Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for December 2022

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 November 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, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have hardboiled mysteries, cozy mysteries, animal mytseries, holiday mysteries, historical mysteries, Victorian mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1950s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, psychological thrillers, adventure thrillers, police procedural, police officers, FBI agents, lawyers, juries, private investigators, amateur sleuths, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting butlers, crime-busting reporters, crime-busting cats, crime-busting dogs, creepy hotels, deadly tea, deadly vinayards, murder and mayhem in London, New York City, New Orleans, Florida, Colorado, Yorkshire, Rutland, Kerala, the Caribbean 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:

Death Beneath a Troubled Roof by Blythe BakerDeath Beneath a Troubled Roof by Blythe Baker:

When the sudden illness of her father-in-law pulls Victoria Sedgewick away from London, she finds herself at the gloomy Yorkshire estate of her late husband’s family. There she discovers that her relations are in danger from a bitter darkness that threatens to engulf them all.

With the help of Branwell Keats, Victoria investigates a plot as dramatic and haunting as the isolated landscape…



Interred with their bones by Beth ByersInterred With Their Bones by Beth Byers:

In this short novella, Smith and Beatrice have been taking a break since the horror of their recent adventures. They lingered in the country over the holidays, and then, rather than returning to London, they linger some more. Bea even drags Smith to the town where her family lives.

When they’re approached by a woman who wants peace of mind, they find themselves agreeing. The goal was to ease back into their regular life, give this woman the answers she needed, and maybe save themselves from the brutality of London life a little longer.

They should have known better.

The Really High Tea by Joe ChackoThe Really High Tea by Joe Chacko:

Sub-Inspector Nair is in deep. Up to his neck.

Nair should have listened to his parents. He should have stayed at home instead of joining the Kerala Police. It’s not working out.

Nair’s boss, Inspector Kurien, is lazy and corrupt. And he hates Nair. Because Nair doesn’t know how to shut up. Or keep his head down.

The yoga-loving, pure vegetarian Nair is made for action. And action is his downfall.

It begins with an outbreak of delirious dancing amongst guests attending the fabulous Saturday afternoon High Tea at a luxurious 5-star hotel.

It progresses as a mad chase across the coastal city of Cochin, Kerala, from waterfront, to beach, to warehouse. There is subterfuge, conspiracy, criminality and chaos.

All to answer the question of what made the High Tea quite so high?

The Corpse's Secret by Stacy ClaflinThe Corpse’s Secret by Stacy Claflin:

Another corpse, another day…

If Vanessa and Chris had known how common death was in and around their hotel, they never would have moved in with their kids. The latest body is proving the most problematic — because it disappeared. Seemingly on its own. But that’s impossible. Isn’t it?

The only way it could have crawled away is if he’s still alive. And that would mean a murderer is on the loose. Again.

Not only that, but the kids have secrets of their own. The things they’re hiding could jeopardize them all, especially if the killer is still alive and roaming their halls.

Vanessa fears her husband is unravelling fast, and she knows she needs to protect her family before they lose everything. But she doesn’t know if she has the strength.

A Murder on 34th Street by Colette ClarkA Murder on 34th Street by Colette Clark:

A very merry mission ends in a very un-merry murder…on 34th Street.

New York 1925

The holidays are here and spirits are bright. Penelope “Pen” Banks and Cousin Cordelia have decided to go to Herald Square to watch the second annual “Macy’s Christmas Parade” ending at 34th Street.

But an even bigger event awaits her the next day. Pen is finally meeting Detective Richard Prescott’s family, and is hosting them all for Thanksgiving dinner. As such, she has decided to get a present for Richard’s young nephew.

After the parade, the quaint toy store across the street from the city’s largest department store catches her eye. While there, she manages to get her hands on what she’s been told is the most desired toy of the season for young boys.

Unfortunately, a body is found in the back room of the toy store soon after she makes her purchase. While the police are satisfied they’ve caught their suspect, Pen isn’t so sure. Still, she wisely follows Richard’s advice to let it go…until she realizes the crime has followed her home.

Nothing brings a family together during the holidays like a good mystery. Now, much to both Richard’s and Penelope’s surprise, both sides of the family have decided the holiday dinner is the perfect time to join in on playing detective with the couple.

At least until the festivities become potentially fatal…

Moment of Truth by Adam CroftMoment of Truth by Adam Croft:

A man is found dead in the judge’s chair inside the Great Hall of Oakham Castle, beaten to death with a ceremonial horseshoe.

As Rutland Police investigate, they discover the victim was a charitable, public-spirited man who only ever wanted to help others. So who wanted to kill him so brutally? And why?

DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine are left disoriented and dejected. But the discovery of a shadowy and mysterious figure leads them onto a trail of deep corruption — one that will take them far from Rutland. And it seems their victim wasn’t quite the man he made himself out to be.

Is anyone ever truly innocent?

Full Metal Jury by John EllsworthFull Metal Jury by John Ellsworth:

The Jury Did its Job…and Everyone Else’s Job, too.

What happens when a new jury is made up of jaded members? Some of them have sat on juries where the bailiff or a policeman stuck his head in the door and gave them information that was barred in court. Or maybe the government uses a fake tape recording to convict someone, and the jury decides to get hold of the original tape and see what’s changed. Or maybe a judge has agreed to help the government because he’s under audit by the IRS and facing criminal tax charges. All of these things can and do happen.

Pity the poor defense attorney being fed pilfered evidence by the jury. He knows the tape-recorded statement is the original, AND he knows it’s stolen–does he go ahead and use it? Or does he report the theft to the court or to the police? And on it goes throughout the trial of Lisa Marie Dearing, accused of shooting the man who told her he was single, got her pregnant, then ran home to his wife and kids. No one wants to see that lady go to jail for life. Thaddeus Murfee is on her case and doing everything he can to keep her out of prison. And the jury is feeding him evidence and exhibits they are getting from—you’ll want to read about this jury for yourself, unlike any other!

Black and Brew by Lily Harper HartBlack and Brew by Lily Harper Hart:

The day Ofelia Archer has feared her entire adult life is here. Despite the happiness she’s been feeling since her engagement to Zach Sully, when the inevitable happens and her father has a breakdown on Bourbon Street, her life turns upside down.

Oscar Archer has been fighting a losing battle with mental illness for years, but when he finally hits a wall and is taken to the hospital against his will, he blames Ofelia. Despondent, she’s not paying attention, and when a shadow attacks and leaves her for dead, a new mystery is afoot…and it makes for an opportune distraction so Ofelia’s mind isn’t constantly drifting to her father. Unfortunately, the shadow leads to the one person Ofelia never wants to see again.

Sebastian Gendry is facing serious charges for the beating of Ofelia’s brother. When he slips his tether and disappears, Ofelia realizes he and the shadow are linked … and their paths lead right to the LaLaurie Mansion.

New Orleans has many sordid stories, but none are quite as bad as Delphine LaLaurie’s tale. When Ofelia starts digging, she realizes Sebastian has ties to the family … and they’re the sort that can never be broken.

A shattered heart won’t stop Ofelia. She promised Sebastian he would pay for what he did to her family, and she meant it.

Dark magic is loose in the French Quarter, and it’s going to take Ofelia’s entire motley crew to overcome it. Even then, heartbreak is imminent. Can Ofelia make it through the darkness to find the light on the other side?

Murder at the Tea Rooms by Rosie HuntMurder at the Tea Rooms by Rosie Hunt:

The Green Ginger Tea Rooms have a neatly thatched roof, scones baked to perfection, and under a lace-edged tablecloth … a corpse!

England, 1921. On the eve of her first official assignment working with the reporter she admires most, journalist Lady Felicity Quick is more than slightly vexed when her grandmother requests a favour she cannot refuse.

Acts of petty sabotage are undermining the success of tea rooms run by a cherished friend of Felicity’s grandmother. But on arriving in the village to play the detective, Felicity finds more than spilt food dye and collapsed sponges.

Murder has occurred, and her grandmother’s friend is the prime suspect.

Can Felicity use her sleuthing skills to unmask the real killer and still make it in time for her special assignment? Or will Felicity’s battle to outwit a deadly foe destroy not only the tea rooms’ future — but also her own?

Clawful Scandal by CeeCee JamesClawful Scandal by CeeCee James:

Laura Lee and her friends are helping Mrs. Thornberry host a charity event for the local hospital. The dinner is a flurry with music, dancing, and celebrity guests. Everything seems to be going splendidly, including healthy donations piling in, until Mary sees the one person who Should Not be there.

The man is Timothy Skyler and is well known among the town’s criminals as one of the craftiest of the bunch. But when he shows up dead among the town’s elite, and with a piece of jewelry from Judge Katherine, everything explodes.

Life doesn’t settle back to normal though, when the mystery is dumped into Laura Lee’s lap as a mutual friend contacts her. Can the Secret Book Club untangle this mess before Laura Lee’s friend gets dragged in farther?

The Krampus Kink by Amanda M. LeeThe Krampus Kink by Amanda M. Lee:

Charlie Rhodes has a lead on her past, but it just might endanger her future. Nothing can stop her from seeking answers though, which means a trip to Colorado with her boyfriend Jack. Her parents and brother are along for the ride. There’s just one problem … death has followed them to Estes Park.

It seems the hotel they’re staying at—the famous one was all booked up—is in the midst of a training session. Charlie doesn’t think much of it until a body appears in the hedge maze behind the hotel. That’s not all, because there’s a creature to go along with the body, and it has murder on its mind.

The Legacy Foundation has been grounded since the death of one of their own, but a potential krampus connection changes things. That means backup is coming, and Charlie’s fact-finding mission turns into a fight for survival.

Between the hotel workers, who are acting very odd indeed, and the return of the crossroads demon helping Charlie, she has her hands full.
A fight is coming, and Charlie needs help to battle the evil chanting her name. Unfortunately for her, trouble is coming in from every direction, and it’s going to take everybody working together to come out on the other side.

Charlie’s biggest enemy has made it back to this plane. Before she can take down Sybil, however, she has to know the truth about her past.

Brace yourselves, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Two of a Kind by Gail MeathTwo of a Kind by Gail Meath:

Jax and his new pint-sized partner team up to save the Christmas holidays in 1920s New York City.

Officer Jax Diamond doesn’t always play by the rules, and he’s in the hot seat again with the captain of his precinct. So, when a brazen little puppy alerts him of a crime, Jax is ordered to stand down or get canned.

On the city streets, broke and alone, Jax beats himself up for making the wrong decision. Even the little tramp who keeps trailing him everywhere can’t lift his spirits. But crime never stops in New York City and a string of deadly Christmas capers spirals out of control.

Hang on to your seat as Jax and his new pint-sized partner, Ace, team up to save the Christmas holidays during the Roaring Twenties, an era of fun and frolic, song and dance, speakeasies, gangsters, bootlegging, and bribes

Cast Off by Wayne StinnettCast Off by Wayne Stinnett:

After a terrible defeat in Key West, where the subject of Jesse McDermitt’s identity fraud investigation gets away, and which almost costs him dearly, Jesse returns home to his island in the Content Keys, determined to keep those he loves safe from harm.

He makes plans to fly his family and friends to the Leeward Islands for a very special occasion, unaware of events taking place on one small uninhabited island located a short distance from his destination—events that will suck him right back into the fray, as a past nemesis rears their head.

Gold will turn even the most docile into greedy, dangerous people. When the question of rightful ownership is brought up, legal professionals and government officials on the island, as well as those from France argue over a treasure estimated to be worth $20,000,000. But what is the price of one human life?

The simple life isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, and danger abounds in the picturesque city of Gustavia, on the French island of St. Barts, and speeding Mini Mokes on steep mountain roads isn’t the cause.

Still Alive by Ava StrongStill Alive by Ava Strong:

FBI BAU Special Agent Lily Dawn, half Dutch, half Hispanic, raised in the Caribbean, knows the isles like the back of her hand. When a surge in serial killers in the region prods the FBI to assemble a task force, Lily is the natural choice. But Lily is reluctant to face the demons of her past, including her missing sister, and when a new serial killer strikes, leaving a string of victims tied to buoys, Lily knows she is heading right into the darkness.



Tainted Wine by Linda WatkinsTainted Wine by Linda Watkins:

The body of a vintner is found among the vines at the renowned Fauchér Winery, a corkscrew lodged deeply in his throat. The primary suspect – Jessica Fauchér, heiress to the winery fortune, The San Francisco law firm of Jacobs, Felder, and Smith takes on the task of representing the young heiress and Steve Daniels, who works for them as an investigator, is assigned the task of determining her guilt or innocence. Is she a cold-blooded murderer or just a victim of circumstance? Will the revelations Steve uncovers about her past foreshadow an even darker future? And, will Steve get caught in the web of lies that is being spun around him?

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