Our monthly round-ups of new speculative fiction and new crime fiction releases by indie authors are a perennially popular feature. Therefore, we now offer you a round-up of our favourite St. Patrick’s Day mysteries by indie and small press authors.
These holiday mysteries cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have plenty of cozy mysteries, culinary mysteries, animal mysteries, historical mysteries, paranormal mysteries, police procedurals, crime thrillers, noir thrillers, legal thrillers, romantic suspense, amateur sleuths, crime-fighting witches, crime-fighting bakers, crime-fighting ghostwriters, crime-fighting dogs, murders, pranks, missing gold coins, murdered leprechauns, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson and much more. But one thing unites all of those very different books. They’re all set on or around St. Patrick’s Day.
As always with my round-up posts, this round-up of the best indie holiday mysteries 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:
Death by Leprechaun by Jennifer S. Alderson:
When an old friend is arrested in Dublin, tour guide Lana Hansen will need the luck of the Irish to clear him of the crime.
Lana is thrilled her friend Jeremy and his wife are on her tour to Ireland. The couple are having the time of their lives exploring the country’s rich literary and cultural history, until they run into Guy Smith, a reporter Jeremy recently exposed as a fraud.
A tussle turns into a fight and leaves each man vowing to destroy the other. Yet cross words and dirty looks tell Lana that Jeremy is not the only client on her tour who has a grudge against the reporter.
When Guy is murdered at the same pub Lana’s group is present at, Jeremy is the police’s number one suspect. But did he really murder the reporter? Or was it one of her other guests?
Lana keeps their tour going and her ears open for any clues that might help free her friend. Can she discover the true killer’s identity before their trip to the Emerald Isle draws to a close?
Struck by Shillelagh by Amy Alessio:
Struck by Shillelagh: A St. Patrick’s Day novella mystery! When her friend is arrested for attempted murder of the Mayor at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, Alana O’Neill tries to learn who really hit the unpopular politician with the black thorn shillelagh. A new booth owner with a questionable past, a secret author featuring the antiques mall and recipe failures are unable to distract Alana for long on her quest for justice. Vintage recipes include Edible Blarneystones, Refrigerator Cake, Lime Ribbon Delight and more. This story is 11,000 words.
Includes Bonus Story Thankful for Pie: In this Thanksgiving holiday novella, Star tries to learn who is sabotaging her family’s struggling bakery. She also wonders why her new karate instructor drives her so crazy.
The St. Patrick’s Day Murders by M.W. Burdette:
The St. Patrick Day Murders is fourth novel in The Bremen and Whitacre Murder Mystery Series. This mystery features Daphne Whitacre, detective and wife of John Bremen, the former FBI Director in Dallas, Texas, before he and Daphne moved back to his hometown of Ashburn, Alabama. Daphne and John’s detective agency was having success and their recent ability to solve the death of the famous racecar driver at the Talladega Super Racetrack was reported in newspapers all over the Southeast and especially in the State of Alabama. John and Daphne had just taken on a new employee to partner up with Klahan Chu, John’s best friend and fellow investigator, and they decided to celebrate as a team in Birmingham on March 17th at the annual St. Patty’s Day Parade that marched down 20th Street South to the Little Five Points area of the city. It would be a parade that they would never forget.
St. Patrick’s Day 1945 by Frank W. Butterfield:
Saturday, March 17, 1945
Nick Williams is in the U.S. Navy and working as a hospital corpsman. He was recently transferred to the Navy’s Base Hospital 13 at Milne Bay, New Guinea, right on the edge of the jungle and pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
He’s about to head over to Port Moresby for 24 hours of leave with his buddy, Hospital Apprentice First Class Reynolds, so they can fool around in private and in their own room at the Moresby Hotel.
Nick is hoping they keep the place over there nice and clean and free of the snakes and bugs he runs into in his quarters at the base.
Friday, March 16, 1945
Carter Jones is working as a fireman at Station 3 on Polk Street in San Francisco. He’s living on Turk Street in the apartment he and Henry shared before Henry, his first lover, joined the Army and shipped out to Europe.
He’s having a hard time figuring out what to do with himself on a Friday before he begins his next shift. He starts the day by watching Meet Me in St. Louis for the third time at the Castro Theatre over in Eureka Valley.
Then he runs into a new acquaintance he’d rather not see again.
Can the day get any worse?
Murder on Saint Patrick’s Day by P. Creeden:
It’s St. Patrick’s Day and 20-year-old Emma Wright is working hard at training five-month-old Molly, her foster puppy, to become a therapy dog. But her training coach and neighbor gets an emergency call, cutting the lesson short, and Emma volunteers to pick up her daughter at a St. Patrick’s Day concert in town.
When Emma arrives, the concert has just finished up, and the teenage girls are visiting with the band. Then the lead singer stumbles and falls to the ground, dead. Emma becomes the only level head in the crowd and calls for help. When the Sheriff and Colby arrive, they investigate it as a potential accident. But Emma finds subtle clues that something more sinister is going on. Did the leader of the band die in an accident, or was it murder?
Leprechaun Luck by Addison Creek:
It’s St. Patrick’s Day and Lemmi, Charlie, and Liam are determined to have some fun before going to watch the guys play baseball.
What happens next is unexpected, to say the least, but Lemmi and Charlie are determined not to miss the baseball game. Now if only the leprechaun would tell them where Liam is . . .
This is a short story coming in at about 12,000 words.
Lucky Charmed by Kerry L. Curtis:
Kate is trying to find out who is trying to kill Rhys, while she’s looking for the stolen Cartier necklace and searching for an Irishman’s pot of gold. She gets help from Cap much to Rhys dismay.
Dublin Debacle by Kerry L. Curtis:
Kate is after Vince the Fence again after he slipped through her fingers last year she’s on her way to Ireland where she gets some unexpected help, she is trying to solve a twenty year old mystery and figure out what her brother is doing hint he’s in trouble and needs her help.
See what Kate is up to in this quirky romantic comedy cozy mystery
Shamrock Shenangigans by Kathi Daley:
Zak and Zoe travel to Ireland for their first Valentines Day as husband and wife. They have been invited to attend a murder mystery weekend in a real haunted castle. During their first night at the castle, they find one of the guests dead. Really dead. As they delve into the murder they begin to see that not only are things not as they appear, but several of the other attendees are not who they claim to be. During the course of her investigation Zoe discovers a secret about herself that is more than just a little shocking.
The Saint Paddy’s Promise by Kathi Daley:
If you love small towns, endearing relationships, food, animals, and a touch of murder, you will love this cozy mystery series.
Sixty years ago a man made a promise to the woman he loved to meet her on Saint Patrick’s Day. They were to meet in the park on the bench where they liked to sit and watch the world go by. The couple were deeply in love and planned to marry but he never showed up at the rendezvous point. Every Saint Patrick’s Day since then the woman has made a pilgrimage to the bench to wait for her one true love. Tess and Tilly see the woman sitting with her granddaughter on the bench and decide to stop and chat. During their conversation the granddaughter tells Tess the story of her grandmother and the man who professed his love and promised to return but never did. Tess is drawn in by her story and agrees to try to find the answers, the elderly woman has sought all her life. She enlists the help of Tony as well as the woman’s granddaughter.
Meanwhile, Bree is knee deep in wedding planning, there is a new murder in town, and Tony gets a lead on Tess’s father,
Shamrock Snakes by Tom Dots Doherty:
Set in Dublin during a St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Shamrock Snake is an exciting Irish crime thriller that’s told from a male and female perspective as Doyle tires to find out what is behind a series of gruesome murder-suicides.
Shammed by Bernadette Franklin:
At R.K. Legal & Associates, office hours are between ten to six, pranks happen after hours, and evidence of all shenanigans are removed before doors open to clients.
When Alice’s boss, Mr. Kenton, starts a prank war with Lance McCarthy, an up-and-coming attorney from a rival firm, she thinks it’s just business as usual.
She’s never been so wrong in her life.
Chosen to be Mr. Kenton’s accomplice, Alice must face off against Lance in what quickly becomes a winner-takes-all game of hearts.
Paddy Whacked by S. Furlong-Bollinger:
Inspector Helmes and his trusty sidekick, Watkins, know they have their work cut out for them in solving the murder of Paddy O’Toole, the Grand Leprechaun. However, nothing can prepare them for the strange lineup of suspects they encounter at the annual Holiday Icon Convention.
St. Patrick’s Day by Andrew Gonzalez:
St. Patricks Day is a story about two brothers who had a terrible history in the past and takes place in Celina, Ohio. The older brother Jimmy Marsh tries to kill his younger brother Jacob Marsh out of anger and jealousy when they were kids. At the age of ten the older brother Jimmy Marsh did his part in killing his parents. Because of doing so, Jimmy was abused by his parents and Jacob the younger brother was treated like a prince. Jimmy failed to kill his brother Jacob and was sent to a sanitarium for ten years but then he escaped and went after Jacob again. Through the years Jacob had delusions of seeing his brother, and now that Jimmy is free, he has another chance of going after Jacob and his friends. So now its up to Jacob not only to save himself but also the people he loves.
Sleuthing for the Weekend by Jennifer L. Hart:
It’s St. Patrick’s Day in Beantown, and Mackenzie Elizabeth Taylor needs the Luck of the Irish to solve her latest mystery—namely, who was the mysterious Uncle Al, the man who left her his apartment building as well as his PI business? But that personal investigation has to take a backseat to raising her teenage genius Mac, and dealing with her immature baby-daddy and demanding mother. Not to mention taking on a job that will actually produce some green.
The case is a gnarly dispute by two Irish pub owners who happen to be brothers as well as rivals over a missing inheritance. With the entire city out pub-crawling, Mackenzie goes hunting for a pot of gold…but winds up with a body instead.
With an assist from Mac, Mackenzie must slip into her gumshoes and go toe-to-toe with Detective Hunter Black, her neighbor, protector, and main squeeze, in order to solve her case. this case and claim the reward before someone else. Can the mother daughter team successfully investigate in the middle of a city-wide chaos? Or is their luck about to run out?
End of the Rainbow by Michelle Ann Hollstein:
It’s St. Patrick’s Day and Aggie, Betty and Roger are celebrating at an Irish pub in Palm Springs when Betty’s leprechaun-love-interest drops dead. Could it be murder? Join Aggie and friends as they embark on a celebration they won’t soon forget.
Duffel Bags and Drownings by Dorothy Howell:
Fashionista and event planner to the stars Haley Randolph is staging a St. Patrick’s Day bash for one of Hollywood’s biggest couples. When she visits the catering company to check on preparations, it looks like the green ice sculptures will be the hit of the party — until Haley finds a server floating face down in the water tank.
Haley becomes the prime suspect in the murder. With a killer — and a giant leprechaun — on the loose, she must do some fast sleuthing to find the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. Will she kiss the Blarney Stone — or the hot new detective on the case?
Haley will need the luck of the Irish to find the killer — and the hottest handbag of the season!
Shamrock Pie Murder by Carolyn Q. Hunter:
Indulge yourself in a sweet slice of murder!
It’s Saint Patrick’s Day in Culver’s Hood and pie shop owner, Bertha Hannah, has been asked to cater the dessert course at a local chiropractic luncheon. Unfortunately, what seems like a fun event is hampered by persistent protestors, professional disagreements, and jealous lovers. The unpleasant situation goes from bad to worse when one of the event’s attendees is murdered, under most unusual circumstances.
Bert has her hands full trying to prove one man’s innocence while hunting down ghosts of the past. Will she be able to “crack” the case, or will she find herself permanently on pins and needles?
Lucky Strike by Madison Johns:
When Sheriff Peterson is injured during a high-speed chase — Agnes and Eleanor spring into action.
Agnes Barton and Sheriff Peterson’s working relationship is shoddy at best. He’d rather balk at the idea of Agnes and Eleanor independently investigating his cases. That changes though when he’s injured in a high-speed chase. While the good sheriff is laid up at a secret location for his own safety, the girls are on the case.
It’s hard to investigate the true nature of the sheriff’s accident though when Rodney Scott is murdered at the local bowling alley and all they have to rely on is the Interim Sheriff Karl Roberts. Agnes needs to quell her suspicions about Roberts as the girls launch an investigation that has them at their wits end and it will take more than luck to solve this case.
St. Patrick’s Day Secret by Linda P. Kozar:
When seventeen-year-old Sean visits his eccentric Irish grandfather, he discovers a secret that his Gramps is obsessed with—finding the family’s cache of gold coins, stolen, according to his grandfather, by leprechauns. Though Sean doesn’t believe in elves or leprechaun’s he decides to spend his last summer before college with his grandfather, and joins him in his quest to find a purloined pot of gold.
Four-Leaf Clover by Amanda M. Lee:
Clove Winchester is feeling lucky at life, and that’s before a mysterious stranger drops into her magic store and gifts her with a special coin. Suddenly things can’t go wrong for Clove, and she’s the center of attention in the Winchesters’ world – especially because Aunt Tillie wants that coin.
When a near-death experience rocks Clove and her boyfriend Sam, Clove takes a closer look at the coin and realizes there’s a lot she can do with her new luck streak. Unfortunately for Aunt Tillie, Clove is determined to keep the benefits to herself.
When a brazen armed robber hits Hemlock Cove and goes after Bay, all of the Winchester witches band together to solve the crime and save the day. Of course, they may need a little luck to do it.
SOME KILLERS ARE BORN, SOME ARE CREATED…
After a night of exuberant sex with a college coed on St. Patrick’s Day, club bouncer Declan McGilvery discovers something quite unsettling about himself. What transpires over the next few weeks for this Irish-born Boston native is nothing short of unthinkable. As circumstances grow beyond Declan’s control, his life heads in a direction he could’ve never possibly imagined. Declan comes to realize in an all-too-real way, that one night stands can hold implications beyond lust and risky behavior. Sometimes they can even lead to death.
Go Bráth (‘Til Doomsday) by Christopher Ryan:
NYPD Detectives Frank Mallory and Alberto “Gunner” Gennaro (from the award-winning debut novel CITY OF WOE and the popular short story collection CITY OF SIN) are just trying to enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day Parade when all Hell breaks loose….
Death and a Peppermint Patty by Kathleen Suzette:
St. Patrick’s Day means mint chocolate chip fudge, peppermint patties, four-leaf clover bonbons, and all things green. I’ve always loved celebrating the holiday, but this year, the leprechaun’s luck ran out when he was found dead behind the new Irish pub in town.
When the new Irish pub opens, Mia and Ethan decide to try it out, but the blood-curdling scream that interrupts their evening sends them on another murder case.
Mia and her sister Christy are determined to help Ethan out with the investigation, in spite of his protests. Can they find the killer before they strike again, or will St. Patrick’s Day be ruined?
Halloween is celebrated all year long in Pumpkin Hollow. There are no paranormal elements, just good clean fun! And a murder, of course.
The Clover Pin by Olive Thomas:
Holmes and Watson are drawn into a case which deals not only with a murder in their own time, but which dredges through the circumstances of one committed some six years earlier.
The Luck of the Ghostwriter by Noreen Wald:
Jake O’Hara and her colleagues are looking forward to a complimentary weekend in Manhattan’s swanky Plaza Hotel, the venue for the Greater New York Crime Writers’ Conference. The conference kicks off on St. Patrick’s Day, making the atmosphere a bit more festive—and chaotic—than usual. But things get way out of hand when senator-turned-writer Charlie Fione and actress-turned-writer Holly Halligan partake of some green beer—that leaves them permanently green around the gills.
Now Jake’s Irish eyes are far from smiling as she delves into a mystery and tries to rewrite a murderer’s plot—as only New York City’s finest ghostwriter can.