Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for May 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 April 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, hardboiled mysteries, international mysteries, British mysteries, paranormal mysteries, science fiction mysteries, action thrillers, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, pulp thrillers, noir thrillers, romantic suspense, police procedurals, spy fiction, lawyers, spies, private investigators, amateur sleuths, serial killers, drug smugglers, kidnappers, missing persons, murderous grandmothers, crimebusting witches, revenge both random and not so random, spy action in the Middle East, crime in Rio de Janeiro, Australia, New Orleans, London and outer space 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:

Bodies on the Beach by Stacey AlabasterBodies on the Beach by Stacey Alabaster:

Two ex-friends. One dead body. The beach town of Eden Bay will never be the same again.

A fast paced cozy mystery from USA Today Bestselling Author Stacey Alabaster

Claire is an up-and-coming movie exec who inherited her grandma’s book store in the quiet beach community of Eden Bay. Alyson is a surf-bum who embraces the small-town, beach lifestyle. When a surfer is killed, the two ex-best friends are pulled together to solve the murder. Can they put their differences behind them and find a killer before there are more bodies on the beach?

Bodies on the Beach is the first book in the Hang Ten Australian Cozy Mystery series, a fast paced cozy mystery with an authentic Australian flaire. If you quirky characters and unexpected twists, you’re going to love the Alyson and Claire.

Rose Gold by David BarkerRose Gold by David Barker

Rose Gold is the thrilling sequel to the bestselling Blue Gold.

In the aftermath of a world war for water, geopolitical tensions remain high and terrorism is a daily fact of life in the 2030s. But a mining base on the moon offers a rare example of international co-operation and a possible solution to the world’s energy problems. Yet not everyone on Earth is keen for this endeavour to succeed…

Sim Atkins and his wife are desperate to start a family. But a shocking message from the moon base tells Sim that he is already a father and that his son’s life is in danger. The mining station is full of suspects and, worse, the woman who fathered his child. Can Sim rescue his son and save his marriage?

Gopal and Rabten – the Gurkha and monk who helped Sim on his last assignment – are on the trail of terrorists and a giant airship. What the agents discover in the cargo hold makes Sim’s mission even more vital. When they get trapped, Freda Brightwell – Sim’s old partner in Overseas Division – is called out of retirement for one more mission.

Once again, corporate greed threatens the lives of millions. Overseas Division s finest are back at the sharp end. And this time, the stakes are far more personal.

Bloody Bananas by Cora BuhlertBloody Bananas by Cora Buhlert:

When supermarket employee Nelson Grant is found bludgeoned to death next to a half empty crate of bananas, the case seems a complete mystery. For Nelson Grant was well liked by his colleagues, so who could possibly want him dead?

But then Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd and her team discover that the crate contained more than just bananas and the case suddenly acquires a whole new dimension.

This is a mystery novelette of 12300 words or approximately 45 print pages.

Shameful Justice by M.A. ComleyShameful Justice by M.A. Comley:

Greed is a powerful motive…

With the ultimate goal to achieve something that others have.

This case is close to home… with one of her work colleagues desperate for help.

Lorne’s team are up against the odds… And somebody is restricting Lorne’s usual method of solving a case.

Tick tock… with only 24 hours to raise a vast sum of money to satisfy a kidnapper’s needs, Lorne is forced to seek the assistance of her husband — a former MI6 agent — and a close friend she has turned to before.

More pressure than usual for Lorne to contend with to get the case solved!

Time is of the essence when there is a life at stake…

A fast-paced thriller, ideal for fans of Angie Marsons and Joy Ellis.

Dead and Buried by Adam CroftDead and Buried by Adam Croft:

Two dead bodies are found buried beneath undergrowth just outside Mildenheath. The race is on to uncover their identities and catch their killers.

When two young men tell police they’ve escaped with their lives from a local brothel where they were kept as male prostitutes, DCI Jack Culverhouse and DS Wendy Knight are left facing a case like no other before.

But as their investigation into the people traffickers and kidnappers gets deeper, they realise the ringleaders will stop at nothing to evade justice.

Two dead bodies. A corrupt trafficking ring. A betrayal that’ll shake Mildenheath to the core.

Redeemer by Mark DawsonRedeemer by Mark Dawson:

Rio de Janeiro. Brazilians call it Cidade Maravilhosa – the Marvellous City – but crime festers in its favelas like cancer.

John Milton is visiting an old friend who runs a close protection business guarding the city’s elite. Milton offers to stand in when one of his bodyguards doesn’t turn up for work. The job? Take the wife and daughter of an anti-corruption judge to a school recital and bring them back again. Simple?

Not so much. The girl is snatched off the street and Milton is nearly killed. As he recovers at a Group Fifteen safe house, he decides on two objectives.

First, find the girl.

Second, punish the kidnappers for what they’ve done.

Milton’s trip becomes a lethal quest into the heart of the lawless slums and against the gangs who wield the real power in Rio. But Milton won’t stop there – he’ll chase them right into the horrific heart of darkness until his special brand of justice has been well and truly served.

Dreadful by Jana DeLeonDreadful by Jana DeLeon:

Now you see me…

Six years ago, five friends went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Four of them returned. One simply disappeared. Jenny Taylor has never gotten over the disappearance of her twin sister, Caitlyn, but now things are even worse. Caitlyn calls to Jenny in her dreams, begging her sister to find her. But Jenny’s memory of the entire night is completely gone.

Shaye Archer knows better than anyone what it’s like to have gaping holes in your past, and how horrific dreams can cripple you. But this case presents problems on every level. An adult woman disappearing from the French Quarter during Mardi Gras is hard enough to get answers for, but when it happened years before, the difficulty level increases exponentially. But Shaye’s empathy for Jenny prevents her from saying no, even though she doesn’t expect to find anything.

Then a witness is murdered, and Jenny’s memory starts to return. What did she see in the alley that night? And how many more are in danger because of it?

Lies She Never Told Me by John EllsworthLies She Never Told Me by John Ellsworth:

Would You Kill the Man Your Beloved Grandmother Wants Dead?

Lies She Never Told Me is the story of Michael Gresham’s heritage, beginning with his father’s father. The book features mob wars in 1920’s Chicago; World War II invasions and POW camps; romance between powerful men and beautiful women; the most infamous mass murder in 1960’s Chicago; and the complete growing-up story of Michael Gresham himself, from young boy to young lawyer. The book recounts the first meeting between Michael and his famous investigator Marcel in Operation Desert Shield when both young men are soldiers on the track of Saddam Hussein.

Finally, when Michael’s grandmother comes to him with a request that he track down and kill one man, can he refuse? He’s been trained as a lawyer, he believes in the rule of law, and he believes that no man is above the law. But his grandmother won’t let him go. She tells him a certain man must die for his crimes. Michael loves his grandmother with every cell in his body. Can he refuse her dying wish? Will he honor the vow he makes to this most important woman in his life?

And so the hunt begins.

Who will Michael find first: the killer or himself?

Alpha Minor by Simon HaynesAlpha Minor by Simon Haynes:

The Peace Force has a new recruit, and she’s driving everyone crazy.

From disobeying orders to handling unauthorised cases, nothing is off-limits. Worse, Harriet Walsh is forced to team up with the newbie, because the recruit’s shady past has just caught up with her.

Meanwhile, a dignitary wants to complain about rogue officers working out of the station. She insists on meeting the station’s commanding officer … and they don’t have one.

All up, it’s another typical day in the Peace Force!

Alpha Minor is set in the distant future, where humanity has colonised the galaxy. It’s good clean fun, written with wry humor, and while it has science fictional elements they’re incidental to the story. This is the second novel in the series, with a third, Sierra Bravo, due for release around July/August 2018.

Suite Casualty by CeeCee JamesSuite Casualty by CeeCee James:

Maisie Swenson has seen a lot of strange things in her career as a hotel manager, so when Mr. Dayton insists there are ghosts in his suite, she handles it with her usual aplomb. When he demands that she visit his room to show her the items that have been moved, she suspects the two empty wine bottles and a half empty brandy bottle might be where the “ghosts” come from. ?But to reassure him, she posts a guard outside his room.

In the morning, Mr. Dayton is found dead. With nothing removed from his suite, and no way in, rumors fly around that maybe he really was killed by ghosts after all. Or his own fear of them. ?

Maisie hopes the police will handle the investigation discreetly while she deals with an anonymous hotel critic who’s threatening to tear down the Oceanside’s reputation. But everything falls apart as Mr. Dayton’s relatives start to show up, each one calling the other an imposter and demanding a letter Mr. Dayton was supposed to have on him. As they start to threaten each other, and then Maisie herself, she starts to suspect the spirits that killed Mr. Dayton are still contained in living bodies.

Closure by Ethan JonesClosure by Ethan Jones:

Covert operative Javin Pierce will avenge his betrayal or die trying . . .

Off the grid, Javin Pierce is struggling to heal from his wounds. Immediately he’s forced into a shaky deal with former enemies not only to secure his partner’s release from a Saudi jail, but also to settle the score with the traitor who double-crossed them.

While his new rogue team crosses Iraq’s treacherous lands, he can barely stay ahead of the deadly threats coming from all sides. As Javin sets his sights, alliances around him crumble. So with no one left to trust, in an ever-changing maze, how will Javin survive the deadliest mission of his life?

A Breath of Witchy Air by Amanda M. LeeA Breath of Witchy Air by Amanda M. Lee:

Hemlock Cove is mired in a cold snap, which means the town is calm and quiet. That all changes in an instant when a beer truck tips over on the highway and half the town shows up to get drunk.

Bay Winchester is about to be the sole owner of the town newspaper so she heads out to take photos … and accidentally stumbles over several bodies. It seems there’s a serial killer on the loose, although no one can figure out if the dump site was convenient or if the killer is local.

Some hard digging leads Bay to a local college, where the only thing that stands out is a cell phone game that seems to be taking over the populace. Bay can’t shake the feeling that there’s something off about the game, but that pales in comparison to the dead girls and the motive behind multiple killings.

Things spiral out of control when the game developers pick Hemlock Cove for a big event, which means the town is suddenly flooded with gamers … including Aunt Tillie, who decides that winning really is the most important thing.

Things are about to get wicked for the Winchesters. There’s a killer in their midst and Bay appears to be displaying a new power that no one saw coming.

It’s only a matter of time until two powerful forces collide. Who comes out standing is anybody’s guess but Bay’s new power will be on full display … and may be the ultimate factor in her survival.

Hush, My Inner Sleuth by M.A. MeegsHush, My Inner Sleuth by M.A. Meegs:

In the fall of 1947, an impressionable young scholar finds herself seduced by the spirit of a Hollywood pulp detective….

This serpentine saga opens at a New England women’s college, where the ever-playful Betty escapes a meddlesome narrator by slipping her friend a mickey and assuming her identity. Undaunted, the plucky storyteller adopts said friend—the literarily precocious Willie—and accompanies her to L.A.

Meanwhile, the pulp-inflected ghost of Skip Ryker—a recently atomized Hollywood detective—tries in vain to solve his untimely demise. What he needs, it quickly becomes apparent, is a willing instrument.

The ensuing collision of these disparate narratives sparks a battle royal for control of Willie’s suggestible psyche—and subsequently, movie rights to the book.

Random Revenge by William MichaelsRandom Revenge by William Michaels:

Enter the sordid world of aspiring and often desperate actors and actresses in the no-holds-barred scramble to make it to the big time, where sex is a currency—and a price—way before they reach Hollywood.

Melanie Upton is an ambitious actress stuck searching for her big break. She’s got the talent, but so do thousands of other actresses. She needs an edge, and she’ll do anything to get it.

Lenny Gruse sees himself as a celebrity photographer. All he needs is one great photo to catapult himself into the big time. Melanie, with her sultry good looks, is just who he needs, his ticket to fame. Together, they can blow past the hungry competition.

Detective Robert Winter has a knack for solving seemingly random crimes, yet even he is tested in a world where the players will stop at nothing to succeed and have the ability to con even the most seasoned cop.

Poison Butterfly by Lo MonacoPoison Butterfly by Lo Monaco:

Terry Strong has been hired by Martin Oldfield to find his wife. After a bit of confusion, Terry discovers that the wife, Eloise, had disappeared 25 years ago, leaving Oldfield with a five-month old baby. After investigating Eloise’s whereabouts, Terry finds her, but she is now Louise Kingley. Terry arranges for Oldfield and Louise to meet. The day after the first meeting, Oldfield is arrested for killing Louise. Oldfield hires Terry to clear him of the murder, sending Terry on an ever-changing whirlwind search to discover who Eloise/Louise truly was and who, in fact, killed her. A surprise ending brings the investigation to a shocking close.

Death Promise by Jacqueline SeewaldDeath Promise by Jacqueline Seewald:

In this sequel to DEATH LEGACY, New York, psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Reiner is contacted by a woman who claims she was married to his father after his mother’s death and his father’s disappearance from his life. Tiffany Tyler asks Daniel to take charge of the girl she claims to be his half-sister. But when Daniel tries to make contact, it seems the girl has disappeared.

Daniel wants to hire Michelle Hallam to help him investigate the situation in Las Vegas, Nevada. Michelle’s deceased uncle, a former British intelligence agent, operated an international “consulting firm” which she now runs. Michelle and Daniel share some past history as well as a strong physical attraction but Michelle remains wary of him. Daniel has a friendly, warm personality, and urban wit in contrast to Michelle’s outward façade of cool cynicism. Things become complicated and heated in Las Vegas, involving Michelle and Daniel in intrigue, romance and murder.

This fast-paced novel combines elements of suspense thriller, mystery and romance.

Just Shoot Me Dead by Anne R. TanJust Shoot Me Dead by Anne R. Tan:

While on a blind date with a doctor and his mama, Lucy Fong gets a call that her estranged mom is found shot in the stomach in her private investigation office. She returns to Morro Cliff Village to search for answers and her sister…and finds only a dead body in her sister’s apartment.

When the local police chief zeros in on her sister as a “person of interest,” Lucy must brush up her sleuthing skills. It’s a race to find her sister before the police—and the killer—do.

She must use all her wits (and those she can borrow) to find this hidden killer before he strikes at her family again.

Don’t miss this fast-paced cozy mystery—get your copy of “Just Shoot Me Dead” today!

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