Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for November 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 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, humorous mysteries, historical mysteries, Regency mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, paranormal mysteries, science fiction mysteries, psychological mysteries, crime thrillers, action thrillers, adventure thrillers, spy thrillers, legal thrillers, police procedurals, noir, police officers, amateur sleuths, spies, district attorneys, con artists, assassins, hitmen, human traffickers, serial killers, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting psychics, murder and mayhem in New York City, London, Boston, Dublin, Louisiana, Wyoming, Michigan, New Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean 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:

Stone Magic by Thea AtkinsonStone Magic by Thea Atkinson:

She’s a fraud. She’s a crook. But she’s no killer. Even if she’s being framed as one.

When three well-known psychics are murdered in her city, Brie Duncan starts to wonder if pretending to be magical is such a great idea after all. She’s no witch, but she does make good money using her fake powers to read her clients’ futures. Money that’ll do her no good if she turns up dead next.

So far, she’s managed to keep up the pretense, but when a gruff detective enters her shop, she fears she’s about to get busted. Unfortunately, his reasons for being there are far worse than she imagines.

Since she’s a member of the psychic community, he thinks she should be able to provide some insight into the murders and the victims. The trouble is, all the evidence seems to point in one direction, and unfortunately for Brie, those roads all lead to her…

An Inelegant Death by Blythe BakerAn Inelegant Death by Blythe Baker:

When Miss Jane Pemberton joins her uncle’s household as a companion to her invalid cousin, she does not realize what a dangerous world she is stepping into.

From the moment she enters the house, Jane senses secrets and unresolved tensions hanging like a shadow over the Pemberton family. Worse, citizens of the sleepy, seaside town of Ebonport do not lead the peaceful lives Jane expected. They seem to hide beneath shadows of their own, motivated by avarice and revenge.

When a shocking murder rocks this uneasy society, Jane vows to protect her uncle’s family—whether they deserve it or not.

Thing of Darkness by Beth Byers Thing of Darkness by Beth Byers:

Smith knows a lot of things. He knows about crimes and why they occur. He knows where to find the best pint of ale and the coffee houses that cater to the criminal class. He knows where to find people who don’t want to be found. And he has–somehow–come to know about the lives of the spoiled and well-connected.

What he doesn’t know is how someone even he finds objectionable has also slithered into the lives of his friends. Nor does he know when they became friends or why he’s worrying about them. Or what to do about their antics when it comes to his enemy.

He only wishes he were surprised when his wife, Beatrice, knows exactly what to do.

Dead for Life by Stacy Claflin and Nolon KingDead for Life by Stacy Claflin and Nolon King:

Caught between a CIA sting and a boss who may want him dead…

Brad Morris has finally been promoted at work. It seems like his hard work and talents have at last been recognized. But nothing is ever simple when you’re an assassin.

Especially not when you’re also secretly working for the CIA to spy on your boss and colleagues. And your oldest daughter will go to jail for murder if you fail.

When poor Hadley starts to crack under the pressure, Brad is forced to check her into a psych ward — but she’s still threatening to confess. Meanwhile, the CIA sting gets more complicated by Agent Bancroft’s insistence that Brad hire her to be BlueBlade’s newest assassin.

Can Brad and Hadley keep their stories straight long enough to get Bancroft the answers she’s looking for? And will Brad finally solve the mystery of his own father’s murder?

Swamp Sweets by Jana DeLeonSwamp Sweets by Jana DeLeon:

Just Desserts?

It’s November in Sinful and everyone is gearing up for Thanksgiving. But when Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie bag a body on their turkey hunting trip, the quiet enjoyment of fall is over. No one really knew Miles Broussard well, and as he’d recently sold the building his business was in to retire in another state, no one could explain how he’d ended up murdered and dumped in the bayou.

Ally Lemarque has been waiting her entire life to open her bakery, and that day finally arrived when she purchased the building from Miles. But when she visits the site late at night and interrupts an intruder, she comes away with a crack on her head and concerns about why someone would break into an empty building.

Fortune doesn’t think for a minute that Miles’s murder and the attack on Ally are unrelated. And Swamp Team 3 won’t rest until they’re sure Ally is safe.

Unknown Assailant by J.L. DoucetteUnknown Assailant by J.L. Doucette:

Dr. Pepper Hunt and Detective Beau Antelope team up again to investigate a tragic murder/suicide in a prominent ranch family in the small town of Farson, Wyoming. As they explore events leading up to the night of the disturbing crime they are drawn into the dark heart of a troubled family touched by a legacy of trauma.

 

 

 

Lettie Portman: The District Attorney by John EllsworthLettie Portman: The District Attorney by John Ellsworth:

Like the victims who pass through her office, this attorney’s own past demands justice.

When an eleven-year-old girl is savagely attacked by her mother’s live-in boyfriend, attorney Lettie Portman is called to the hospital. She meets a sweet, young girl whose only goal is to go to school and come home to a safe environment. But the abuse gets worse, the case goes to trial by jury.

And Lettie stumbles. To help this girl in need, she must first deal with her own abuse from years before.

Meanwhile, Detective Antonio “Tony” Reedy lets her know he’s interested in more than just investigating the abused girl’s case. But Lettie’s background makes it all but impossible to trust again. As Tony slowly begins to gain her confidence, can she learn to love again?

Mystery Woman by Mike FaricyMystery Woman by Mike Faricy:

US Marshall Jack Dillon, assigned to An Garda Síochána, Special Branch, and his partner, Paddy Suel, are sent down to County Cork to investigate the murder of American gangster Dennis ‘Punchy’ Sheehan. Things turn out to not be as suspected. CCTV evidence moves the investigation to Dublin where the body count begins to grow on an almost daily basis. The killer seems to be a step ahead of the investigators. With barely a handful of clues can Dillon possibly find whoever is responsible?

 

Wicked Forever by Lily Harper HartWicked Forever by Lily Harper Hart:

Ivy Morgan-Harker has everything she’s ever wanted, including a devoted new husband and an upcoming break from her nursery business for the Michigan winter. Then the unthinkable happens.

Upon arriving at Morgan Nursery early one morning, she finds a body strung up in the middle of her happy sanctum … and there’s a message attached telling her that she’s next. The victim is the son of a well-known bar owner, a bar that Ivy helped bring down when she broke up a local prostitution ring.

Worried and afraid, her husband Jack Harker digs in deep, and what he finds has him terrified for his wife.

Somebody is holding a grudge regarding what happened at the bar, and the number of potential suspects looms large. Ivy and Jack must work together and follow a dark trail if they want answers … and it’s a trail that seemingly leads right back to them.

Ivy is a target. Jack is determined to keep her safe. Together, they’re an unbelievable force.

Ivy may be learning how to master her magic but it’s the darkest form of human nature working against her this time. To survive, she’s going to have to figure out who has the most to lose from the bar going down, and then she’s going to have to fight the enemy she didn’t see coming if she expects to get her happily ever after.

The big finale is finally here!

Unextracted by Ethan JonesUnextracted by Ethan Jones:

When stabbed in the back, Jack bleeds rage.

When a burned deep-cover CIS agent needs extraction from Southern Europe before classified intelligence is exposed, Jack Storm is sent in. Soon, supposedly friendly MI6 begins to subvert the retrieval operation. Jack suspects he has become a pawn in a dirty political power play when he discovers the agent holds more than just CIS secrets.

Moreover, Jack needs to determine if his neighbor-turned-close-friend is playing a double game—or has his job truly left him incapable of trusting anyone? Now, with the extraction sabotaged and his friends-turned-enemies out for blood, how will Jack focus his rage after being betrayed… again?

Love and Bullets by Nick KolakowskiLove & Bullets by Nick Kolakowski:

Bill is a conman with a taste for high-end cars, beautiful suits, and top-shelf liquor. But he’s getting tired of the cons he needs to maintain that lifestyle—and he’s sick of the violence that’s sometimes part of the job.

Bill’s girlfriend Fiona doesn’t have a problem with violence, though. She’ll crush anyone who stands in her way—and some days, it seems like the whole world wants a piece of her. She loves Bill, but she’s tired of cleaning up after him.

When Bill decides to “borrow” a couple million from one of New York City’s most vicious gangs and flee for the tropics, it puts their relationship to the test—and while they’re working out their issues, they’ll also need to fend off crooked cops, dimwitted bouncers, and an irate assassin in the midst of the world’s weirdest midlife crisis.

“Love & Bullets” is the story of a 21st century Bonnie & Clyde, a wisecracking duo who’ll blast their way from Brooklyn to Cuba and back in order to stay alive. It’s a wild ride.

Smoked Mullett by Margaret LashleySmoked Mullet by Margaret Lashley:

It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Stupidity…

When Bobbie and Grayson go in search of a new RV, a chance encounter at a homeowner’s fire sale ignites a hidden flame burning deep within Grayson.

And it’s not Spontaneous Human Combustion …

Or is it?

People in St. Petersburg, Florida keep mysteriously bursting into flames. While the pair investigate potential causes, sparks soon begin to fly between them as well, threatening to snuff out their budding romance.

Hot pockets. Total burnouts. Suspicious ash holes.

As Bobbie and Grayson sift through the grisly clues, will they realize they’re fated to be twin flames? Or will the fireworks between them fizzle out like a dud?

With the heat on to solve the case, they’d better keep a close eye on each other. If not, they could both end up in the dead-letter office marked, “Return to Cinder.”

My Big Fat Witch Wedding by Amanda M. LeeMy Big Fat Witch Wedding by Amanda M. Lee:

The big day is finally here.

Bay and Landon’s wedding day has arrived.

Unfortunately, a tragedy stands in the way of their happily ever after, and it comes in the form of reports of an armed gunman at the local high school. Bay, ghosts at her side, braves the scene to save the kids … and uncovers something horrific.

She. The boy with the gun says he needs to find her. The teacher in the room with him says the same thing before taking his own life. There’s a magical being in Hemlock Cove, and she’s wielding a great deal of power as she forces people to kill in her name.

Bay refuses to back down, convinced that the magical explosion they can’t get under control at Hollow Creek is partially to blame. The problem is so big, another witch needs to be tapped to help them solve it.

Scout Randall, part of the Spells Angels group in Hawthorne Hollow, is more than happy to lend her services. She owes the Winchesters a favor after all. She simply might not be enough.

Bay and Landon have been through more than any couple should have to survive … and they’re not done.

Here comes the wedding … and Clove’s baby … and the worst enemy they’ve ever fought.

The Winchesters are strongest together, and this time they’re going to prove that there’s no keeping a good witch down.

I do? It’s coming, because nothing can stop these witches when love and family are on the line.

A Fatal Bragg by Craig MartelleA Fatal Bragg by Craig Martelle:

Marines are being murdered…

…and it takes someone outside the government to fix the problem.

It’s a race against the clock to dismantle a group that’s been in place for years. They’re well-funded, too and armed with weapons they shouldn’t have. Authorities are stymied. Ian and Jenny Bragg are not so constrained.

It’s supposed to be a single target. What if the target may not be the target at all, but a pipeline to those who deserve what Ian Bragg has to offer?

In an organization like the Peace Archive, contracts tend to take on a life of their own. When it comes to imparting justice, the operators become the last line of defense with only one chance to get it right.

Ian Bragg. A hitman with a conscience.

A Curse for Christmas by P.A. MasonA Curse for Christmas by P.A. Mason:

Christmas back home in Arkansas sounded like a chance to put my feet up for a few weeks. Little did I know that a magical calamity would threaten the big day.

You know the real kicker? It was Mom—a renowned magical healer—who came down with a mystery malaise on Christmas Eve. I couldn’t remember a time where she had anything worse than a sniffle. To see her bedridden scared me to my core.

To examine the facts and solve the case, I had to think fast before Mom’s condition got any worse. With a new werewolf beau in her life, half the town of Tumbling Springs were whispering behind Mom’s back, the loudest of them a hex witch with a nasty view of weres. On the other hand, a new business rival in the next town over had Mom’s healing services on the rocks. The question was—did either witch have enough motive to do something as awful as all that to Mom?

If you enjoy paranormal cozy mysteries with a seasonal Christmas flair, this holiday special is for you.

A Twisted Case of Murder by Emily QueenA Twisted Case of Murder by Emily Queen:

Murder is for the crows.

There’s a mass murderer loose on the streets of London, and he’s dead set on making Rosemary Lillywhite his next victim. After receiving a second death threat, she should have gone straight to her chief inspector beau, Max Whittington–but Rosemary is sick and tired of being treated like she’s made of glass.

How many murder investigations does a lady detective need to solve to earn a little respect?

Rosemary wishes she hadn’t asked that question when another dead body turns up–this time, on her own doorstep–and the papers insinuate she’s the responsible party. In order to clear her name, Rosemary will have to delve deep in to a murderer’s sordid past.

She’ll also have to continue keeping secrets–no matter what it does to her relationship with Max.

Now, everyone’s a suspect in a case that’s even more twisted than murder.

Lost Charity by Wayne StinnettLost Charity by Wayne Stinnett:

After a long hiatus, Charity Styles is itching to get back into the fray. She’s had a succession of minor assignments, none of which provided her with the action she craves.

After months of recharging and rethinking her position in the Armstrong organization, she’s on the verge of walking away, returning to what could be a more normal life. But what’s a normal life look like for a former covert assassin?

Then she gets two assignments, which have nothing to do with each other. The first is to ferry a group of people out to a large mega-yacht. When it turns out that one of those people is the girl she thinks of as a niece and the mega-yacht is captained by an old friend, she sets her sails and is quickly underway.

What the second assignment is, will not only test Charity’s abilities as an undercover asset to the giant Armstrong Research conglomerate, but will also assess her ability to keep a lid on her emotions when faced with the type of people she most loathes.

From the Cayman Islands to the Eastern Caribbean, the coast of Brazil, and finally, the U.S. Virgin Islands, her mental state is constantly being tested. Will she find the one person who is at the head of a vast sex trafficking operation? Or will she become just another victim to the traffickers? Will she even be able to restrain her inner demons when she encounters the worst of the worst of human society?

Death by Dancing by Lee StraussDeath by Dancing by Lee Strauss:

Death’s a jig!

When a brutal dance marathon in the suburbs of Boston in 1932 turns deadly, Dr. Haley Higgins is surprised to discover the deceased is the widow of a man whose body still lies in the cold cabinets of her morgue. She has reasons to believe the man’s death wasn’t natural, and now, with his wife having succumbed to the same symptoms, her convictions of foul play are stronger than ever.

With the help of investigative reporter Samantha Hawke, Haley works to determine which contestants in the dancing contest had means, motive, and opportunity. And most of all, how to keep the killer from striking again.

***

A spin off from the acclaimed Ginger Gold Mystery series, this clever, feisty, depression-era whodunit readers call “serious and suspenseful” and “entertaining mystery series” will keep you turning pages until the surprising yet satisfying end.

An Impossible Abduction by Ed TejaAn Impossible Abduction by Ed Teja:

Investigations take a strange twist in southwestern New Mexico

When things blow up on Matt Cramer, they can be messy. This time, the mess might be blood. Or not. But he is a private investigator… or will be if he can ever get his office open. Right now that bloody mess is all over the walls.

Josh, the painter is missing and that’s not a good sign. Nor is the ominous attitude of Officer Ravenwalk, or the fact that the local coffee shop is owned by witches, or that Matt somehow has found himself partnering with a shaman and the blood, if it is blood, is somehow tied to a woman’s disappearance—a disappearance that might involve aliens.

After all, this is Silver City, New Mexico, where things are seldom truly wrong, but never quite right, either.

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