Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for January 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 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, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, paranormal mysteries, hardboiled mysteries, police procedurals, crime thrillers, medical thrillers, science fiction thrillers, technothrillers, police officers, amateur sleuths, private investigators, doctors, missing persons, cold cases, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting maids, crime-busting teachers, crime-busting ghosts, murderous AIs, murder and mayhem in Palm Beach, Florida, Galveston, Texas, New York City, Brighton, London, Sicily 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:

An Unfortunate Demise by Blythe BakerAn Unfortunate Demise by Blythe Baker:

Death stalks the guests at a seaside resort…

While staying at Brighton with the formidable old Mrs. Montford, Anna Fairweather witnesses a drowning. Suspecting the “accident” is something more sinister, Anna begins a search for the truth – and the killer.

Does a belligerent brother-in-law carry an old grudge? Is the victim’s grieving husband a little too quick to move on? With an entire hotel full of suspects, Anna must uncover the secrets, and the motives, the hotel guests and employees are desperate to hide. But with the clock ticking, will Anna get to the bottom of the mystery – or find herself at the bottom of the ocean?

Murder in the Evening by Blythe BakerMurder in the Evening by Blythe Baker:

Death comes to dine…

When an elegant dinner party with friends ends in the sudden death of a beautiful young socialite, Alice Beckingham finds herself a witness to murder. Intrigued by a cryptic note in which the victim predicts her own demise, Alice enlists the aid of the cunning but slippery Sherborne Sharp to investigate.

Alice has more than one killer to contend with, however, as her family continues to be plagued by unanswered questions surrounding an older unsolved mystery.

Working together, the lady detective and her jewel thief partner set out to trap a killer. But will the looming shadows of the past leave Alice blind to the dangers of the present?

Dark Waters Inn Box Set by Bekah Bancroft and Jaxon ReedDark Waters Inn Mysteries Box Set by Bekah Bancroft and Jaxon Reed:

In 1900 a massive hurricane wiped out Galveston, killing thousands and leveling the island.

One building survived, the Dark Waters Inn. The proprietress made a deal with the angel who watches over Texas . . .

Over the years the island rebuilt. But Dark Waters remains untouched, haunted by a ghost whose successive granddaughters continue running the inn. Macey Davenport shows up late for her grandmother’s funeral and suddenly finds herself the new owner of a very special place.

Cord Dupree is a lonely highway patrol officer in West Texas. One night, he pulls over a werewolf . . .

Suddenly Cord finds himself promoted, handed a silver badge tied to the ghost of an old Texas Ranger. His job now is to serve as the living half of a paranormal law enforcement team stretching back to the 1800s.

When Cord and his partner become guests at the Dark Waters Inn, old ghosts are reunited and romantic sparks fly in the land of the living. But a secret organization keeps tabs on the paranormal in Texas. When guests start showing up dead in Galveston, it will take Cord, Macey, their ghosts and Bogey the dog to figure out whodunit and do something about it.

Grab all five books in the complete Dark Waters Inn series with this box set:
A Bite for Dinner
Paws for Lunch
A Breakfast Tail
A Nosey Brunch
Snacks for Packs

Murder at Midnight by Beth ByersMurder at Midnight by Beth Byers:

January 1927

New Year’s has arrived and Vi has resolutions. Her friends have faced something they never expected, and they’re all a little fragile. Determined to help her family, Vi brings them all together.

No one is even startled when they come across a body. But maybe, for once, something good can come from such an event. Maybe, they’ll find their peace along with a killer.


The Reticence by Levi FullerThe Reticence by Levi Fuller:

Sisters Margo and Marcia Fleming have always enjoyed investigating cold cases.

Tracking down elusive suspects while giving victims some peace of mind. They get the job done, no matter what’s at stake. Whether local police departments want their help or not.

They will stop at nothing to get to the truth.

For their latest case, a distraught mother requests their help to investigate the unsolved murder of her fourteen-year-old daughter, found naked and tortured on the bank of a river. With the whole town claiming that she was loved by everyone and never caused any trouble, Margo and Marcia will have to work hard to solve a murder that, by all appearances, looks like any other small-town murder. But appearances can be deceiving, as they have learned, and the killer may be far closer than anyone has expected before.

Can Margo and Marcia solve the case before they run out of time?

Figs and a Cadaver by Fiona GraceFigs and a Cadaver by Fiona Grace:

A VILLA IN SICILY: FIGS AND A CADAVER is book #2 in a charming new cozy mystery series by bestselling author Fiona Grace, author of Murder in the Manor, a #1 Bestseller with over 100 five-star reviews (and a free download)!

Audrey Smart, 34, has made a major life change, walking away from her life as a vet (and from a string of failed romance) and moving to Sicily to buy a $1 home—and embark on a mandatory renovation she knows nothing about.

Audrey is busy working to open the town’s new shelter, while also renovating her own problematic home—and dating again. With the help of friends, she begins taking in sick strays. But not everyone in town is grateful for her services, and she soon makes unexpected enemies.

When Audrey gets a tip about an injured dog near the coast and goes to find him—she finds the dead body of a powerful local instead.

Can Audrey, now a suspect, solve the crime and clear her name?

Or will her Sicilian dream fall apart?

Ghostly Wedding by Lily Harper HartGhostly Wedding by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow and Jared Monroe fell in love fast and hard. Finally, their big day is here.

They just need to solve a murder before they exchange their vows and take the next step to happily ever after.

Peter Humphrey, an insurance salesman from a neighboring town, appeared to be minding his own business when a woman came out of nowhere and struck him down while he was crossing the street. Harper witnessed the accident and vows to solve the murder before it’s time to leave on her honeymoon.

It might take more work than she realizes, though.

Peter was a normal guy, a father who doted on his daughter and was friendly with his ex-wife, and yet somehow he had a secret. His ghost points Harper toward Montgomery Manor, toward a woman who suffered her own tragedy almost two decades before.

On paper, Peter’s murder and the Montgomery tragedy shouldn’t be connected … and yet they are. It’s up to Jared and Harper to figure out how if they want to enjoy their wedding and what comes after … and they’re both determined to do it.

Some things are meant to be. Harper and Jared believe their union is one of those things.

Prepare yourselves, because this is one wedding you’ll never forget.

Alyx: An AI's Guide to Love and Murder by Brent A. HarrisAlyx: An AI’s Guide to Love and Murder by Brent A. Harris:

Home is where the heart is. It’s where you go to feel safe with your loved ones.

But what if your home wanted you dead?

Tech-loving teen Christine makes fast friends with her home’s AI, Alyx. But when a real-world romance threatens their bond, Alyx turns from friend to foe.


On the Street Where Death Lives by Cate LawleyOn the Street Where Death Lives by Cate Lawley:

Skeletons in the closet

The living have them, but what about ghosts? Geoff’s about to find out! He’s convinced his ghostly neighbor Ginny was murdered. When he starts digging for answers, he unearths more than facts.

Join Geoff, his favorite bobcat Clarence, Sylvie and a gang of supernatural misfits as they investigate murders, both past and present!


Cooking for Cannibal by Rich LederCooking for Cannibals by Rich Leder:

Fountain of youth? More like murderous medication!

Carrie Kromer pushes the boundaries of science, not her social life. The brilliant behavioral gerontologist’s idea of a good time is hanging out with her beloved lab rats and taking care of her elderly mother and the other eccentric old folks at the nursing home. So no one is more surprised than Carrie when she steals the lab’s top-secret, experimental medicine for aging in reverse.

Two-time ex-con Johnny Fairfax dreams of culinary greatness. But when his corrupt parole officer tries to drag him from the nursing home kitchen, the suddenly young-again residents spring to his defense and murder the guy—and then request Johnny cook them an evidence-devouring dinner to satisfy their insatiable side-effect appetite.

As their unexpected mutual attraction gets hot, Carrie and Johnny find themselves caught up with the authorities who arrive to investigate the killing. But even more dangerous than the man-eating not-so-senior citizens could be the arrival of death-dealing pharmaceutical hitmen.

Can Carrie and Johnny find true love in all this bloody madness?

Cooking for Cannibals is a dark comic thriller with a heaping helping of romance. If you like fast-paced plots, unconventional characters, and humor that crosses the line, then you’ll have a feast with Rich Leder’s wild ride.

Buy Cooking for Cannibals and dig in to a side-splitting serving today!

Long, Hot, Witchy Summer by Amanda M. leeLong, Hot, Witchy Summer by Amanda M. Lee:

Life couldn’t be going much better for Hadley Hunter. She’s living the dream on Moonstone Bay with her boyfriend Galen Blackwood, plotting her next move as a witch for hire, and basically basking in happiness.

That all changes when a summer afternoon on the beach turns into a nightmare, an odd creature from the depths of the ocean surfacing and attacking Hadley on the beach. Her friend Lilac, a demon with a few issues, fights it off but it escapes … and becomes a problem for an island that bases its entire economy on tourism.

The all-powerful DDA isn’t happy. Lilac’s hair refuses to stop glowing red. Booker is struggling to help all his friends. Essentially, things turn messy quickly.

On top of that, Hadley’s father drops in out of nowhere and demands she return home. He’s not happy with what he hears about the island and decides it’s too dangerous for her to say. Hadley, of course, has other ideas and is determined to bring her father around to her way of thinking.

Between monsters popping up out of nowhere and her father’s inability to stop freaking out, Hadley has her hands full. The monsters keep popping up in the oddest places, and always their attention is on Hadley.

Monsters are nothing new for Hadley but the ones attacking now seem to be different. It’s up to Moonstone Bay’s newest witch and her motley crew of paranormal colleagues to solve a mystery and save the day. Again.

They just have to survive to do it.

Factor-7 by J.D. MayFactor-7 by J.D. May:

Factor-7 presents a terrifying scenario that’s ripped from the headlines. You think it could never happen. Factor-7 will make you think twice!

The life of Dr. Sam Hawkins, the head trauma surgeon at Galveston’s St. Peter’s Memorial Hospital, is changed forever by the cryptic words of his dying friend, Dr. Bill Roberts, and a string of murders and blatant cover-ups that follow his demise. Sam reluctantly teams up with Dr. Rainee Arienzo, an Italian infectious disease specialist, and together they uncover the terrifying truth about Factor-7, a bio-weapon with a 98% mortality rate.

Dr. Roberts’s journal tips them off that a clandestine plot for using the virus is about to be unleashed by a secret society, the Keepers Collegium. The Collegium, an international group of rogue intelligence agents, ex-military, and government officials, has a demonic plan to use the pathogen to destroy anyone who threatens their twisted ideology.

Sam and Rainee can’t trust anyone. Danger and deceit are around every corner as they travel the world. They soon realize that public exposure of the evil plot would be as dangerous to the world’s security as the bio-weapon itself. The fallout could lead to World War III. Therefore, they must not only shut down the plans of the Collegium, but also keep the top-secret information from ever being revealed. But as they work to stop the plot, Sam and Rainee are kidnapped by the largest Mexican drug cartel. The kingpin, who financed much of the Collegium’s plot, wants Dr. Roberts’s journal because it lists the names of the major players in the Collegium who had double-crossed him. He plans to carry out his special revenge. And he also has his own plans for Sam and Rainee. In order to survive, Sam and Rainee have no choice…they must play with one of two devils or be burned by both.

Factor-7 is a bucking bronco ride of bio-weaponry, secrets, terror, betrayal, infidelity, raw human emotions and redeeming love. It’s a gripping suspense thriller that will keep the reader up all night turning the pages.

Null Identity by Sean Platt and Johnny B. TruantNull Identity by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant:

From the bestselling authors of Invasion and Yesterday’s Gone comes Null Identity, a new stand-alone novel written in the world of The Tomorrow Gene. This is a disturbing philosophical exploration of what can happen when our scientific advancement outpaces our ethics.

Cassandra Knight is trying hard to believe that she is safe and sane. Living with an adoring billionaire in his luxurious secluded mansion, she should have everything she needs to recover from the mental breakdown that drove her to attempt suicide.

And yet, she is haunted by vividly recurring nightmares of the moment she tried to take her life and the persistent feeling that something just isn’t right.

What happened on that hazy night when she hit rock bottom, and why does it seem like everything and everyone around her are conspiring to keep her from remembering?

Null Identity is a compelling mix of Ex Machina meets The Invisible Man in the story of one woman’s struggle to unearth the truth and understand her own past.

Grave Mistake by Christine PopeGrave Mistake by Christine Pope:

When you pull up stakes, make sure you don’t get stabbed in the back.

Self-taught in the arcane arts, hedgewitch Selena Marx is comfortable doing divination for West Los Angeles’ anxiety-ridden housewives, lawyers, and aspiring actresses. Her biggest challenge? Avoiding Lucien Dumond, leader of the Greater Los Angeles Necromancers’ Guild, who views her as fresh meat to add to his harem of slavishly devoted groupies.

Selena’s not interested in the slimy, celebrity-schmoozing sorcerer, but nobody turns Lucien down without consequences. When he threatens to fit her with magical cement shoes and drop her off the Santa Monica Pier, Selena’s Tarot cards point her to Globe, Arizona, for a new home, a new shop, and a cursed pet cat.

Just as she’s settling in and meeting the locals — including Calvin Standingbear, hunky chief of the San Ramon Apache tribal police — Lucien tracks her down…and promptly disappears. When his body turns up on tribal lands, it’s up to Calvin to investigate. Starting with Selena.

And when one of Lucien’s acolytes is killed, traces of dark magic and cryptic warnings from the spirits send Selena and Calvin in a race against time — before a too-close-for-comfort evil cuts her own life short.

A Murder of Principal by Saralyn RichardA Murder of Principal by Saralyn Richard:

When a maverick principal comes in with a student-centered agenda, there’s no more business as usual at Lincoln High School. And killing the principal is just the beginning…

When someone sets fire to Lincoln High and kills the new principal, chaos threatens to overtake the urban school. Assistant Principal Sally Pearce, originally hired to help the deceased principal revamp the culture, vows to carry on the mission. In so doing, she locks horns with fellow assistant principal, Wally Welburton, and gets caught up in gang threats, racial tensions, grievances, sexual harassment complaints, and murder.

Sally never dreamed she’d be faced with solving a mystery and returning the school to order. The odds are against her—a woman in a man’s job, a minority in a tough position. Her strong moral compass and commitment to students bolster her as she meets challenge after challenge. When a second murder happens on campus, Sally realizes she’s trapped in a cycle of violence that must be stopped—now.

Palm Beach Taboo by Tom TurnerPalm Beach Taboo by Tom Turner

There’s a dangerous cult in Palm Beach.

All about philanthropy and altruism, they say. All about sex and money, Crawford and Ott say.
Then there’s a brutal stabbing…make that sex and money and MURDER!

Suspects? Well, there’s a billionaire heiress, an ex-movie star, a former member of Skull and Bones, a Blackwater psychopath…and the bizarre thing, they’re members of the Mensa society!

She Told a Lie by P.D. WorkmanShe Told a Lie by P.D. Workman:

A missing girl.

Her confused family and friends don’t know what to think about her disappearance.

The police will only put so many resources into the search for a missing teen. They don’t have time and money to spend on runaways and voluntaries. But that doesn’t mean no one cares.

Zachary Goldman is on the case, and he is determined to find out what happened to Madison Miller and to bring her home safely.

If she’s still alive, he’s going to find her.

No matter what danger he might face personally.

The Wind in My Heart by Douglas WynneThe Wind in My Heart by Douglas Wynne:

Miles Landry is trying to put violence behind him when he takes up work as a private detective focused on humdrum adultery cases. But when a Tibetan monk hires him to find a missing person, things get weird fast.

Charged with tracking down the reincarnation of a man possessed by a demonic guardian from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Miles is plunged into a world of fortune-tellers, gangsters, and tantric rituals. The year is 1991 and a series of grisly murders has rocked New York City in the run up to a visit from the Dalai Lama.

The police attribute the killings to Chinatown gang warfare. Miles–skeptical of the supernatural–is inclined to agree. But what if the monster he’s hunting is more than a myth?

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

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