Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for August 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 July 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, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, WWII mysteries, 1950s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, dystopian noir, police procedurals, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, romantic suspense, police officers, amateur sleuths, private investigators, FBI agents, prosecutors, kidnappers, assassins, amnesiacs, serial killers, perfect murders, arson, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting bakers, zombies 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 Cozy Little Murder by Beth ByersA Cozy Little Murder by Beth Byers:

September 1926.

Vi and Jack have settled into London for the fall, and they want nothing more than an excess of cocoa, coffee, good books, and time with friends.

They should, however, know better. Jack is brought into consult on a case in coziest of houses. Only all is not what it seems and no one is surprised when they find yet another body.

 

Never Surrender by Stacy ClaflinNever Surrender by Stacy Claflin:

Alex Mercer thought his worst days were behind him.

Instead, his life is falling apart from the seams. Again. While his marriage is on the brink of divorce, his daughter is once more the target of a potential abductor. Alex will do whatever it takes to keep her safe while working to get to the bottom of the infamous kidnapping ring once and for all.

He believes one of his superiors in the police department to be involved with the criminal mastermind, and he will do anything to prove it. But if his suspicions prove wrong, it will end his career. Alex must weed out friend from foe before his daughter disappears.

His focus is being pulled in so many directions, something is bound to fall through the cracks—and soon. If he can’t keep both his family and job intact, he will lose everything. And this time, there will be no salvaging any of it.

Pancakes and Parrots by Leena CloverPancakes and Parrots by Leena Clover:

Reunions Can Be Murder

The town of Pelican Cove is abuzz with gossip. The infamous class of 1988 is back home for their 30th reunion. It’s a time to indulge in nostalgia and take a trip down memory lane.

Everyone is eagerly awaiting the big event, the grand unveiling of the time capsule. But the gala dinner takes a morbid turn when a man is shot dead.

Petitioned by the grieving widow, local cafe owner Jenny King takes on the belligerent reunion delegates. As long buried secrets begin to surface, Jenny’s sleuthing abilities will be tested.

Meanwhile, the town folk are busy raising funds to help a terminally ill child.

Can Jenny battle a personal crisis, help a devastated mother and navigate petty high school rivalries while she hunts for the true killer?

If you like cozy mysteries with strong heroines, unexpected twists, yummy food and friendships that last a lifetime, you will love Pancakes and Parrots.

Run For Your Life by M.A. ComleyRun For Your Life by M.A. Comley:

Time doesn’t heal all wounds.

Five years ago they committed the most despicable crime imaginable.

They thought they were safe…but someone knows.

Has the hunter become the hunted?

DI Sara Ramsey and her team are tasked with solving one of their most complex cases to date – an elusive killer intent on committing the perfect murder.

What Lies Beneath by Adam CroftWhat Lies Beneath by Adam Croft:

A peaceful Sunday morning in Rutland is shattered when a dead body is discovered on the rocks at Normanton Church.

The victim has been laid out in a crucifixion pose, facing the altar. DI Caroline Hills is certain there’s a religious connection — one which threatens the tranquility of life in the area.

The killer has gone to extraordinary lengths to make the symbolism clear. And the deaths will continue until Caroline and DS Dexter Antoine uncover the truth behind the dark secret — and what lies beneath.

Gators and Garters by Jana DeleonGators and Garters by Jana Deleon:

‘Til death do us part?

Ida Belle, Fortune, and Gertie are gearing up for the big day—Ida Belle’s wedding to Walter—but when the caterer goes missing just a week before the big day, it puts a huge black mark on the joyous celebration. Molly Broussard is no stranger to being in the limelight, so when the former cage fighter turned in her boxing gloves for pots and pans, everyone who knew her was surprised…until they ate her food.

From all appearances, Molly took her boat out that day and simply never returned. An extensive search of the bayous finally produces the boat, but there is no sign of Molly. With no evidence of foul play, Sinful residents are ready to conclude that this is simply another tragic and all-too-common accident.

Nickel Bordelon spent half of his time in trouble and the other half paying for it. But one thing he knows for certain—Molly was murdered. When he asks Fortune to take the case, she isn’t sure there’s anything to find, but his emotional plea has her agreeing to look into it. As Swamp Team 3 begin their investigation, they find more layers to Molly’s disappearance than in Ida Belle’s wedding cake.

The Invisible by Seb DoubinskyThe Invisible by Seb Doubinsky:

It’s election time in New Babylon, and President Maggie Delgado is running for re-election but is threatened by the charismatic populist Ted Rust. Newly appointed City Commissioner Georg Ratner is given the priority task to fight the recent invasion of Synth in the streets of the capital, a powerful hallucinogen drug with a mysterious origin. When his old colleague asks him for help on another case and gets murdered, things become more and more complicated, and his official neutrality becomes a burden in the political intrigue he his gradually sucked into. Supported by Laura, his trustful life partner and the Egyptian goddess Nut, Ratner decides to fight for what he believes in, no matter the cost.

Listed Dead by Jan EdwardsListed Dead by Jan Edwards:

November 1940. The Battle of Britain has only just ended and the horror of the Blitz is reaching its height.

Two deaths in rapid succession on the Sussex Downs brings Bunch Courtney and Chief Inspector Wright together once more. What could possibly link a fatal auto accident with the corpse in a derelict shepherd’s hut? The only clue the pair have is a handwritten list of the members of a supper club that meets at London’s Café de Paris. Two of those on that list are now dead and the race is on to solve the mystery before any more end up on the mortuary slab.

Unraveled by Jordan EverettUnraveled by Jordan Everett:

Wanted: Effective killer. No experience necessary.

Kaden Rivera expected another dull shift at the restaurant. Instead, the 23-year-old left wearing her own blood.

An armed robber had attacked. She surprised everyone, including herself, by knocking him out. An impressed businessman offers a gig as an assassin, training included. The side job was supposed to be simple.

And it was, until her colleagues start dying. The boss is useless, and police aren’t an option. Her only help is her best friend and a new AI mouse that he dubbed her “assistant.” While still completing assignments, she plummets deeper into the criminal underworld—without her consent.

Her only choice is to claw her way out.

Curse a Brew Streak by Lily Harper HartCurse a Brew Streak by Lily Harper Hart:

Ofelia Archer is living the dream … or as close as seemingly possible.

She owns her own business, her father seems to be on an even keel, and her new relationship with Detective Zacharias Sully is cruising right along. Everything changes in an instant, though, when screams from the street lead to zombies running amok through the French Quarter.

Ofelia is a tough witch who takes no guff but even she is at a loss. Who is creating the zombies? Where are they coming from? They’re not rising from the dead as much as being bumped off and used as an invading army.

Sully wants to take control of the investigation but the higher-ups in the New Orleans Police Department assign the case to a new detective, much to his chagrin. That detective is keen to find answers. Unfortunately, he’s looking hard at Ofelia to find them.

Sully and Ofelia are going to have to work together to find answers. Their adventure will lead them from the French Quarter to the Garden District and beyond. Even then, when things start coalescing, gnashing teeth won’t be the worst of their problems.

Months ago they were two factions working on their own. Now they’re together, and stronger for it.

Not all the magic in the Big Easy is good. Some is evil … and the two sides are about to collide.

Price of Justice by Robin JamesPrice of Justice by Robin James:

Vicious felons are going free. Can one determined attorney stop them from slaughtering more innocents?

Sharp small-town prosecutor Mara Brent has a heart as big as it is tough. Smack in the middle of a scandal surrounding her corrupt ex-boss, she works relentlessly to put things back in order. But when past gross negligence threatens to free convicted criminals, Mara fears her tight-knit community will be plagued by sadistic serial killers.

Preparing for the legal fight of her career, Mara battles to keep a violent pair of brothers locked up. But when the bloodthirsty duo is suddenly released on bail, she finds herself in a race against time to stop their inevitable killing spree.

Will Mara put the brutal murderers back behind bars before she has innocent blood on her hands?

The Veil of Vengeance by Nora KaneThe Veil of Vengeance by Nora Kane:

The body of the curator of the museum is found in the museum. The only thing missing is a portrait, seemingly of barely any value. The most intriguing thing was the way the body was arranged, with nails shaped in crescent-shaped and a circle of salt around the body. Was it something to do with the occult?

But the big question was why would someone steal the almost worthless portrait when the museum was filled with priceless relics and artifacts.

But the big question was why would someone steal the almost worthless portrait when the museum was filled with priceless relics and artifacts.

Follow Salem Montgomery as she treads the dangerous paths in the sleepy town of Wolverine harbor to track the killer down.

Freaky Seas by Amanda M. LeeFreaky Seas by Amanda M. Lee:

Mystic Caravan Circus is heading to Charleston and – per usual – trouble is not far behind.

For Poet Parker, who is grappling with saying goodbye to her assistant, she’s looking forward to quiet nights on the beach and quality time with her boyfriend. All that changes when the sea starts giving up its dead … and they appear to be hungry.

Under normal circumstances, zombies wouldn’t be a big deal. They’re slow, lumbering, and easy to dispatch. This infestation is different … and they appear to be controlled by a strange creature long since thought extinct.

Gorgons were believed to be things of myth and legend but one is haunting the beaches of Charleston … in close proximity to the circus and a writer’s retreat. In fact, the nutty individuals spouting fantastical stories and trying to one-up one another in the bluff house overlooking the circus grounds are all suspects because one of them is controlling the gorgon. Finding the individual responsible for causing endless upheaval and death is no easy task, though.

Poet is a fighter but this battle is all-encompassing.

Not every monster is obvious. Sometimes they hide behind human faces.

This time Poet is going to have to wade through layers of darkness to find the light. Surviving to see the final sunrise will take them all working together … and even then they might not be strong enough to claim victory.

Darkness is coming. Will anyone survive to see the dawn?

It's Not Over by Willow RoseIt’s Not Over by Willow Rose:

Peter and Mary Marshall went on a vacation with their son and daughter but returned without their children. They went missing from their hotel room one night while the couple was downstairs in the restaurant for dinner.

They never saw them again.

Ten years later, the Marshalls have put the murder of their children behind them, moved to a different state, and had another child, a son.

When he disappears during a vacation trip to Florida, the parents are suddenly in the limelight again. Public opinion seems to be that this can be no coincidence. These things don’t happen twice to the same people, do they?

Former FBI-profiler, Eva Rae Thomas is doing well in her life, and things are calm until an FBI agent suddenly shows up, asking for her help with the case of the missing child.

The kidnapper seems to have a message for Eva Rae since she was the one who supposedly solved the case ten years ago.

As she digs into the disappearance of the boy, racing to save the child’s life, she realizes this psychopathic killer lurking in the shadows has unfinished business, and he’s not stopping till his debt is paid in full.

See How They Run by Julian ScottSee How They Run by Julian Scott:

A dead body in an alley. A hotel with a dark secret.

Olivia and Nate are back in Chicago for an FBI training. It’s supposed to be a relaxing trip away from the kids, but it isn’t long before they are pulled in to help investigate a recent murder. They quickly learn that the young woman found in the alley may not just be an innocent victim.

 

 

Murder at Brighton Beach by Lee StraussMurder at Brighton Beach by Lee Strauss:

Murder’s a Beach!

A family holiday turns deadly at Brighton Beach. When Ginger and Basil and their family check into the Brighton Beach Boutique Hotel on a lovely warm day in June of 1926, a shocking discovery upsets their plans to relax in the sun and surf. There’s a murderer amongst the holidayers: Is it the starlet? The earl? The disgruntled businessman?

In this Agatha Christie-style addition to the Ginger Gold Mystery series, not only will Ginger not finish her book, she and Basil might not get out of the hotel alive.

Murder on Location by Lee and Norm StraussMurder on Location by Lee and Norm Strauss:

Murder’s a wrap!

Private Investigator Rosa Reed has finally accepted that her girlhood romance with Detective Miguel Belmonte has no hope of being rekindled, but when his actress girlfriend gets embroiled in a murder on her movie set, it’s more than a movie schedule that’s upsetting. Can Rosa put aside matters of the heart long enough to help Miguel solve the case?

 

Burning Girl by Robb T. WhiteBurning Girl by Robb T. White:

Detective Riisa Jones is a new detective with her first case as lead investigator for the Gallion, Rhode Island P.D. It’s a bad one: the body of a young woman has been set ablaze in a dumpster behind a local tavern, well known to the cops. Some of her colleagues, including her own partner “Kaz,” a veteran cop nearing retirement, wouldn’t mind seeing her fail. Riisa’s first obstacle is identifying the body. Before long, she’s neck-deep in a case that twists out of her reach every time she follows a lead. Those dead ends are piling up and so is the pressure to solve this horrific case. Riisa finds herself digging past the lies of respectable people to uncover some dirty secrets, and she had better hurry because there are killers behind those liars who are watching and paying attention to her.

A Drowning in DulwichA Drowning in Dulwich by Lynda Wilcox:

London 1924.

Private enquiry agent Lady Eleanor Bakewell looks forward to a relaxing few days at the Cuthbert Health and Beauty Clinic, where Irene, the owner, claims to have rediscovered the beauty secrets of Ancient Egypt.

But, when Irene is drowned in the clinic’s exotic Egyptian pool the pampering has to stop.

Convinced her death is murder, and that everyone in the house has a motive, Eleanor must uncover more than just beauty secrets if she is to bring a killer to justice.

Unshakeable Faith by Lisa WorrallUnshakeable Faith by Lisa Worrall:

“I have no idea who I am.”

Brody Tyler is the owner of a successful bar in San Antonio. Life is good. All that’s missing is someone to share it with. When a desperate stranger walks into the bar with no memory of who he is, Brody knows he must help him. Offering him a job and a place to say seems the right thing to do. Falling in love with him is easy.

Nash, a name he picked himself, is lost when he walks into Brody’s bar. He’d spent the last three months in hospital and had been left with no memory and nowhere to go. Brody’s offer of a job and a place to stay is insane – but Nash instinctively knows he can trust him. Falling in love with his white knight, however, is unexpected.

When tragedy strikes, their perfect world comes crashing down around them. In a twist of fate and mistaken identity, Brody finds himself Nash’s protector once more and he will do anything to keep him safe.

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