Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for April 2019

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 March 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, historical mysteries, WWII mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, forensic thrillers, legal thrillers, action thrillers, spy thrillers, police procedurals, romantic suspense, private investigators, amateur sleuths, lawyers, serial killers, missing children, missing detectives, missing agents, amnesiac spies, forensic geologists, crime-busting witches, sinister carnivals, murder on university campuses and aboard cruise ships, in Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, Hollywood, rural Ohio, rual Nebraska 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:

A Cold Spell by Stacey AlabasterA Cold Spell by Stacey Alabaster:

It’s a cold day in… Well, you know the saying

Ruby Swift is learning to use her paranormal powers and how to solve mysteries as a private investigator. Sometimes together. When a freezing spell goes wrong, she’s suddenly got more to worry about than just a murder investigation.

A Cold Spell is part of the Private Eye Witch Cozy Mystery series. If you like fun paranormal mysteries, you will love Ruby Swift and her magical adventures.

Get A Cold Spell and start solving your next supernatural mystery today!

Death by Dissertation by Kelly BrackenhoffDeath by Dissertation by Kelly Brackenhoff:

Ambitious Cassandra Sato traded her life in Hawai’i for a dream position as Student Affairs VP at Morton College in tiny Carson, Nebraska. She expected the Midwestern church casseroles, land-locked cornfields, and face-freezing winters would be her biggest challenges, but it’s her job that’s rapidly becoming a nightmare.

A deaf student is dead and the investigation reveals a complicated trail of connections between campus food service, a local farmer’s beef, and the science lab’s cancer research. Together with her few allies, Cassandra must protect the students caught up in the entanglement.

Dealing with homesickness, vandalism, and a stalker, Cassandra is trapped in a public relations disaster that could cost her job, or more. No one said college was easy.

Fortune Furlough by Jana DeLeonFortune Furlough by Jana DeLeon:

It’s not a vacation until there’s a murder.

Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie are finally off to Florida on the vacation they’ve always talked about. Days filled with white sand, turquoise water, and fruity drinks are the only thing on the agenda. But when Gertie’s “hot date” turns up dead and she’s the number one suspect, they’re forced to hang up their bathing suits and shift to investigating mode.

They soon discover that Gertie’s beau was up to all kinds of shady behavior, leaving them with a long list of people who are happy he’s dead. But which one resorted to murder?

River Run by Toni DwigginsRiver Run by Toni Dwiggins:

There are plenty of ways to die in the Grand Canyon.

Forensic geologists Cassie Oldfield and Walter Shaws investigate one way: trouble on the canyon’s Colorado River. Stranded raft. Life vests unused. Rafters missing.

The only clue to the fate of the rafters is a bag of pebbles caught by the bow line. Following that clue, the geologists uncover a hellish scheme. Not only are the rafters in peril, but the river itself is under attack.

The race to stop it takes Cassie and Walter deep into the canyon, and onto the mighty river, putting their own survival at stake.

In Her Defence by Jan EdwardsIn Her Defence by Jan Edwards:

Bunch Courtney’s hopes for a quiet market-day lunch with her sister are shattered when a Dutch refugee dies a horribly painful death before their eyes. A few days later Bunch receives a letter from her old friend Cecile saying that her father, Professor Benoir, has been murdered in an eerily similar fashion. Two deaths by poisoning in a single week. Co-incidence? Bunch does not believe that any more than Chief Inspector William Wright.

Set against a backdrop of escalating war and the massed internments of 1940, the pair are drawn together in a race to prevent the murderer from striking again.

Blackbird by A.J. GentileBlackbird by A.J. Gentile:

An actress is murdered at a Hollywood house party and a naive young man stands accused.

In this debut novel, greenhorn attorney Ezekiel Blackbird has something to prove as he struggles to establish his own practice in Los Angeles straight out of law school. Eager but insecure, Zeke would prefer to attract easier, high-paying corporate clients, but he can’t refuse the chance to represent an alleged murderer who desperately needs his help. His love life is in tatters and his physical safety is under threat, but Zeke remains loyal to his client despite the difficult lessons he must learn to become a shrewd criminal attorney.

Perilous Seas by Lily Harper HartPerilous Seas by Lily Harper Hart:

Her father may be back in her life but things are hardly smooth sailing for Rowan Gray.

He faked his death to get away from a group of people investigating psychic abilities – a group he is convinced is still out to get him – and he’s positive the group want his daughter for the same nefarious reasons.

Rowan is simply happy to have him in her life. She gets to spend time with him and her uncle and plot for a future they might never have.

All that’s thrown into turmoil when The Bounding Storm, the cruise ship where Rowan works, stumbles across a family that’s been lost at sea for weeks. Only some of them are on the rescue ship her boyfriend Quinn Davenport brings back, though. The rest are missing and lost.

What happened to the other family members? That’s the question on everybody’s lips as the media descends. The family at the center of the rescue is rich, essentially American royalty … and the horror of what they went through makes for a terrible tale.

The problem is … the story doesn’t hold water.

When a hand belonging to one of the deceased washes up on the beach, miles away from where the family went missing, things start to fall apart … and fast.
It’s up to Rowan and Quinn to discover the truth while working on their own investigation into a group of people that may well mean to do Rowan harm.

It makes for a busy – and dangerous – few days. All they have to do is survive to find the answers they seek.
That’s easier said than done.

The Fat Detective DisappearsThe Fat Detective Disappears by Christian Hayes:

Where on earth is Eugene Blake?

Eugene Blake has gone missing and it’s up to amateur detective Christina Walker to do everything she can to find him.

She uses her sleuthing skills to uncover a cache of notebooks that she is certain will hold the answer to Eugene’s fate.

Meanwhile Eugene is at the centre of his own mystery that he is desperately trying to solve.

The Fat Detective Disappears is the ingenious final puzzle in the Eugene Blake Trilogy by London novelist Christian Hayes.

Read now to discover Eugene’s final mystery

Black Market Body Double by Vicki HinzeBlack-Market Body Double by Vicki Hinze:

IF TROUBLE FINDS YOU, YOU WANT HER ON YOUR SIDE

Captain Amanda West is assigned to the elite S.A.S.S. Unit. All its Secret Assignment Security Specialists are highly trained and well experienced covert operatives. While on a mission, Amanda is buried alive in a tomb by S.A.S.S. nemesis and black-market broker Thomas Kunz who elevates ruthless to new heights. Amanda escapes and is astonished to learn she has been missing not for three days but for three months!

And soon she discovers another who has an unexplained three-month absence. An operative in a highly classified and sensitive position, Captain Mark Cross. Working together, Amanda and Mark must discover what happened to them and why. And they must determine if there are others like them. In their line of work, finding the truth is essential not only for their careers but for the lives of those in the nation they have taken oaths to defend and protect. What Kunz could be up to chills them both. But as bad as that is, it pales to what he is actually doing. Can Amanda and Mark stop Kunz before he attains his goal? Kunz wants nothing more than to destroy the entire nation!

Luke on the Loose by Amanda M. LeeLuke on the Loose by Amanda M. Lee:

Luke Bishop is the center of attention and life of the party at Mystic Caravan Circus. He’s a great guy, who just so happens to be in a bit of a funk. That doesn’t change when the circus hits Ohio, one of their least favorite stops.

Since nothing ever happens in Ohio. The group believes that will hold true during another boring trip. They find out better after the first night, when one of their clowns is killed.

They know right away what they’re looking for: an incubus, a creature that lures women with his song and then kills them in an intimate manner. All the men are on full alert because that means the Mystic Caravan females are in danger.

Luke takes it upon himself to infiltrate an area biker bar where the killer may be hanging out. All he has to do to find the culprit is fit in, not tip his hand, and make sure his partners in crime don’t draw too many sets of eyes in their direction.

It’s a difficult job, but Luke is up to the task … that is if he doesn’t fall victim himself. The circus men are joining together to protect the women for a change, and it’s going to be a dangerous ride.

Camp Pain by Wendy MeadowsCamp Pain by Wendy Meadows:

Patricia may be well-traveled – but this is a mystery with a dangerous destination.

Patricia always viewed the world from the end of her pen. Her feet hop from place to place; her exotic experiences are filling the pages faster than stamps on her passport. Someday, she aspires to land a big-time publishing deal.

At a stopover in Atlanta, she is shocked to discover the body of a local businessman, Peter, dumped in a camp in the outskirts of the city. For the first time, her wings are clipped as the lead detective; Brian Johnston launches an investigation into Peter’s death – firmly suspecting that cause of death was murder.

Patricia and Brian band together in his murder investigation, slowly uncovering leads to a shady underbelly behind Peter’s flashy ‘successful’ exterior, and the illicit dealings he was determined to keep from prying eyes. As the details begin to piece together, someone intends to step in and silence them. By any means necessary.

Wired Truth by Toby NealWired Truth by Toby Neal:

Paradise hides a master thief.

What if diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend?

A heist at a high-end auction house sends tech specialist Sophie on a new case hunting down a thief whose skills match her own. Even as she chases a cache of precious gems, events begun in a distant land threaten the fragile happiness Sophie’s building—and an enigmatic new partner brings challenges close to home, luring Sophie into the world of vigilante justice.

All Things Considered by A.B. PlumAll Things Considered by A.B. Plum:

The police say Ryn Davis is guilty of murder.
Ryn claims she was asleep. Sound asleep. Dead-to-the-world asleep.

An insomniac with a long history of sleepwalking, night terrors, and other sleep disorders, Ryn’s dodging a life-changing decision. Should she leave her iconic rock-star lover? Is his fame and money worth his mood swings? After a particularly explosive argument, she goes to bed. He follows. The argument escalates. Exhausted, she goes to the guest bedroom. She pops a sleeping pill. Technically, a hormone. Not a drug. One melatonin, she rationalizes, determined to think more clearly.

She wakens the next morning, groggy and disoriented. Fragments of a dream fade in and out of memory. Not the argument with Stone … but something more disturbing. When she enters their bedroom, she sees him in bed—a red hibiscus blooming on his chest.

Unable to produce the melatonin bottle, Ryn acts more and more defensive and guilty. The police ridicule her testimony. Definitely bitter, can she prove how an insomniac slept through two bullets?

Honorable Death by Linda S. PratherHonorable Death by Linda S. Prather:

Detective Kacy Lang wasn’t surprised when the body of her twin brother washed up from the icy depths of the Chicago River. She’d known since the day she graduated from the academy that one day he’d wind up on her beat, and she’d have to arrest him… or kill him. She could accept the fact he’d been murdered. What she couldn’t accept was the massive torture he’d endured before his death. Someone would pay for that.

A multilayered, fast-paced archaeological dig of a mystery.

 

A Look Back by Erik RackerA Look Back by Erik Racker:

When Sergeant Brad Braun is called to a scene in a familiar location, what looks like an average murder case quickly turns into something that is far from typical. The dead man is someone from Braun’s past, and the body happens to be located in the exact spot where Braun last saw him.

With no witnesses and almost a total lack of evidence, law enforcement is scrambling for clues. Another dropped-off body quickly follows the first, left in the same spot, and Braun is once again familiar with the deceased.

As the killer claims more victims, Braun begins to connect the dots. Unfortunately, the last dot may connect straight to the sergeant himself.

Don't Lie To Me by Willow RoseDon’t Lie to Me by Willow Rose:

When twelve-year-old Sophie Williams went on a Girl Scout summer camp, she never returned home.

Three months later, her body is found inside her sleeping bag in the most frequented area of Cocoa Beach, and the town is outraged.

The girl isn’t just any child. She’s the town’s most beloved surf idol, and it was believed that she could be the next Kelly Slater.

As another child, the son of a well-known senator is kidnapped, and the parents receive a disturbing video, FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas — who has just returned to her hometown, divorced and out of a job — plunges into the investigation, breaking her promise to her children not to do police work again.

Local law enforcement, with her old flame Matt Miller in charge, are the ones who ask for her help in a case so unsettling that only she can solve it. But the deeper they dig, the deadlier it becomes for Matt and Eva Rae. Soon, everyone she holds dear is in grave danger as this case hits a little too close to home.

DON’T LIE TO ME is the first book in the Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Series and can be read as a standalone.

Presumption of Guilt by Rachel SinclairPresumption of Guilt by Rachel Sinclair:

A wealthy family with DARK secrets.

A SHOCKING reveal that you guaranteed won’t see coming…

Avery Collins is an attorney with the tender heart of a warrior for the wrongfully accused, for one simple reason. She was once wrongfully accused, and spent 7 years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit.

Now sworn to protect the indigent accused, she’s persuaded to represent Esme Guitierrez, an El Salvadoran refugee who is accused of killing 21-year-old Aria Whitmore. Aria was the daughter of the prominent billionaire hotelier Jacob Whitmore, and was also an aspiring concert pianist and music composer.

As Avery digs further into the case, she realizes that there were some sick games taking place behind the closed doors of the Whitmore mansion, and Avery ends up with more questions than answers.

What happened to Aria’s birth mother?

How did Julian Rodriguez, a young schizophrenic man, come to befriend Aria?

And who is sending threatening emails that are filled with facts that are not widely known to the public?

When Avery finds out the answers to these questions, she’s shocked. But she also realizes that the big reveal opens up more questions than answers, and the case takes an unexpected turn.

As time runs out to find the true culprit, Avery faces the trial of her life. Amidst an intense media glare, death threats, protestors and stalkers breaking into her home, Avery nonetheless gives this case her all.

Because if she doesn’t, her client will end up on death row.

Winter's Origin by Mary StoneWinter’s Origin by Mary Stone:

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And sets you on a path of revenge.

When The Preacher targets her family for his last kill, Winter Black is the only survivor. After recovering from the brain injury she received that brutal night, Winter single-mindedly pursues a career as an FBI agent. Her unexplainable talents, discovered after her coma, might be the key to taking down the notorious serial killer… unless he finds her first.

Welcome to Winter’s Origin, the prequel to the soon to be released Winter Black crime fiction series. If you enjoy gripping crime solving, hair-raising villains, and riveting suspense, then you’ll love Mary Stone’s debut page-turning series.

Storm Front by Jazzmyn StormStorm Front: Memoirs of a Secret Agent by Jazzmyn Storm:

When a spy loses her memory, she doesn’t know who to trust…or what to believe.

I felt myself flying through the air, and I was strangely calm for a moment as the reality of the situation faded away. This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be happening. I’d wake up any moment and realize it was all a bad dream.

Then, I hit the water.

What happens, when the people you thought you could trust betray you? That’s bad enough in any relationship…but when you’re a spy, it can be deadly.

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