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 crime 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, animal mysteries, historical mysteries, Roman mysteries, Victorian mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1960s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, fantasy mysteries, crime thrillers, adventure thrillers, spy thrillers, historical thrillers, romantic suspense, police officers, FBI agents, amateur sleuths, spies, tabloid photographers, missing persons, serial killers, wrongfully accused suspects on the run, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting alchemists, crime-busting cats, murder and mayhem in London, Little Rock, Arkansas, Maine, the Florida Keys, Wales, Rio de Janeiro, Alexandria 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 With Method by Blythe Baker:
When an innocent man goes on the run from police, Sylvia finds herself harboring an accused murderer. Drawn into investigating the violent crime, her search for the truth leads her into the unfamiliar world of betting and horseracing.
As danger closes in around her, Sylvia will need all the help she can get. But new revelations about the past of her butler leave her doubting even the resourceful Miles can come to her rescue this time…
A Harmless Lie and a Dangerous Spy by Lori Bond:
A Runaway Victorian Bride. An Heir to a Duke. A Russian Spy. And a steamship bound for America…will two strangers be able to solve the mystery, catch a spy and stop a war, or will their growing romance cost them their lives?
Lady Caroline Stravers, only daughter of the Earl of Wickshire, does not want to marry the crude, older man her parents have chosen for her, so in the early hours of the morning she sneaks out of her fashionable London home to run away for Paris or America or perhaps Australia…
Jerry, Viscount St. David, has been sent to catch a Russian spy who stole plans for a new weapon. If he can keep the Russians from getting the plans, this could very well turn the tide of the Crimean War…
When the two run into each other at Paddington Station, a bargain is struck and Caroline agrees to help Jerry track down the spy in return for her ticket out to New York City.
The next day the two strangers, now partners, board a steamship bound for America to catch a spy. Wars, lives—and hearts—are on the line, but working in such close quarters leads both Caroline and Jerry to discover feelings neither expected. Will their new relationship lead to a stronger bond or jeopardize their mission and their lives?
Pernicious Woman by Beth Byers:
There’s nothing like a woman. Beautiful, saintly, clever, plain. It doesn’t necessarily matter. But a pernicious woman. One who spreads poison, who wrangles, who manipulates, who controls, who looms too large–that is a special kind of beast.
And she’s missing. When Smith and Beatrice go looking for her, they’re faced with the question of whether it isn’t better to fail. Maybe they don’t want to be good at their work. Maybe they don’t want to find her. Maybe they want to save those she torments rather than the missing woman.
Let go of your past… or it will be the death of you…
When a man’s body is discovered crammed into the boot of an abandoned car in a remote location, DI Tom Janssen and his team must unpick his life to find out how he came to be there.
The victim was a local man, popular with some although hated by others, and he had a habit of making enemies, enemies that any sane man would seek to avoid. For once, the team do not struggle to find a suspect or a motive for his murder, but with several to choose from, how can they determine who delivered the killing blows? Those who despised the man are unrepentant and as the investigation develops there seems to be more going on than a simple act of vengeance. What did the deceased have to hide and who was so intent on keeping their own secrets that they were prepared to brutally kill to do so?
With a killer at large the public are restless, reassured only by the suggestion that the murder is an act perpetrated by figures within the criminal community against one of their own, but when a troubled teenage girl disappears fear takes hold in the small coastal town. The only potential witness is an eccentric homeless man who comes and goes as he pleases, often disappearing for months at a time. Who did he see? What does he know? Will he be the next to be silenced?
What looked like a simple revenge attack will turn into a race against time for Tom and his team as they try to protect the innocent and reveal the guilty… only no one knows with any certainty who belongs in which camp.
Rio Flash ’62 by Andrew Deutsch:
Brazil. Rio De Janeiro. 1962. A time of dramatic political, social, and cultural clashes. Here, at the nexus of high society and low, style and street, pop music and passionate crime, a young tabloid photographer will do anything to get ahead – even protect a killer.
Beto Santera, raised on the struggling side of Rio, has just wrangled his first press photographer’s card. He has big dreams, small chances, and a chip on his shoulder. Beto is desperate to get ahead as a photographer but is scrambling to make ends meet.
His luck changes when he photos Sergio Fontes von Imperial, an outcast of a powerful Rio family, leaving the crime scene of a murdered popular Brazilian star. Beto makes a dark deal with Sergio, loses the negatives, and he gets access to the exclusive world of fashion, art, music, and nightlife. All the excitement Rio has to offer.
Then more killings occur. Beto is forced to make a choice, keep his career, or help catch the criminal.
A Mark of Imperfection by Rhys Dylan:
Know thine enemy …
Evan Warlow is a man with enemies. As a DCI in the Dyfed Powys force, that comes with the territory. But when two of his most vicious critics are abducted and turn up dead in a macabre tableau, tough questions need to be asked.
The uncomfortable answers lead Evan and the team back to his roots and an old case that has haunted him for years. The deaths in the forest have all the hallmarks of a dangerous killer with no fear of consequences. And when one of Evan’s fellow officers becomes the next target, it’s clear that the murderer isn’t finished yet.
There’s a coppery aroma of vendetta in the air. Unless Evan and the team can get to the root cause of the killer’s twisted anger, there will be more deaths. And guess who’s next on the list?
The Murders in the Mist by Elle Gray:
It seems that supernatural forces have taken a hold of Storyville, Maine… and unfortunately for FBI Agent Cora Pratt, things in town are only getting stranger.
After being led on a cross-country pursuit of one of the most prolific serial killers either one of them had ever seen, FBI Agent Coraline Pratt and her partner, Nolan Rogers, found themselves at the end of the line: Storyville, Maine. And almost immediately, strange things that had nothing to do with the Postcard Killer began happening around Cora. But when a woman she was connected to ended up brutally murdered, it felt like forces were conspiring behind the scenes to keep her there.
Now, Cora is racing against time to find another murderer. As the case takes a series of twists and turns she never expected, she finds herself more mystified than ever before.
Mysterious figures in masks, unexplainable displays of power, disembodied music, spirits of little girls, and abduction victims returning years older than when they were taken.
All the killings aside, things just kept getting weirder, and the questions are mounting — with Cora finding herself in the center of it all.
It’s a race against something otherworldly and for Cora the answers to Storyville’s mysteries will have dire consequences, not just for her and the townspeople but possibly the world…
Live Like You Were Scrying by Lily Harper Hart:
The weather in Casper Creek has yet to turn and Hannah Hickok is determined to take advantage of her downtime to engage in a bit of romance with her fiancé Cooper Wyatt. Unfortunately for her, the world has other plans.
An eerie howl draws Hannah and Cooper to Main Street during a snowstorm, and what they find confuses them. There’s some sort of monster stalking the downtown area, and a woman has appeared out of nowhere in the creature’s wake only to collapse in front of them.
Before Hannah can call for help, the woman disappears, leaving a mystery and a monster hunt on the menu.
Casper Creek’s history is long and storied. This time, however, the trouble can be traced back to Hannah’s own family. It seems the woman who disappeared has ties to her grandmother…and Abigail doesn’t want to share the details with anybody, including her own family.
Frustrated, Hannah keeps digging, but what she finds is a mystery for the ages. It seems the stories she always heard, the ones about her late grandfather being a saint, might’ve been more fiction than reality. The truth of his past is about to collide with Hannah’s future.
And nobody will ever be the same again.
The Curious Case of Emily Lickenson by CeeCee James:
Catnip and cadavers in the care home.
Cat blogger extraordinaire Emily Lickenson falls into a mystery when the head cook at the local care home unexpectedly dies.
As curious as a cat, Emily can’t resist investigating exactly what happened. She recruits her snoopy Aunt Mattie (who herself is half-convinced she used to be a spy) to hunt for clues in the midst of more red herrings than at a fish market..
The clever duo soon discover evidence of murder and a gaggle of suspects, a ditzy sous chef, grumpy cleaner who wanted the less than friendly chef sliced and diced.
Of course, Shakespeare, the cat is along for the ride, both sweet and sassy, and with nine lives!
In this quirky whodunnit you’ll find twists and turns, red herrings served with a slice of puzzle pie, and surprises that’ll have you turning the pages to find the killer before they find Emily. Perfect for those who love cozy animal mysteries with a pinch of humor, lots of clues, and a fun small town feel.
Freaky Crush by Amanda M. Lee:
Poet Parker is living a new reality now that she knows what she is. Unfortunately for her, she still doesn’t know what she can do … and she doesn’t think she’s going to figure it out in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Since her uncle Sidney is in tow, Poet is hopeful for a quiet week. Little Rock has never been a hotbed of activity. Quiet isn’t what she gets, however.
What started as an irritation on the pedestrian bridge turns into a full-blown attack. It seems Little Rock has a seedy underbelly after all, and it’s something Poet was never expecting.
There’s a craven on the loose, a woman who can control actions and emotions … and she’s set her sights on Kade. The craven has a specific type, and Kade fits it to a tee. Unfortunately for him, the craven’s victims all end up dead.
Poet is determined to keep her loved ones safe, but it’s proving to be more difficult than she anticipated. With half her army vulnerable to the craven, Poet has to fight her own people, even as she desperately tries to protect them at the same time.
Poet’s new powers are necessary for the fight, but is she ready to embrace them? When the loas join the party and make things worse—because that’s what they do—things spiral.
It’s up to Poet to fix what’s been broken. That is if she can.
Hultichia by Marshall Ryan Maresca:
A mysterious and disturbing summons brings Aurien Pemmick, an untested deacon of the Church of Druthal, across the border to a peculiar and disquieting kingdom: Kellirac.
Despite being in this antiquated and superstitious place, Pemmick is determined to root out the truth behind the summons. But Kellirac proves to be a place of dangers beyond the natural realm, especially since Pemmick arrives on the eve of Hultichia: a sacred night where the locals claim the dead will walk.
Jesse McDermitt is finally ready to retire. But life has other plans. While diving on a remote reef deep in the backcountry of the Florida Keys with his wife, son and two friends, he discovers of all things, a car.
Not just any car, but a 1928 Duesenberg Model J, the most powerful and stylish automobile of its time. The car was once owned by a Saudi prince who was attempting to develop Johnston Key in the heart of Turkey Basin before Henry Flagler even finished the rail line to Key West.
But that’s not all Jesse discovers and what he finds next will make him the target of one of his own. He’s been mentoring a young operative who then decides to go rogue and now it’s up to Jesse to find the man and, if need be, eliminate him before he can hurt anyone else.
Which is more dangerous…Mother or Human Nature?
Twelve hours earlier, Interim Sheriff Rebecca West was enjoying a casual lunchtime burger. Now she’s preparing for a hurricane headed straight for Shadow Island. While hauling sandbags and calming town officials, the last thing she needs is a stunned man stumbling into the sheriff’s department.
Covered in blood.
Clearly in shock, the man doesn’t know who he is and only mutters about needing help finding a mermaid. Is he distraught because he killed someone or because he witnessed a horrific event?
Rebecca needs to find out—and fast.
Fighting the torrential rain and wind, Rebecca discovers the victim, posed and decorated like a mermaid. Is the catatonic man the killer? Or is something more sinister at work?
With very little support, she has to work quickly before the island is completely cut off from the mainland and any evidence is destroyed by the natural disaster. It’s all hands on deck as Rebecca and the entire department scramble to prepare for a hurricane…and solve a murder.
The Deadliest Deceptions by June Trop:
Enter the world of first-century CE Roman Alexandria and participate in the perilous adventures of Miriam bat Isaac, budding alchemist and sleuth extraordinaire. Join her and her deputy Phoebe as they struggle to solve nine of their most baffling cases beginning with the locked-room murder of a sailor in which Miriam is baffled by not just who killed the sailor but how he could have died and how the killer could have entered and escaped from the room.
But be careful as you accompany them into the city’s malignant underbelly. Whether or not you can help them solve the crimes, your blood will flow faster as you escape to that world of adventure we all long for. Enjoy!