Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for December 2017

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 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, small town mysteries, culinary mysteries, paranormal mysteries, historical mysteries, a whole lot of holiday mysteries, police procedurals, legal thrillers, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, private eyes, missing children and missing adults, lawyers, meddling witches, crime solving housemaids, deadly doughnuts 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:

Fatal Festive Donuts by Cindy BellFatal Festive Donuts by Cindy Bell:

Christmastime at the holiday market means mistletoe, colorful lights and…a dead body.

It is almost Christmas and Joyce and Brenda are excited to get a coveted spot at the local holiday market. Business is thriving and they are looking forward to celebrating the holidays.

But Christmas becomes the last thing on their minds when a dead body is found on ‘Donuts on the Move’. Not only is their truck shut down, but they become the prime suspects. With the evidence stacking up against them and a detective who thinks they’re guilty, they decide to take things into their own hands and find the murderer.

Joyce and Brenda’s investigations lead them straight towards danger. Will they find the killer before they land up in handcuffs or even become victims themselves?

Recipe Included: Baked Gingerbread Donuts with Ginger Glaze

Merry Masquerade in Savannah by Hope CallaghanMerry Masquerade in Savannah by Hope Callaghan

Carlita, Mercedes, and Tony are gearing up to celebrate their first Thanksgiving at their new home in historic Savannah, Georgia. Along with the excitement of the upcoming holiday season, there’s a lingering sadness because part of their family won’t be there to celebrate.

When Carlita’s friend, Victoria “Tori” Montgomery, invites the Garlucci family to her “Merry Masquerade” party at Montgomery Hall, Carlita is thrilled to have something to take her mind off the approaching holiday.

Despite a recent theft and an assault on her butler, Tori moves forward with her party plans, a grand affair and a gathering of Savannah’s elite. The Merry Masquerade turns out to be everything it was billed to be and more, when one of Tori’s employees is found murdered inside the pool house.

Is the murder linked to the recent break-in and the butler’s attack at Montgomery Hall? Could the killer be living under Tori’s roof? Or was it a masked party guest trying to make it look like an inside job?

Join the Garlucci women as they help one of Savannah’s most prominent residents track down a killer!

Tampa Two by David ChillTampa Two by David Chill:

David Chill’s colorful and brilliant mystery captures both Raymond Chandler’s gritty vision and Robert B. Parker’s biting humor.

Tampa Two marks the return of Judy Atkin, the teenage runaway who P.I. Burnside arrested a decade earlier for prostitution. He made an enormous mistake by trying to help her, and wound up losing his job as an LAPD officer, along with his honor and reputation. Judy was the catalyst that led him down the path of becoming a Private Investigator, and all the good and bad that came with it.

But Judy is back in L.A. again, and is desperate for Burnside’s help. Her life is in danger, and she tries to persuade Burnside to accompany her into a dangerous situation. While Burnside isn’t fooled this time, she still manages to rope him in, and he quickly finds himself to be a person of interest in a grizzly Santa Monica homicide.

Tampa Two continues to showcase Burnside at his wise-cracking best, exchanging quips with an assortment of fascinating characters, no matter what side of the law they are on. This well-crafted novel is the embodiment of the classic Southern California noir mystery, set against a Los Angeles backdrop, a city that many think they know, but few really do. The story leads readers down a trail of theft, murder and deceit, with sharply honed banter and strikingly original characters. It is a tightly written story that is loaded with both suspense and humor, as well as some jaw-dropping surprises!

Little Lies by Stacy ClaflinLittle Lies by Stacy Claflin:

He’s dedicated his life to saving missing persons, but will it be enough to save himself?

Alex Mercer traded in his troubled past to protect the powerless. His blog for tracking down missing persons got his foot in the door at the police academy. But on his first day of training, a heroic act drops him into the hands of the captors he once hunted.

Zoey planned to tell Alex how she felt the night he disappeared. As she and Alex’s family discover the bloody signs of his fate, past regrets and dark secrets begin to come to light. It’s enough to tear Alex’s loved ones apart.

Without hope of rescue, Alex must rely on his cunning to escape captivity. In his line of work, he knows all too well that each passing hour could kill his chances of survival…

Little Lies is the third captivating standalone novel in the Alex Mercer series of thrillers. If you like edge-of-your-seat suspense, complex characters, and unflinching explorations of real-world problems, then you’ll love USA Today bestselling author Stacy Claflin’s pulse-pounding novel

Merry Buried Christmas by Lyndsey ColeMerry Buried Christmas by Lyndsey Cole:

Murder always ruins the best baked plans . . .

Annie Hunter has a lot on her plate just before Christmas, but it’s not all sugar and spice and everything nice! With an open house at her aunt’s new Blackbird Bed and Breakfast, all Annie hopes for is a drama-free day.

Of course, events never go as planned.

On top of preparing a whirlwind of food, holiday decorating, and keeping to a tight schedule, a surprise visitor is also on the menu. When that visitor turns up dead, Annie must search for the killer to keep everything from crumbling like a stale Christmas cookie.

Annie’s plan to flush out the murderer includes one tasty bribe, a pinch of needling, and a heaping tablespoon of accusation. When she is threatened, it’s time to put it all on the back burner.

But the killer has other ideas.

While the snowflakes fly, Annie finds herself caught between a cookie and a crazy person. This time, it looks like she bit off more than she can chew.

***Merry Buried Christmas is volume 12 in the Black Cat Cafe Cozy Mystery Series. Lyndsey’s books can be read and enjoyed in any order.

Where We Went Wrong by Andi HollowayWhere We Went Wrong by Andi Holloway:

Two families’ pasts unravel when the last person to see a missing girl alive is murdered and the victim’s crime-writing father becomes the prime suspect.

Second wife Harper Stone’s life is nothing like she imagined. A talented writer bound for the kind of greatness she inspires in her husband, Harper exchanges her lifelong dreams of becoming a bestselling author for the ready-made family of her nightmares.

With her eight-year-old stepson at the center of a missing person’s investigation, Harper struggles to balance the obligations of motherhood with her calling as an author, ultimately sacrificing her success in support of her husband, whose crime-writing career is fueled by their ordeal.

It’s only when he becomes the prime suspect in his son’s murder, years later, that she begins asking the difficult questions about his past, about their marriage, and about the disappearance of the little girl whose remains have never been found.

As Harper looks into the cold case where their problems began, she discovers people aren’t who they seem. Not the missing girl’s mother. Not Matthew, the last person to see the girl alive. Not her husband, whose obsession with the disappearance has caused an irreparable rift between them. Not even Harper herself, a woman trapped by obligation and circumstance.

In the throes of an investigation based in the past, solving Matthew’s murder means getting to the bottom of what happened all those years ago. Two families are destroyed by a single bad decision. The question is which decision, and whose was it?

How Aunt Tillie Stole Christmas by Amanda M. LeeHow Aunt Tillie Stole Christmas by Amanda M. Lee:

Fourteen years ago, Christmas hit Walkerville with a bang. Or, rather, a big ball of fire.
When a local group home for orphaned children goes up in smoke right before the holidays, Tillie Winchester volunteers her family to take in some kids – even though her arch nemesis Margaret Little is dead-set against it. Of course, that’s part of the appeal for Tillie so she’s considering it a win.

Three boys – all of them with a little attitude – have no idea what to expect from the Winchester household. No matter what, Tillie is sure they’re about to get more than they bargained for. In short order, they’re welcomed into the family at the same time the town is on edge due to a second fire.

Tillie is determined to prove the boys are innocent while also finding them a forever home … even if she has to take on a local judge and declare all out war to do it.

So, hang your stockings by the fire and sit back for another Christmas with the Winchesters. You’ll never be the same again.

Note: This is a 28,000-word novella set in the Wicked Witches of the Midwest world. It’s set back in the past so it can be read in any order.

Kathleen Catches a Killer by M. Louisa LockeKathleen Catches a Killer by M. Louisa Locke:

It’s the very end of December, 1880, and the servant Kathleen Hennessey expects to spend a quiet week taking care of the O’Farrell Street boarding house while her employers, Annie and Nate Dawson, are off spending the Christmas holidays with Nate’s family. However, when she agrees to help out one of her friends, Kathleen discovers that a simple case of a servant being dismissed without notice has turned into a complicated puzzle that she is determined to solve.

While featuring minor characters from Locke’s Victorian San Francisco mystery series, Kathleen Catches a Killer contains all the light romance, humor, and suspense of the longer works. Chronologically, this novella comes right after the events in Pilfered Promises, but it can be read as a stand-alone and an excellent introduction to this mystery series about the gas-lit world of the late 19th century.

Frostycake Murder by Summer PrescottFrostycake Murder by Summer Prescott:


Life is full of surprises in the sleepy beachside town of Calgon, Florida, and the holiday season proves to be no exception. Echo faces a new reality that could change her life forever, Missy and Chas wrestle with the pain of facing their own limitations and uncertainties, while Spencer finds himself in a sticky situation relationally.

In the midst of all of the personal turmoil, a gruesome murder is discovered, and Chas once again has to take charge and hope that he finds the ruthless killer, before tragedy strikes a bit closer to home.

Murder Over The Bones by Stephen RandorfMurder Over The Bones by Stephen Randorf:

Detective Gilbert Bass searches for the identity of a homeless man found dead in an archeological dig site. Dinosaur fossils unearthed in the city? Mrs. Wicker and her adult children want the bones, two partners in real estate want the land, and a local activist wants to keep his girlfriend.




Beset by E.H. ReinhardBeset by E.H. Reinhard:

Beset: The Lieutenant Harrington Series, Book 2.

When a spring breaker is found with his head all but removed along the side of a posh Miami Beach hotel, Lieutenant Nash Harrington is tasked with tracking down the person responsible.

But the dead college kid in the bushes is only the beginning. The victim came to town with friends—friends who start dropping like flies.

Just as the lieutenant closes in on his killer, the case takes an immediate left turn into the unknown, a place where Harrington could find himself directly in harm’s way.

North Pole Unlimited by Elle RushNorth Pole Unlimited: Decker and Joy by Elle Rush:
Jaded P.I. Decker Harkness must track down a missing prototype if he wants a shot at a corporate security contract. Sexy cat-lady Joy McCall has her own investigation running after someone breaks into her animal shelter. When they cross paths during a triple kitten-napping, they’ll have to work together to close their cases. Will everyone make it home to celebrate a merry Christmas together?

Only Santa knows.


Reasonable Doubt by Rachel SinclairReasonable Doubt by Rachel Sinclair:

A prominent artist from New York City, in town for a show, is found brutally murdered in the back of an art gallery. A prominent gay art dealer stands accused of the murder. He fears he might have done it. He doesn’t remember if he did or not. Damien must get at the truth, which is made more difficult by the fact that even his client doesn’t know the truth about what happened.

In the meantime, Damien throws himself into getting his three best friends out of prison. These men mean everything to him. But getting the three guys out means that they must leave Connor O’Brien behind. Damien can’t stand for this to happen, so he risks everything to make sure that Connor can be freed with the others.

With the hairpin turns and lightning fast pace that you’ve come to expect from a Rachel Sinclair legal thriller, “Reasonable Doubt” is not to be missed!

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