Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for December 2023

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 cozy mysteries, holiday mysteries, historical mysteries, historical fantasy mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1930s mysteries, 1950s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, adventure thrillers, gothic thrillers, police officers, FBI agents, private investigators, amateur sleuths, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting housekeepers, haunted houses, murder and mayhem in London, Boston, New Orleans, Cornwall, 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:

Murder with Mayhem by Blythe BakerMurder With Mayhem by Blythe Baker:

As Sylvia and Miles prepare for their wedding day, tragedy threatens. With the life of a member of the wedding party in danger, can Sylvia catch a murderer and get to the bottom of one final mystery?





The Happy Housekeeper's Guide to Homicide by Blythe BakerThe Happy Housekeeper’s Guide to Homicide by Blythe Baker:

Bloody murder is the last thing on Barbara Hollis’ mind when she agrees to travel to a sleepy little town to keep house for her widowed brother. Aside from chasing after her irritating young nephews, she thinks the biggest challenge she’ll face is learning to cook a proper soufflé. But a bizarre encounter on a train quickly draws her into a more complicated and dangerous future than she bargained for…

When a local woman turns up dead, and Barbara’s sheriff brother is too inept to solve the case, Barbara finds herself joining forces with a handsome deputy in search of a cold-blooded killer. But her new hometown is crawling with secrets, and Barbara just might discover that unmasking one villain is only scratching the surface…

Murder on the Cornish Cliffs by Verity BrightMurder on the Cornish Cliffs by Verity Bright:

A festive invitation from an old family friend, the promise of gingerbread at the village inn, snowy walks on the Cornish coast with Gladstone the bulldog… But wait, is that a body on the beach?

Winter, 1923. It’s nearly Christmas and Lady Eleanor Swift has received a rather strange letter from an old friend of her uncle. Mr Godfrey Cunliffe has asked her to stay in Cornwall for the holidays – but only because he believes his gardener is trying to poison him! With not a moment to waste Eleanor hurries down to his picturesque manor house with her butler Clifford and handsome beau Detective Hugh Seldon. But they arrive too late to stop the crime…

Lying dead at the bottom of the steep cliffs, however, is not Mr Cunliffe, but the gardener himself. And his plans for restoring the gardens to their former glory are missing. Jerome St Clair has gone from suspect to victim. This certainly puts a twist in the tinsel!

As snow begins to fall, Eleanor quizzes the family. Mr Cunliffe’s alibi is as fragile as the glass baubles hanging from his towering Christmas tree. Eleanor quickly realises everyone from the handyman to the housekeeper is keeping secrets, and she’s convinced that Mr Cunliffe is still scared for his life.

When Gladstone the bulldog pulls a charred corner of the missing garden plans from a fireplace festooned with a gold-ribboned garland, Eleanor thinks the clue she needs is hiding out in the grounds. But when someone tries to run her over with the huge lawnmower, she knows she must wrap up the mystery fast before her Christmas is cancelled for good…

Murder at Manningtree by Beth Byers

Murder at Manningtree by Beth Byers:

It’s 1921, and Veda Wright is almost alone in the world. With a widowed aunt giving Veda a place to stay, it’s time for her to find a way to look after herself.

When she applies for a position as a secretary for a famous historian in Manningtree, her worries are entirely mundane. Until she walks around with spectral sound of footsteps following her. There is an unholy wail on the wind. The feel of being hunted is in the air. And, when she is entirely alone, she stumbles over a body.

She’s certain of several things. Firstly, this poor soul was murdered. Secondly, this scene was set for her. And thirdly, it isn’t a ghost playing games with her. The only question she can’t answer is: why her?

Christmas Wrapped Intrigue by Beth ByersChristmas Wrapped Intrigue by Beth Byers:

In this short Christmas caper, Denny has solved his first crime and has sworn not to solve another. His friends, however, are contagious. This time, Denny notices something is amiss with Father Christmas. Meddling a little seemed harmless until he stumbles on a real crime.

Before he can help himself, he’s been arrested for something he didn’t do and needs to prove his innocence. Soon, coal in his stocking is the least of the things Denny needs to worry about. There are the crimes that are chasing him into a trap that he’s not prepared to escape. Will Denny slide out of troulbe or will he find himself in shackles on Christmas morning?

Grave Memories by Stacy ClaflinGrave Memories by Stacy Claflin:

The Brannon House stands as a deceptive facade, its past horrors refusing to dissipate into the shadows.

Ember Brannon is inexplicably drawn to an old gravestone bearing her own name, its forgotten presence casting an unsettling pall over her family’s ancestral home. As she becomes fixated on the stone and the long-forgotten life it represents, Ember’s reality begins to unravel. Vivid dreams transport her to a time shrouded in mystery, the tragic demise of her namesake becomes an obsession she won’t release.

Obsessions have their price. Ember awakens with muddy feet, evidence of nocturnal wanderings she can’t remember. The discovery of a hidden diary, chronicling the life of the other Ember, triggers a relentless spiral into fascination and compulsion. Her loved ones try to stop her, but she pushes everyone away.

Within the opulent halls of the Brannon House, Ember hurtles toward an impending breaking point. Is she fated to echo the tragedies that haunt her lineage, becoming another ghost within the estate’s dark history? Or will she find the strength to confront the enigma she’s become, and the danger that now stalks her every move?

Shadow of the Falls by Elle GrayShadows of the Falls by Elle Gray:

Spenser Song could have never imagined that her career in the FBI would lead to her husband’s death.
She moved to Sweetwater Falls and accepted the job as the town’s Sheriff to escape from the pain of her dark past.
But a fresh start in the once idyllic town came with many unexpected twists…

Fortunately, with her new friends, a new sense of family and community, and a blossoming relationship with Ryker, Spenser felt a sense of peace and contentment. A feeling she thought would be lost to her since the night of her husband’s murder and her near death.

Unfortunately for Spenser, good things never seemed to last.
Unbeknownst to her, the past was rising like a dark shadow, intent on destroying the people she loved and the community she vowed to serve.

When Spenser is called out to a brutal sexual assault, she uncovers a pattern of similar assaults in the surrounding towns. More disturbingly, Spenser finds that the women in this string of assaults all bear a striking physical resemblance to her.
Each attack is more vicious and brutal than the last, and it isn’t long before Spenser’s worst fears are realized.

How do you fight a monster that seems to know you better than you know yourself?
There’s a dark shadow covering the Falls and Spenser will need the help and comfort of Ryker and his Lab, Mocha more than ever before.

Masters of Hex by Lily Harper HartMasters of Hex by Lily Harper Hart:

Life in the French Quarter is about to calm down for the off-season, so of course things in Ofelia Archer’s life are about to heat up.

With Halloween right around the corner, all Ofelia wants to worry about is what couple’s costume she and her boyfriend Zach Sully are going to wear to the big reunion party being hosted for her former high school. Then the unthinkable happens and she senses Sully is in danger when he’s out on a case.

Ofelia swoops in, the mightiest witch in the French Quarter, and finds herself saving the love of her life shoulder-to-shoulder with his father.
Zeke Sully is all charm and secrets. He wants to win Ofelia over, but there are shadows chasing him…and dropping bodies all over the Quarter.

Sully doesn’t want anything to do with whatever his father is involved in. Ofelia doesn’t feel she can abandon her future father-in-law. That leads to some strife.

Some business deals can’t be undone, and Ofelia is about to get a glimpse of the seedy business underbelly in New Orleans. The question is, can she fix what’s been broken, or is it already too late?

The Rougarou Rigmarole by Amanda M. LeeThe Rougarou Rigmarole by Amanda M. Lee:

Charlie Rhodes joined the Legacy Foundation because she was looking for information on who she was. More important, she wanted to know why she could do the things she could do.

What she found out changed the course of her life.

Now the big fight is almost upon her. She’s supposed to be in New Orleans practicing her new abilities so she can be ready for that fight, but a local legend might derail everything.

Every state has its own version of the Bigfoot legend. In New Orleans, the beast is called the Rougarou and usually only appears following a great tragedy. The murder of some innocent teenagers in the French Quarter is just such a tragedy…but the killing isn’t over. No, not by a long shot.

Even though she knows she’s supposed to be focusing on the enemy that’s coming for her, Charlie can’t stop herself from digging into the case of the Rougarou…and what she finds might just send her over the edge.

New Orleans is the type of city that holds a million secrets. Charlie is about to discover a big one.

With the help of her motley crew of characters—including a visiting mage who is determined to help and a fledgling crossroads demon who is determined to be a hindrance—Charlie has a battle in front of her. It will be good practice for the big one, which is right around the corner.

She just has to survive long enough to fight both enemies.

It won’t be as easy as anybody wants it to be.

A Death at the Dionysos Club by Melissa Scott and Amy GriswoldA Death at the Dionysus Club by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold:

Secrets, Magic and Murder…

The gentleman’s clubs of Scott and Griswold’s gaslamp fantastical London are full of secrets and the ones that Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey and their circles frequent are even more hidden than most. Beneath their respectable, or less respectable, façades, they are a haven…or a torment for men who desire each other’s company. Now someone is leaving a trail of murder victims, each one found without a heart. Each one somehow connected to Lynes, Mathey, their friends, their enemies and the communities that they belong to. Finding the murderer could reveal everything, leading to certain ruin for some, and the loss of all they hold dear for Julian and Ned. How far will they go to solve the mystery and stop a killer?

Friends of the Devil by Wayne Stinnett and Stewart MatthewsFriends of the Devil by Wayne Stinnett and Stewart Matthews:

After watching his yacht burn to the waterline in a fiery explosion, Jerry Snyder is forced to make a deal with the only devil who can help track down a lead—his estranged, mob-connected father figure, Arlen Burkhart.

The investigation starts on unsure footing, and Jerry’s deal with Arlen goes from bad to worse when, at a funeral held on a private Caribbean island where the uber-wealthy have met to pay respects to one of their own, bodies begin to wash up at Jerry’s feet like fish on a red tide.

In this luxurious tropical paradise, murder, blackmail, and deceit are the name of the game, and secrets are as abundant as sins. Before Jerry can determine who is trying to kill the funeral attendees, he’ll not only have to risk his life, but he’ll also have to confront a past which threatens to claim his very soul.

Death on Tremont Row by Lee StraussDeath on Tremont Row by Lee Strauss:

Death isn’t an act!

It’s been five years since Haley Higgins moved back from London to Boston, and in that time she’s become a doctor of pathology and the assistant pathologist at the Boston City Morgue. In her position, she often assists in the solving of crimes and murders, particularly since she’s been working in tandem with Samantha Hawke, an intrepid newspaper reporter and good friend.

In the spring of 1932, depression is widespread in all its forms. Haley is cheered by news that her good friend Ginger Reed, once known as Lady Gold and a former resident of Boston, is coming to visit! Naturally, Ginger will want to spend time with her sister and stepmother, but there will certainly be time for two old friends to chum around.

Tremont Row, a bustling shopping and theatre district, is exactly the kind of place Haley and Ginger, along with Samantha, love to hang out. Until a death at a play on opening night interferes with their shopping plans!

Haley and Samantha, continuing to fight the patriarchal barriers in their respective fields, work together to find justice for the latest victim. Is it a crime driven by the desperation of poverty, or is the motive far more sinister?

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