Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for August 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 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 hardboiled mysteries, cozy mysteries, historical mysteries, retro mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1950s mysteries, 1960s mysteries, British mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, psychological thrillers, occult thrillers, revenge thrillers, action thrillers, adventure thrillers, sea adventures, dystopian noir, police officers, private investigators, amateur sleuths, prosecutors, assassins, FBI agents, ex-CIA agents, ex-spies, organised crime, serial killers, con artists, terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, satanic cults, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting surfers, crime-busting girl scout leaders, murder and mayhem in Los Angeles, London, New Orleans, Chicago, Southern California, Ohio, Iowa, Venezuela, Miami, Cornwall 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:

The Fool on the Hill in a Convertible by Donna Amis DavisThe Fool on the Hill in a Convertible by Donna Amis Davis:

It’s 1967. Beatles’ songs are playing everywhere.

In the sleepy little beach community of Mission Cove in Southern California, surfers search for the perfect wave, while across the Pacific, a war grinds on.

Torrey helps her dad and brother in the family’s surf shop, but her heart is full of pain. Her camera captures the beauty of the ocean and the joy of the surf, as it helps to soothe her soul. But on this day her camera ensnares her in a mystery she’d rather escape.

The Fool on the Hill in a Convertible is a cozy mystery novella introducing Donna Amis Davis’s new ‘60s Surf Shop Mysteries which are set in the fictional community of Mission Cove, California.

Journey back to the ’60s and relive that groovy era when skirts were short, hair was long, and the music was good.

Murder on the BoardwalkMurder on the Boardwalk by Beth Byers:

Vi and friends miss the sea and each other, so they gather up and head to the seaside. While there, they run into old friends and new troubles.

Once again, things turn sideways when a body is found by the boardwalk. All evidence points to the person they once knew almost as well as they know themselves. Is it possible their friend has turned to murder? Or is something else going on? Either way, they’re determined to find the truth. Even if it puts them into harm’s way.

 

The Grifter by Sean Camplbell and Ali GunnThe Grifter by Sean Campbell and Ali Gunn:

One will rise. The other will fall.

Kent Bancroft’s rise to fame and fortune was nothing short of meteoric. Once a simple teacher in London’s East End, he’s now on course to become Britain’s youngest billionaire.

But his success has come on the back of those he’s trodden upon to get there. Among them is a man whose fall was as swift as Kent’s rise. He used to be a sparky until a freak accident robbed him of one leg.

And then Kent Bancroft robbed him of everything else.

Forget forgiveness. Forget turning the other cheek. And forget waiting for karma.

This is a victim who won’t stand idly by.

He wants revenge.

And he’s going to get it.

Kent Bancroft will never see him coming.

Subtle Blood by K.J. CharlesSubtle Blood by K.J. Charles:

Will Darling is all right. His business is doing well, and so is his illicit relationship with Kim Secretan–disgraced aristocrat, ex-spy, amateur book-dealer. It’s starting to feel like he’s got his life under control.

And then a brutal murder in a gentleman’s club plunges them back into the shadow world of crime, deception, and the power of privilege. Worse, it brings them up against Kim’s noble, hostile family, and his upper-class life where Will can never belong.

With old and new enemies against them, and secrets on every side, Will and Kim have to fight for each other harder than ever—or be torn apart for good.

Left For Dead by Stacy Claflin and Nolon KingLeft For Dead by Stacy Claflin and Nolon King:

What’s an innocent assassin to do?

Brad Morris was just cleared of murdering one annoying neighbor when another one turns up dead. Luckily, he was at a party with everyone on the block when the body was found, but that doesn’t stop fingers from pointing his way. Especially since the murder weapon was a BlueBlade, the knife company that Brad’s boss, Kurt, uses as a front for the real work that Brad and his fellow assassins do.

Kurt demands that Brad find the real killer — without blowing his cover or dragging BlueBlade into the investigation. If he can’t, he’ll be thrown to the wolves. Or worse, “retired.”

Does one of Brad’s suburban neighbors hate him enough to frame him for murder? Or does he have a much more dangerous enemy lurking within the fellowship of assassins?

Paperclip by Seb DoubinskyPaperclip by Seb Doubinsky:

In New Babylon, leader of the Western alliance of the city-states, armament mogul Kurt Wagner has a secret dream: to build a space station to save mankind. Little does he know that he is the target of competing plots involving geopolitics and black magick. In the background, a film director with a political conscience, a bodyguard with a secret mission, a driver with an occult hobby and a talking bird are trying to make sense of their world, hoping to see their wishes come true – which they will, but not in the way they might have expected.

 

My Brew Heaven by Lily Harper HartMy Brew Heaven by Lily Harper Hart:

Ofelia Archer should be riding high after a blissful week spent with her boyfriend Zacharias “Zach” Sully. Sun, fun, and cocktails make for a great break … until she gets home. Then she realizes exactly how far things can fall apart in only a few days.

It seems in her absence Ofelia’s mother Marie Charles has been taken in by a cult, and Ofelia is convinced it’s not the sort of group who worship beignets over chaos and bloodshed. When Ofelia tries talking to her mother she finds a different woman waiting for her … and she’s beyond concerned.
The French Quarter attracts weird people but this time the strife is different. When she starts digging, she finds more than she bargained for … and yet the answers are less than she was hoping for.

Ofelia is a witch with a plan but even she’s at a loss. When her brother Felix is hurt in the pursuit of reclaiming Marie, the Quarter’s favorite magical maven swears revenge … and she’s going to need Sully to help her deliver it.

Their new enemy is powerful and he’s hiding behind a gaggle of innocent humans. Freeing the French Quarter from his grip leads Ofelia down a dark path. Only Sully can help her … and together they will bring their city back from the brink.

The question is: Will they both survive to enjoy the fruits of their labor once they make it to the other side?

Mark of Justice by Robin JamesMark of Justice by Robin James:

What he did to her…

As Maumee County, Ohio’s top prosecutor, Mara Brent has faced down killers before. But the murder of Haley Chambers is different. The evidence left behind at the crime scene paints a horrifying picture of Haley’s last hours. Her killer took his time. Planned. Hunted. Executed.

No one will believe it…

When local mechanic and family man, Cal Emmons is charged with the crime, the town rallies to his defense. Everyone knows him. Everyone trusts him. His supporters bring their protests right to Mara’s front door. But they don’t know. They haven’t seen what Mara and the police found at his house.

But there is one more victim out there…

The police connect physical evidence in Haley’s murder to a cold case abduction. Only that victim lived. Her harrowing, firsthand account of what she endured haunts Mara and provides a Rosetta Stone for Haley’s murder. But Mara’s star witness never saw her attacker’s face. She has lied to the police before. Is she lying now?

If Mara loses this one…more will die.

To win, Mara must ultimately step inside the mind of a sadistic killer. But this time when evil touches her, it may not let her go.

Sons of Brutality by Daniel JeudySons of Brutality by Daneil Jeudy:

A SATANIC SNUFF CLUB

A RUTHLESS VIGILANTE

AN INTRICATE WEB OF DECEPTION

WHO CAN YOU TRUST?

Los Angeles is a city under siege.

When Detective Addison Mowbray begins investigating the murders of two young women in the Hollywood Hills, he can’t imagine where the case will lead. He suspects the crimes were inspired by an occult fascination, due to some missing body parts and the inverted Christian cross branded on the victims’ breasts. But apart from Addison’s temperamental partner, Jed, the only other person keen on them pursuing that line of investigation is Lilly Coniglio, a medical examiner from the Coroner’s Department. The LAPD is already under immense public pressure due to all the bad press another killer – a vigilante – has brought to their door: it’s been over a year since the first organized-crime figure showed up full of holes, with a plastic police badge beside his body.

As Addison and Jed navigate a murky, disturbing occult landscape in search of answers, they uncover something even more terrifying than a killer hiding in the shadows: an organization so vile and powerful that it changes their lives forever. These two troubled detectives are all that stand between this organization and a spectacular season of carnage.

Set against a backdrop of urban bleakness and social inequality, Sons of Brutality combines deeply flawed protagonists with human monsters, integrating strong dialogue, violent action and gripping Suspense.

Mosquito Bite Murder by Leslie LangtryMosquito Bite Murder by Leslie Langtry:

In her career as a spy, Merry Wrath had her share of camping trips—from glamping in a yurt at Oktoberfest with drug lord Carlos the Armadillo to an awkward team building campout in the backyard of a Yakuza mob boss who thought “trust falls” should have lethal consequences. So when the former CIA turned Girl Scout troop leader has the opportunity to take six girls from her troop into a vast, private nature preserve in search of an abandoned scout camp, she jumps at it. The fact that she can secretly use this as a chance to meet up with another spy who has asked for her help just seems to be an added bonus.

Of course she doesn’t expect to find a guy named Chad in a shallow grave. He’s still alive, at least for the moment, and he insists on accompanying them further into the woods. Merry’s contact is a no-show, but another, more dangerous colleague surprises them on the trail. And just when she thinks she might be able to handle things, the group find themselves confronted by a hostile group of senior citizen hermits.

From the strange noises in the night, to vampire ticks, and the constant fear of being invaded by Communists, everything in Merry’s world appears to be dangerously off kilter. When she’s accosted by a 200lb snapping turtle named Old Eisenhower, Merry realizes that not everything is what it appears to be. Can Merry figure it out who is behind the stranger occurrences before the camping trip ends up with a body count?

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

Winter break is upon Mystic Caravan, which is supposed to mean a full month of rest and relaxation. Upon arriving at their destination, however, Poet and company find that murder isn’t far behind.

Their off-season park is full of paranormals – something that normally makes Poet comfortable – but the death of a local girl points to one of their own being the culprit. Even though she’s supposed to be taking it easy, Poet can’t stop herself from digging … and it leads her on a wild ride.

Florida is hot, humid and bursting at the seams with supernatural friends. Unfortunately for Poet, it’s also home to an ex-boyfriend who can’t quite let go. Since he’s a police officer … and looking at Mystic Caravan’s cadre of weirdos as potential murder suspects … that only makes things all the more difficult.

It’s up to Poet to find the real culprit even as a shadowy and powerful figure stalks her. Kade’s magic is growing but he’s still learning, which makes for some hard battles. On top of that, he’s keeping a secret with Luke, which has Poet teetering on the edge of sanity.

It’s supposed to be a break, not a break from reality, but Poet is ready to fight for her future. It’s going to take everybody working together to figure out the truth … and give Poet the one thing she’s always wanted above all else.

Peace.

Filthy Rich by Duane LindsayFilthy Rich by Duane Lindsay:

GUY WALKS INTO A STRIP CLUB…
AND COMES OUT FILTHY RICH

Down-and-out comedian “Filthy” Rich wasn’t always living on the edge– he was once famous. Now he tells viciously dirty jokes in the seediest possible strip clubs–his routine is so filthy that it’s actually illegal, since 1960’s Chicago has harsh blue laws.

Rich wasn’t always living on the edge, though– he was once famous for a clean routine, until his estranged wife ran off with Rich’s best jokes. With his act missing, he’s hellbent on tracking down the missing dame before he gets caught spewing the grossest jokes this side of Lake Michigan.

Enter Lou Fleener– expert streetfighter and ace private eye. Rich hires Lou to find the missing jokes– and the wayward wife. Which seems easy enough, right? But unfortunately, Lou’s clues lead him down a perilous rabbit hole of deceit, lies, and frame ups.

Plus, the irrepressible Cassidy, his wife turned partner-in-crime, and Monk, his improbably handsome yet socially awkward best friend, are knee deep in their own rollicking thrillers. The whole team is in imminent danger, each facing their own bad guy. And to top it all off, this team of witty Chicago sleuths is flat broke. Again.

Lou Fleener will be a treasured read for both cozy lovers and hard-boiled aficionados. And especially for readers looking for laughs. Lou and his team’s humorous yet action-packed adventures that will please fans of such diverse authors as Donald Westlake, Raymond Chandler, and Lawrence Block in his “burglar” mode.

Never Ever by Willow RoseNever Ever by Willow Rose:

Ex-agent Eva Rae Thomas is on the run. The past month she has done things she never knew she was capable of while hunting for her kidnapped daughter.

Eva Rae has risked everything,

-her career,

-her newfound love,

-her freedom.

She’s looking for the man they call the Iron Fist. The trail has led her to Miami.

Meanwhile, Miami is under attack. Hundreds of passengers in the Metrorail are exposed to a deathly nerve gas on a peaceful Monday morning. When Eva Rae Thomas sees her daughter on the surveillance footage from the attack, she knows it is no coincidence. But by the time she uncovers the chilling truth of how it is all connected, it might be too late.

The Cove by L.J. RossThe Cove by L.J. Ross:

THE PERFECT ESCAPE…

Gabrielle Adams has it all – brains, beauty, a handsome fiance?, and a dream job in publishing. Until, one day, everything changes.

‘The Tube Killer’ takes his victims when they least expect it: standing on the edge of a busy London Underground platform, as they wait for a train to arrive through the murky underground tunnels of London.

Gabrielle soon learns that being a survivor is harder than being a victim, and she struggles to return to her old life. Desperate to break free from the endless nightmares, she snatches up an opportunity to run a tiny bookshop in a picturesque cove in rural Cornwall.

She thinks she’s found the perfect escape, but has she swapped one nightmare for another?

Suspense and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced thriller, set amidst the spectacular Cornish landscape.

Steady As She Goes by Wayne StinnettSteady As She Goes by Wayne Stinnett:

Jesse McDermitt is starting a new chapter in his life. As captain of the research vessel Ambrosia, his stated mission is to study the oceans and seafloor, searching for rich oil deposits. His unstated mission is to locate and eradicate the enemies of society on behalf of Armstrong Research, a secretive organization funded by some of the wealthiest people on the planet.

When word gets out about a massive drug and human trafficking cartel moving tons of illegal drugs, along with hundreds of slave laborers, out of Venezuela, Jesse is tasked with finding them at all cost.

But how can one man find the traffickers amid the thousands of ships coming and going from Venezuela’s ports, moving hundreds of thousands of containers every year?

Can Jesse close on and engage the traffickers in time to save dozens of innocent lives?

Murder in London by Lee StraussMurder in London by Lee Strauss:

Murder’s a trip!

It’s early 1957, and Rosa Reed and her new beau Detective Miguel Belmonte fly from California to London to follow up on the cold case: the murder of Rosa’s good friend Lady Vivien Everleigh.

The investigation is complicated, if not awkward, as the deceased is the sister of Rosa’s former fiancé. Thankfully, Rosa’s parents, Ginger (aka Ginger Gold of Lady Gold Investigations) and Basil Reed are there to help.

Rosa stumbles onto a dangerous truth. Can she find her friend’s killer and save her own life too?

If you love early rock & roll, poodle skirts, clever who-dun-its, a charming cat and an even more charming detective, you’re going to love this new series!

A Murderous Affair in Mayfair by Lynda WilcoxA Murderous Affair in Mayfair by Lynda Wilcox:

Private enquiry agent Lady Eleanor Bakewell returns in another tale of murder, intrigue, and romance set in 1920s London.

Who had the nerve to commit murder at an elegant high-society party in Mayfair?

Who among the other seven people playing cards that evening with Lord George Bancroft, notorious womaniser and gambler, pun a knife in his back?

Lady Eleanor Bakewell doesn’t know, but when a young parlourmaid ask for her help in proving her innocence, the socialite sleuth is soon on the case.

So, too, are Military Intelligence which puts a new and unwelcome angle on the case for Eleanor.

Mired in suspects and questions about the dead man’s background, Eleanor feels overwhelmed. She will need all her wits about her to find the killer before the parlourmaid is wrongly arrested for a crime she did not commit.

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