Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for June 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 May 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, historical mysteries, retro mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1960s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, action thrillers, adventure thrillers, spy thrillers, police procedurals, police officers, amateur sleuths, burglars, spies, FBI agents, ex Navy SEALs, drug dealers, cold cases, missing princess, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting ghosts, crime-busting cats, murder and mayhem in Washington DC, New Orleans, London, Northern England, the Bahamas, the Caymans, Brazil, Australia 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 at the Fair by Verity BrightMurder at the Fair by Verity Bright:

Summer flowers, warm sunshine, a maypole dance and… is that another murder? A tricky case is afoot for Lady Swift!

Summer, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift, the best amateur sleuth in the country, is delighted to be in charge of the prize-giving at her village summer fair. But the traditional homemade raft race takes a tragic turn when the local undertaker, Solemn Jon, turns up dead amongst the ducks. Jon was the life of any party and loved by the entire village. Surely this was simply an awful accident?

But when a spiteful obituary is printed in the local paper, Eleanor realises there may be more to Jon’s death than first thought. Despite handsome Detective Seldon giving her strict instructions not to interfere, Eleanor owes it to Jon’s good name to root out the truth. So with her partner in crime, Gladstone the bulldog, Eleanor starts digging for clues…

When another local dies in a riding accident, the police refuse to believe he was murdered. But a second vindictive death notice convinces Eleanor of foul play. Solemn Jon’s assistant, a bullish banker and a majestic marquess make her suspect list, but it isn’t until she finds a dusty old photograph that she knows the true culprit behind both crimes. Then another obituary appears – her own! Can Eleanor nail the killer before she too turns up dead among the ducks?

Stealing Murder byx Beth ByersStealing Murder by Beth Byers:

April 1961

Cat Clarke tends towards the naughty. You know…a little vengeful pickpocketing. A smidgeon of well-aimed fraud. A dabbling of burglary from the deserving.

She’s a woman with her eye on the prize, and with her unexpected team, she might have planned her greatest heist yet. Only while she’s in the act of cutting the painting from the frame, she hears a murder.

If Cat doesn’t catch the killer first, the feds may never stop chasing her. Time for her team to accomplish their greatest feat yet: find the killer, leave him gift-wrapped for the feds, and disappear into the night.

Book ONE in the Cat Clarke 1960s Adventures. It’s time for a new adventure, and you’re going to love Cat Clarke and her family.

One-time orphans turned family, Cat might be fiendish, but her mother, Louisa, is all-good. Then there is the pragmatic Albert and the loyal Thea. This family sticks together no matter what hijinks Cat drags them into. Prepare yourself for a series of mysteries and heists and grab onto something, because it isn’t just her family that Cat will charm.

Murder on a Yacht by Beth ByersMurder on a Yacht by Beth Byers:

August 1926

After a long slog of dark days, Vi and friends buy a yacht and go for some time on the sea. It’s what they need. Their nightmares come to an end along with the gray days too many of them have been fighting. They stop in at Monaco and, to their surprise, find old school friends. A few days of revelry, an evening party, and–of course—a body.

Once again, they’re pulled into another round of questions and investigations. This time, they’re the suspects. Forced into working to solve another murder, will they lose the peace they’ve found? Or will they find a way to navigate the murder and maintain a level of happiness?

Murder in England by Dianne HarmanMurder in England by Dianne Harman:

When an employee of the English pub where you’re staying during your vacation is murdered, and it happens on the first night you’re there, it’s definitely not the way to start a vacation!

A vacation in Northern England with three friends is a dream come true for Kat. Many famous authors lived and worked there, and Kat, who is an author, was looking forward to learning more about them. But the ugly hand of murder upset her plans when Sam, a popular employee at the pub, is murdered on his way home from work.

Kat’s been involved in several successful murder investigations at her home back in Kansas (her husband is the local District Attorney), and she feels she has to help investigate his murder. And even though she’d promised her husband she wouldn’t become involved in any more murder investigations, she can’t turn her back on Sam’s uncle, the owner of the pub, who has no idea what to do. She can see that he desperately needs her help.

Kat can’t get rid of the thought that Bailey, Sam’s Belgian Malinois dog, must have known who the murderer was because he didn’t try to protect Sam from the killer. After all, he’d come to Sam’s rescue before, so why didn’t he protect Sam on the night the murder took place? Had he recognized the murderer? Was it someone Sam knew and was on friendly terms with?

Join Kat and her friends as they explore the Northern England countryside while they help the local authorities solve a murder.

Bourbon Street Ghosts by Lily Harper HartBourbon Street Ghosts by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow-Monroe and Zander Pritchett have been excited for their upcoming ghost conference in New Orleans for years, since before they were involved with their significant others. What was once a trip for two has now become a trip for four … but that doesn’t make them any less excited.

Ofelia Archer has just found out that her bar Krewe is about to be inundated with ghost hunters … and she’s beyond excited. She’s looking forward to a good week, which means more money to funnel into her next business venture.

Two worlds collide when Harper and Ofelia meet in Jackson Square, a ghost catching their attention. Before they realize what’s happening, they’re embroiled in a huge mystery … one that involves New Orleans’ colorful past and worry for the future.

Harper and Ofelia have a lot in common and they bond quickly. That adds a colorful edge to their friendship. Add Zander to the mix and the Big Easy is in for big trouble.

Hang on because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Between ghosts, Zander’s attitude, and Ofelia’s mother … it’s going to be a very strange trip. It could also be deadly.

Note: This is a crossover book between Harper Harlow and Ofelia Archer. It’s set after Ghostly Travels and Hex, Drugs & Rock and Roll.

Bloody Bay Rum Club by Nicholas HarveyBloody Bay Rum Club by Nicholas Harvey:

An idyllic Caribbean island. An exclusive resort. A deceptive façade.

While on holiday in Little Cayman, dive boat operator AJ Bailey expects a peaceful getaway. Nothing sounds better than uniquely-aged rum, crystal-clear water, and world-class diving.

But, beneath the surface, the Bloody Bay Rum Club is hiding a dangerous secret, and when AJ uncovers the truth, things turn deadly.

Bloody Bay Rum Club keeps you on the edge of your seat in book 10 of this exciting series.

The Cold Light of Death by Scott HunterThe Cold Light of Death by Scott Hunter:

July, 1976 – Thames Valley, UK. Long, scorching days of blue skies, water shortages, and record temperatures. A newly promoted Detective-Sergeant is tasked with investigating the murder of a local shop owner – an investigation that goes tragically wrong…

Fast-forward forty-five years to 2021, when a chance discovery exposes a grim secret that forces a reexamination of the circumstances surrounding the ill-fated murder inquiry.

DCI Brendan Moran is assigned this coldest of cases, and it soon becomes apparent that he is dealing with a cold and calculating criminal mind. Can Moran and his team piece together the events of that long forgotten summer and unmask the killer before history repeats itself?

Catastrophe in the Library by CeeCee JamesCatastrophe in the Library by CeeCee James:

A mysterious mansion, a suspicious death, and a cat too smart for its own good…

Laura Lee and her secret book club, led by Hank the marmalade cat, find themselves in the heart of their deepest mystery yet! Laura Lee’s efforts to bring the beautiful but decrepit old manor back to life uncover even more secrets that the ancient house has been keeping from her.

Hank, hiding from the workmen, gets himself stuck under a broken board. Rescuing him, Laura Lee finds not only a small root cellar, but a nearly intact skeleton holding a sheaf of papers. How long has it been there? Who was it? And why were those papers so important?

It’s not just a lesson in history; someone who’s very much alive is trying to stop them from discovering the secret . It will take the entire book club’s help to discover the truth as every clue they find takes them in a different direction and puts them in unknown danger.

Extracted Asset by Ethan JonesExtracted Asset by Ethan Jones:

The Storm they weren’t expecting…

Elite extractor Jack Storm is pulled into a sinister new operation in hopes that it will lead him to key information as to what happened to his missing family…

Information he would do anything for…

Jack’s operation is to find and retrieve a missing Saudi princess whose secret escape has greatly embarrassed her royal family.

A secret they will do anything to hide…

As Jack is thrust into a world of betrayal and deception, he searches the Caribbean for the princess and soon realizes he’s not the only one. Cold-blooded assassins are closing in. But they have no idea what’s raging towards them. Knowing the retrieval is now a rescue, how can Jack desperate for his own answers, save the princess with no place to run?

The Asylum Aberration by Amanda M. LeeThe Asylum Aberration by Amanda M. Lee:

Charlie Rhodes has spent her entire life wondering who she is, why she was abandoned as a child, and what’s behind the magical powers she can wield in the blink of an eye.

She’s finally getting her answers.

Now that she’s been reunited with her birth mother and brother, the search is on for her father. He’s supposed to be somewhere in Boston … but where? He’s fallen out of touch and finding him is virtually impossible.

Thankfully for Charlie, the Legacy Foundation’s next assignment is in a suburb of the very city where she lives, which means there’s plenty of time to find her father and solve the mystery of a haunted former hospital that’s apparently eating construction workers on a regular basis.

Heavenstone Asylum was considered the height of sophistication in psychiatric circles back in the day. In the years since the facility closed, the main doctor’s legacy has been tarnished by horror stories of treatments gone wrong and disappearing patients.

The second Charlie walks into the building, she recognizes that the past is hardly buried within the walls. There are tortured souls at every turn, and it’s her job to help them.

Heavenstone’s history makes for interesting reading but the harder Charlie digs, the more horrifying the story. Somehow she needs to uncover the truth … and survive the ghosts long enough to free them.

It’s going to take everything she’s got to see things through until the end.

All Charlie wants are answers. She’s going to get them. Surviving long enough to do anything with them is another story.

It’s about to be the Legacy Foundation’s finest hour … or is it?

White Haron by J.J. MarshWhite Heron by J.J. Marsh:

For Ann Sheldon, the past no longer exists. All she wants is a place to run and hide. Where better than a tiny shack between the Brazilian jungle and the Atlantic Ocean to appreciate the natural world and obliterate her memories?

Hermit-style living goes well until a local is murdered in shocking circumstances. Violence has followed her 5,000 miles to a remote fishing village? Against her will, Ann is drawn into a murder investigation, in close proximity to the last thing she needs: a smart cop.

Erasing history is a challenge but unlearning experience is impossible. Ann knows trouble when she sees it. Surfers are dealing drugs and the man in snakeskin boots is their supplier. She tells herself it’s not her problem. But when drug wars come to the beach, it’s everyone’s problem.

She knows it will end in blood and tears.

Must she take flight again?

Such a Good Girl by Willow RoseSuch a Good Girl by Willow Rose:

A girl falls from the penthouse floor of an apartment in Washington, D.C.

Media Mogul Richard Wanton owns the apartment and is seen standing on the balcony when the girl falls.

He is accused of killing her, but the FBI struggles to find enough solid evidence to convict him.

They have a witness, someone who was in the apartment when it happened, but she doesn’t want to talk to them.

She’ll only speak to one person, ex-FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas. The problem is, Eva Rae Thomas has no interest in talking to her.

As a matter of fact, she’d rather see this woman dead than have to face her.

But Eva Rae Thomas isn’t someone who can leave a case alone, especially not when she starts to ask questions and things aren’t adding up.

As she digs in deeper—with the entire world watching—she soon finds herself in too deep and realizes she can’t trust anyone’s motives.

But by then, it is too late, and the killer is already tracking her down.

Goodbye Port Alma by Anne ShilloloGoodbye Port Alma by Anne Shillolo:

A beautiful teen is killed on a glorious June afternoon, hidden in plain sight, and discovered by an anonymous caller.

Did her secrets die with her? Or are they still alive – with the power to seduce and destroy the lives of a select few?

DC Holly Towns is on the team that has to untangle a far-reaching web of sex, drugs, and money, and solve a crime that threatens to tear the city apart. Are the victim’s two best friends the next targets? With a suspect list of movers and shakers, even with all the hard work in the world, no one has more to lose than Holly herself if the killer strikes again.

As a new Detective Constable, Holly gets a second chance to prove herself in a job where even her friends wonder if she can succeed. She likes police work, but her future is a coin-toss. She’s either on the way out, courtesy of a vindictive former boss, or on the way up, thanks to her intuition and stubborn persistence. And some days are a struggle to tame her own demons and escape her past.

If you like complex characters, twisty plots, and a fast-paced story, the Port Alma Murder Mysteries series is for you.

Murder in Belgravia by Lee StraussMurder in Belgravia by Lee Strauss:

Murder’s a piece of cake!

Wedding bells are ringing in Belgravia, and Ginger couldn’t be happier to attend the nuptials of Felicia Gold and Lord Davenport-Witt. If only she could put her mind at ease about the things she knew about the groom’s past.

When a death occurs at the wedding party, Ginger is placed in a frightfully difficult position. Betray her vow of secrecy to the crown, or let a killer go free.

 

A viable Threat by Ed TejaA Viable Threat by Ed Teja:

They want to kill a Senator

Stopping it calls for running a hair-brained, off-the-books abduction, grabbing a Dutch national from a private island in The Bahamas. It doesn’t help that the senator whose life is in danger is Martin’s ex-wife, Polly. And then there is the minor detail that the intelligence for the mission, the idea of running it, was arranged by a US Navy Admiral who just happens to be Polly’s current husband. The presence of a hard-nosed (and very sexy) DEA agent with her own agenda, one who forced her way into the center of a mission she shouldn’t have even known about… well, it’s complicated.

But hey, it’s all part of a normal day in the life of an ex-SEAL who only wants to be an average freighter captain in the Caribbean — at least Martin would like to think so.

The Girl Who Was Forgotten by Amy VasantThe Girl Who Was Forgotten by Amy Vasant:

Life was supposed to start feeling like a permanent vacation.

After years on the run from a vengeful killer, Shee McQueen is home at her father’s beach hotel. The Loggerhead Inn doubles as a retreat for sunburned tourists and a haven for recovering ex-military — men and women who help right wrongs for people in need of their particular skills.

What could be more relaxing?

Unless…

…Shee’s estranged boyfriend — the only man she’s ever loved — has discovered her darkest secret and the reason she left him so many years ago…
…or her first job for her father has ended in a double homicide…
…or that her very presence is driving the hotel’s regulars to prove their worth by starting dangerous covert missions of their own…

Wait. It couldn’t be a botched kidnapping is started looking more like the work of a deranged serial killer?

Hm.

Maybe hold the tanning lotion.

This might take a minute.

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