beaches. But Poe’s solved enough cases to know dodgy dealings don’t necessarily make the man a murderer…
With the body count climbing, can Poe protect his mother-in-law and solve the case or will a killer destroy a chance at a happy ending?
The Tequila Killings is the eighth standalone novel in a series of murder mysteries with an island state of mind. If you like charismatic private eyes, lighthearted humor, and tropical-storm-grade twists and turns, then you’ll love Robert W. Stephens’ Murder on Maui series.
You Won’t Find Him by Cyrus Winters:
It’s been 20 long years since a night of horror where Detective Jess Antler’s 10-year-old brother Billy was abducted. Despite Jess seeing the intruder face to face, neither he or her brother were ever found. After enduring a terrifying adolescence at the hands of her abusive Aunt, Jess has learnt to push away her feelings about her brother, and her drive to find him.
As everyone says, Billy’s never coming back. It’s time to move on.
However after uncovering Billy’s secret diary, Jess begins to unravel the mystery further and discovers shocking truths about her family and what Billy was really mixed up in.
False Justice by Larry A. Winters:
A powerful corporation. A legal system bought and paid for. A prosecutor willing to risk everything for justice…
In a courthouse hallway, assistant district attorney Jessica Black runs into an old law school friend. Jessie is excited to catch up with Kelly … until she realizes the lawyer is terrified.
Kelly is representing grieving parents against a large corporation whose failure to meet safety standards caused a child’s death. The company stands to lose a lot of money, and Kelly fears someone is following her, watching her, and preparing to harm her. But without an actual threat, the police won’t help. Jessie offers to talk to her friends in the police department to try to get Kelly some protection, at least temporarily.
But that night, Kelly is found dead in what looks like a random car accident.
Now, Jessie must prove Kelly’s accident was actually a murder, find the killer, and protect the grief-stricken parents from a corporation willing to do anything to silence them. But can she succeed against a corrupt judicial system, an indifferent police force, and a bloodthirsty killer? Or will her fight for justice cost her everything?