Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for May 2021


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 April 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, historical mysteries, Regency mysteries, 1940s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, hardboiled mysteries, science fiction mysteries, crime thrillers, action thrillers, pulp thrillers, legal thrillers, horror thrillers, noir, police officers, amateur sleuths, private investigators, lawyers, assassins, con artists, missing persons, wrongful accusations, kidnappings, cold cases, masked crimefighters, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting psychics, deadly divorces, deadly honeymoons, murder and mayhem in New York City, Chicago, Miami, Louisiana, Northhamptonshire, India 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:

Tales of the Silencer: The Complete Series by Cora BuhlertTales of the Silencer: The Complete Series by Cora Buhlert

Hardworking pulp writer by day and steel-masked crimefighter by night, the Silencer fights criminal low-lives and larger-than-life master villains in the streets of Depression era New York City. Together with his beautiful fiancée Constance Allen and pickpocket turned butler Neal Cassidy, Richard Blakemore a.k.a. the Silencer keeps the city safe from those criminals the law cannot catch.

This series of high octane adventure stories by two-time Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert is an homage to the heroic pulp crimefighters of the 1930s such as the Shadow, the Spider and Doc Savage as well as the writers who brought them to life.

This complete omnibus edition of 112000 words or approximately 375 print pages collects the entire Silencer series.

In Cold Blood by Adam CroftIn Cold Blood by Adam Croft:

A body is found under Welland Viaduct on a bitterly cold winter morning. But this will be a murder investigation like no other.

As DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine begin to unravel the dark secrets in the victim’s life, they find themselves sucked into a web of lies and betrayal.

Rutland Police need to find the killer before it’s too late. But with Caroline’s health failing and their main witness suspiciously missing, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Dark histories, mysterious gifts and hidden secrets abound. But will they discover the truth before anyone else is killed in cold blood?

The Invisible Body by Jenny CuttsThe Invisible Body by Jenny Cutts:

A strange ability. A discovered corpse. But will his supernatural sleuthing skills lead him into a killer’s trap?

England, 1990. Reed has travelled his whole life in search of someone who understands him. So he’s thrilled when his journey brings him to free-spirited Zoya, who shares his rare ability to dream-walk. But after his gift leads him to a hidden corpse, he becomes the prime suspect in the murder.

Despite the setback, Reed resolves to use his power to help crack the case.

When the real perpetrator delivers a violent threat, he’s tempted to give up, slip into his camper van and hit the road again. After all, who would miss him?

Will Reed flee the tiny seaside town and abandon his new friends – or will he risk everything to expose the murderer?

The Invisible Body is the first book of The Falling Awake Mysteries, a captivating, character-led series that blends amateur sleuth crime story with an exploration of human connection. If you like compelling characters, seaside settings and a hint of the paranormal, then you’ll love Jenny Cutts’ intriguing novel.

Frightfully Fortune by Jana DeLeonFrightfully Fortune by Jana DeLeon:

Rest when you’re dead?

It’s time for the annual Halloween festival in Sinful, and Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie can’t wait to suit up and enjoy the food and activities. But when a dead man gallops through the park on a black stallion and slides to a decapitated stop right in front of Swamp Team 3, they know another festival is about to be turned on its head…so to speak.

Gil Forrest never won any popularity contests and his dramatic and somewhat horrifying ride isn’t going to improve his statistics. But since his body was supposed to be tucked away in a funeral home, no one could explain how it ended up on a horse in the middle of the festival. Everything about the set-up is strange and Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie suspect there is more to the Headless Horseman ride than just a tasteless prank. And they plan to find out what it is.

Dotty Digs Deep by Diane EzzardDotty Digs Deep by Diane Ezzard:

People are dying at the care home but are the deaths natural or is a serial killer on the loose?

Dotty’s grandma, Grace is persuaded to move into Willowbank Lodge retirement home when her memory and her physical condition worsen.

Then her new friend, Tomas disappears and is found dead.

When other deaths occur, Dotty and her friend Dave, the gay private investigator, wonder if there is something more sinister afoot.

Dotty and Dave dig deep to uncover the truth.
What really happened to Tomas?
Is Willowbank Lodge a dangerous place to live?

Dotty finds out more than she bargains for when she unravels the past lives of the staff and residents.

This is book 7 in the Dotty Drinkwater Mystery series but can be read as a standalone.

Before He Wakes by Max Allan GunnellsBefore He Wakes by Max Allan Gunnells:

Patrick and Clare wake up trapped in a basement, a thin wall separating their cells. Their captor is mysteriously absent, which at first seems like a blessing. As more time passes with no food or water, they begin to realize a clock is ticking for their survival.

Combining their intelligence and determination, the two begin plotting an escape from their shared prison. Overcoming each obstacle only presents another obstacle standing in the way of their freedom. It will take all of their ingenuity and strength to find their way out of this mess.

They know their captor is still out there, and it is only a matter of time before he returns.

Before He Wakes is a fast-paced and tense thriller that ratchets up the suspense and tension before the thrilling conclusion.

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

Ghostly Travels by Lily Harper HartGhostly Travels by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow-Monroe thought getting to her wedding would be the hard part. She was wrong. Getting through her honeymoon is going to be a whole lot worse.

Jared Monroe decided to surprise his new wife with a honeymoon in Salem, Massachusetts. The goal was to have fun, bask in the sun, and eat some good seafood while shutting out the rest of the world. The fact that there’s a ghost hunting conference happening at the same time is just added icing on the cupcake of life.

Then the unthinkable happens and Harper’s best friend Zander Pritchett magically shows up for the conference … and decides to hijack their honeymoon.

Jared might be able to put up with Zander, but when a missing girl and several ghosts rile up the atmosphere, things threaten to spiral out of control.

Harper is who she is. When she finds out several teenagers have gone missing over the course of a month, she can’t stop herself from digging hard. What she finds is a strange nexus of ghosts who don’t act like she expects … and a story that might haunt her for the rest of her life.

Harper is determined to make this a honeymoon to remember despite Zander and the ghosts working against her. She’s going to have to survive for that to happen … and nothing is a given.

Salem is a city with a long history. Hopefully, it won’t be the end for Harper and Jared.

Mercy Kill by Robin JamesMercy Kill by Robin James:

This time, defense lawyer Cass Leary may be a motive for murder…

Cass is a force in the courtroom. Determined to keep the innocent out of jail, the unyielding defense attorney dominates her opponents to balance the scales of justice. But in a terrible twist of fate, she’s forced to testify against the man she loves when he’s accused of killing his estranged wife.

Vowing to exonerate Detective Wray, Cass despairs at the mounting pile of damning evidence and the prickling fear he may be guilty. And when she learns of a deadly jailhouse plot, she worries her failure to win his freedom will cost him his life.

Will Cass’s investigation result in an acquittal or reveal a terrible truth?

Mercy Kill is the pulse-pounding eighth book in the Cass Leary legal thriller series. If you like bold characters, breakneck drama, and ripping surprises, then you’ll love Robin James’s high-speed nail-biter!

Denied by Mary KeliikoaDenied by Mary Keliikoa:

PI Kelly Pruett’s search to locate a former classmate’s missing father ends in what appears to be a tragic accident. Kelly will play a high risk game of chance with a killer willing to gamble everything to win.

 

 

 

 

Deadly Dance by B.V. LawsonDeadly Dance by B.V. Lawson:

Some secrets refuse to stay buried…

When Scott Drayco’s ex-girlfriend begs him to prove her rich fiance, Harry Dickerman, is innocent of murder, Drayco’s torn; he’s suspicious of Harry’s motives for wanting to marry a much younger woman, but on the other hand, the man seems to be a paragon of virtue. The police think it’s an open-and-shut case — the victim was Harry’s ex-wife, killed in Harry’s home with his own letter opener, and only Harry’s prints were on the murder weapon.

But as Drayco digs deeper, he starts to find cracks in that “open-and-shut” case and investigates whether corporate espionage was involved and how a shady attorney figures into the mix. Most puzzling of all, why was the victim living in an mysterious, out-of-the-way commune for Wall Street refugees? And why does the commune seem to be less about peace, love, and brotherhood and more about drugs, sex, and blackmail?

With help from his former FBI partner, “Sarg” Sargosian, Drayco uncovers a possible Russian connection that may be key to the mystery. But as he plunges deeper into a cesspool where everyone seems to be guilty of secrets and lies, he’s not sure who he can trust … or whether a deadly dance with the devil will be his undoing.

Martinez by Alan LeeMartinez by Alan Lee:

Manny Martinez has a history shrouded in secrets, a wake of destruction he hoped he could leave behind. But when his closest childhood companion locates him in America, that can only mean one thing–Manny didn’t run far enough.

To survive, he must embrace his past and outwit his old ally, now a professional hitman bent on revenge. He’s promised that Manny will only die after he watches his friends perish first. It’s a fight that will spill into the streets and demand an answer–how much does it cost to be a Martinez?

 

Prelude to a Witch by Amanda M. LeePrelude to a Witch by Amanda M. Lee:

Bay Winchester has battled ghosts, shades, poltergeists … and sometimes her own family. It’s the latter giving her fits now. Well, and Hemlock Cove’s younger set of course.

Bay thought the worst was behind her when she modified the memories of four tempestuous teenagers bent on stealing magic and wielding it in a tyrannical manner. Unfortunately for her, when one of those teenagers ends up dead behind the inn her father owns, things start to spiral.

The girl’s death is ritual in fashion, bloody runes painted on the trees, and Bay can’t wrap her head around exactly what has happened. Then things get worse when dark figures start appearing in windows, black ghosts threatening Bay and her family at every turn.

Between the horror haunting Hemlock Cove and the annoying presence of Bay’s former boss and his current fiancée, who just so happens to be a distant relative, Bay has her hands full … and that’s before her cousin Clove’s baby starts displaying a rather interesting skillset that is going to force accommodations within the family.

All Bay wants is a little break to plan her wedding and look forward to happily ever after with her fiancé Landon Michaels. What’s she’s going to get is a whole lot of trouble.

Bay’s growing powers are drawing in a new element of evil. It’s going to take everything she has – and a little help from Aunt Tillie – to fight the ultimate battle. Survival isn’t a given but Bay is determined to make it to her big day.

No matter what.

The Classy Detective Agency by Duane LindsayThe Classy Detective Agency by Duane Lindsay:

Who knew faking class would be so dangerous?

In Duane Lindsay’s latest action-packed noir thriller, private eye Lou Fleener does what he does best: wisecrack, roam his beloved hometown, and get into a hell of a lot of street fights. It’s 1960 in glamorous Chicago, and Lou and his wife Cassidy (turned sardonic, ever-scheming partner in crime), are broke. In need of fast cash, they devise a scheme to advertise themselves as sophisticated private eyes catering to the city’s elite.

But it turns out they aren’t the only ones running a con. Whip-smart as they are, they aren’t prepared for the stealthy criminals hiding among Chicago’s rich and famous.

While hobnobbing at a fancy party, the Classy Detectives catch the eye of a bored socialite who’s cooking up a scheme with a genius art thief. The conspirators are casing a local exhibit that’s chock full of famous, lucrative paintings. But the larcenous pair need a fall guy: they figure that if they put an appropriate suspect in the right place at the right time, they can breezily lift the loot.

So they hire Lou and Cassidy to “guard” the paintings. The Classy Detectives are over the moon: they think they’ve been hired to eat hamburgers and hang out outside the museum.

One dead cop later, they realize they’ve been set up. Quicker than you can say, “Go Cubs!” Cassidy’s arrested. Even worse, the headline LOU FLEENER: COP KILLER is plastered across newspapers and blaring out of radios. Only too obviously, this is the time to concoct Plan B–and thereon hangs a rollicking tale.

A Ghastly Spectre by Lynn MessinaA Ghastly Spectre by Lynn Messina:

Since the new Duchess of Kesgrave cannot be swayed from her unfortunate interest in dead bodies, Lady Abercrombie decides to confront the matter head-on by hosting a murder mystery dinner party. Gathering together several of society’s most influential members, she concocts an amusing puzzle-play, assigns roles, and stands back to allow Bea to impress them all with her ingenuity.

The former spinster will be the height of fashion in no time. Huzzah!

No, she won’t, Bea thinks. Her status has increased with her marriage, yes, but so have the insecurities that bedeviled her first season. Far from charming everyone with her wit, she will appall them with her inability to form coherent or interesting sentences.

’Tis a three-act tragedy in the making.

But then one of the guests is killed in the same manner as her ladyship’s victim and the evening turns genuinely tragic. Horrified, the august company scurry for the exits, and Bea, determined to detain all her lovely suspects, throws herself bodily against the door. Intimidated or not, she will identify the murderer—even if it guarantees her social ruin.

Never Walk Alone by Willow RoseNever Walk Alone by Willow Rose:

The world is on lockdown due to a virus that originated in Miami.

A woman is kidnapped from her apartment, and Detective Harry Hunter is on the case.

At the same time, his sister shows up after they haven’t seen each other in a year.

As it turns out, Harry’s sister knows more about the virus than she lets on. Soon, he wonders if the virus is connected to the missing woman.

As he digs deeper into the strange mystery, he realizes his sister’s life is in great danger, and so is his.

Cold Case in Nuala by Harriet Steel:Cold Case in Nuala by Harriet Steel

It’s January 1940 and the day of Nuala’s famous motor rally. Excitement is at full throttle, but matters take a dark turn when that same evening, human remains are found buried in a lonely corner of a local tea plantation.

Inspector de Silva has a cold case to solve. Add a playboy racing driver, a missing Bugatti and a family scandal hushed up years ago into the mix and he has plenty to think about. You can be sure that whatever happened in the past, now de Silva’s in the driving seat, you’re in for a gripping ride.

Libra by John WegenerLibra by John Wegener:

I appeal to the President of the Confederation…

When a duke and duchess are murdered on Franconia and a Cetusian is convicted, he appeals to the Confederation as a last resort. Can the true murderer be brought to justice? And what is the motive?

Chooli has just graduated as a police officer and joined the GIA. She is asked to team up with her partner Alex to investigate the crime on the luxurious planet – one that has dark secrets.

Ignoring warnings to stop their investigation, Chooli is kidnapped by the assassin, making the pursuit personal for Alex, as he battles against time to save her.

When Chooli escapes her captors, she finds herself in the middle of a war where she is captured again and stumbles on a monumental conspiracy that she must stop before it is too late.

Can Alex find Chooli in time to save her? Can Chooli prevent a catastrophe? Can they both bring the mastermind behind it all to justice?

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