Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for October 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 September 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  harboiled mysteries, cozy mysteries, small town mysteries, animal mysteries, historical mysteries, Victorian mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, action thrillers, psychological thrillers, spy thrillers, legal thrillers, disaster thrillers, police procedurals, romantic suspense, police officers, private investigators, amateur sleuths, lawyers, spies, thieves, assassins, cults, kidappings, heists, forbidden love, pregnant vigilantes, murderd Santas, crime-busting witches, crime-busting clock repairers, crime-busting hotel managers, crime-busting Jane Rochester nee Eyre, murders in small towns and big cities, in country manors and the circus, in New Orleans, Miami, Alaska, California, the Cotswolds 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:

Sand, Sea and a Skeleton by Cindy BellSand, Sea and a Skeleton by Cindy Bell:

Best friends, Suzie and Mary, love running Dune House, the majestic bed and breakfast on the beach, with their adorable, yellow Labrador, Pilot, by their side. They are enjoying living and working together and are looking forward to hosting a national walking group in Garber for a few days.

But when they stumble across a skeleton, they find themselves right in the middle of a baffling mystery. Who is the victim? Who is the murderer? And why? Then something from the crime scene disappears.

Suzie and Mary have to traverse a maze of clues and suspects in order to unravel the mystery. But will the trail lead the sleuths down the wrong path. They find themselves juggling running the bed and breakfast, their developing romances and helping crack the mystery.

Suzie and Mary walk straight towards danger. Will they be able to stay alive long enough to solve this perplexing whodunit?

What I Did For Love by Mickey J. CorriganWhat I Did For Love by Mickey J. Corrigan:

What happens when a teacher falls for her student?

After her seventeen-year-old student fails to live up to his potential in class, Cathriona O’Hale conducts a parent-teacher meeting with the boy’s widowed father. He is attractive, intelligent, and exceedingly wealthy, everything an unmarried middle-aged woman would normally find appealing. But O’Hale is not your average forty-something. She’s a wild card who has a crush on the man’s teenage son.

As the relationship between O’Hale and the man blossoms, she finds herself juggling father and son while battling the true source of her lust and forbidden love.

So when the father proposes, O’Hale has a choice to make –

Love or crime?

And when her decision is made, the consequences might just be deadly…

Swamp Santa by Jana DeLeonSwamp Santa by Jana DeLeon:

It’s Christmas in Sinful and Fortune is set to participate in all the local hoopla. A Christmas gala, caroling, and a sleigh ride are on the agenda. Murder is not. But when someone bumps off Santa, Fortune is aware a killer is lurking among the holiday cheer. But with no client and no reason to interfere with a police investigation, it looks as if Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie will have to sit this one out.Big and Little Hebert might be criminals, but they prefer no competition in their territory, especially someone brazen enough to kill a man at the Christmas gala. When they hire Fortune to investigate the man’s death, she gets her Christmas wish and Swamp Team 3 sets out to solve their final case of the year.

Guest from Hell by Mike FaricyGuest From Hell by Mike Faricy:

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished!
Roxy LaRue is in deep weeds…

She’s on the hook for 1.2 million.
Some not very nice guys want their money NOW!

Ever the gentleman, Dev Haskell offers to help.

The police are pounding on his door at two in the morning!
There’s a drive-by shooting on his front porch!
Someone firebombs his house!

Things quickly go downhill from there.

A Fistful of Demons by Lily Harper HartA Fistful of Demons by Lily Harper Hart:

Hannah Hickok is slipping into her new life as owner of Casper Creek – a cosplay western town – and newly-minted witch. She thinks she has everything under control … until demons come calling.At first, she’s not even certain what she’s dealing with. A freak accident claims the life of a father, leaving him exposed during a sudden sandstorm, and his son’s reaction (complete with glowing red eyes) leaves a lot to be desired.Cooper Wyatt, head of security for the resort, wants to believe her when she explains what she saw but it’s not exactly easy for him. As the evidence starts to mount, though, demon possession becomes the name of the game.As a new witch, Hannah has no idea what she’s supposed to do. That doesn’t stop her from wanting to be proactive. Unfortunately for her, the emergence of new powers – coupled with the realization that something beyond a simple demon possession is going on – quickly becomes overwhelming.The workers at Casper Creek are going to have to join together – maybe even enlist some outside help – to figure out all the answers and solve the ultimate dilemma.A young boy’s life hangs in the balance and Hannah is determined to make sure she doesn’t lose an innocent soul so early in her reign as Casper Creek’s head witch. All she has to do is survive until the end and then everything will be revealed.That’s easier said than done.

Letter of the Law by Cynthia E. HurstLetter of the Law by Cynthia E. Hurst:

Alfred Sutton’s past is catching up with him – in the form of the wife he thought he’d left behind twenty years earlier. But now she stands between him and the wealthy woman he wants to marry, and no one will emerge unscathed from this legal and marital triangle, least of all Sutton.

When Sutton collapses and dies on the street of a Cotswold market town, one of the eyewitnesses is clock repairer Jacob Silver. But what exactly did he see? Jacob and his wife Sarah join forces with the police to probe Sutton’s tangled love life and discover who has managed to commit a murder without leaving a clue behind.

Agent Assassin by Ethan JonesAgent Assassin by Ethan Jones:

Can an assassin have a conscience?

While hunting for the truth about his past, former Russian FSB agent Max Thorne has lost any sense of innocence or hope. But striving for redemption, he joins the Special Operations Team, an elite international assassins team so secret even top level FSB brass doesn’t know it exists and so deadly that few leave alive.

Reeling from inexcusable mistakes and now working with even darker forces, Max is confronted with insidious choices and inescapable scenarios. With no way out, will Max be able to suppress his conscience to execute his harrowing assignments? Or, will he fail, putting his family in peril and betraying his own?

Join Max as he faces the darkness that is the secret service the only way he knows how … head on.

Savage Grace by Emily KimelmanSavage Grace by Emily Kimelman:

The only thing more terrifying than taking a life is creating one.

The positive pregnancy test rocks my world harder than any bomb or bullet. Like the hurricane bearing down on Miami, it threatens total destruction.

I’m confident I can escape Miami, evade the mercenaries intent on killing me, and uncover the people who hired them. But telling the father I’m pregnant… raising a child…

I’m not cut out for motherhood.

I know I’ll survive. It’s everyone I love who dies.

That changes now.

The Hour of Fatality: A Jane Rochester MysteryThe Hour of Fatality: A Jane Rochester Mystery by LeAnne McKinley:

Thornfield Hall is not the only mansion hiding a perilous secret.

Charlotte Brontë’s literary heroine, Jane Eyre, is newly married to Mr. Rochester, but her honeymoon bliss is marred when a dangerous outbreak of typhoid fever threatens her life. To escape their disease-ridden house, Mr. Rochester departs with her to the nearest refuge open to them: Ingram Park, home of the haughty and beautiful Blanche Ingram.

Jane isn’t expecting a warm reception from her aristocratic hosts, but she hardly anticipates a stranger on the garden path with a bullet wound in his chest—and an inexplicable confession on his lips. The residents of Ingram Park are concealing a secret, and at least one of them is willing to sacrifice a man’s life in order to hide the truth.

Aided by Mr. Rochester’s long experience, Jane must rely on her courage, wit, and intuition if she is to identify the vindictive shooter, or the next attack will surely prove to be fatal.

Snow Laughing Matter by Wendy MeadowsSnow Laughing Matter by Wendy Meadows:

Will Sarah fall victim to a deadly killer set on destroying her life? Or will she force herself to use her cop instincts to outsmart the riddles of a clown who turns laughter into screams?

While Conrad is away helping a friend in New York, Sarah and Amanda go see a circus that is visiting the small town of Snow Falls. Even though Sarah is sad because her attempts to become pregnant have yet to bear fruit, she decides to enjoy the circus show. After the show, Sarah and Amanda find a pie in Sarah’s jeep, and another one waiting at Sarah’s cabin door. Suddenly the fun night turns mysterious and dangerous. A killer has left a deadly message for Sarah to find.

Events turn worse when a circus worker is murdered. The killer’s style of murder tells Sarah exactly who he is. Sarah is torn, caught between the desire to walk away from being a cop and the need to catch a killer. The hunger to become a mother blocks her skill to think clearly. But after having a talk with Pete, Sarah gets back on track and begins to track down the killer. Only the killer has a new face and a completely new identity—along with a secret trick up his sleeve.

Dangerous Stakes by G.K. ParksDangerous Stakes by G.K. Parks:

After three months undercover, Detective Liv DeMarco isn’t any closer to closing her case. Her target, Axel Kincaid, is smart and ruthless. His forte – stealing cars. His temperament- violent. And his legitimate business keeps half the judges and city officials entertained, so collecting enough evidence to put him behind bars is nearly impossible.

But when a parking attendant is murdered and two exotic sports cars are stolen, all bets are off. There’s just one problem. Axel claims to have an airtight alibi, but there are more than a few holes in his story.

The only thing Liv knows for sure is someone is determined to get away with murder, and now the killer has set his sights on her.

Will she stop the murderous thief before he strikes again? Or will she become his next victim?

Murder in the Rain by Stephen RandorfMurder in the Rain by Stephen Randorf

Baseball was not a sport Detective Bass understood, nor was he familiar with the fine art of the fashion industry, but when a small-time hoodlum’s body was pulled from a frozen river on a cold February morning, that he understood.

In this unsettling case of a murdered informant, one murder led to another, and passions heightened as Detective Bass closed in on kidnappers, gamblers, and a love-obsessed baseball player.

 

Men Like Us by Hollis ShilohMen Like Us by Hollis Shiloh:

Ollie Boyd enjoys Jack Finley’s company, likes to make him laugh, and wants to work with him…and maybe something more than that. It sure is confusing to have these feelings for another guy, and in the homophobic 1950s, it’s not really safe.

Jack Finley finds time for Ollie, sure, but he’s just humoring a friend. He’s a tough private eye. He’s certainly not indulging secretly in a crush, no matter how attractive or charming Ollie might be. Jack’s smart and careful, and he’s been around the block. It’s hard enough to be who he is without taking on extra trouble.

But now Jack needs some help, after a botched Good Samaritan act leaves him broken in body and spirit. Ollie wants to be the one who’s there for him. He also wants to figure out these feelings—even if they mean he’s in pretty deep trouble.

A whole lot of bumps in the road—including blackmail and murder—might take these two down more dangerous streets than they’d guess…together.

The Trial by Rachel SinclairThe Trial by Rachel Sinclair:

A young boy dying of a lethal disease…

A corporation’s greed is the cause…

Avery Collins must get justice and possibly find the person who can save his life…

Avery Collins, social justice warrior, has a new case, only it’s not a criminal case.

Not yet, anyway.

12 year old Frankie Jamison is dying, and nobody quite knows why. Avery knows Frankie through Regina, as Frankie is the son of Lorinda, one of Regina’s best friends from the street. Lorinda has nothing in her life, nothing but her young son, and now she’s losing even that.

With nobody to turn to, Lorinda tells Avery her story, and Avery at first dismisses it. It’s a sad story, but what can she do?

But, with Regina’s persistence, Avery decides to look a little deeper. And what she finds is corruption and greed at the highest level. Not to mention a cover-up that goes higher than Avery could ever imagine.

Is there a chance that this young kid can find justice and a cure? Avery becomes determined to find out, while also being determined that the bastards who are behind this kid’s illness are brought to justice.

And Avery always gets justice, no matter how she has to do it.

The Big Crazy by Julie SmithThe Big Crazy by Julie Smith:

August 29, 2005 – Doomsday: New Orleans is eighty per cent under water—no electricity, no phones, no 911 service, no rules. Facing the complete breakdown of systems and normality, New Orleans homicide Detective Skip Langdon is on her own to interpret and execute the only direction she’s given: Get out there and keep the peace.

With communications down and all emergency services on search and rescue, all Skip can hope to accomplish is helping the person right in front of her. More than once that person turns out to be Billy, a gutsy 15-year-old from Treme who’s in greater danger of being swamped by his chaotic home life than the Cat 5 hurricane Skip shelters him from.

When she escorts him home and discovers the scene of a possible homicide, homicide detecting must take a back seat to maintaining order—if not peace. Outrageous rumors are swirling, stirring up unrest, but what really bothers her is the one about a police department order to use the chaos as a cover for “cleaning up” by rounding up criminals and assassinating them. Now that just can’t be true. Can it?

But after she hears it for the third time, Skip teams up with the only cop in the city she’s positive she can trust, her former partner, movie-star handsome, kickass, praline-sweet Adam Abasolo. They may not be able to fix everything, but, as the bodies pile up, they are damn sure going to hit back at the guys who’re giving their department a black eye.

On any regular weekday, New Orleans lives up to its billing as The Big Crazy. In post-Katrina New Orleans, where the dirty cops and lunatics are running the asylum, author Julie Smith also takes us inside the actual asylum, Charity Hospital emergency psych unit, an unexpected oasis of comfort in stark contrast to endless amounts of ever-present filthy water and hordes of half-drowned people.

ill-fated by Jody Wennerill-fated by Jody Wenner:

When Shana’s father joins a cult, she tries to find someone, anyone who will help her. Unsuccessful, she takes on the monumental task of fixing it herself. Eventually, she gets some support from the families of the other followers. Adding to her problems, the person she connects with the most is the leader’s son. She figures that’s the worst of it, until the rest of the group is found dead, and her dad is charged with eleven counts of first-degree murder and arson. With the trial looming, everything starts to nosedive as new revelations about the cult and their bizarre philosophies come to light. Shana’s confidence in her dad begins to waver. Maybe he isn’t a victim after all?

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