Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for April 2020

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 March 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, hardboiled mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mystries, 1950s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, domestic thrillers, legal thrillers, spy thrillers, action thrillers, police procedurals, romantic suspense, noir, private investigators, amateur sleuths, police officers, district attorneys, spies, assassins, terrorists, industrial espionage, domestic abuse, little doubts, shocking confessions, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime and murder in New Orleans, Michigan, California, Yorkshire, Edinburgh, the Hamptons, the Lake District 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 by Twilight by Blythe BakerMurder by Twilight by Blythe Baker:

When Alice Beckingham answers an urgent summons to her sister’s home in Yorkshire, she has no idea what dangers are in store for her. From the moment she crosses the threshold, she is enveloped in the same sinister shadows that seem to lie like a mist over the surrounding moorlands.

Determined to discover who is behind an attempt on her sister’s life, Alice soon finds herself doubting everyone around her, even her most reliable allies. Without her clever cousin Rose or the protective Sherborne Sharp on hand, can Alice put together the pieces of the haunting puzzle in time to save those dearest to her?

Murder Most Odd by Beth ByersA Murder Most Odd by Beth Byers:

June 1926

Violet and Jack are the matron of honor and best man at Rita and Ham’s wedding. Rita’s father is so excited, he’s bought the couple a country house near Vi’s and arranged a several day long celebration culminating in a wedding, wedding breakfast, and wedding ball.

On the first day, there is a large picnic in the ruins near the house. One the second day, there is a snipe hunt and the winner receives a shocking prize. On the third day, the bright young winner falls dead in his soup. Who would kill the lively young man? And why?

Nomad by Mark CheyenneNomad by Mark Cheyenne:

He doesn’t have a name. He doesn’t have any friends or family. He is a man without a past.

His codename is Nomad. And he is an assassin. He works for the Syndicate: a mysterious international organization whose main objective is to hunt down and eliminate warlords, terrorist leaders, crime bosses, and other wicked persons the world could do without.

After Nomad eliminates his last target, a male assassin gets on his tail. He is as skillful and dangerous as Nomad himself.

Who is he? Why is the assassin after Nomad? Who hired him? Who wants him dead? Is it the Syndicate? If the answer is yes, then for what reason has the organization put him on its assassination list?

Nomad has a lot of questions and no answers. But he knows one thing for sure: the mysterious assassin is getting closer and closer.

8 Tales of Noir by J. David Core8 Tales of Noir by J. David Core:

8 Tales of Noir is just what the title would lead you to expect, eight stories about the darker side of the human condition. Six short stories lead in to two novella-length tales.

Two desperate men at a standoff on a residential inner-city street…

A high school prank with unexpected – and deadly – results…

When you grab the wife of a small-time construction company owner for ransom, make sure he’s not from the family…or smarter than you….

A man intent on collecting a debt…

A heist gone wrong…

A prodigal son whose sins follow him home…

A moment of reckless anger puts a sad-sack on the wrong side of the law and leads to an unexpected comradeship with the forlorn bounty hunter sent to bring him in…

Finally, a high school dean, a construction worker, and an off-duty cop head out for a night on the prowl. When each agrees to seek out and introduce another of the trio to his ideal woman, only the annoying fly that keeps buzzing the table is privy to all the behind-the-scenes goings-on in this quirky black comedy.

Betrayal by Adam CroftBetrayal by Adam Croft:

In Edinburgh, the British Prime Minister prepares to launch a worldwide project to tackle climate change. But there’s a far more sinister motivation behind her plans.

After successfully thwarting a terrorist attack in London a few months earlier, Sam Barker is tasked with investigating a scheme which will turn his life — and the world — upside down.

As he delves deeper into the network of players, Sam uncovers a conspiracy which leads to the one person he loves the most — his son.

But in revealing the facts, Sam risks flushing out a far more sinister, unknown enemy — a rogue agent inside The Firm who will stop at nothing to stop Sam from exposing the truth.

The District Attorney by John EllsworthThe District Attorney by John Ellsworth:

Have you ever tried to outrun a past that was always ahead of you?

Meet Assistant District Attorney Lettie Portman, a prosecutor whose past tries to run her todays. The sex crimes prosecutor didn’t get into sex crimes by accident: her own past demanded it. When a fourteen-year-old girl is savagely attacked by mother’s live-in boyfriend, Lettie is called to the hospital. There, she meets a sweet young girl whose only goal is to go to school and come home to a safe environment. But mom’s boyfriend makes the girl’s world anything but safe. Soon, the abuse gets worse and Lettie, the prosecutor, goes to the grand jury with the case.

Will Lettie’s own past interfere with her prosecution of San Diego’s Terrible Man of the Year? Will she be able to make peace with her own abuse and move on to become the hard-hitting prosecutor the young girl deserves right now?

Lettie Portman is a woman you won’t ever forget, as you join with her in her march to freedom from her past. A John Ellsworth legal thriller by the master of the genre.

Witch Confidential by Lily Harper HartWitch Confidential by Lily Harper Hart:

The Big Easy is about to be buried in big trouble.
Again.

For Ofelia Archer, that means she’s knee-deep in an investigation … even though she’s not quite sure how she got there.

Zach Sully thinks he’s in for an easy night at Ofelia’s speakeasy – maybe a little flirting as a lead-up to a date included – when a scream in a neighboring abandoned building draws his attention. Upon further investigation, he finds a young woman dead and a real estate developer traumatized.

The dead girl is a street performer who lived on the edge. That’s bad enough, but when voices from the past cause Ofelia to break open a wall, they find more bodies … and a mystery more than ten years in the making.

The new murder mimics the old deaths, but who are the girls in the wall? Ofelia was a child when stories of street girls going missing were prevalent … and then Hurricane Katrina hit and people forgot their fear in the face of a life-changing storm.

Now, all these years later, Ofelia and Sully are determined to uncover what happened then, tie it to what’s happening today, and find vengeance for all of the victims in the here and now.

That’s easier said than done.

There’s a malevolent force stalking the French Quarter and Ofelia suddenly finds herself in the killer’s path. Someone wants to keep a secret, and he or she is willing to kill to make sure that the past stays buried.

Can Ofelia and Sully evade a killer and uncover the truth? It will be a race to the finish to find out.

Rich by Janet Elizabeth HendersonRich by Janet Elizabeth Henderson:

She has secrets, and he has the training to uncover them.

Rachel Ford-Talbot has nothing to do with her family or their pharmaceutical business. And she likes it that way. As one of four partners who own an internationally renowned security business, Rachel prefers to leave her past, with all its secrets, deeply buried.

But when a series of thefts reveal that the family business is being targeted for industrial espionage, her father begs Rachel to investigate. His illness makes it hard for her to refuse, but Rachel wonders if he truly understands what he’s unleashing on his company. Because she isn’t the same bright-eyed graduate that walked through their doors years earlier. Now, she’s strong, powerful, and somewhat terrifying. A woman who doesn’t suffer fools lightly and who is afraid of nothing.

She also isn’t alone.

This time, she has the might and expertise of Benson Security at her back. And an ex-CIA agent at her side—because Michael “Harvard” Carter has appointed himself her bodyguard for the duration. Even though Rachel doesn’t need, or want, the annoyingly sexy man’s help. But while the world sees a first-class bitch when they look at her, Michael sees only someone who intrigues him. Which makes him the biggest threat of all.

Some Like It Shot by Zara KeaneSome Like It Shot by Zara Keane:

“Danger was part of my job description, but none of my contingency plans anticipated an attack by a Maine Coon.”

It’s summer on Whisper Island. Ex-cop-turned-private-investigator Maggie Doyle is looking forward to sun, fun, and romance. Instead, she gets bills, an assault allegation, and a busted wrist. To add insult to injury, there’s a movie being filmed on the island, and Maggie’s diva sister has been cast in it—her debut role. While other residents clamor for parts as extras, Maggie wants nothing to do with the shoot.

But when hotshot director Con Ryder asks Maggie to investigate a series of suspicious accidents on the movie set, she can’t afford to refuse. Maggie and her UFO-obsessed assistant, Lenny, go undercover as extras, with Lenny intent on enjoying every second of the experience, and Maggie determined to solve the mystery and leave as quickly as possible. Maggie’s hopes for a quick-fix solution are shot to pieces when the woman who accused her of assault turns up dead.

How will Maggie get out of this take? Grab a copy and find out today!

Sinfully Delicious by Amanda M. LeeSinfully Delicious by Amanda M. Lee:

Stormy Morgan left her hometown of Shadow Hills, Michigan, with one goal: to write the great American novel and strike it rich. She sold her novel not long after college, did relatively well, and then fell off a cliff into obscurity. Now, without a book contract, she’s back at her family restaurant in a one-stoplight town … and she’s convinced things couldn’t possibly get worse.

That feeling only lasts until her first shift, when on a trip to the storage building behind the restaurant, she literally trips over a body.

Roy Axe, Shadow Hills most hated “Axehole,” died a hard death only feet from the restaurant (and the second-floor apartment Stormy currently resides in). The detective on the case is none other than Hunter Ryan, Stormy’s high school boyfriend, and the man who occasionally still calls to her in dreams. Hunter only cares about solving a mystery – nothing else – so their reunion is tense.

In an attempt to distract herself from what’s happening, Stormy and her cousin Alice get drunk one night and pull out their great-grandmother’s old Ouija board, and it sets off a strange string of events, most of which seem magical … if you believe in that sort of thing, and Stormy isn’t sure she does.

Stormy has trouble deciding which problem to focus on, so she avoids them all until things start blowing up in her face.

Shadow Hills is a small town but the secrets that plague it run deep. Stormy is a woman – or maybe a witch – lost in a sea of magic and despair … but murder might just lead her out of it. That is if she can survive to solve the case, that is.

Little Doubt by Rachel LynchLittle Doubt by Rachel Lynch:

Some places make their own laws…

When Ella Watson, a woman of wealth and status, is brutally stabbed to death in broad daylight it sends a shockwave through the Lake District community. Later that day, Keira Bradley meets the same fate. But whereas Ella’s murder is a tragedy, Keira’s death on the notorious Beacon Estate is just another statistic in a dangerous place.

DI Kelly Porter has the unenviable job of running simultaneous investigations. Her efforts aren’t helped by a boss driven by protecting his reputation and a housing estate where fear rules and no one dare speak out. Kelly knows the answers can only be found by winning the trust of the residents at Beacon Estate. A task so hard it may be impossible.

Kelly puts everything she has into finding justice for both victims. The only thing she hadn’t anticipated was a traitor in the ranks. When the evidence points to someone in her team, Kelly has to put feelings aside and work the case – no matter where it leads. By the time it is over, nothing in her world will ever be the same…

A dark and gripping police procedural

Shocking Confessions by Walter MarksShocking Confessions by Walter Marks:

A pair of grisly crimes challenges East Hampton Detective Jericho. One involves a body under a bridge. The other is generated by the discovery of a human arm in a shark’s belly.

Kirkus review: “This latest entry in Marks’ (Tumbling Down, 2018, etc.) series featuring Jericho and his cohorts is a taut, fast-paced mystery that skillfully weaves together the investigations of two seemingly unrelated crimes while developing subplots introduced in previous installments. Although Jericho remains the series’ primary protagonist, Officer Vangie Clark becomes an important character in the story as she rises within the department from a 911 dispatcher to detective…”

All Bleeding Stops Eventually by Timothy SheardAll Bleeding Stops Eventually by Timothy Sheard:

When two LGBT hospital workers are denied paid parental leave for their newborn children, militant shop steward Lenny Moss takes up the fight for equal rights. Their union contract’s guidelines for paid leave, written before gay/lesbian marriage was legal in Pennsylvania, only requires unpaid leave. As the union mobilizes community support for LGBT rights, Lenny agrees to try and help a nurse who was fired when a patient under her care mysteriously disappeared. Did the patient elope, was she abducted, or was she murdered?

 

Murder on the Boardwalk by Lee StraussMurder on the Boardwalk by Lee Strauss:

Murder’s such a shock!

When Rosa Reed—aka WPC Reed of the Metropolitan Police—and her cousin Gloria decide to spend a fun-filled afternoon in 1956 at the fair on the boardwalk in Santa Bonita, California, they’re in for a shocking surprise. After a ride assistant’s death by electrocution is determined to be murder, Rosa finds herself entangled once again with her high school sweetheart, Detective Miguel Belmonte. Should she catch the next flight to London before she loses her heart again? Or worse, her life?

Deviant Souls by Amanda WilhelmDeviant Souls by Amanda Wilhelm:

Once I saw her, I had to have her.

Sam McIntyre had it all. Brilliant surgical career. Wealth. The begrudging respect of the best in the profession. Everything except someone to share it with.

Terri Malone is young, beautiful and a bit naïve. So what if Sam is a little possessive, a little pushy? Sam knows more about the world, about life, than Terri does. Of course Sam is going to make most of the decisions.

They look like the kind of couple everybody envies. The big house. The fabulous weekend getaways. The fast track to marriage and a family. As far as anyone knows, everything is perfect. And Sam will do whatever it takes to keep it that way.

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