Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for July 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 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, craft mysteries, small town mysteries, science fiction mysteries, romantic suspense, police procedurals, psychological thrillers, crime thrillers, military thrillers, men's adventure thrillers, serial killers, terrorists, murder in amusement parks, museums and zoos, crime-solving dogs, the FBI, the Chinese mafia, adventures in the Caribbean and much more.
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:
Broken Blue Lines by Ariadne Beckett:
Nick Aster is a felon. He's also one of the FBI's most valuable consultants, and Agent John Langley's best friend and partner. When Nick is arrested and brutally assaulted, he must bring down some of the most powerful and corrupt men in the NYPD in order to survive the fallout.... and Agent Langley must defend the man he's come to love from the system they both serve.
They say the bond between law enforcement partners can be as strong as the one between couples. Agent Langley is straight and married to the love of his life. But when nursing Nick back to physical and emotional health brings the partners closer than ever, John and Nick realize they don't just love each other; they're in love.
Can an apple-pie wholesome FBI agent with a traditional marriage, a dog, and a perfect career adapt to the concept of another man joining the family? And can one man change the entire NYPD and erase a stain that has destroyed thousands of innocent lives?
Celebrities and Chaos by Cindy Bell:
A new TV show is filming on the beach in Garber and Dune House is full to the brim with crew members and celebrities. Suzie and Mary are run off their feet trying to keep up with the demanding guests. But that turns out to be the least of their concerns when someone is found murdered.
Chaos erupts as Mary is the prime suspect and Dune House is out-of-bounds because it is a crime scene. Suzie and Mary join forces with Paul to try and weed through the web of suspects to find the killer. They are in a race against the clock to clear Mary’s name and get back to business as usual at Dune House.
Will the murderer be found before Mary lands up behind bars and the reputation of Dune House lands up in tatters?
Shanghai Tang by Mick Bose:
A betrayed assassin is thrust into the secret life of Shanghai's underworld
Dan Roy, ex Black Ops legend, is becoming a new legend in the infamous blood fight tournament called Kumite, in Hong Kong. He is carving himself a new life, when disaster strikes his loved ones back home. He gets a phone call, and he cannot deny Kimberly Smith's plea for help. Not only is Kim’s life endangered, the rumbles of discontent have reached the White House…
A devastating secret lurks inside the glamorous night life of Shanghai. Political interests are involved, and soon Dan finds himself in a ruthless and twisted struggle for survival. He gets help from Xiao Wei-Ling, A Chinese woman who is on the run herself. An ambitious Triad boss is making a bid to over rule the whole of Shanghai, and Dan Roy has become a thorn in his side. The Triads have help from the police, and all eyes are on Dan – alone in a foreign land.
Get prepared for a white knuckle ride from Hong Kong and Shanghai to the corridors of power in Washington, as we follow Dan on a terrifying adventure that could be his last.
Will Dan meet his nemesis in the murky underworld of Shanghai? Or will he fight to live another day?
Child of Mine by V.J. Chambers:
A teenage girl found murdered.
Lorelei Taylor’s autistic son, Simon, is a suspect. But he didn't even know the girl. Did he?
Simon is sixteen, vulnerable, and diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Lorelei knows her gentle son could never harm another person.
But then she finds Simon’s camera full of photographs of the murdered girl, and her certainty begins to waver.
As the police circle in on her son, Lorelei has only one choice—to solve the murder and exonerate Simon. But does she know her teenage son as well as she thought she did?
Piper Deez and the Case of the Winter Planet by M. Fenn:
Detective Piper Deez, newlywed but still hardboiled, is a solar system away from home investigating murder and thievery on Alta-na-Schell, the Winter Planet. Who can she trust? Who should she trust? Why didn't anyone tell her monogamy was going to be this difficult? Eye of the Storm, a domed city riven by clan rivalries and corruption—with only fingerlengths of shielding protecting its denizens from certain death—may hold some answers and, perhaps, even the end of Piper Deez.
If monogamy doesn't get to her first...
Final Check Out by CeeCee James:
When Maisie takes a day off from the hotel business to visit a popular amusement park, the last thing she wants is to trip over a dead body in the Maze of Mirrors. The only witness to the murder is a park employee dressed in a princess costume. ??
Things take a turn as Maisie watches the princess run off and nobody seems to know who she is. And the Federal Marshal who was first on the scene has disappeared, too. ??
As Maisie follows the twists and turns of this not-so-funhouse, she hits one dead end after another—until she discovers that the person she should have been chasing has really been chasing her all along.?
Steele on a Roll by Chris Lord:
Death can come on the next roll for Ashley Steele, when you gamble searching for a killer!
Ashley Steele’s compassion causes him to land his plane The Good Fortune to save some refugees in the waters off of Cuba. The rescue gives him a friend he couldn’t have guessed in his quest to save Ella. Everyone you meet could be a friend, and every friend has connections. Some good. Some bad.
Captain Juan Diaz of the Cuban Naval Intelligence seems to be someone who becomes a friend to Ashley in his hunt for the ex-husband of the woman, Ella Fair, the only woman he loves” Ella’s ex-husband, Roderic Wright, and her brother, Donovan Walker work with the terrorists the S.I.A. and are the only two things standing between him and the safety of Ella.
Using the resources of his plane The Good Fortune, and the antiquated ship of Captain Diaz, The Cuban Queen, Ashley has a chance to catch Roderic Wright, a slim chance of getting out of Cuba alive, and an even slimmer chance of seeing Ella again.
Penguins and Mortal Peril by Ruby Loren:
When the penguin keeper is found dead at the bottom of the penguin pool, zookeeper Madigan Amos is determined to find out what happened to him… even if it means apprehending armed intruders, getting caught in the middle of a terrorist attack, and sparring with a machete wielding murderer.
The police struggle to conclude whether or not the death was accidental, but it’s not the only recent, unexplained happening at Avery Zoo. Since the tragic, avoidable death of a serval, animal rights activists have plagued the zoo. Activists with a reputation for extremism. Do they have something to do with the penguin keeper’s demise?
Madi also has her suspicions about two new zoo employees, but what exactly do they have to do with the goings on? Are they activist spies, or do they have their own scores to settle?
By the time Madi figures out things are not as they seem, she’s already in too deep. Someone has a hidden agenda, and they’re willing to kill to keep it a secret.
The Rushing Noise of Death by Gretchen Mullen and Phyllis Jobe:
"It was almost midnight on New Year's Eve. Martha Leland poured herself a drink, her labors worthy of celebration. She stood before the mirror and toasted her reflection. The clock began to strike and the big fireworks on the bridge behind her reflected their lurid blossoms in the glass. The great booms began and when the bullet struck dead center at the back of her skull, she might have seen the blinding splintered light of the finale, she might have heard the great white rushing noise of death."
On New Year's Day, Oklahoma Detective Hiram Flagg is called in to the Bliss County Court House by the newly installed Chief of Police. Initially, Flagg feels that he must, for the first time in his career, ask to be relieved from a case. He and Martha Leland have crossed paths before. Ultimately, however, he knows he must see this case through to the end.
Suspects begin to emerge from Martha Leland's immediate family and close circle of friends: the daughter, Anna Leland, and alcoholic undergoing psychiatric analysis with a secret wish for revenge; the son, Walker Leland, hungry for easy money and running with the wrong crowd; the ex-husband, Jack Leland, and his new young wife Margo, bitter after the messy divorce and quick remarriage; Martha's sister, Shirley, and her husband Jim Boyd, harboring a painful secret; portrait artist Gordon Grimes, motivated by greed and a desire to elevate his standing among the wealthy matrons of the town; and gigolo Jeff Sinclair, friend to Martha's son Walker, claiming to be Martha's most recent "love" interest.
With the discovery of a second body, the pace quickens and subplots converge during the lakeside memorial service of Martha Leland, when all suspects are present the identity of the murderer is revealed through the attempted murder of yet another victim and a surprise twist at the end.
Murder at the Museum by Melanie Myers:
She's used to dealing with ancient bones, not fresh corpses...
In sleepy Chowan Cove, a seaside town in Maine, an exciting day for local museum curator Maree Lilley is one where her favourite cafe owner makes fresh cinnamon buns.
So when she finds her boss' body in her office, less than an hour after arguing with him, Maree knows it's not going to be just any normal day. Trained as an archaeologist, Maree has always been about unravelling puzzles, especially when it turns out she's the main suspect in her boss' murder.
With her best friend Abby's help, Maree sets out to solve the case and clear her name, despite the local police chief being less-than-enthusiastic about Maree's involvement.
But as she delves deeper into the investigation, Maree finds herself in the murderer's crosshairs. Will she be able to solve the case before she becomes the next victim?
Murder at the Museum is the first book in the Museum Murders series. A light cozy mystery with a dog-loving amateur sleuth, her quirky artist best friend and a small-town setting.
False Signs by Travis Starnes
Retired Special Forces Sergeant John Taylor is hiding from the world. Still dealing with his captivity by terrorists and a near fatal collaboration with Federal law enforcement, Taylor has sworn off any future heroics. A call from a friend inside the FBI and the pleas of a desperate mother force Taylor to change his mind and end his self-imposed exile.
A National Guard armory has been destroyed in west Texas, and all eyes have turned to a possible terrorist attack by a missing corporal. The agents in charge of the investigation refuse to listen to claims of innocence by the soldier’s mother, forcing her to turn to Taylor and hope his first-hand experience with terrorists and past success with the Bureau can help clear her son’s name.
Granted access to the case but saddled with a beautiful yet stern Bureau baby-sitter, Taylor runs head first into the FBI’s refusal to look beyond their preferred theory of the crime. As he digs up clues of a frame-up and hints of a much more sinister motive behind the explosion, Taylor races to stop a dark conspiracy hiding in small-town America.
Murder in Crimson Velvet by Karen Sue Walker
What's worse than an actress who's a diva? A dead one!
Max Walters, a talented bridal consultant, is called upon to help with the costumes for Romeo and Juliet just days before opening night. When an actress confesses that a psychic told her she would be murdered, Max doesn’t take her seriously until the actress ends up dead. Is it a tragic accident as everyone is meant to believe, or is it really murder? With her friend and assistant Keiko, Max searches for the truth. Will she find it? Or will a murderer go free?
Icy Stares by Cyrus Winters:
Twenty years ago when she was just a young girl, a man abducted Nadine Shields for twelve hours and has been in her nightmares ever since. In spite of her childhood trauma, Nadine forged ahead bravely and left the past behind, establishing herself as a crime solving specialist within her state's city precinct.
But tonight Nadine's inner strength will be tested in ways it never has before. The monster who abducted her all those years ago has inexplicably reached out, wanting to draw her back into his sick world of terrifying mind games and abuse.
With the lives of innocents threatened and time running out to save them, Nadine must work with her colleagues to solve the one crime she never wanted to face - the crime that had been committed against herself.