Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for October 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 August 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, small town mysteries, culinary mysteries, animal mysteries, historical mysteries, Regency mysteries, Gold Rush mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, action thrillers, adventure thrillers, legal thrillers, pulp thrillers, men’s adventure fiction, romantic suspense, private investigators, amateur sleuths, lawyers, vigilantes, small town sheriffs, serial killers, terrorists, crime-busting ghosts, crime-busting cats, historians, opera singers, pimps and their henchmen, murder in Hawaii, Florida, New Zealand, New Orleans, the Appalachians and the California Gold Rush, in circusses, historical societies and tearooms shops 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:

The Pimp's Henchman by Andrew AllanThe Pimp’s Henchman by Andrew Allan:

Butch the Henchman—ex-military, ninja-trained, mob-refined muscle ready to break legs, faces, and bodies on command. And with a turf war going on, Slide the pimp has him enforcing overtime. So, forget Sally.

That hooker keeps mouthing off, shorting the take, and bragging she’s got a fortune squirreled away. And, she’s still tricking for Slide? Please. That’s crazy trouble. So, why’s Butch intrigued? And, how much will that cost him? Distractions can be deadly in the criminal underground…where savages lurk, sin is religion, and the wrong move could flip Butch from trusted henchman to dead traitor faster than a jack shack romp.

The Pimp’s Henchman is an entertaining blast of hard-boiled crime, pulp thrills, and grindhouse movie mayhem. Download your copy now.

Snowed Under by Rickie BlairSnowed Under by Rickie Blair:

A crazy crossword conspiracy. A chilling murder. Will a green PI solve the clues without finding a deadly answer?

With Leafy Hollow in a deep winter freeze, landscaper Verity Hawkes is all out of funds. Setting up a private investigator business seems like the best way to indulge her fantasy and make a few bucks. But she never expected her first case would turn the whole town against her.

As she investigates a shady, million-dollar crossword competition, even her detective boyfriend sides with her neighbors in thinking it’s legit. But when the contest seems to connect with scruffy dog walkers and a missing investment advisor, Verity hopes she can solve the clues before the whole town descends into a scammy word-smithing frenzy. Between vegan food scandals and a village hoarder biting the dust, the landscaper-turned-PI has her hands full.

With time running out, can Verity discover the phantom killer before the culprit makes it two down?

The Kingfisher's Debt by Kura CarpenterThe Kingfisher’s Debt by Kura Carpenter:

Magic isn’t real, right?

Within the small coastal city of Dunedin, local translator, Tamsin Fairchild has a reputation she hates. People think she’s psychic…

Always hovering around and interfering in Tamsin’s life, part father-figure, part thorn in her side, Detective Jackson, is an old-school cop. Childhood friend to her deceased mother, Tamsin wonders could her mother have let an outsider in on the truth?

Newcomer, rookie cop Scott Gale is forced to team-up with Tamsin when they investigate the disappearance of a newborn baby and a bizarre crime scene–satanic ritual or hoax?

More and more the blame starts to point towards Tamsin…

Tamsin must uncover who’s framing her, find the baby before it’s too late, unravel the mystery behind her elder brother’s disappearance, and stop Scott from entering a world not meant for human eyes.

But Scott has family secrets of his own and Tamsin doesn’t know who to trust.

But can you trust Tamsin? What if the person who saved your life is about to frame you for murder?

Yesterday's Tears by Sam CheeverYesterday’s Tears by Sam Cheever:

It might be a murder from decades ago, but it still has its claws in the present…and someone seems determined to drag Anna into it.

It’s never a good idea to spend too much time in a haunted mansion, and Anna’s favorite cowboy ghost does his best to talk her out of it. But the opportunity to pick from the beautiful antiques left to her in a Crocker resident’s will is just too tempting for Anna and Pratt to pass up. So they’re going in…

They’re prepared to deal with a few cold spots. Maybe the occasional flickering light. But what Anna and the boys weren’t counting on was bumping up against the ghost of Josiah Baumgartner, a contemporary of Joss’ from the 1800s. And when Josiah claims the old woman who lived in the house hid his bones around the place, Anna agrees to help him find them. But something much darker is at work there. And, unfortunately for our happy little gang of antique hunters…Anna seems to have unwittingly stepped right into the middle of it.

Peril By Post by Sheri Cobb SouthPeril By Post by Sheri Cobb South

A letter… a secret… a murder…

The eighth book in the series finds John Pickett bound for England’s scenic Lake District, where an unsigned letter has summoned him for an unspecified reason. Posing as a honeymoon couple, Pickett and his wife Julia, the former Lady Fieldhurst, take a room at the Hart and Hound as the letter instructs him. Once installed there, however, Pickett can do nothing but wait for the anonymous contact to identify himself. A midnight search of the inn’s register seems to identify the innkeeper, Ned Hawkins, as his man, but before Pickett can discover the reason for his summons, Hawkins is pushed from a cliff—surviving the fall only long enough to call Pickett’s attention to the letter in his pocket.

With his contact dead and his only clue a letter containing nothing more than a rambling account of family news, Pickett knows he’s on his own. But that isn’t the worst of his problems: Julia saw the crime being committed, and although she can’t identify the murderer, there is every indication that the killer knows he was seen—and intends to eliminate any possible witnesses.

Amidst a quirky cast of characters including a host of holiday-makers, a bucolic love triangle, an aspiring poet in the Romantic vein, and an old friend of his magistrate, Mr. Colquhoun, Pickett must discover the secret behind that urgent summons before a second, and far more personal, murder is committed.

The Perfect Lie by Adam CroftThe Perfect Lie by Adam Croft:

What if you were framed for a murder you didn’t commit?

Amy Walker lives the perfect family life with her husband and two young sons. Until a knock at the door turns their lives upside down.

It’s the police. Her father-in-law is dead and they’re arresting her for his murder.

The evidence against her is overwhelming. Forensics and witnesses place her at the scene. But there’s only one problem:

She didn’t do it.

With her family destroyed and a murder sentence looming, Amy must discover who murdered her father-in-law — and why they’re so hell-bent on framing her as the killer.

Everything is Broken by Anthony DeCastroEverything is Broken by Anthony DeCastro:

A Girl. A Private Eye. A World of Hurt

Private Investigator Fuzzy Koella likes working the infidelity trade in Myrtle Beach. Taking pictures of cheating spouses provides enough income to support his spartan existence.

But when an old friend hires him to peep on the seductive, young Marisol Rodriguez, Fuzzy finds himself caught in an impossible situation. Does he do his job? Or does he try to save Marisol from the violent men she attracts?

The simple path always appeals to Fuzzy, but Marisol needs him more than he or she knows.

Can a decent man save all that he holds dear? Or will he find Everything is Broken, including himself? If you love hard-boiled detective stories, meet Fuzzy Koella in his debut adventure, Everything is Broken.

Flagstaff Station by John EllsworthFlagstaff Station by John Ellsworth:

Attorney Thaddeus Murfee is called upon to defend a young nurse accused of murdering a public official. She calls Thaddeus, who signs on and then begins his investigation. He learns of another possible suspect, but the man is a federal agent with a clean record–the last person Thaddeus would’ve suspected. Still, there are unanswered questions.

When his client’s young son disappears, Thaddeus uncovers a dark side to the local political machine that extends from coast-to-coast. Thaddeus is left with no choice except to wade into the middle of the corruption that threatens to consume his client and her son and, in the end, even his own family.

Then he learns the terrible truth about Flagstaff Station and the stakes skyrocket.

Thaddeus Murfee is back like a raging storm in this Book 1 of the Thaddeus Murfee Justice Series.

Urgent Justice by John EtzilUrgent Justice by John Etzil:

A small-town sheriff will catch a predator come hell or high water…

Nothing raises Sheriff Jack Lamburt’s hackles like a child in danger. After a local orphaned teen disappears under suspicious circumstances, he vows to bring her home safe. And there’ll be no escape from the world of pain he’ll leave in his wake…

To track down the missing girl’s abductor, Jack teams up with the only resident who can spot the culprit out of a crowd—a feisty 90-year-old with a taste for rye whiskey and revenge. But what was supposed to be a recon-only road trip soon takes a treacherous turn. And the two traveling companions find themselves fighting for survival in a crooked town overrun with the vicious disciples of a sexual predator and self-proclaimed prophet.

To save the girl, Jack will have to bring the entire unholy criminal network to its day of reckoning…

Time Lost by Peter C. FosterTime Lost by Peter C. Foster:

He hasn’t seen her in over forty years, not since she dumped him and married his nemesis. Now she’s asking for his help to find the man who murdered her daughter. He loved her then; despite everything, he loves her still. Against his better judgement, he is drawn into the homicide investigation.

At the same time, he must deal with the ghosts of the past, and the events which bound them together and tore them apart in the days which followed the Summer of Love.

TIME LOST is a fast-paced mystery and a love story. It is also a look back at the Sixties and the passions of a generation searching for truth and justice amid the turmoil of racism and war.

Pecan Pies and Dead Guys by Angie FoxPecan Pies and Dead Guys by Angie Fox:

Sometimes Verity Long would like to forget that she lives with the ghost of a 1920s gangster. But the reluctant housemates must once again work together when a dead detective blackmails Frankie into helping him solve a Great Gatsby-era cold case. Before she can say “bathtub gin,” Verity is dragged straight into a raging, otherworldly house party. Worse, every guest is hiding something.

Meanwhile, Ellis Wydell, Verity’s living, breathing boyfriend needs Verity’s help with a police case of his own. After a dead body is discovered near the pecan orchard, Verity gives her insights, thinking her job is done. But when mysterious pecan pies start arriving at her house, she wonders who might be thanking her…or stalking her.

Between hard-living ghosts and sugar-laden desserts, Verity has her work cut out for her. But will she uncover the secrets behind the pecan pies and dead guys? Or has she stumbled upon a recipe for disaster?

A warm and witty paranormal cozy mystery!

The Dough Must Go On by H.Y. HannaThe Dough Must Go On by H.Y. Hanna:

Showbiz comes to Oxford in the form of Britain’s hottest new talent show and tearoom owner Gemma Rose gets a peek behind-the-scenes when she’s asked to cater for the event. But with the Old Biddies entering the contest as England’s first “granny band”, and her little tabby, Muesli, taking part in one of the acts, Gemma soon ends up with more than she bargained for… and that’s before she comes across a frozen dead body!

Now, she’s on the trail of a murderer, with four nosy old ladies giving her a helping hand, while also dealing with her embarrassing mother, her workaholic boyfriend—and even a mouse invader at her tearoom!

Murder in Cottonwood Springs by Dianne HarmonMurder in Cottonwood Springs by Dianne Harman:

Sheriff Rich got the call every lawman dreads – a relative’s murder. And it’s even worse when it’s your sister.

Brigid moved back to Cottonwood Springs to be with friends and family when her marriage and her publishing company both ended. When her best friend’s murdered, she’s determined to find the killer.

A new romance and an adopted big Newfoundland are pretty comforting at times like these.

Recipes included!

Cirque de Slay by CeeCee JamesCirque de Slay by CeeCee James:

Concello Circus is crowded with unforgettable characters- trapeze artists, sword swallowers, clowns, not to mention the famed Ringmaster. Working at the circus is exactly what Trixie expected. What she didn’t expect is to find a dead body…with a dark apparition rising up from it.

Claudette Barbarosa, the beautiful bearded lady and rumored girlfriend of the Ringmaster, has been murdered and suspects are everywhere.

Trixie is desperate to catch the killer before she is caught herself. Even more, she wants an explanation for what she saw the spooky, rainy night that Claudette died.

Were her eyes lying to her…or was everyone else lying?

Last Gasp by Howard LevineLast Gasp by Howard Levine:

Frank Tedeschi’s niece is dead, one of thousands of victims of a terrorist attack, which has been laid at the feet of “Islamic radicals” by a right-wing US government. Frank—based on a chance encounter—is one of the very few people who question the government’s explanation. He’s a Vietnam veteran who wants nothing more than to live without further controversy or conflict. Can he and his grieving brother Rob, a detective with the NYPD, obtain the necessary evidence to uncover the truth in the face of scorn and incredulity? Can they overcome their long-term estrangement to work together, given that they are putting their lives in danger?

In Last Gasp—a novel that resonates with today’s politics—the answers to these questions unfold in a way that mingles personal and societal issues and intertwines the past and present while moving relentlessly forward.

Message for Murder by Jerri Kay LincolnMessage for Murder by Jerri Kay Lincoln:

The first book in the Rutledge Historical Society Cozy Mystery Series.

Lorry Lockharte’s first day on her new job brings her a big surprise: a dead body. Two sisters dead in a week’s time—one murder, one accident. Lorry thinks the so-called accident seems a little too convenient. Is it really an accident as everybody believes? Sassy and irreverent, Lorry plans to prove otherwise and solve the murders. One recipe included!

 

Wired Fear by Toby NealWired Fear by Toby Neal:

Paradise is haunted by betrayal.

What if you discovered that those closest to you were not who they seemed?

Tech sleuth Sophie Ang, her lovable dog Ginger, and her partner, Jake Dunn, tackle a new case involving a famous hula festival on the Big Island–but that’s only one of the hot situations demanding Sophie’s attention. Repercussions from the past and the return of a deadly relative threaten to tear apart the fragile life Sophie’s trying to build. Everyone around her seems to want more from Sophie than she can give, and one of them plans to take her life.

In the midst of a volcano of conflicting agendas, Sophie must find a way to truth, victory and freedom.

The Krewe by Seth PeveyThe Krewe by Seth Pevey:

Living up to the family name comes with a price.

When Felix is told his big brother committed suicide by throwing himself under a train, his gut screams foul play. But as the Mardi Gras season descends on the Big Easy, no one is interested in the conspiracy theories of a drug-addled rich kid.

Except, perhaps, one Carnival organization in particular…

A krewe that hasn’t been heard from in decades.

Felix will need the help of a police detective long past his prime, the family’s honor-obsessed butler, and a massive pork fortune, all in order to find justice for his big brother.

His name, his family, and his very life may hang in the balance.

Girl Next Door by Willow RoseGirl Next Door by Willow Rose:

He came in the morning when they were still making lunches and getting ready for school and work. He killed them all. Mother, father, children. Brutally slaughtered them in the comfort of their own home.

They called him the Monday Morning Killer.

That was forty years ago, but now it is happening again. A mother and her daughter are brutally murdered in their house, on a peaceful Monday morning in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Home alone with six children while his wife – country superstar Shannon King – is on tour, Detective Jack Ryder gets the most terrifying case of his career, chasing a deranged serial killer unlike anyone he has ever seen.

No one feels safe, especially not the girl next door, who just bought the house where the first family was killed forty years ago.

Who is capable of such cruelty? And why?

Could one person be responsible for these brutal killings of entire families so many years apart? Or is Jack dealing with a copy-cat?

Cold Country by JD SalyersCold Country by JD Salyers:

When a wild and free paradise becomes the devil’s hunting ground…

ALONE IN THE WOODS

Quinn Galloway is in danger. Her husband has disappeared from their secluded cabin, the biggest snowstorm of the season is moving in, and she’s alone in the dangerous expanse of the Appalachian Mountains.

OR IS SHE?

There is a dark stranger on the mountain, and he’s set his sights on Quinn. By the time night falls the sweet, cozy cabin has become a snowbound prison, surrounded by plenty of predators. For Quinn Galloway, isolated and defenseless, winter is now the enemy. Over the course of a single spine-chilling night she must face all of her nightmares come true, and she might not make it off the mountain alive.

Brother Betrayed by Jenny WheelerBrother Betrayed by Jenny Wheeler:

A mysterious death. A missing partner. Can an opera singer and a businessman catch the culprit before he strikes again?

New Zealand-born Pania Hayes has won the hearts of her Californian crowds. But after her husband’s untimely death, the opera singer realizes fame and fortune mean nothing without loved ones to share it with. So when her closest friend gets caught in a web of mysterious deaths and disappearances, she vows to find the real culprit and clear his name… even after he turns his back on her.

Hong Kong-born John Russell prides himself on building his business empire from nothing. But after his beloved mentor’s death and business partner’s disappearance, he realizes the company is slipping out of his control. Within the ranks, tensions have turned deadly. And a shameful secret from his past threatens to unleash even more destruction. Without knowing who he can trust, he sets off alone to find his missing partner and piece together his broken legacy.

United in their grief but unable to reach out, Pania and Sir John must learn to work together to solve the mystery before more blood is shed.

Brother Betrayed is the second standalone book in the captivating Of Gold & Blood historical mystery series. If you like accurate portrayals of the Western frontier, fast-paced action, and tales of redemption, then you’ll love Jenny Wheeler’s pitch-perfect saga.

An Appetite For Murder by Lynda WilcoxAn Appetite For Murder by Lynda Wilcox:

Police researcher Verity Long loves fine food and wine, so she’s the perfect person to re-open the case of a murdered restaurant critic. The original investigation found no motive and no suspects, so solving the mystery of Crompton Carmichael’s death will not be a piece of cake.

With his colleagues at the Midshires Gourmet magazine proving less than helpful and saddled with an assistant whose idea of a gourmet meal is meat pie and chips, Verity begins to roux the day she agreed to take on the case.

Then, when she has the sauce to ask probing questions, her own life is threatened.
Will Verity live to taste Death by Chocolate again? Or will the killer make mincemeat of her?

Chaos in the Countryside by Astoria WrightChaos in the Countryside by Astoria Wright:

Looking for a unique paranormal cozy mystery series that’s lighthearted and fun?

Settle into the cozy countryside of Moss Hill, where house-elves rent rooms, sprites live in gardens, a leprechaun is the best tailor in town, and a half-elf/half human named Carissa Shea owns a pharmacy known as The Seelie Tree Apothecary shop. Life couldn’t be more idyllic for Cari, but healing humans and fae folk proves challenging at times, especially when secrets unfold in The Faerie Apothecary Mysteries.

About Chaos in the Countryside
The quiet town of Moss Hill would be in trouble if not for one daring nature faerie: a sprite known as Chaos. Though she is little, she is…fierce isn’t the right word. Spirited is more accurate. She’s traveled far and wide to warn the half-human, half-elf Carissa Shae about a danger that’s coming to the countryside. Carissa’s Seelie Tree Apothecary shop is no stranger to faeries, but with this new arrival, its owner, and Moss Hill, will never be the same. Is this cozy town ready for a little Chaos?

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