Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for August 2017

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 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 cozy mysteries, culinary mysteries, small town mysteries, paranormal mysteries, romantic suspense, police procedurals, psychological thrillers, crime thrillers, medical thrillers, legal thriller, science fiction thrillers, men’s adventure thrillers, YA thrillers, serial killers, missing girls, stolen Shakespeare manuscripts, murderous apple thieves, forensic photographers, lawyers, guns with a mind of their own, adventures in 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 speculative 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:

Apple Assassination by Stacey AlabasterApple Assassination by Stacey Alabaster:

An apple a day keeps the homicides away…or maybe not!

When apples go missing from Pippa’s farm, the Bakery Detectives have another mystery on their hands. When someone turns up dead at a rival bakery, things turn far more sinister than a simple case of apple thievery. Can they put aside personal feelings and business rivalry and clear their rival or will this be the first case the Bakery Detectives can’t (or won’t) solve?

Apple Assassination is part of the Bakery Detectives Cozy Mystery series. If you like fast paced mysteries full of quirky characters and unexpected twists, you’re going to love the Bakery Detectives.

The Carlswick Deception by S.L. BeaumontThe Carlswick Deception by S.L. Beaumont:

Theft. Murder. Love Tested.

A priceless Shakespearean First Folio is stolen from an English manor house.

A man is dead.

Oxford student Stephanie Cooper is drawn into the dangerous criminal world of art theft when she meets attractive young detective Luke Spencer.

While her rock-star boyfriend tours Japan with the band, Stephanie and Luke’s quest becomes personal as they follow an increasingly perilous trail that leads from Oxford to London, Paris and Venice.

But when Stephanie takes an unnecessary risk, the stakes turn deadly. Can she stay alive long enough to expose the identity of the thieves, help recover priceless literary works and resolve her conflicted feelings for Luke and her boyfriend James?

The Carlswick Deception is another exciting instalment in the Carlswick Mysteries series and can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Buried Secrets by T.J. BreartonBuried Secrets by T.J. Brearton:

What if your dream home became your worst nightmare?

Newlyweds Brett and Emily Larson have just moved into a new home deep in the countryside, and are overjoyed when Emily finds out she’s pregnant.

Then they discover human bones in their garden.

As the police start to investigate, three things become clear:

The bones are recent.
They are not here by accident.
They are a message.

When the police put three photographs of known criminals on the Larsons’ kitchen table, the couple realize the danger may be closer to home than they think.

As the situation escalates, can Brett and Emily keep one step ahead to protect themselves – and their unborn child?

Girls in the Water by Victoria JenkinsThe Girls in the Water by Victoria Jenkins:

When the body of Lola Evans is found in a river in a local park on a cold winter’s morning, Detective Alex King and her new recruit Chloe Lane are called in to lead the hunt for the killer.

Days later, another girl goes missing, and another body is found in the water. It seems the two girls shared a troubled history, and were members of the same support group. What secrets were they keeping? And who is the monster preying on these vulnerable girls?

As the detectives start to piece together the clues, it becomes clear that the murderer’s reach goes even further – back into the painful past of Chloe Lane herself. Chloe realises that she too is in danger – as she uncovers secrets about her own brother’s death which someone will kill to keep hidden.

Alex and Chloe are soon caught in a race against time to reach the next victim before it’s too late… and they must face terrifying truths from their own lives to have a chance of catching the killer.

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

Look out Sin City, here comes the Mystic Caravan Circus.
The city that never sleeps has something lurking in the darkness and Poet Parker can’t decide if it’s friend or foe. The rich history of the area comes into play when research uncovers a mine disaster more than a hundred years in the past … and a tragic outcome that still haunts the locale to this day.
Between dust storms bringing forth a creature with glowing red eyes, screams in the desert and Poet’s increasing conviction that they’re not alone, the team has their hands full. That’s on top of the fact that Max decides now is the time to make his move and get to know his son – who also happens to be Poet’s boyfriend – in a new light and the unwelcome realization that Luke has seemingly become obsessed with gambling.
Poet’s attention is split in numerous directions, although Luke’s quagmire is closest to her heart. She wants to help her best friend, even as he spirals out of control. He’s not the same best friend she’s spent the past few years loving, but she’s determined to get him back … even if it means facing off with some of Las Vegas’ most perilous residents.
The mystical world of the circus is due to collide with the dangerous underbelly of the gambling world and the two sides might not be as far apart as they initially assume.
When the dust storm settles – and the final battle is upon them – more than one person will be in danger … and Poet will have to make a hard choice to protect those she loves while sacrificing someone else to the unending darkness.
It’s the ultimate game, but money isn’t the only thing at risk.

Ice Lake by John A. LenahanIce Lake by John A. Lenahan:

An abandoned body
Deep in the woods of north-eastern Pennsylvania, the body of a man is found – shot three times, dumped under the trees where the local kids will find him.

A haunted psychologist
Psychologist Harry Cull, tormented by his past, arrives in the picturesque town of Ice Lake to help with the murder investigation. There he unravels a web of lies and deceit that leads to the dark heart of a community torn apart by fracking, drugs and murder.

A desperate killer
It’s not long before the second corpse turns up, this time a lawyer left for dead in the forest, and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer – who will do anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.

Cause of Death by Patrick LoganCause of Death by Patrick Logan:

How do you catch a killer when no one believes that a murder has been committed?

Detective Damien Drake is back, but after what happened with the Butterfly Killer, he’s no longer associated with the NYPD.

Now Drake heads his own PI firm, which specializes in dealing with paranoid housewives and rich suburbanites suspicious that their nannies are stealing their silverware.

That is until a visitor comes to him with a series of photographs of dead people. The problem is, no one believes that the victims in the images have actually been murdered.

Staged to look like suicide, the victims follow a pattern that Drake is determined to crack. But as the body count rises, the real difficulty becomes determining the victims’ true Cause of Death…

Dead in Bed by Wendy MeadowsDead in Bed by Wendy Meadows:

Brenda Sheffield is thrilled to host the East Coast Acting Troupe in her inn set above the Atlantic Ocean. Excitement permeates the Sheffield Bed and Breakfast and injects new life in the small town of Sweetfern Harbor. Ellen Teague, the famous actress will be given a large suite on the second floor. From the adjoining room she will have access to her assistant Chester Boyd. Chester caters to her every whim. Ellen is demanding and narcissistic. She is liked by very few members of the troupe who are there to perform “The Rich Game.”

After the first performance at Harbor Park, Edward Graham pulls Brenda aside and tells her he has serious business to discuss with her. The lawyer informs her that Ellen Teague states she is the rightful owner of Sheffield Bed and Breakfast, not Brenda. Brenda argues her uncle’s will states she is the heir to his property. Ellen argues she and Randolph Sheffield signed an agreement that the bed and breakfast would be hers.

When Brenda confronts Ellen late at night, a loud argument ensues. Brenda’s raised voice awakens the cast members who were sound asleep. Brenda doesn’t think about this and goes to her apartment seething in anger. The next morning, she becomes fully alert when one of the cast members informs her that Ellen Teague is dead in her bed. As if this discovery isn’t shocking enough, Brenda is dismayed when Detective Mac Rivers narrows her down as his prime suspect and states she has the strongest motive for killing the star who demanded her rights to the bed and breakfast. Brenda and Mac are in love with one another, or at least that is what he told her when he gave her the Promise ring the day before. The estrangement leaves Brenda to solve the murder case as soon as possible or Mac plans to serve the warrant for her arrest.

This will be no easy task since at times all of the actors argued with Ellen. Combined with the fact that none of them cared for her egotistical behavior they also had individual motives for wanting her dead. Brenda knows she is on her own. Will the forty-eight hours the detective gave her be enough to prove who the killer really is? It is the only way Brenda will avoid prison for the rest of her life, and she realizes time is of essence.

L.A. Defense by Rachel SinclairL.A. Defense by Rachel Sinclair:

Ginger is back, and her mouth is as unfiltered as ever…

Ginger Perry, Harper’s star witness in her previous murder trial, left Kansas City for the greener pastures of the Los Angeles adult film scene. As soon as she gets out to the West Coast, however, she catches a case. A big case. A murder case.

The victim is a powerful studio head. Ginger insists she was framed. Harper’s not so sure. She wants to give Ginger the benefit of the doubt, but Ginger’s always been a little shady. Nevertheless, she agrees to take the case. After all, she hasn’t had a vacation in years, and a trip to Los Angeles is as much of a vacation as she’s ever going to get – even if it’s not really a vacation, but another murder case. Harper knows that she needs another murder case like she needs a hole in the head, but she just can’t resist a lost cause.

And Ginger’s case seems to be as lost of a cause as you can get.

With the twists, turns and lightning-fast pace you’ve come to expect from a Harper Ross Legal Thriller, L.A. Defense is not to be missed!

Picture Perfect Murder by Jenna St. JamesPicture Perfect Murder by Jenna St. James:

Ryli Sinclair had no idea that moonlighting as a Forensic Photographer for the Granville Police Department would put her directly in the path of a crazed killer. Determined to identify the murderer before she becomes the next victim, Ryli enlists the help of her best friend, Paige, and her elderly great-aunt, Shirley, a former private investigator. From the driver’s seat of Aunt Shirley’s coveted ’65 Falcon, Ryli and the girls are hot on the trail of the murderer…and hilarity ensues, as the ridiculously handsome chief of police, Garrett Kimble, throws stumbling blocks in their path at every turn.

Hold on to your seats as hilarious and talented Cozy Mystery Author, Jenna St. James, takes you on the ride of your life! You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you may even scream during this rollicking romp through the town of Granville. This down to earth non-traditional Cozy is an absolute delight that pushes the boundaries of the genre in some daring ways that make it all the more enjoyable.

Rising Storm by Wayne StinnettRising Storm by Wayne Stinnett:

Miles from the laid-back lifestyle of No Name Key, and just shy of the raucous nightlife of Miami and South Beach, lies Coconut Grove, a tropical oasis with a distinct Bohemian flair. Lately, a seedy underside has emerged along the Grove’s waterfront, preying on adventurous young women.

Somewhere amid all the glitz and glamour, hides a thief who stole a fortune in Aztec emeralds. Or did he? Jesse McDermitt must first determine if the victim herself is a thief. The trail of clues leads him to evidence that the thief may be involved in a string of more heinous crimes.

Jesse and Chyrel enlist the help of the recently returned Charity, and the trio go “undercover” at a floating swinger’s party headed for the Bahamas, which may well be a front for torture and murder.

When a sudden violent storm strikes Stiltsville, Jesse finds himself alone on the ocean, trying to recover the treasure and put a murderer behind bars—but first he must win the battle with Mother Nature.

The Haunted Valentine by J.A. WhitingThe Haunted Valentine by J.A. Whiting:

Lin and her cousin, Viv, stop into a gift shop in Nantucket town and while browsing, Lin sees an antique Sailor’s Valentine.

The valentine, made of tiny beautiful shells, pulls at Lin and she decides to buy it and bring it home.

At times, the object feels hot to the touch and sometimes the shells illuminate and dim in a sequenced pattern. Once in a while, the valentine makes appearances outside the house in places Lin happens to be. A ghost pays a visit, but Lin has no idea what he wants from her or what his link might be to the sailor’s valentine. With the help of her boyfriend and her cousin, Lin works to solve the mystery of the haunted valentine.

This is book 7 in the Lin Coffin Mystery series from USA TODAY Bestselling Author J A Whiting. Although the main mystery is solved in each story, the books should be read in order for the most enjoyment as story threads run from book to book. This story has ghosts and some mild paranormal elements.

Spider Jack by Cyrus WintersSpider Jack by Cyrus Winters:

CAN YOU GUESS THE KILLER?

Detective Taylor Shandling is one of the only good guys left standing after events that have shaken her city precinct. Indefinitely suspended and spending her days drinking alone, things spiral further into desolation as an old nemesis from Taylor’s past makes an unexpected return.

Once again she finds herself on the hunt for a killer, in a day where friends become enemies, enemies become friends and the unexpected is always sure to happen.

 

Dead Weapons by Simon Paul WoodwardDead Weapons by Simon Paul Woodward:

Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero. But now he’s dead. Or is he?

Ciaran has lost his way. He’s forgotten the boy he was and the man he wanted to become. Worst of all, he’s betrayed his only true friend, Isobel, leading her to a tragic accident.

His estranged brother, Patrick, forces him to carry out one last job for his crew: collecting a stolen gun and delivering it to the gangster Eliza Frost. In return, Patrick reveals a startling secret: somebody faked their father’s death.

When the gun malfunctions, fastening itself to Ciaran’s hand, he’s framed for the murder of two policemen and forced to go on the run. He searches for a way to remove the weapon and find his father, but the police, Eliza Frost and a black ops team of frighteningly modified soldiers are all hunting him and Isobel may be the only person who can help.

Dead Weapons is a young adult, urban fantasy; a story of father figures fair and foul, broken friendships and the fleeting possibility of redemption.

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