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 December 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, animal mysteries, holiday mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, spy thrillers, technothrillers, science fiction thrillers, romantic suspense, police officers, FBI agents, lawyers, private investigators, amateur sleuths, bodyguards, spies, cold cases, missing children, murdered twins, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting dogs, murder and mayhem in London, Washington DC, Washington state, Florida, North Carolina 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 With Means by Blythe Baker:
Sylvia is still struggling with the terrible secret she has learned about Miles, when she is dealt a fresh blow. During a visit to an art museum, she unknowingly becomes the last person to speak with a murder victim alive.
Forced to set aside her misgivings, Sylvia must trust Miles enough to lean on his help once again. Together, can the pair catch an elusive killer before the trail goes cold?
Scavenger Hunt by Chad Boudreaux:
Blake Hudson just wants to serve his country well as a lawyer for the United States Justice Department—but when an unknown threat begins plotting his downfall, he must find who is setting him up before it costs him his life.
Scavenger Hunt is a suspense novel chronicling the plight of Blake Hudson, a Justice Department lawyer assigned to a clandestine counterterrorist group created to bypass onerous legal requirements. After the group mysteriously disbands, Hudson becomes the scapegoat and is transformed from hunter to hunted. As he searches for answers and attempts to piece the puzzle together, people are following him, trying to kill him.
Written for fans of fast-paced thrillers, dry humor, political gamesmanship, and Clue-like twists and turns, Scavenger Hunt carves out a distinct niche best described as a hybrid of the Robert Ludlum classics and works by Brad Meltzer. Blake Hudson’s story addresses issues that have shaped recent elections and continue to frustrate interest groups and government leaders, while featuring the inner workings of the U.S. Department of Justice Building—arguably the most important and misunderstood agency in the federal government. Author Chad Boudreaux’s unique voice and page-turning storytelling packs a plot-driven punch that readers won’t be able to put down.
A Tender Little Murder by Beth Byers:
Vi and Jack are journeying on a second honeymoon. Sand, sea, long, lingering nights along with slow, sleepy mornings seem to be just what life demands.
They set out, driven by whimsy. Soon they join a small boat tour of the islands along with other travelers. At first, they’re surrounded by loving families, but as the journey progresses, they uncover that all is not what it seems. And with that, someone is found down. But why?
A Nags Head Murder by Joe C. Ellis:
Private Detective Angie Stallone opens her fledgling agency in the quaint town of Buxton, North Carolina on the Outer Banks. Struggling to establish a credible business, she teams up with local bookstore owner, Mee Mee Roberts, to solve a cold case from the 1960’s. Their investigation leads them to a remote island in the middle of the Currituck Sound. The evidence they dig up opens a door to membership in a strange cult that meets in one of the old beach houses along Nags Head’s Historic Cottage Row. The recent death of a cult member raises new questions. Was it murder? Is the cold case connected to the recent death? If so, who’s next?
New Ghosts, Old Tricks by Lily Harper Hart:
Harper Harlow-Monroe has everything she’s ever wanted. She has a husband she loves, a best friend who is only irritating fifty percent of the time, and a daughter who refuses to be “normal.” So, basically, she has it all.
Then the unthinkable happens. During an afternoon picnic with her husband and daughter, Harper’s yard is flooded with ghosts … right as five bodies float by on the river. Harper’s daughter Poe is finally in the thick of things because she’s the only one who can communicate with the ghostly newcomers.
Worried, Harper calls in her friends Rowan, Maddie, and Ivy. Together, the foursome is going to figure out what’s haunting Poe … one way or another.
There’s not much to be found regarding the victims. They were adventurers, making a name for themselves finding treasure at the bottoms of oceans and lakes. They were hired by a local billionaire, but nobody can figure out why and the man in question is being cagey.
Harper always knew her daughter would turn out gifted. The reality is different from the fantasy, however. Poe’s magic is already strong, and when she gets a little encouragement from her friends, things begin to spiral.
It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation for this battle, and only the strong will survive.
Vow of Justice by Robin James:
A small-town sheriff is found murdered in a Dollar Kart parking lot. A relentless prosecutor vows to bring his killer to justice.
Sheriff Bill Clancy humbly served the citizens of Maumee County for three decades. He wanted nothing more than to finish his term and retire to the woods he called home. When he’s found shot to death behind the wheel of his own car, every cop in the county is out for blood.
The weight of justice falls squarely on Prosecutor Mara Brent’s shoulders when an arrest is quickly made. With an election just a few months away, all eyes are on her. There’s no room for error.
The man accused is a nobody. A drifter without a dime to his name. There’s a mountain of physical evidence tying him to the crime, but no obvious motive. Even without one, the case seems open and shut. But when a high-powered defense attorney with ties to Mara’s past comes forward to defend the killer, she suspects a conspiracy.
Is the accused just a patsy? Was Sheriff Clancy’s assassination part of a larger scheme that could ruin Mara’s career? Or was Clancy hiding an even bigger secret that could shake the foundation of the police department he vowed to serve?
And just when Mara thinks victory is in sight, a courtroom bombshell threatens to spiral the town into chaos.
The Last Resort by Michael Kaufman:
It’s March 2034, six months after D.C. police detective Jen Lu and Chandler, her sentient bio-computer and wannabe tough guy implanted in her brain, cracked the mystery of Eden. The climate crisis is hitting harder than ever: a mega-hurricane has devastated the eco-system and waves of refugees pour into Washington, D.C.
Environmental lawyer and media darling Patty Garcia dies in a bizarre accident on a golf course. Of the seven billion people on the planet, only Jen thinks she was murdered. After all, Garcia just won a court case for massive climate change reparations to be paid out by oil, gas, and coal companies. Jen is warned off, but she and Chandler start digging. Signs point to Garcia’s abusive ex, a former oil giant, but soon Jen turns up more suspects who have an even greater motive for committing murder
Soon Jen is in the crosshairs of those who will ensure the truth never comes to light, no matter the cost. She has to move quickly before she becomes next on the killer’s list.
Beach Blanket Wendigo by Amanda M. Lee:
Moonstone Bay is in an uproar. The DDA is on the run, but they’re not going down without a fight. While all that’s going on, Hadley Hunter is practicing her magic. She managed to join with her elemental friends for a huge wins—and feels that’s important for the DDA fight—but she needs practice.
Nothing is perfect, however.
When a tourist is found dead on the beach one night after hearing a series of eerie howls, Hadley and her boyfriend Galen Blackwood think they have a new mystery to solve. The problem is, all signs point to a wendigo … which shouldn’t be possible on Moonstone Bay.
Things become even more convoluted when the victim’s movements on the night of her death lead them to a local. He denies killing her, but something is clearly amiss.
There’s a wendigo, a rogue DDA faction, and a plane door that just won’t stay closed.
Hadley has a lot on her plate. Nothing is going to stop her from doing what needs to be done, however. She’s ready to fight … even if that fight might kill her.
Hadley’s friends are determined to help, but as usual, she’s at the center of things. Moonstone Bay is caught in a shift of unbelievable proportions, but only one faction can come out on top.
There’s a battle coming, and when the truth comes out, everybody will be rocked.
Buckle up, because this ride is going to be bumpy.
Two Shakes of a Hangman’s Noose by Rimmy London:
A silly ghost story? Or did someone get away with murder…
Megan Henny takes a day trip to a lighthouse just off the rugged Washington coast. Along with her trusty Great Dane, Fred, she comes across a haunting legend. Thirty years ago, a woman startlingly similar to herself, disappeared from the charming coastal town of Seacrest. With no clues to follow except a noose hanging from the branches of a nearby tree, did someone get away with murder? Or could something darker be haunting the coastline?
Together with Fred, Megan digs into the past. But what she finds are chilling memories that mix truth with ghost stories. Late one night, she discovers a noose in the forest behind her house and fears she could be next. Will Megan and Fred realize just where the danger is coming from, or will it catch them unaware?
The Girl and the Winter Bones by A.J. Rivers:
In the morning Ellie walked to school. All was seemingly predictable.
Until one day, the unexpected occurred and little Ellie was never seen again…
When an unexpected storm hits, forcing a young couple on a road trip to seek shelter within an abandoned school in the woods. They witness strange phenomena and stumble upon corpses. Soon FBI agent Emma Griffin finds herself in the middle of a case that forces her to investigate the past to sort out the mystery behind the twisted occurrences in the present. With a trail of missing girls, strange oddities, and red herrings.
Emma and all involved find much more than they bargained for.
It’s no longer about surviving a night of haunting and evading a storm.
It’s about escaping the things that should have remained forever frozen in time…
You Better Run by Willow Rose:
When 19-year-old Meg Briggs wakes up after having a crazy party with her friends, she finds a girl in the pool.
Who is this girl?
How did she end up in the pool?
Was she even at the party?
Even more strange is when they pull her out of the water, Meg realizes the girl looks very familiar. As a matter of fact, she looks just like her.
Like an identical twin.
But Meg has no twin, at least none that she knows of, and no one at the party knows this girl or can say where she is from.
What is Meg’s mom hiding from her?
FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas is caught in distress at home with her children and between the two men in her life when she is asked to help out on the case.
Who killed Meg’s identical twin and why? And where did she come from?
As Eva Rae Thomas digs deeper into the story, she can barely believe the revealed secrets, secrets so cruel that someone is ready to go to great lengths to keep them hidden.
Murder at Yuletide by Lee Strauss:
Have Yourself a Merry Little Murder
Clive Pippins, Lady Ginger Gold’s beloved, elderly butler is apparently Christmas shopping when a body is found. To the shock of everyone in Ginger’s household, the victim is the spinster cousin Pippins worked for during the years surrounding the Great War.
As Ginger investigates things begin to look grim for her dear butler. What had the man been up to during the war years, and had he been complicit in a crime?
What secret was Pips holding onto?
And worse, would he be the next victim before he had a chance to divulge it?
The only gift Ginger wants for the Christmas of 1927 is for the killer to be found before it’s time to ring in the new year!
Once a Killer by Margaret Watson:
Bree Gordon looks nothing like a bodyguard. But the short, slender woman knows how to keep her principal safe. And one of her most potent weapons is her appearance. People see her and dismiss her. Their mistake.
Jameson Ford is a technical whiz who’s working on a program that’ll be a game changer. The military wants it. So does the CIA, along with some unsavory players. Someone close to him wants it, as well – one of the engineers in his lab.
When he reluctantly hires a bodyguard, he’s shocked when Bree shows up. But it doesn’t take long for him to appreciate her abilities. Will the attraction flaring between them be their salvation? Or will it be their downfall?