Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for December 2019

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 November 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 plenty of cozy mysteries, small town mysteries, animal mysteries, historical mysteries, 1940s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, humorous thrillers, police procedurals, romantic suspense, noir, private investigators, amateur sleuths, serial killers, kidnappers, missing persons, cold cases, robberies, organised crime, motorcycle gangs, crime-busting witches, crime-busting wedding planners, crime-busting cats, crime-busting frogs, thieving Santas, crime and murder in New Orleans, Charleston, Memphis, Philadelphia, Manhattan, the Bronx, London, Northumberland, 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:

A Simple Country Deception by Blythe BakerA Simple Country Deception by Blythe Baker:

The violent death of a friend plunges Helen Lightholder into another case of danger and deceit as she struggles to unravel the truth behind the grisly killing. With her own past continuing to haunt her, Helen works to uncover the ultimate answer behind the mystery that has plagued her since the beginning.

Return to the quaint – and deadly – village of Brookminster a final time for the dramatic conclusion to Helen’s adventures.

 

Mustang Sally by Blake BannerMustang Sally by Blake Banner:

The cops at the 43rd called it the unsolvable case.

October, 2010, Sally Jones had been stabbed in the heart in her apartment on Commonwealth Avenue, in the Bronx. Her coat was on the back of her chair. Her shoes were beside her bed, her clothes were neatly folded, and she was dead under the sheets.

The killer had removed Sally’s hands and feet and departed, leaving no trace – except the dismembered body.

October, 2019, as the national media focuses on the 43rd’s unbroken record in cold cases, Detective John Stone, head the unit, decides to tackle the case.

But he and Dehan are soon to discover that this is a case like no other: who were the visitors who came to see her before her death? What was their connection with the shadowy Sacred Brotherhood of Christ? And did her brother, Captain Ewan Jones, seek to help her – or murder her? It soon begins to look like this is indeed the case they will never crack.

And what, Dehan wants to know, happened to the Mustang?

Santa's Sticky Fingers by Cora BuhlertSanta’s Sticky Fingers by Cora Buhlert:

Normally, Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd doesn’t deal with petty crime and pickpockets. But when the Christmas market in Kingston upon Thames is hit by a wave of thefts, Helen and her team are called in to help out.

Harry, a homeless man who always hangs around the market, seems to be the most obvious suspect. But there is also the mysterious man in the black leather jacket some witnesses claim to have seen. Or maybe, the thief can be found much closer to home…

Can Helen and her team crack the case in time for Christmas?

This is a holiday novelette of 7800 words or approx. 26 print pages in the Helen Shepherd Mysteries series, but may be read as a standalone.

Frosted Croakies by Sam CheeverFrosted Croakies by Sam Cheever:

’Tis the season for great folly…walawalawalawalala…ribbit.

It’s Christmas time at Croakies. The tree is up. The stockings are hung. And Christmas tunes are turning the atmosphere jolly. After a tumultuous Samhain, I’ve found my chi again and I’m starting to enjoy the season of love and giving.

Yeah. You probably know how this is going to end.

When Sebille suggests I open the bookstore up to a small holiday party, I foolishly agree. How was I supposed to know that the hobgoblin would decide it would be fun to hide everybody’s stuff? Or that we’d be hit with a freak winter storm that confined everybody inside for the duration. Or that a “You’re me but who am I?” spell would be released inside the shop, switching everybody’s identities and creating general chaos and hysteria?

I could probably deal with all that if it weren’t for the fact that my friend, Lea…the one person who could possibly reverse the spell…was ensconced in SB the parrot, with no opposable thumbs for spelling.

And me? Of course, I’m sitting fat and squishy inside Mr. Slimy. Thank goodness Rustin isn’t currently in residence, or it would be really crowded in here.

Who spelled my party? What do a pair of Santa’s elves have to do with it? And why have old enemies suddenly become new friends? I apparently have a little holiday mystery to solve inside Croakies, and I have no idea how I’m going to solve it with everybody mixed up and some of us human.

Have I told you I hate this season?

Ribbit!

Lady in Red by Stacy ClaflinLady in Red by Stacy Claflin:

She appears only at night. Watching. Waiting…

When local children begin to vanish, Officer Alex Mercer is positive the cases are tied to recent threats against his family—especially since the first girl to go missing is his best friend’s daughter.

It all ties back to Alex. He’s sure of it.

The only solid link to the missing kids is a mysterious woman in a red dress. But that isn’t enough to go on, and Alex has orders to focus on another case. As if that will stop him.

He stumbles upon something so chilling, it finally provides the proof that he was right all along—the kidnappings are part of an elaborate worldwide scheme. And he and his family have landed on the bad guys’ radar.

Alex will stop at nothing to take down the dangerous criminal empire… if they don’t end him first.

In Plain Sight by Adam CroftIn Plain Sight by Adam Croft:

A trail of death. A web of corruption. The ultimate betrayal.

A series of armed robberies on local petrol stations leaves Mildenheath CID chasing their tails. But things are about to get a whole lot worse.

When an elderly woman is killed during an armed raid on her jewellery shop, Knight and Culverhouse realise one of their own is involved — a police officer.

With the future of Mildenheath CID at stake and the lives of their loved ones under threat, time is running out — fast.

As they begin to investigate the web of corruption, they discover just how deep it runs — and how close to home. But are they prepared for the truth?

Jocelyn's War by Jason Ryan DaleJocelyn’s War by Jason Ryan Dale:

There’s a war in the streets. The vicious Ghost Knights biker gang, suddenly flush with cash and guns, is challenging the Mob for control of the city. No one is safe as bodies fall and houses go up in flames.

Danny Rinker is a young Mob soldier, but he’s keeping his distance from the fighting. Encouraged by Jocelyn, his new girlfriend, Danny spends his days in the local bar he finally owns after years of struggling. While his friends are out making names for themselves, Danny finds in the velvety touch of Jocelyn’s lips all the action he’ll ever need.

From a chance encounter, Danny learns a secret that goes to the heart of the Ghost Knights’ newfound power. If he can unravel a twenty-year-old mystery, Danny will be the one who takes the bikers down once and for all.

But Jocelyn is not all she appears. She knows things about this war that her lover can’t even imagine. Danny is about to discover that Jocelyn is a warrior, and even if it breaks her heart, she will carry on her fight to the end.

Claus for Celebration by Laura DurhamClaus for Celebration by Laura Durham:

Wedding disasters are one thing. A missing Santa (who is presumed dead) is quite another.

This is no normal holiday season for DC’s top wedding planners. Not only is the weather too warm for their winter wonderland wedding, but their neighborhood’s singing Santa, Kris Kringle Jingle, is missing. On top of that, Annabelle’s engagement party is looming, and someone seems to be sabotaging their wedding plans. Can the Wedding Belles and their colorful crew find Santa, save the wedding, and stop the person who’s trying to make their lives a holly, jolly catastrophe?

Claus for Celebration is the 15th standalone book in the hilarious Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery series. If you like larger-than-life characters, madcap capers, and an insider’s look at glamorous society weddings, then you’ll love Laura Durham’s award-winning cozy mystery series.

Buy now to cozy up to this funny, festive holiday mystery today!

The Hexorcist by Lily Harper HartThe Hexorcist by Lily Haper Hart:

Ofelia Archer has a full life … which only gets fuller when a dead body lands in her backyard.

As owner of New Orleans’ premier supernatural speakeasy, Ofelia is always in the thick of things when the witch hits the fan. That’s no exception now … even when the local police start breathing down her neck.

Zach Sully has a colorful background. As a panther shifter, he keeps his true origins secret while walking the colorful streets of the French Quarter keeping law and order. A tourist murder draws him into new and uncharted territory, and a feisty witch is at the center of it.

Sully and Ofelia circle one another … warily … as they both try to solve a mystery that revolves around an outsider who somehow had ties to their little corner of the world. Eventually, they’re going to have to join forces … and it’s not exactly a comfortable meeting of the minds.

Chemistry is one thing. Trust is another. Ofelia and Sully will be forced to get over their inner misgivings and unite if they want to solve the crime … and stay alive in the process.

Welcome to a magical world, where the characters are colorful, the magic is fantastical, and the drinks are poured strong.

It’s Bourbon Street, baby, and you’ll never be the same again.

The Incubus Impasse by Amanda M. LeeThe Incubus Impasse by Amanda M. Lee:

Charlie Rhodes is at a crossroads in her life. Her big secret is out – at least with the most important person in her life Jack Hanson – and now they have to deal with a whole new reality.

Things are going relatively well when the Legacy Foundation is sent on a mission to Charleston. It seems women are dying under strange circumstances: open windows, no immediate sign of violence, locked doors. The leader of their group is convinced it’s an incubus, and even though he was the chief naysayer before, Jack has no idea what to believe given the reality of his magical girlfriend.

It’s a new world and Charlie is excited to embrace it. Jack wants to keep her close while exploring her abilities. They make a fearsome twosome … although there’s danger at every turn.

It seems Charlie resembles the dead women, and even though local police thought they had nothing in common … it seems they actually did. They were bucking for a reality television show and it appears someone in that business may be a murderer.

Charleston is a new environment and Charlie and Jack are embracing a brand new world. Things are going to be fine … as long as they live to tell the tale.

A murderer is stalking Charleston, death is close, and only Charlie can save the day. She’s going to need those closest to her to do it. Luckily, they’re up for the challenge.

Golgotha by Guy PortmanGolgotha by Guy Portman:

You can’t keep a good sociopath down.

Dyson Devereux is languishing in prison awaiting trial for murder. Languishing wouldn’t be so bad were it not for the irksome inmates, crowded conditions and distinct lack of haute cuisine.

Only Alegra, his sometime paramour and frequent visitor, shares his desire to see him released. The problem is, she wants Dyson freed so they can start a new life together. But all Dyson desires is to get back home to his treasured mementos.

As judgement day draws ever closer, can Dyson keep up appearances long enough to win his freedom? And at what cost? For hell hath no fury like a sociopath scorned.

Golgotha is a funny, fast-paced crime comedy novel, boasting a sardonic and sinister sociopath at its helm.

Ryan's Christmas by L.J. RossRyan’s Christmas by L.J. Ross:

Christmas can be murder…

After a busy year fighting crime, DCI Ryan and his team of murder detectives are enjoying a festive season of goodwill, mulled wine and, in the case of DS Phillips, a stottie cake or two—that is, until a freak snowstorm forces their car off the main road and into the remote heart of Northumberland. Their Christmas spirit is soon tested when they’re forced to find shelter inside England’s most haunted castle, where they’re the uninvited guests at a ‘Candlelit Ghost Hunt’. It’s all fun and games—until one of the guests is murdered. It seems no mortal hand could have committed the crime, so Ryan and Co. must face the spectres living inside the castle walls to uncover the grisly truth, before another ghost joins their number…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

All I Want For Christmas is Wicked by Lotta SmithAll I Want for Christmas is Wicked by Lotta Smith:

Trees decorated, stockings full of presents, and another case to crack!

The Rowling family is gearing up for another Merry Christmas, and Mandy has her hands full with holiday prep, but how can she get into the spirit of the season when the victim in her latest case isn’t a ghost?

Twenty years ago, during a Christmas Eve blackout, Kevin Holt, the husband of a rich heiress, lost his memory in a fall down the stairs of their mansion. Now he’s discovered evidence that someone might have been trying to kill him, and all he wants for Christmas is to find out who. Since the resident ghost of the Holt house didn’t witness the attack, Rick and Mandy will have to rely on old fashioned sleuthing (and a little help from Mandy’s paranormal pal Jackie) to find out which of the four suspects is the culprit.

Meanwhile Rick has been saddled with novice investigator Cameron Gibson (call him Ace!) the son of one of USCAB’s wealthiest clients. Ace is trying to catch the creep stalking a New York City fashion model, but despite wanting Mandy to mentor him, one ghostly encounter has him seriously spooked.

A run in with a biker ghost and dancers in danger complicate the case, but the big question on Mandy’s mind is why does little Sophie want a bear trap for Christmas? Find out in this wickedly merry holiday installment of the Paranormal in Manhattan Mystery Series.

Chilly Comforts and Disasters by Anne R. TanChilly Comforts and Disasters by Anne R. Tan:

Raina Sun is newly married and enjoying her role as the police station’s unofficial pastry chef. When her husband bought a dilapidated old house on a steal, they are thrown into a whirlwind of construction activities with well-meaning relatives coming into town, permitting issues, and a dead body behind the drywall of the attic.

With all construction activities at a standstill and her husband working overtime to help with the cash flow, Raina must solve this cold case to get her life back on track. With the help of the geriatric Posse Club, will Raina find this hidden killer after all this time or will she become the next victim?

When Raja Met Vinny by Jack ThomsponWhen Raja Met Vinny by Jack Thompson:

Who says oil and water don’t mix?

Before Vinny, Raja worked solo. His unique connection to people and his intuitive brilliance was all he needed to solve crimes. Having a partner never crossed his mind. When he met Vinny that changed.

The death of a prominent banker takes Oxford-educated private investigator Raja Williams on a case to his home turf, the Caribbean. Vinny Moore, a hipster hacker who got caught with her hand in the government’s cookie jar, is pressed into service helping a CIA task force stop a prolific cocaine smuggling operation in the Caribbean.

When the two cases cross, Raja and Vinny meet with explosive results. They are as different as night and day, but together they form a powerfully effective crime-fighting team.

Dateline Memphis by LynDee WalkerDateline Memphis by LynDee Walker:

Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke heads home for the holidays…and learns that crime doesn’t take a day off.

Nichelle detours to Graceland in search of an Elvis Presley souvenir for her mother.

But when a valuable piece of memorabilia goes missing, the historic mansion descends into chaos.

With security swooping in and Graceland on lockdown, Nichelle finds herself shut in with staff, security guards, and Elvis superfans, all in the midst of an unfolding crime. Never one to miss an exclusive scoop, Nichelle whips out her notebook and starts reporting.

Locked behind the famous Graceland gates, Nichelle must work through a long list of suspects with no time to lose. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more danger she finds herself in.

The house of the King offers many clues, but will Nichelle be able to connect the dots in time to save a piece of history…and herself?

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