Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for July 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 June 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, animal mysteries, culinary mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, paranormal mysteries, fantasy mysteries, hardboiled mysteries, noir, police procedurals, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, science fiction thrillers, police officers, amateur sleuths, private investigators, forensic linguists, smugglers, kidnappers, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting cats, deadly cupcakes 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:

Book of Dark Magic by Sara BourgeoisBook of Dark Magic by Sara Bourgeois

When Richard Jordan is found dead in the woods outside of Coventry, the town’s reputation for being paranormal is put into the spotlight.

Richard wasn’t just murdered. The person who found him was shocked by what looked like a Satanic ritual murder.

Suddenly, the town’s regular tourism starts to dry up. In its place is a flood of weirdos and wannabe Satanists who are there to finish the ritual they believe Richard’s murder began.

Is this the apocalyptic scenario that Kinsley was prophesied to stop? Or, did someone want the town drunk dead and used a bunch of dark magical items to make it look paranormal?

What about the mysterious black book that shows up on Kinsley’s doorstep? Does it hold the key to solving the crime, or does it represent something far more sinister?

Come along as Kinsley and friends solve this crime one spell at a time!

A Treasured Little Murder by Beth ByersA Treasured Little Murder by Beth Byers:

August 1926

Jack and Ham’s first solo case is placed on pause just as the tale of a treasure is brought to light. ??As the case progresses, Vi and Rita dive in, and somehow it becomes a competition between the two couples. Things, however, take a sideways turn and the couples must unite and work together to protect all they hold dear.

Book TWENTY-THREE in the Violet Carlyle Mysteries. Are you ready for the roaring twenties? You’ll love Vi, her patient husband Jack, her indulgent twin Vic, and their friends.

Deadland Sentinel by J.N. Chaney and Ell Leigh ClarkeDeadland Sentinel by J.N. Chaney and Ell Leigh Clarke:

With the trafficking ring obliterated, Jack turns his attention to wiping out the dregs of the criminal empire.

But when he arrives to take out a particular scumbag, he only finds the man’s corpse.
And he’s missing a shoe.

As the investigation begins, Jack surmises he has either stumbled into a conspiracy or there’s a serial killer on the loose. The team must mobilize to figure out exactly what is going on.

Corruption, kidnapping, and life as they know it all collide as the group comes up against deadly elements within the very organizations they were sworn to protect.

With their own lives in the balance, and the integrity of the Union government at stake, it’s a race against the clock to figure out who the players are and how to bring them down.

All without being taken out themselves.

The Contract by William ColemanThe Contract by William Coleman:

Once a decorated cop, Hawke has fallen from grace and has turned private investigator to make ends meet. His first case is a simple one: follow the woman, Maddie, and get pictures of her having an affair.

But nothing is that simple. Hawke is forced to intervene when the Maddie is almost kidnapped right in front of him. When it happens again, Hawke switches from stalker with a camera to bodyguard with a gun.

The lawyer who hired him is not satisfied with the outcome or that Hawke is looking into who is responsible for the abduction attempts. He threatens Hawke to get him to back down, something not in the investigator’s nature.

To protect Maddie, Hawke must take her along while following the few leads he has to identify who is responsible and why. The closer they get to the truth the more danger they find themselves in.

Will they find who is out to get Maddie before it’s too late?

Cash Up Front by Mike FaricyCash Up Front by Mike Faricy:

Dev Haskell takes his ‘friend with benefits’ Heidi, out to dinner. His late night plans are suddenly put on hold when failed criminal, Tommy Benedetti shows up and forces Heidi into a stretch limo. Benedetti gives Heidi $200,000. Gee, $200,000 in cash, what could possibly go wrong?
There’s only one thing to do and Dev sets out to build a ‘working relationship’with FBI agent Candi Mangle

Another incredibly bizarre Dev Haskell read… Multiple tales wrapped into one crazy adventure.

 

Wicked Games by Lily Harper HartWicked Games by Lily Harper Hart

Ivy Morgan knew she was in for a world of hurt when she was sentenced to community service. She had no idea just how bad things were going to be, though. On her first day of picking up trash along the roadside, one of her crew members stumbles over a body, and it happens to belong to someone she knows.

Sasha Carmichael was described as a “good girl” and nobody can figure out how she ended up alone in the woods, so close to a road and help, and abandoned. When Jack Harker and his partner start digging down, though, some dark possibilities come to the surface.

It seems Sasha had ties to more than one person on Ivy’s work crew, which means Shadow Lake’s favorite witch is working with a killer. Finding the guilty party is difficult, especially given the way her crew chief is watching her.

If Ivy sticks even one toe out of line, her community service could be extended. That means her wedding is on the brink and her honeymoon might be lost. Jack isn’t about to let either of those scenarios happen.

It’s going to take both of them working together to solve the crime, and even then nothing is guaranteed.

Hang on to your hats, because murder has come to Shadow Lake and this killer might not be done … by a long shot.

Cutthroat Cupcakes by Cate LawleyCutthroat Cupcakes by Cate Lawley:

Killer cupcakes

Seems improbable to Lina, but when an attractive detective snaps cuffs on her and accuses her of witchy crimes she’s forced to reconsider.

The murder weapon? A cupcake topper sold in Lina’s shop, Sticky, Tricky Treats.
The method? A killing curse.
The curse’s origin? Lina…sort of.

Except Lina hadn’t a clue that she was a witch, and certainly didn’t know she’d accidentally cursed some of her confections.
She’s got to catch the killer who’s used her magic to murder or face a conviction as an accessory.
Now, if only the wizard detective assigned to the case weren’t such a distraction.

Cutthroat Cupcakes is a magical witch culinary cozy with a touch of romance, the first of three books in the Cursed Candy Mysteries series!

Brewing up a Storm by Amanda M. LeeBrewing Up a Storm by Amanda M. Lee:

Storm season has hit Moonstone Bay and with it comes a whole lot of trouble.

Hadley Hunter thinks she’s ready for what’s to come, but she’s not. Before the storms can wreak havoc on her life, though, she has something even more frightening to deal with … lunch with her boyfriend Galen Blackwood’s mother.

Despite her best intentions, things don’t go as smoothly as Hadley envisioned. Before she has a chance to deal with that, though, the storms bring another surprise in the form of an unconscious woman on the beach and a yacht that keeps appearing (and then disappearing) with each subsequent storm.

Hadley can’t wrap her head around what’s happening, especially when news breaks regarding the identity of the individual who was found in front of the lighthouse. It seems she’s the wife of a very rich and powerful man … who disappeared a year before. In addition to that, the couple had two daughters with them at the time their boat fell off the map. What happened to them?

It’s a race against time for Hadley and her motley band of paranormal friends. They must find the yacht and uncover every horrible secret one family has managed to bury beneath a deep blue sea … and they have to do it with a monster on their tails.

At the heart of almost every family is love. At the heart of this one is despair. Somehow, Hadley will have to overcome her worst fears to become the best witch she possibly can.

Here’s hoping she’s up to the challenge.

The Collector by John MaherThe Collector by John Maher:

They say human life is the most precious thing. The Collector doesn’t agree.

When world renowned archaeologist Philip Carlton suddenly and unexpectedly commits suicide, the police are called to investigate. Heading up the investigation is Detective Lucy O’Hara, a Forensic Linguist – and she immediately sees something is wrong with the suicide note. In her gut, she knows this was cold-blooded murder.

Battling sceptical superiors and the Irish establishment, Lucy digs for the truth and begins to uncover a shadowy trade in ancient artifacts led by a mysterious figure known only as ‘The Collector’.

As Lucy works to uncover his identity, she soon realises she is up against a ruthless mastermind who is systematically eliminating anyone who might lead her to him. But Lucy won’t give up and soon The Collector turns his attention to her…

The Collector – the first in a gripping new series featuring Detective Lucy O’Hara.

No Little Lies by A.B. PlumNo Little Lies by A.B. Plum

Burying memories sharp enough to raise a welt on the heart can work.

Or not.

Ask Ryn Davis. The adult daughter of a former high-class prostitute, she knows chronic, long-term insomnia reduces repression as a preferred coping technique. Still, she relies on denial.

A phone call from a stranger claiming her mother was murdered twenty years ago turns her life inside out. The reappearance of a forgotten childhood friend exposes buried and forgotten memories. Lies and half-truths torpedo her shaky world.

In this fast-paced psychological thriller, the suspense ratchets up. A psychopath’s ever-present memories drive him to exact revenge for Ryn’s lies about the past. His terrifying game of cat and mouse pit him against her where she is most vulnerable. His ties to organized crime make him even more dangerous.

Who is in control? What really happened to her mother? Why can’t Ryn remember?

Is facing her past the path to survival or death?

Lacey and Alex: The Dagger of Ill Repute by V.R. TapscottLacey and Alex: The Dagger of Ill Repute by V.R. Tapscott

Talking Plants, Explosions, Gunfire, Mayhem,
Magic and a Hint of Romance.

Lacey & Alex, roommates in San Francisco, are a barista and a cook by day. By night though, Lacey is a part time private investigator and Alex talks to plants. And they talk back.

In this book, they get dragged into hunting for a lost dagger. Of course, it winds up being so much more than simply a lost dagger.

The pair spend a couple of action-filled weeks travelling from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Barstow to Vegas and all parts between in their hunt for the elusive artifact.

They meet up with loose cannon Stevie and step it up a notch with exploding cars and tension of a whole nother kind, as she makes it clear what she thinks of Lacey.

Olive from Jane Bond shows up with a little tiny insignificant part (heh) and Jane herself has a cameo.

Join Lacey & Alex and Stevie as they have the adventure of a lifetime! Talking plants, explosions, gunfire, mayhem, magic and a little bit of romance all enter the picture before the end, in this slightly humorous, slightly serious, and always fun mystery.

Northtown Blitz by Robert WhiteNorthtown Blitz by Robert White

“With his usual razor-sharp writing Robert White takes us further into the world of Northtown & Raimo Jarvi in this second book of what is fast turning out to be a must-read series.”

Fresh from the success of his last case we find Raimo Jarvi reaping the benefits of his new-found status as a private detective who gets results.

Bella Cinciarelli was the eldest of three of sisters, all of them famous as high school beauties back in the day, and now one of them is dead. The coroner ruled the death natural causes but Bella is convinced her sister was murdered and she wants Raimo’s help to prove it and bring the murderer to justice.

The problems begin when Raimo realises Bella’s main suspect is her brother-in-law, James delCorelli – lawyer, businessman and county commissioner – a powerful man, a man with powerful friends, and as Raimo soon discovers – not a man you want to get on the wrong side of.

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