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 December 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 plenty of cozy mysteries, small town mysteries, craft mysteries, animal mysteries, historical mysteries, 1920s mysteries, Civil War mysteries, Medieval mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, action thrillers, historical thrillers, pulp thrillers, horror thrillers, police procedurals, romantic suspense, private investigators, amateur sleuths, stalkers, serial killers, axe murderers, assassins, vigilantes, forgers, lawyers, blackmailers, troubled priests, slaves and those who hunt them, crime-busting witches, crime-busting cats, crime-busting geneologists, crime-busting literary agents, missing mistresses, overweight detectives, murder on the seaside, in country manors and in small towns, in Chicago, New Orleans, Upstate New York, Paris 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:
Murder in the Shallows by Beth Byers:
Violet and Jack go for a simple day on the water. They little expect their day of sun and fun to end with finding a body in the water.
The mystery of what happened to the young man in the shallows posses them both, and they unite in their desire to find out more. Will they be able to discover why Jack’s one-time friend was killed? Who would have done this and why?
North Country Girl by Anthony DeCastro:
Voices from the past are best left there.
Myrtle Beach PI Fuzzy Koella knows this better than anyone.
But when his old teammate Jo Jo Bigtree calls about a young vagabond accused of murdering a nun, Fuzzy doesn’t heed that advice.
In the frigid landscape of Upstate New York, Fuzzy finds a town with a penchant for violence and dark secrets. An abusive high school hockey coach. A Voodoo doctor. A corrupt Tribal Sheriff. Even his own friend and the good Sister, herself.
As the temperature drops and the body count rises, Fuzzy questions the wisdom of sticking around to catch another bullet. Or worse, freezing to death. But a scared kid sits in jail that nobody seems to care about except Fuzzy.
Fuzzy Koella returns in his second, exciting adventure. If you love witty detective novels with a dose of hard-boiled action, you won’t want to miss North Country Girl.
When young priest Nicolas Chatry took his vows, he thought the hardest thing he’d have to deal with was accomplishing his duties from a wheelchair. Until a murderer steps into the confessional. Unable to recognize the voice or maneuver quickly enough to get a look at the killer, Nicolas has no way of identifying who admitted to such a horrific deed. And even if he did, his vows prevent him from telling anyone about it.
Unable to live with the knowledge that a predator is walking the streets of New Orleans, Nicolas breaks his vows and hires Shaye to do the impossible—find the killer before he strikes again.
The Missing Mistress by Thomas Fincham:
What happened to Lana Anderson?
One beautiful morning, David Becker, a respected lawyer, jumps off an overpass and onto incoming traffic. Detective Dana Fisher and Detective Greg Holt are tasked to find out why Becker decided to kill himself in such a public manner. Before they could begin their investigation, Fisher is pulled away from the case. Her brother, Casey, is in trouble and he needs her help.
Private Investigator Lee Callaway will finally get to spend the entire day with his daughter, Nina. But when Callaway finds out who the jumper is, he has no choice but to begin his own investigation.
To solve the mystery of Becker’s death, Callaway must find someone who has seemingly vanished into thin air.
I Blackmailed Her Brother by Jessica Frances:
I blackmailed her brother, so she took my heart and held it ransom.
I made a mistake.
I did something unforgiveable.
I broke her trust.
I shattered the life we were building together.
And I hate myself for the pain I caused her.
But then someone thought they could threaten her,
Thought they could come after the woman I love.
They need to think again.
I am stronger than I have ever been before.
I am determined to win her back,
And no one is getting in my way.
Not our friends.
Not her family.
And definitely not the crazy maniac who is after her.
I will protect her.
I will salvage what we had,
And I will make us stronger because of it.
Not every relationship can be built on solid ground,
And maybe betrayal and blackmail might not make for a great foundation,
But then again, as some people say: there is nothing quite like love at first … crime.
The Asylum by Nathan Dylan Goodwin:
The job presented to forensic genealogist, Morton Farrier, ought to have been simple and easy. But the surprise discovery of an additional marriage to his client’s father leads Morton on an enquiry, revolving around a mysterious death in the county asylum. Requiring his various investigative genealogical skills, Morton must work to unravel this complex eighty-year-old secret and finally reveal the truth to his client.
This is the first story in the Morton Farrier genealogical crime mystery series.
The Fat Detective by Christian Hayes:
Private Detective For Hire. No Previous Experience.
Eugene Blake’s quit his job to become an old-fashioned private eye. He’s got everything he needs: a 1940s raincoat, a detective’s notebook and a little clicky pen.
When he meets the mysterious Melissa White she takes his breath away. Tasked with finding her missing husband, Eugene is drawn into the shadowy underworld of London and has to solve the dangerous puzzle of his very first case.
Once he’s been chased, punched and shot at, he wonders whether he should have stuck to his day job.
If you like your novels hardboiled you will love this funny, thrilling and very British twist on the private detective genre. The Fat Detective is the first book in the Eugene Blake trilogy by London novelist Christian Hayes.
Lie Like a Rug by Donna Huston Murray:
While escorting Bryn Derwyn Academy’s most infamous student downtown to be scared straight by a Federal judge, Ginger Barnes is shocked to find her childhood babysitter, textile professor Charlie Finnemeyer, on trial for fraudulently aging an Oriental rug. Even more alarming, Gin learns that two witnesses against her beloved “Uncle Wunk” suffered suspiciously convenient heart attacks.
Eager to assist the professor’s attorney, the veteran amateur sleuth pries secret information from a university president and uncovers past transgressions of a TV craft show host—all while acquiring an overnight education in early American textiles from experts at Winterthur and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Others guilty of questionable behavior: two antique dealers, and Charlie’s overprotective wife.
Still, damning evidence can’t be swept under a rug. Before Gin can persuade anyone else that Charlie is innocent, she must first convince herself.
A Dead Market by CeeCee James:
Stella O’Neil finally has her first listing! A cute cabin with a gorgeous lake on eighty acres of breathtaking land. There’s just one tiny problem: the body floating in the lake.
If that weren’t unsettling enough, her phone rings off the hook with hundreds of potential buyers. In fact, the property is overrun with them! Stella digs out the truth that the lake is the obscure clue in an old legend that has been solved on the Internet.
But if only her troubles stopped there. She runs into one buyer who won’t take no for an answer. He seems to have way too much personal information about Stella herself, but the police refuse to take the threat seriously. As mishaps continue to develop, she is certain that she being hunted by someone with some sort of grudge against her.
Stella has to solve the murder and figure out the riddle so she can untangle herself from this legal and personal mess… before things go too far.
Southern United States of America, 1858.
A slave auction goes wrong leaving a group of slaves, that were meant to be sold to Billette Hall, in the hands of a cruel slave master. That sale left slaves separated from their loved ones and family members. Marion’s life changes when Master Jesse of Billette Hall Plantation summons her into his quarters for an important task. She must sneak into the auction grounds and help the displaced slaves escape. Those slaves are to be brought safely to Billette Hall.
Armed with a Revolver and a single shot, Marion, the 15-year-old slave girl, must lead the displaced slaves on a 4-day trek through the wilderness to safety. The trek is harrowing and filled with danger as they are forced to avoid bounty hunters, slave catchers and their dogs.
Making matters worse, Marion and the rest of the escaped slaves soon discover that there are nightmares more frightening than the slavers. They are being hunted! A strange unknown man, covered in mud and wielding an axe, stalks them. Everyone who has crossed his path is dead. Marion and her tiny group of frightened men and women will suffer the same fate unless they can rise above their fear.
Billette Hall is the horrifyingly new American Slavery thriller by DL Jones
A Literal Mess by J.C. Kenney:
The first book in a new series featuring Allie Cobb brings the New York literary agent back to her Hoosier home town where a mysterious death keeps everyone on spoiler alert . . .
Allie Cobb left home for the literary circles of Manhattan to make her name out from under the shadow of her legendary father. Now his death brings her and her rescue cat Ursula back to the southern Indiana town of Rushing Creek, population: 3,216. But a tragic new chapter hits the presses when the body of her father’s hard-drinking, #1 bestselling client is found under the historic town bridge. The local police suspect foul play and their prime candidate for murder is the author’s daughter—Allie’s longtime friend.
Determined to clear her bestie, Allie goes into fact-checking amateur detective mode while trying to ignore the usual rumormongers. Those with means, motive, and opportunity include the vic’s ex-wife, his rejected girlfriend, the mayor, and a rival agent trying to mooch clients. With a rugged genealogist distracting her and the imminent Fall Festival about to send tourists descending on their once-peaceful hamlet, Allie needs to stay alive long enough to get a read on a killer ready to close the book on a new victim: Allie . . .
It’s Jake and Boo’s first Christmas together, and they’re heading to Waxahachie to spend it with Petreski’s family. As if meeting your boyfriend’s parents isn’t nerve-wracking enough, there’s also a mob of siblings, a town full of gossips, trouble with a holiday display, and someone’s been sending poison pen letters to the local priest. Oh, and the pie is a bit of a disappointment.
In a house full of Cats, the nights are anything but silent, and it’s not long before Jake is convinced the Petreski family home is haunted. The truth, though, may be even stranger.
Who said small town life was boring?
Now with extra chocolate and nuts! And an elf.
Freaky Deaky Tiki by Amanda M. Lee:
Hadley Hunter is learning about life, love … and being a witch.She has a hot and hunky boyfriend, new friends, and family she didn’t know existed until recently.Her plate is full.Life gets even busier when a Detroit grim reaper named Aisling Grimlock hits Moonstone Bay for her honeymoon. Aisling is loud, brash … and pregnant. Unfortunately, she’s not one of those women who gets happy and develops a glow at the notion of a new baby.When a body turns up on the docks, Hadley decides to help her boyfriend Galen investigate. All she knows for certain is that the murder looks ritual thanks to the tiki mask left behind … and the gaping wound in his chest.Since she’s bored and limited, Aisling latches on to Hadley and volunteers to help. That means zipping around the island and investigating the local cult that lives in the forest.Aisling has specific ideas about what should be done. Hadley has her own ideas. And Galen wants them both to steer clear of his investigation.Things are bound to collide … and they do in spectacular fashion.What happens when Detroit’s mouthiest reaper and Moonstone Bay’s newest witch collide? You’re about to find out.The stakes are high, death is in the air … and a few more secrets are about to be unveiled. Strap in, because things are about to get freaky.
The Charming Man by Lisa M. Lilly:
A blizzard rages. A young woman goes missing. A killer hides in the dark corners of an aging apartment complex.
As Chicago’s worst blizzard on record rages, a close friend asks Quille to help find a missing young woman.
The search takes Quille to River City, an aging apartment complex once seen as the cutting edge of Chicago architecture. When a well-known former resident is killed, downed power lines and multi-car pileups block police from reaching the building.
To prevent more deaths and find the missing woman before it’s too late, Quille must track the killer herself….
Assassin by Eugene Lloyd MacRae:
When those close to Merlin Arthur Dragon become targets of an assassin, he immediately springs into action, throwing caution to the wind to hunt down the perpetrator. But Interpol’s Stopper soon finds himself the target of a massive manhunt by his own organization. How did things become twisted so quickly? And why? What – and who – is behind the French Gendarmerie Nationale threatening to hunt him down and kill him? Unless Merlin can find the truth to those questions, death will be the final answer.
Until Proven Guilty by Rachel Sinclair:
Damien’s back! And this time, the murder case hits way too close to home.
Damien’s mother, Olivia, is being charged with murder. At first glance, Damien thinks that the murder charge is flimsy at best. Olivia’s friend, Dr. Tracy Dunham, died at her home of an apparent drug overdose. Olivia insists that she was simply sitting in her home, minding her own business, when Dr. Dunham came over to crash on her couch. She found him dead the next day.
The prosecutor’s office, however, charges Olivia with murder. Their accusation is that Olivia gave Dr. Dunham a deadly dose of pure heroin, which is what killed him.
As Damien gets further into the case, he finds that nothing is what it seems. Somebody apparently wanted Dr. Dunham dead – but who? And why? Damien discovers the shocking conspiracy that is truly behind the man’s death, but he finds himself in a race against time to find the evidence to prove his mother’s innocence. If he can’t get to bottom of who wanted Dr. Dunham dead, then his mother will go to prison for the rest of her life.
True, he doesn’t get along with his foul-mouthed, drunk mother, but she’s still his mother.
In the meantime, he also has to deal with a son, Nate, who is on the brink. Nate is slipping away, and Damien feels helpless to stop his son’s destruction. Can he save him in time?
Murder at Broadstowe Manor by Jason Vail:
The adherents of Simon de Montfort from Herefordshire gather at Hereford Castle to select the county’s delegates to a Parliament Montfort has summoned in order to solidify his control of the kingdom. But the celebrations are interrupted when one of those put forward as a delegate, Sir Rogier FitzHerbert, is found hanged in his locked bedchamber alongside the body of a young man.The new coroner for the county rules the deaths a murder-suicide.But there are those who doubt that FitzHerbert could have murdered the young man and then hanged himself. And one of those faithful to the dead lord engages Stephen Attebrook to prove this was no suicide, but the cold-blooded murder of both.What looks like a routine murder inquiry, however, draws Stephen and his friends Gilbert Wistwode and Harry the carver into the game of shadows, for Montfort had sent the dead lord on a mission to the Welsh, bearing a letter with Montfort’s proposals for a secret alliance. Men would kill to get that letter, which went missing upon FitzHerbert’s death. Stephen finds himself in pursuit of that letter, for it seems to hold the key to the mystery.Stephen’s troubles pile up by leaps and bounds for he must dodge deputies sent after him by Sheriff Percival FitzAllan, who accuses Stephen of murder himself, and he delves deeply into Hereford’s underworld where death lurks in every alley and byway in his search for the truth. Murder at Broadstowe Manor is Stephen Attebrook’s most desperate adventure yet, for his life and fortune are at stake with his every step.
Louisa’s Legacy by Rachel Wright:
When Maja Larsson learns that her father was murdered on a remote Pacific island eight years earlier, she embarks on a journey with lawyer Will Brownlie to find out what happened. It soon becomes clear that someone is trying to cover up the real story and as Will investigates, he realises their lives are in immediate danger. Jack Clayman, a skilled black-hat hacker, will stop at nothing to protect his secret, including killing anyone who gets too close.