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 speculative fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some June 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, hardboiled mysteries, humorous mysteries, paranormal mysteries, science fiction mysteries, children’s mysteries, animal mysteries, culinary mysteries, crime thrillers, action thrillers, spy thrillers, noir, romantic suspense, private investigators, amateur sleuths, serial killers and their daughters, superheroes, spies, shady butchers, zombies, crime-busting witches, crime-solving dogs, kidnapping, blackmail, impossible crimes, murder in Amish country 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 Butcher by Nathan Burrows:
Remember that nice joint of pork you tucked into for your Sunday lunch? Well, what if it wasn’t pork…?
Frank Pinch is a butcher. Not a very successful one, what with Brexit and everything, but he still knows how to carve a joint of meat. His brother, Tom, is a pig farmer with very few pigs to his name. The farm they both live on is struggling now that the United Kingdom is out of Europe. Even the migrant workers have stopped coming – the legal ones, anyway – and the brothers are forced to use illegal labour to keep the farm afloat. After a horrible accident in one of the pig sheds, Frank and Tom come up with a novel way of disposing of the resulting body. But it doesn’t quite go as planned.
Emily Underwood has just started work as an inspector for the Environment Agency. As the new girl, she’s struggling hard to find her feet, and one or two minor disasters don’t help. From machete wielding restaurant owners to rioting football fans, her first few months don’t go as expected. When she crosses paths with Frank and Tom Pinch, things get a whole lot worse.
From the author of Blind Justice, this deliciously funny dark comedy will change the way you look at sausages forever.
Immoral Justice by M.A. Comley:
A chance encounter leads to a gruesome conclusion.
But there is much more to this case than first meets the eye.
Yet another case for determined DI Lorne Warner and her team to solve.
The investigation proves to be a complex one from the outset, revealing not just one murder to solve but several.
Just when Lorne believes she has all the answers, the killer contacts her and makes a terrifying threat.
She’s up against it, mentally and physically…
Will Lorne be able to pit her wits against a killer who isn’t afraid of getting caught?
The Jupiter Man by Nick Dorsey:
Let’s say you’ve just gotten out of prison, and your old boss wants to rehire you. Sounds great! But what if your old boss is the Frozen Avenger? His last job was the attempted kidnapping of an acclaimed astrophysicist in order reinstate Pluto as a full-fledged planet, and now he wants you to help him steal a set of precious meteorites to fund his obsession. Still sound great?
And what if an elite team of superheroes forces you to take the job and work for them as a double agent? Do these superheroes want to put away criminals, or are they just looking for a way to get these meteorites for their own mysterious purposes? Maybe these superheroes aren’t heroes after all.
What if all of the Frozen Avenger’s old goons are turning up murdered and it looks like you might be next? What if sinister corporations are taking an interest in your work history, and you’ve got a seductive cat woman, whiskers and everything, knocking on your door at all hours?
What are you going to do?
If you’re Zach Hernandez, professional henchman, you better forget about the dream of getting a normal job, having a normal life. You better learn not to follow orders. Then you do what it takes to stay alive.
The Full Moon’s Slumber by Snow Eden:
Cinnamon Mercy Claus has been a witch for two years. At least that’s how long it’s been since her grandmother let her in on their little secret. She’s in the process of picking up her life and starting over, searching for something that means more to her than her mundane existence. Then a fairy drips down out of her bathroom faucet and tells her the moon’s gone all wonky and it’s up to Cinnamon to figure things out.
Since there’s nothing like a threat to the earth’s very existence to give your new life a kick into high gear, Cinnamon heads out across the country—with a talking dog and a woman who absolutely terrifies her—to figure out a mystery she doesn’t have a clue about.
Diamonds and White Lace in Osprey Cove by Luisa Marietta Gold:
The mysterious find in the secret compartment of the Corvette has indeed changed and intertwined lives, irretrievably so. And from these altered lives, new mysteries have emerged that have spanned decades. No one has been affected more than Catherine, who has sought escape and refuge at The Osprey Cove Lodge. Is recovery possible? Will there be a happily-ever-after? It is time for secrets to come out of the darkness and for mysteries to be solved. Book Eight of The Osprey Cove Lodge Series will bring an exciting and dramatic, if not unexpected, conclusion to the storylines raised in Books 1-7.
Drizzle of Death by CeeCee James:
Georgie Tanner didn’t expect much more than old world charm when she led a group of tourists on a visit to a local Amish township. But when a young girl pulls her aside, she discovers a dark underbelly to this peaceful village.
A young man, just returned from Rumspringa – the Amish rite of passage to adulthood – has been found murdered. The girl is terrified to tell any of the elders for fear she’ll be banished from her community. With nobody else for her to turn to, Georgie reluctantly agrees to help.
But when the community moves to cover things up, Georgie discovers her only witness has gone missing. With no evidence and no one willing to listen to her, it’s up to her to find the missing girl before she becomes the next murdered victim..
Arctic Wargame by Ethan Jones:
All they had left was . . . survival.
Mysterious icebreakers appear off the Arctic coast.
A treasonous plot is in the works.
CIS Spymaster Justin Hall has no time to put the pieces together.
Betrayed, disarmed, freezing, and left for dead, Justin must save himself and his entire country.
If you like Baldacci, Thor, or Flynn, you’ll love Arctic Wargame.
An adrenaline-drenched chilling spy thriller filled with action, suspense and betrayal.
Enjoy the book that started the Justin Hall best-selling espionage series.
Not a Zombie by Madeline Kirby
Jake, Petreski, and the rest are back for another installment of caffeine, snark, and a touch of romance.
It’s the start of a new semester and familiar faces are popping up all over – most of them unwelcome.
Jake knows Petreski’s not going to like his new study buddy and Don has a big decision to make. Jake’s mother will no longer be denied, and it’s meet the parents time. Miss Nancy’s past comes calling in an all too literal way. And to top it all off, Petreski’s ex shows up and it turns out there’s someone out there who Perez hates even more than Jake.
Oh, and somebody gets murdered.
Now with fewer carbs and more caffeine!
Bat Out of Spell by Amanda M. Lee:
Welcome to Eternal Springs, home to more than a thousand “normal” people and four feisty witches. Just a tip, the witches are more fun.
Especially Skye Thornton, an air witch about town who would rather be on the mainland than a touristy island that’s home to four climate zones and a gaping hole under the local school that allows monsters to creep through and wreak havoc on the community.
A reporter, Skye likes to be in the thick of things – she’s a busybody and proud of it – until she quite literally trips over a dead body at the island resort. In quick order, she finds herself fighting off monsters while trying to discover one of the human variety.
Since she can’t keep clear of trouble, Skye is determined to track down a murderer, fight off a wishing well beast and stay away from a local security chief who she’s always hated … or has she?
It’s a full slate of activity for Skye and her witchy friends. The laughs and insults will be flying fast and furious. Of course, so will the danger.
Look out world, here come four witches with attitude, and they’re not taking any prisoners.
Trip Wire by C.J. Lyons:
Heartless killer…or helpless victim?
It’s perfectly normal to be a little shaky on your first day back to work. Especially if you’re Morgan Ames, returning to work after killing her serial killer father, waking up from a coma, fighting back through rehab…and, with the help of her boyfriend, keeping her vow never to kill again.
Except when Morgan walks into the Galloway and Stone offices, she finds her boss holding a bomb.
Definitely no time for the shakes as Morgan jumps right back into her old life and saves the day. But the bomber has other ideas, igniting a killing spree targeting those Morgan holds most dear.
Morgan must decide what to sacrifice: her promise to never kill again or the lives of everyone she loves.
Phyllis Wong and the Secrets of Mr. Okyto by Geoffrey McSkimming:
Conjuring is in Phyllis Wong’s veins. The love for all things magical was passed down from her great-grandfather who, before his mysterious disappearance, was one of the world’s most brilliant and successful stage magicians. Now Phyllis lives in what was his beautiful old home in the middle of the city with her father and her loyal dog Daisy.
When a series of incomprehensible robberies takes place in the city, Phyllis realises that there is more to the crimes than meets the eye. It all may be baffling her friend Chief Inspector Inglis, but Phyllis is determined to find out more. Who is this thief? What does he want? And how is he achieving the impossible?
An exciting mystery about a young sleuth with sleight of hand (and lots more up her sleeve) from the author of the ever-popular Cairo Jim chronicles, Geoffrey McSkimming.
The first Phyllis Wong: Time Detective Mystery.
Back AT You by John W. Mefford:
The voice was disguised.
The agonizing message was not.
Alex gets a call no parent should ever receive. It’s a dagger to her heart. But she can’t afford to stop.
Forced to carry out the wishes of the captors, Alex is threatened at every turn. It defiles her, but she’ll do anything to get her daughter back. Will it work?
The treacherous journey is never-ending. Her life is threatened, but she brushes it off. The connection to her family member is still strong. But will she ever see her again?
An Amber Alert in San Antonio — and Ivy Nash intercepts the assailant. But the story behind the story grabs her by the throat. Would a mother actually do such a thing, or is this simply a custody issue?
Two paths intersect, and neither Alex nor Ivy will back down. They must save the lives of these young girls.
The opioid crisis devours people by the thousands. And those behind it slither around like snakes, using the addicted like they’re animals on the end of a leash. Can anyone stop the cycle of abuse?
It all has to stop. One life at a time. One daughter at a time. Alex and Ivy will either succeed or die in the process.
Who will make it out alive?
But in the end, could there be one shining moment?
Man’s Best Alibi by Tara Meyers
Something strange is happening in the mountains of Sanctuary
Veterinarian Ember Burns makes a grisly discovery and it leads authorities to the body of a man in the woods above her home. Although the circumstances are suspicious, the only witness is her dog and the death’s ruled a suicide.
But things aren’t that simple. When Ember looks into the man’s local connections, it creates more questions than answers. Including the source of an unusual rock, and what he was really doing in the mountains.
As a mysterious illness sickens the local animals, Ember’s battle to save them leads to a startling discovery. She races to prove both the cause of the animals’ symptoms and how the man died, but will it be too late?
Cybershot by Jaxon Reed:
An ancient organization has created a psychic with untold power. Raising the boy in secret, they hope to make him a world leader. But he escapes and heads for Texas to find his father, Gerald Bryce, the empathic detective. When someone tries to warn Bryce, a criminal mastermind uses the latest technology from neural immersive video games to kill the informant. Now Bryce and his partner must race the clock as a level three psychic terrorist battles the military for control of the city, and perhaps the world.
Gideon’s Rescue by Alan Russell:
Something wicked his way comes…
LAPD detective Michael Gideon and his German shepherd K-9 partner, Sirius, walked through fire to catch an infamous serial killer, and Gideon is still paying the price with his PTSD fire dreams. To assist the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, Gideon has agreed to monthly prison visits with Ellis Haines, aka the Weatherman. This time, a homicide case the FBI wants Haines to analyze sparks a chilling discovery: A new serial killer has struck, and he’s lacing his crime scenes with hidden messages intended for Haines.
Haines isn’t the only killer whose twisted game Gideon must try to break up. A missing man’s love poems are delivered to his fiancée with the message: So sorry for your loss. And when a sweet pit bull named Emily is rescued after being left for dead, Gideon and Sirius pull out all the stops to try and bring down the dogfighting ring that abused her.
Northtown Eclipse by Robert White
The brutal summer heat seems to have everyone in Northtown, Ohio on edge. A high school reunion is the catalyst for long held grudges to bubble up to the surface but quickly becomes a sideshow as private detective Raimo Jarvi is drawn into a murderous rampage that extends far beyond his usual remit of unfaithful wives and petty personal disputes. Raimo knows his estranged brother Rikki is up to his neck in something big and as the conspiracy starts to unravel it’s clear if he doesn’t move quickly they could both end up dead. This perfect slice of mid-western noir grippingly captures the long hot summers and simmering resentments of small town America where secrets are buried deep but the past is never quite forgotten