Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for November 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 October 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, holiday mysteries, historical mysteries, Victorian mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, paranormal mysteries, Steampunk mysteries, hardboiled mysteries, noir, police procedurals, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, psychological thrillers, domestic thrillers, action thrillers, spy thrillers, horror thrillers, police officers, FBI agents, amateur sleuths, private investigators, lawyers, spies, thieves, terrorists, organised crime, heists, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting seamstresses, crime-busting psychics, murder in Scotland, Belfast, Wyoming, Virginia, Los Angeles, Australia, the Seychelles 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 After Midnight by Liam AsheMurder After Midnight by Liam Ashe:

Notorious profiteer Gustafson Graves has everything a man with great wealth could expect—a lavish estate, a king’s ransom in precious metals and too many enemies to count. With the Great War now just a memory, he hides from his past behind the closely guarded doors at River’s End. Justice, however, will not be denied. As the clock strikes twelve, Graves’ past comes calling with brutal results.

A bloody corpse, a houseful of suspects, a missing fortune and a locked room. Sleuth and former spy Mafalda Marchand claims nothing is beyond her legendary intuition, but in this impossible murder has she finally met her match?

A Fraying of Schemes by Blythe BakerA Fraying of Schemes by Blythe Baker:

Forced to stay at a local hotel while their home undergoes repairs, Iris and Lily Dickinson find themselves uncomfortably close to a violent crime. Risking a potential stain upon their reputations, the sisters delve into the deadly secrets of the hotel’s inhabitants.

With the guilty party determined to evade capture, will the Dickinson sisters uncover the truth – or be buried with it?

 

 

They're Gone by E.A. BarresThey’re Gone by E.A. Barres:

Two women’s husbands are murdered on the same night in the same way–and their investigation uncovers a terrifying connection.

Two men from vastly different backgrounds are murdered one after another on the same night, in the same fashion with two bullet wounds: one in the head, another in the heart. The two slayings sends their wives on a desperate search for answers–and a desperate attempt to save their families’ lives.

Grief takes a heavy toll on northern Virginia freelance editor Deb Linh Thomas when she learns of her husband’s murder. And utter dismay sets in when, just a week after the funeral, she discovers that he had been the subject of an FBI investigation after withdrawing a large sum of money from their shared accounts.

Elsewhere, Baltimore bartender Cessy Castillo is less bereft when her abusive husband, ex-cop Hector Ramirez, is killed. But it turns out that he was deep in hock–and now Cessy’s expected to pay up.

Deb and the FBI agent assigned to her case start digging into her husband’s murder and learn that he had been the target of criminals. As Deb and Cessy join forces to learn the truth, their investigation reveals an ever-darker web of clues, but if they’re not careful, they may just end up like their husbands

The Reluctant Witness by S.L. BeaumontThe Reluctant Witness by S.L. Beaumont:

In the weeks leading to Christmas, Liam McArvey, lead singer of The Fury, falls for enigmatic Bella, a waitress at his local café. However, little does he know that she is hiding a dangerous secret. After a photograph of the couple, taken outside a London recording studio, surfaces on the internet, Bella panics and prepares to move on.

But Liam enlists his friend, and sometimes sleuth, Stephanie Cooper, to help Bella unravel events in her past. Together, they uncover a crime within a crime, and Bella must decide where her loyalties lie.

The Reluctant Witness introduces new characters into the Carlswick world along with some old favorites and can be read as a standalone.

The Trouble at Turtle Beach by Carrie BedfordThe Trouble at Turtle Beach by Carrie Bedford:

ROMANTIC GETAWAY BUZZKILL:
DEATH NEVER TAKES A HOLIDAY!

Harried, overworked architect Kate Benedict has no sooner stepped off the ferry to a tiny, remote island in Seychelles, primed to de-stress and celebrate at a destination wedding, than she spots imminent danger – auras spinning above the heads of two people on the dock. One’s a stranger, but the other’s the groom!

Kate has a gift – or possibly a curse. Unfortunately for her, she can predict death. When she sees the spinning circle of air above someone’s head, her heart sinks. She calls it an aura, and unless she can locate the source of danger and intervene, the person is destined to die within a matter of days.

But since the potential victim must be convinced of the danger, usually there’s no way to intervene with a stranger. When the second man is found drowned, Kate knows she has to tell her boyfriend Josh that the groom, Josh’s close friend from college, has an aura.

It’s hard to convince Josh’s friends that a murderer is lurking among the gracious islanders, the chill tourists, and serene natural beauty – but with a suspicious fire and a third aura sighting, the evidence is mounting. Until they can find the murderer, Kate and Josh have to keep the groom safe and fend off the worst wedding crasher ever – Death!

Silver Bells and Murder by Beth ByersSilver Bells and Murder by Beth Byers:

December 1926

Violet and Jack take the train to Scotland with their friends for the holidays only to arrive and realize that the village has been exposed to scarlet fever. Given the delicate babies in their family, they determine to insulate themselves at the lodge they’d taken.

Nearly desperate for some peace and holiday cheer, they intend nothing but lolling by the fire, diving into cupfuls of eggnog, and feasting.

Only, once again, they discover a body. The worst of it is that they were alone at the lodge when the crime was committed. Is it possible that one of them is the killer? Join Vi and friends as they determine their loyalties and hunt a murderer.

Misjudges by James ChandlerMisjudged by James Chandler:

Sam Johnstone was hoping for renewal when he took a job at a boutique law firm in rustic Wyoming. The mountains and streams of the west would be a refreshing, quiet place to start over after years of war and turmoil in his personal life.

But after a local woman is brutally murdered, Sam realizes that things aren’t so quiet in this rural American town. The accused is one Tommy Olsen, a known delinquent who had been sleeping with the victim. Sam is repulsed by the crime and wants nothing to do with the case, but meets with Tommy to make sure he has legal representation.

Yet things are not as they seem.

What begins as a cut-and-dry case becomes infinitely more complicated as new facts are uncovered, and Sam agrees to serve as Tommy’s defense attorney.

With the killer’s identity still unknown, Sam is enveloped in the small-town politics and courtroom drama of a murder investigation that keeps getting more shocking.

But if Sam can’t uncover the truth, an innocent man might be punished…while the real killer watches from the shadows.

Tales From a Scarygirl Two: Darkly Sinister by Marie Anne CopeTales From a Scarygirl Two: Darkly Sinister by Marie Anne Cope:

THEY WALK BESIDE YOU. THEY SHARE YOUR BED. THEY EVEN KISS YOUR KIDS GOODNIGHT.
Are you SURE you know your friends and family as well as you think you do?

These Darkly Sinister tales will challenge your view of those closest to you as they delve into the minds of a selection of murderers; all calm and composed on the outside, but harbouring depths of depravity within.

When someone says, ‘I love you’, have you considered the small print if you were to sign? When you make a desperate call for help, can you trust the person who responds? And, when you chase that adrenaline rush, have you considered the price may be your life?

In Darkly Sinister, volume two of Tales From A Scarygirl, Marie Anne Cope takes you on a journey to discover the wickedness of the human psyche and how, when it comes to being scared, you should look at those close by.

If you enjoy spine tingling short stories that leave you unsettled and feeling uneasy, Marie Anne Cope’s latest collection, encompassing the darkness of Stephen King and the visceral gore of Jack Ketchum, is the very reason you will sleep with the lights on.

Tooting Moon by Brigid GeorgeTooting Moon by Brigid George:

A Dusty Kent mystery by an Amazon Best Selling author!

In one of Brigid George’s most ingenious mysteries, Dusty Kent must expose a killer of women.

Beautiful Tiri Welsh and her husband Blake Montgomery were iconic Hollywood stars adored by millions around the world. All that changed one dark night in the Indian Ocean, when Tiri drowned under mysterious circumstances. The truth behind her death was never uncovered.

For seventeen years, Tiri’s sister fought tirelessly to expose Montgomery as his wife’s murderer. Finally, she turns to Dusty Kent

Dusty travels to Broome, Western Australia where the actor now lives aboard his private yacht. She is immediately suspicious of Blake Montgomery, suspecting his urbane charm hides a sinister side. However, to get to the truth, Tiri’s is not the only mysterious death Dusty will need to solve.

Wicked Wedding by Lily Harper HartWicked Wedding by Lily Harper Hart:

You are formally invited to the wedding of Ivy Morgan and Jack Harker.

Before they walk down the aisle, though, there’s one more mystery to solve.

Ivy, who is finishing up the last days of her community service, inserts herself into a tense situation when the alarm at the domestic violence shelter she is working at sounds and she goes off to make sure all the women and children are accounted for. She expects a malfunction. What she gets is a violent man trying to remove his daughter from the facility. She reacts out of instinct … and magically thwarts the attempt.

Unfortunately for her, that’s only the beginning.

Because the man managed to escape, Ivy and Jack find themselves working together to track him down. On top of that, since the location of the building is supposed to be a secret, it appears an insider might be selling information.

More than anything, Ivy and Jack want to slide into happily ever after. However, neither of them can rest until they’re sure those most vulnerable are safe.

Ivy’s powers are growing. Her relationship with Jack was always destined to be. They’re both about to get everything they ever wanted … as long as they survive to make it down the aisle.

The big day is finally here.

An Enigma in Silver by Simon HaynesAn Enigma in Silver by Simon Haynes:

England, 1871. A quiet country village is rocked by murder. Police have no leads and no clues, apart from the grisly state of the victim’s body.

Evidence points to a supernatural killer, but Professor Twickham is curiously reluctant to lend his assistance.

Roberta, his daughter, has no such qualms, and she involves me in the case as well… only to turn around and abandon me for a sick friend.

Now I must unmask the vicious killer on my own, but had I only known the truth, I’d never have got involved…

This standalone novel is the second title in the Mysteries in Metal gaslamp fantasy series.

The Almost Good Witch by Erin HussThe Almost Good Witch by Erin Huss:

Abigail was your average evil witch, complete with the hat, the cat, the cackle, and the bad habit of turning people into slugs on a whim. Cursed with eternal life because of a hex gone wrong many centuries ago, Abigail spent her days exacting revenge on those she found to be the vilest of humans, from evil dictators to shoppers who didn’t return their grocery carts.

The line between good and annoying may have gotten blurred over the years.

Sick of spending immortality frozen at the age of twenty-five, Abigail does the only thing she can—turn herself into the Supernatural Crimes Department. Now she’s a member of Dark Magic Anonymous with a three year probation and a parole officer who is annoyingly powerful and more annoyingly cute.

Oh, and she’s traded in her broomstick for a Prius.

After centuries of being evil, Abigail struggles with entering the workforce and being good. But that pesky probation means one slip up will result in a life sentence. She’s not about to let that happen, and things are going well until her boss turns up dead with all evidence pointing to her.

Will Abigail be able to maintain her new good witch ways while she hunts a killer, or will she slip up and spend the rest of forever behind bars?

Resident Spy by Ethan JonesResident Spy by Ethan Jones:

When terrorists attack a black site, they burn it down and kill everyone, except for two CIA operatives who disappear. Were they kidnapped, killed, or complicit?

As the CIA’s foreign liaison, spymaster Justin Hall is called in. He’s not in the best physical or mental state, a fact he’s hiding from almost everyone.

A fact that could dangerously affect the entire mission.

Alone, with no evidence, no leads, and enemies on all sides, Justin must find out what happened. All before the terrorists use the ill-gotten intel to attack other black sites and free the detainees the agency has worked so hard to capture. Fighting on all sides, including his own, will Justin survive the overwhelming odds against him?

Behind Closed Doors by Phillip JordanBehind Closed Doors by Phillip Jordan:

A VIOLENT KILLING. A SUSPECT OFFERING NO DEFENCE. AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE?

Detective Inspector Veronica Taylor is summoned to assist in the aftermath of a horrific domestic incident.

With the suspect offering no opposition to the charges and with witness testimony and his own violent history stacking up against him, the charge officer deems the case open and shut.

As the victim’s influential Mother pressures her police contacts for a quick resolution and with only one lone dissenting voice speaking out, Taylor guided by her own intuition must uncover the circumstances leading up to the tragic events that played out BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS is an introduction to Detective Inspector Veronica Taylor and the gripping Belfast crime series.

Explore the historic yet infamous city of Belfast in this lightning-fast police procedural from a new voice in British and Irish crime fiction that will keep you hooked until its shocking conclusion.

Eggnog, Extortion and Evergreens by Tonya KappesEggnog, Extortion and Evergreens by Tonya Kappes:

Welcome to Normal, Kentucky~ where nothing is normal. A Campers and Criminal Mystery Series is another brainchild of USA Today Bestselling Author Tonya Kappes. If you love her quirky southern characters and small town charm with a mystery to solve, you’re going to love her new cozy mystery series!

Mae West is busy this Christmas season. She’s running around Normal getting the town ready for the first Winter Festival, which she hopes will become an annual event for the tourist town.

The freshly fallen snow sure does make the Daniel Boone National Park beautiful and ready for Santa’s arrival, but it also makes the curvy roads through the forest very slick. Unfortunately, Mae finds out just how slick the roads are after her car slides off the road and hits a tree, putting Mae into a deep coma.

Mae is one of the lucky patients who does wake up and happy to celebrate Christmas with family and friends.

One of the patients in the emergency room with Mae didn’t die that night of natural causes, and Hank Sharp has himself a new homicide case on his hands.

Mae starts having memories about the fire that took her family and a memory of a murder plot that she thinks happened when she was in her coma. Only, she’s having a hard time distinguishing between the two memories and the clues seem to have blurred lines. There’s one thing she does know for sure, both incidents come with clues that neither were accidents.

Once again, Mae West with the help of the Laundry Club Ladies put on their ameatur sleuth cap to help solve the mystery of the murders before the killer sends her Christmas gift she can’t return.

The Witch Is Back by Amanda M. LeeThe Witch Is Back by Amanda M. Lee:

Bay Winchester is living the high life. She’s engaged, owns her own business, and is undergoing a magical transformation, complete with growing powers at every turn. All that changes when a local teenager goes missing at a festival and nobody knows who took her.

The girl’s friends saw the abduction but the description they provide doesn’t match anybody in town. The only other witness is Marcus, her cousin Thistle’s boyfriend, and he was seriously injured in the attack and can’t provide additional information.

Bay is determined to solve the case, although she’s not sure where to look. On top of that, her normal partner in crime is otherwise engaged, which means her mother has decided to tag along for the ride.

Bay is the sort of witch who is willing to put herself on the line to save those who need saving. Unfortunately, this time around, the answers she finds only lead to more questions. On top of that, her great-aunt Willa and cousin Rosemary have arrived in town out of nowhere and they seem to be harboring their own secrets, and it’s something that could change the entire trajectory of Bay’s life.

The Winchesters are loyal, and it’s going to take all of them working together to solve this one. It seems new magic is afoot, and whoever is wielding it is deadly.

Magic, mystery and mayhem are about to collide. Batten down the hatches. The Winchesters are about to take you on a wild ride.

Murder on Holiday Lane by London LovettMurder on Holiday Lane by London Lovett:

It’s a warm and sunny Christmas season in Los Angeles. Things are slow at the Starfire Detective Agency, but Poppy is sure things will pick up after the holidays. When a pretty young starlet who works part-time as an elf at Santa’s Workshop on Holiday Lane is murdered, Poppy’s close friend, the up and coming director, Wyatt Blaze, becomes a prime suspect. Wyatt needs Poppy’s help to find the real killer. Gossip travels fast in Tinseltown and an arrest, even a false arrest, will destroy Wyatt’s career for good.

Now Poppy must start from the very beginning to find out just who had it out for the elf. Is it possible Santa himself is behind the diabolical deed?

Alter Ego by K.A. MassonAlter Ego by K.A. Masson:

Pounding on the door. My seven-year-old son shaking me awake. My head fuzzy with sleeping pills. The hallway flashing with blue light. This morning my life will change forever.

Alex Kendrew is juggling single parenthood, work and dating; with a wild, impetuous streak that’s hard to keep in check, she struggles to find a balance and feels perpetually guilty for the choices she makes.

In K.A. Masson’s domestic noir thriller, Alex begins a passionate affair when an old flame gets in touch. But one morning, the police arrest her for his attempted murder. Someone is framing her; can she prove her innocence as the evidence mounts against her?

Eight Cylinders by Jason ParentEight Cylinders by Jonathan Parent:

Sebastian “Seb” McAlister has run out of luck in Vegas. Cornered by a trigger-happy gang and shot through the stomach, he makes a desperate escape in his supercharged Hellcat. Fate guides Seb safely out of Sin City and into the desert, but as his wheels fade into the horizon, he fades into darkness.

He awakes among a tiny community in the middle of nowhere. A mountain range circles the hodgepodge of shacks like prison walls looming high. And the warden that resides in those mountains is big, ugly, and deadly—a creature straight out of a Lovecraftian nightmare.

If Seb hopes to escape that wayward way station, he’ll need enough cunning to outwit a force beyond comprehension… and a fast car. With a little luck and a ragtag group of would-be monster mashers racing alongside him, Seb just might have a shot of making it through the mountains alive.

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

Not Dead Yet by Willow RoseNot Dead Yet by Willow Rose:

Has former FBI-profiler Eva Rae Thomas finally gotten herself in deeper than she can handle?

When the body of Nancy Henry is pulled out of the water of Sykes Creek by two local fishermen, they soon realize she’s not dead.

Not yet.

Before she disappeared, Nancy Henry appeared to have everything: a successful husband who adored her, two beautiful children, a modeling career, and a charming home in south Merritt Island with a heart wreath on the door.

Now that she is back five years later, everything has changed. Her husband is with another wife, and her children are almost grown.

Everywhere she turns, people are telling her the same thing: We thought you were dead.

What happened to her?

Nancy claims she doesn’t know where she has been. She remembers nothing after a blow to her head. She doesn’t want to talk to the investigation team lead by former FBI-profiler Eva Rae Thomas, who has agreed to help with this bizarre case.

The sheriff’s office soon wants to give up on the case, but Eva Rae doesn’t quite believe in quitting. She sees fear in Nancy Henry’s eyes that makes her think she is lying to them, maybe to protect herself.

What secrets is she carrying?

To get to the truth, Eva Rae must get to the bottom of what really happened on that night five years ago when Nancy Henry disappeared from her home in what looked like a home intrusion. But the past isn’t always easy to dig up, especially not when someone wants it to stay hidden and will go to great lengths to make sure it does.

Someone obviously tried to kill Nancy Henry. Will they come back to finish what they started?

The Diamond Device by M.H. ThaungThe Diamond Device by M.H. Thaung:

After diamond power promises to replace steam, an unemployed labourer and a thieving noble unite to foil an international plot and avert a war.

Alf Wilson resents the new technology that cost him his factory job, especially as his clockwork leg bars him from army enrolment. He daren’t confess his unemployment to his overbearing mother. Desperate over the rent, he ends up in a detention cell with a hangover.

Impoverished Lord Richard Hayes maintains his expensive parliamentary seat by a mixture of charm and burglary. During a poorly planned break-in, he inadvertently witnesses a kidnapping. To cap it all, the police arrest him for the crime. At least he’s using a fake identity. The real criminals make off with not just the professor who discovered diamond power, but her plans for a diamond-fuelled bomb.

When Rich encounters Alf in the neighbouring cell, he sees an opportunity to keep his noble reputation intact. He persuades Alf he’s a secret agent who needs an assistant. This chance association will take them to the oddest locations. But law-abiding Alf’s first assignment? Break Rich out of jail.

The Boy in the Gutter by John TriptychThe Boy in the Gutter by John Triptych:

1947: While Los Angeles is mesmerized by the sensational Black Dahlia murder, an Asian boy’s mutilated body is found in a back alley of Chinatown. With the thoroughly corrupt LAPD unwilling to devote their already strained resources to cracking the case, it seems this grisly crime is destined to remain unsolved.

Tommy “Dapper” Luoo, a Chinese American college student, has dreams of becoming a private detective. Incensed and frustrated by the police’s lack of concern, he decides to help his community by finding out what truly happened.

But all is not what it seems as Dapper is drawn into a web of deceit and danger at every turn. For the City of Angels hides a dark underworld, where devils prey upon the damned and the desperate. Dapper is undaunted however, and he’ll keep on digging for answers, even if it kills him.

If you like hardboiled detective fiction with equal helpings of James Ellroy, Walter Mosley, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and Dashiell Hammett, check out this newest crime noir novel by John Triptych. CAUTION: mature themes.

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