Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for January 2018

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 December 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, small town mysteries, culinary mysteries, paranormal mysteries, hardboiled mysteries, historical mysteries, police procedurals, legal thrillers, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, men’s adventure, private eyes, missing persons, prosecutors, reluctant witches, domestic violence, murdered grandmothers, the pit of crawling death 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:

A Frosty Mug of Murder by Constance BarkerA Frosty Mug of Murder by Constance Barker:

Who Killed the Black Widow?

The Grumpy Chicken Irish Pub is in full blast mode when proprietor Ginger O’Mallory discovers someone has offed the town’s Black Widow before the woman can take out another husband. Secrets swirl and the hooch flows in this brand new series centering around an Irish Pub with a crazy clucker name. And what is with all the spooky goings on with a ghost chicken attached? Find out in this hilarious romp filled with colorful and wisecracking characters.

 

The Crawling Death by Cora Buhlert
The Crawling Death by Cora Buhlert:

1966. Freelance troubleshooter Todd Donovan is hired to locate Dr. Pat Turner, a biologist who has gone missing in the South American jungle. It seems like an easy job at first, but then Todd finds himself staring into the barrel of a gun.

Captured and taken to the jungle compound of the drug lord Durango, Todd finally meets up with Dr. Turner, who turns out to be not just a beautiful woman, but also Durango’s prisoner.

Durango is not the sort of man to leave potential witnesses alive. And so Todd and Dr. Pat Turner are soon facing a painful end in Durango’s pit of crawling death…

This is a short adventure story of approx. 5500 words or 20 pages in the style of the men’s adventure pulps of the 1960s.

The Mystery of Ruby's Sugar by Rose DonovanThe Mystery of Ruby’s Sugar by Rose Donovan:

Christmas, 1934.

The snow lies heavy around Pauncefort Hall. Dress designers Ruby Dove and Fina Aubrey-Havelock leave behind their Oxford exams to rescue Lady Charlotte’s wardrobe. But what Lady Charlotte doesn’t know is that Ruby is on a mission—a mission to avenge her family and bring down an empire.

As the weather worsens, Ruby and Fina are drawn into the intrigues of Lady Charlotte’s other guests, who include a princess, a furiously left-wing don, a West End starlet—and, it seems, a murderer. After the two resident cads are poisoned, Ruby and Fina must find the culprit and still carry out their secret plans—all before the law arrives. But Pauncefort Hall can remain snowbound for only so long.

The Mystery of Ruby’s Sugar is the first book in the Ruby Dove historical cozy mystery series.

Bleeding Levee Blues by Nick DorseyBleeding Levee Blues by Nick Dorsey:

Tom Connelly left the New Orleans Police Department after the madness of Hurricane Katrina, and his life has gone downhill ever since. Shunned by his brothers in blue, he broke down and gave in to drink. He lost his friends. He lost his wife. And now his son barely knows his name.

But a figure from his past has asked Tom to help a wealthy politician find his missing daughter. If Tom keeps this quiet, the politician promises Tom the one thing he needs most: redemption. A name cleared from past controversy. A new life moving forward.

The search for the young woman leads Tom into the dark corners of the decaying New Orleans landscape and beyond, right into the heart of a deadly human trafficking organization and to the other side of the world. Now Tom isn’t just worried about redeeming himself, he’s hoping he can get out of this alive.

For Better or Worse by Donna Huston MurrayFor Better or Worse by Donna Huston Murray:

Finally back to her spunky self after the loss of her husband, men have once again become an issue for amateur sleuth Ginger Barnes—men who mistreat their wives, men accused of murder, and men who ask her out.

While working on a DIY project at her newlywed daughter’s house, a bag of bricks is thrown from the neighboring third-story window. Next, pops that sound like muffled gunshots have Gin racing for her phone. Eric, who lives in the house with his grandmother, claims she’s obsessed with mystery novels. Yet after the septuagenarian falls down a flight of stairs, she’s so frantic to keep Eric away that Gin must intervene. Was the fall actually attempted murder?In her husband’s eyes, Cissie Voight can’t do anything right. Gin occasionally helps the frazzled young mother, and when she needs a dresser carried upstairs, Gin brings Eric along. Bad move! The electricity between the two new acquaintances sparks a chilling premonition. This time Gin’s good intentions will produce grave consequences—for everyone involved.

Deep Zero by V.S. KemanisDeep Zero by V.S. Kemanis:

It’s one a.m. Do you know where your teenagers are? Prosecutor Dana Hargrove makes it a point to know. But one night, in the dead of winter, she should have known more.

In February 2009, Dana is the newly-elected district attorney of a suburban county north of Manhattan, where she lives with her husband, attorney Evan Goodhue, and their two teenage children. The Great Recession has seen a rise in substance abuse and domestic violence. It’s also the era of burgeoning social media, an intoxicating lure for wayward and disaffected teens who find new methods of victimization: a game to some, with no thought of the consequences.

During an arctic cold snap, the body of a high school student is discovered, lodged in the ice floes of the Hudson River. People are crying for justice, but there doesn’t seem to be a law that fits. Days later, in one hellish night, Dana’s children are sucked into a criminal investigation against several of their classmates, making her a convenient target for community outrage.

In Deep Zero, the fourth standalone legal mystery featuring the dynamic prosecutor, Dana walks the tightrope like never before in her tricky balance between professional ethics and family loyalties.

Witchin' USA by Amanda M. LeeWitchin’ USA by Amanda M. Lee:

Hadley Hunter has lived a normal life, in a normal suburb, with a normal job and a normal father. All that changes when a grandmother she didn’t even know existed dies and leaves her a fabulous lighthouse on Moonstone Bay Island.

Hadley, ready for an adventure, decides to check things out and finds herself plunged into a world she never envisioned.
From the naked woman swimming in the ocean outside her back door, to the hot sheriff who seems to be hiding a secret, Hadley is intrigued from the start. That’s before magical things start happening – including to Hadley – and a body washes up on the beach.

It seems Moonstone Bay has a killer on the loose … and he may be stalking Hadley, although no one can figure out why.

Things are about to spiral for Moonstone Bay’s newest reluctant – and baffled – witch. She has to learn about the past, investigate the present and hold on to her future for dear life. Along the way she will meet a bevy of new friends who have a few particular abilities … and a lot of really odd quirks.

Set sail for adventure, because once you visit Moonstone Bay, you’ll never be the same again.

Murder at Home by Faith MartinMurder at Home by Faith Martin:

Meet DI HILLARY GREENE, a policewoman struggling to save her career and catch criminals.

Flo Jenkins is found murdered in her armchair, a paperknife sticking out of her chest. The old woman was well liked and nothing seems to have been stolen from her home. And it was common knowledge that she only had weeks to live.

Why kill a dying woman? This is going to be one of the toughest cases yet for Hillary to solve.

Hillary also has to deal with a new colleague who has a terrible temper and a rocky past.

With no forensics, no leads, and only a drug-addict nephew as a suspect, will this be Hillary’s first failure to solve a murder case?

Gone with the Ghost by Erin McCarthyGone with the Ghost by Erin McCarthy:

Bailey Burke has had a rough six months—it’s not easy thinking your romantic overtures toward your best friend caused him to kill himself. Except that’s exactly what happened. Ryan is very much dead, having shot himself with his own police-issued gun. Guilt and grief shouldn’t cause hallucinations though, but six months after Ryan went into the ground, Bailey is freaking out and swearing his ghost is standing in her kitchen. Which he is…

Ryan claims he didn’t commit suicide, but was murdered, and he needs Bailey to help him find his killer so he can earn his ticket out of purgatory. Ryan’s counting on a stairway to heaven, as opposed to wings, since that might be a little unmanly for a cop, even a dead one.

An expert in home design, with her own staging business, Bailey can tell you where to place a couch to improve flow and comfort, but solving a crime? Not her area of expertise. But with help from Ryan’s former partner, Marner, she is unraveling the mystery of what happened to Ryan that day… and unwittingly putting herself in grave danger.

Chocolate Cake with a Side of Murder by Meredith PottsChocolate Cake with a Side of Murder by Meredith Potts:

Wedding season has come to Treasure Cove. But a shocking murder threatens to turn the entire town on its head.

Even worse, amateur sleuth Sabrina Daley and her detective fiancé are unable to uncover a single suspect.

Will Sabrina be able to track down the killer before they get away, or will this case go cold?

 

The Accused by Rachel SinclairThe Accused by Rachel Sinclair

Harper is back…and this time it’s personal.

Harper must defend Damien, who has been arrested for the murder of his birth father, Josh Roland. Harper knows that Damien didn’t do it. He couldn’t do it. Yet his past comes to haunt him, as Harper finds out things about Damien that she never knew.

The victim, Josh Roland, was, for many years, a bastard. He sexually harassed most of his female employees and was a serial rapist. He was also involved with many shady and crooked financial deals that broke the many contractors who had the misfortune of dealing with him. In short, there were many, many people who wanted this man dead. So why was Damien made the prime target of the investigation? The answer to this question stuns Harper and causes her to question everything about what she thought she knew about her law partner.

In the meantime, her tween daughters are giving her fits – even Abby has been acting out lately. They’re 13, at the most awkward age imaginable, and Harper is at the end of her rope with them. Throw in some romantic troubles with her longtime beau, Axel, and you have one seriously frazzled lawyer. She keeps it together, Harper-style, which means that her life is perpetually a mess, but she always fights her way out.

With the twists and turns that you’ve come to expect in a Harper Ross/Damien Harrington legal thriller, The Accused is not to be missed!

Who Killed Granny? by Stephanie VillegasWho Killed Granny? by Stephanie Villegas:

When Barbara Smythe finds her grandmother unconscious and sprawled out on the sofa, she suspects foul play. Worried the attacker will come after her next, Barbara rushes around Los Angeles in a desperate attempt to find and warn her twin sister of the peril they face. With the killer hot on her trail, she must race against the clock to discover who killed Granny and bring them to justice.

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