Indie Crime New Releases: Week of May 26

Pulp Modern
edited by Alec Cizak
(Uncle B. Productions)

Despite the best efforts of the feds and corporate publishing stooges to prevent it from happening, Pulp Modern returns with a vengeance. Featuring brand new fiction by Rex Weiner, Russell Thayer, C.W. Blackwell, Albert Tucher, Matthew X. Gomez, Scott Forbes Crawford, Adam S. Furman, Adam S. House, and S. Craig Renfroe Jr. Issue four marks a return to Pulp Modern’s roots with original illustrations by Ran Scott, Alfred Klosterman, Dan W. Taylor, Rick McCollum, and Brian Buniak. The stories begin with a wild L.A. trip courtesy Rex Weiner, the man responsible for Ford Fairlane, and travel the gamut of crime before shifting to sword and sorcery, science fiction, and closing with a pair of brutal rural horror stories. Get a glimpse of the future of genre fiction, get a copy of the latest edition of Pulp Modern. Edited, as always, by Alec Cizak and designed by Richard Krauss and featuring the cartooning genius of Bob Vojtko.


The Gingerbread Houses
by Benedict J Jones
(Crime Wave Press)

SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN…

A dark secret lies at the heart of the British government; a secret so appalling that they will kill to protect it.

Charlie Bars is back in London and has taken on a missing persons case. Easy money –or so he thinks. The man he is looking for is inextricably linked to the evil perpetrated in the Gingerbread Houses and as Charlie’s search progresses, he finds himself drawn into the seedy underbelly of the capital; a world of abuse, exploitation and deviancy that threatens to destroy his soul.

Others are looking for the missing man too and hunter soon becomes hunted as Charlie finds himself the target of an insane torturer haunted by the ghosts of his military past.

As he descends into the darkest depths of human depravity, Charlie desperately tries to stay out of prison, on the right side of his morality and, most importantly, alive as he seeks to uncover the buried secrets of the Gingerbread Houses.


No Salvation
by Jeffrey Hess
(Down & Out Books)

Inspired by actual events, No Salvation features the USS Salvation as it sails for months on end in the South China Sea in the violent closing days of the Vietnam War. Exhaustion, drugs and discontent run rampant aboard ship and crew morale is at an all-time low. These conditions affect four thousand men being sequestered for months on end without port visits has everyone on edge.

This is 1972, a time when inequality and racial tension permeated ships fleet-wide. As a way to mitigate racial unrest, the ship’s captain brings in Commander Robert Porter as his Executive Officer. Commander Porter isn’t sure if he’s been selected for the job because of his skills or for the color of his skin, but the black crew doesn’t accept him.

Amid rampant drug use and various forms of sabotage, the biggest challenge to the ship’s performance and the crew’s safety is a series of violent attacks made by planes launching from the flight deck, but more perilous are the racial tensions boiling below.

Porter is uniquely positioned to save them all, but can he? If so, at what cost?

Praise for NO SALVATION:

“Truth, as they say, may be stranger than fiction, but novelist and award-winning editor Jeffery Hess manages to masterfully blend both in No Salvation. Based on actual events from another era, Hess’s novel with page-turning cinematic appeal sizzles with gritty realism and uncomfortable truths regarding racial tensions aboard a U.S. Navy carrier. I dare readers to walk away unchanged–in how they see others, and how they see themselves in the world.” –Tracy Crow, author of Eyes Right: Confessions of a Woman Marine

“In a skillful fictionalization of the racial discord aboard the USS Kitty Hawk in 1972, Mr. Hess has created an unflinching picture of life aboard a Navy carrier forty-seven years ago, in a work that builds in tension with each chapter to a decisive climax, bloody, but prescient with hope.” –Raymond Hutson, author of Finding Sgt. Kent

“From the opening chapter Hess plunges you deep within a Navy aircraft carrier where a brutal black vs. white event has occurred, with characters rich enough to have stand-alone stories of their own. Powerful is not only the first word that comes to mind when describing No Salvation, it’s the best word.” –Jonathan Brown, author of the Lou Crasher series

“Hess, himself a Navy veteran, knows exactly what he’s doing, and has given us a riveting and compelling story firmly based on real events from the closing days of the Vietnam war.” — Tim Bazzett, author of the Cold War memoir Soldier Boy: At Play in the ASA


Losing Streak
by Jim Wilsky
(Down & Out Books)

Sam and Rachel are on the run suffering through a losing streak of failed cons. Low on money, time and ideas they have no choice but to hunker down and regroup.

In a small bar, Sam stumbles onto what he thinks what might be an opportunity. They need a win, any kind of victory to get them back on track.

What follows is a rushed con that has is full of potential pitfalls, a fifty-fifty chance of being successful—at best. They question themselves and if they have the confidence to move forward. They do, with limited resources and relying on what they know, what they do and wounded pride.

In the end they really had no choice because grifting is their life, in good times and in bad.


The Caretaker’s Wife
by Vincent Zandri
(Polis Books)

What happens when you’ve been betrayed by those closest to you?

When ex-con and novelist JA Kingsley loses everything he ever cared about, including his wife and teenage daughter, he abandons his home in order to start anew, write a new book, and most of all, restart his fractured life. Traveling to the Adirondack Mountains, he checks himself into The Loon Lake Inn, a peaceful, lake-side resort. For a brief moment, he feels at peace with himself and a world that has seemingly turned its back on him.

But what he doesn’t expect is the lurid attraction that ignites between him and the wife of the owner of the Loon lake Inn, who has connections to some of most dangerous people imaginable. And what begins as a torrid affair turns into something much more sinister when they decide that nothing will stand in the way of their love–including murder.

For readers of Michael Connelly, Robert B. Parker, Ace Atkins, Lawrence Block, and more, Thriller Award and Shamus Award-winning New York Times Bestselling author, Vincent Zandri, brings you an unputdownable novel filled with suspense and deadly romance.


Fun City Saga
by James A. Newman
(Self-Published)

ALL FIVE of the infamous JOE DYLAN detective series in ONE book.

JOE DYLAN is from the old school. His nerves are shot to pieces, and he’s trying to keep his life together in a tropical criminal’s paradise where nothing is ever what it seems on the surface… This series of neo-noir novels has been translated into several languages, adapted for television and film, recorded and dramatized on stage, and talked about in dive bars from Bangkok to Belarus. For the first time and for a limited period the entire Dylan Saga is available in one simple download or in one mammoth paperback book.

“JAMES NEWMAN writes with a flamethrower. He’s terrifically gifted, enormously energetic, and in THE WHITE FLAMINGO he builds up, layer by layer, like lacquer, the everyday reality of FUN CITY with such intensity that he creates a nightmare town so terrible that even the advent of a modern-day Jack the Ripper can only make it a tiny bit worse. Newman has serious talent, devoted (in this case, anyway) almost entirely to the noir side of life in a city that has more than its share of noir.” – Edgar nominee Timothy Hallinan

“TAKE THE Matrix red pill and then follow his detective into a world of conman, cheaters, schemers, wanderers, and the lost who scramble over women, money, and status. Newman translates their voices, failures, nightmares, and movements. He covers their community, and transcript their stories into prose that match the tempo of their hatred and madness.”
-Christopher G. Moore, author of the Vincent Calvino series

“HARD-BOILED pulp fiction pumped up to the max. A lethal cocktail of graphic violence, booze, drugs and sex. It’s bright lights and dark shadows and it’s certainly not for the fainthearted.”

  • Paul Brazill – crime noir author.

Borrowed Time
by Tracy Clark
(Kensington)

In Tracy Clark’s electrifying new mystery featuring Cassandra Raines, the former Chicago cop turned private investigator looks into a suspicious death as a favor to a friend—and makes some powerful enemies . . .

Sitting in cold cars for hours, serving lowlifes with summonses . . . being a P.I. means riding out a lot of slow patches. But sometimes the most familiar paths can lead straight to danger—like at Cass’s go-to diner, where new delivery guy Jung Byson wants to enlist her expertise. Jung’s friend, Tim Ayers, scion of a wealthy Chicago family, has been found dead, floating in Lake Michigan near his luxury boat. And Jung is convinced there’s a murderer on the loose . . .

Cass reluctantly begins digging only to discover that Jung neglected to mention one crucial fact: Tim Ayers was terminally ill. Given the large quantities of alcohol and drugs found in his body, Ayers’ death appears to be either an accident or suicide. Yet as much as Cass would like to dismiss Jung’s suspicions, there are too many unanswered questions and unexplained coincidences.

Why would anyone kill a dying man? Working her connections on both sides of the law, Cass tries to point the police in the right direction. But violence is escalating around her, and Cass’s persistence has already attracted unwanted attention, uncovering sinister secrets that Cass may end up taking to her grave.


Crystal
by Heather Burnside
(Aria Fiction)

THE PIMP.
When Crystal’s pimp, protector and former lover, Gilly, dies of a drugs overdose Crystal is bereft. She refuses the paid protection of a rival pimp, determined to go it alone. But a vicious beating from a client leaves her feeling vulnerable and angry.

THE JUDGE.
Meanwhile, Crystal’s daughter, Candice, is asking difficult questions about her job. Crystal decides it’s time to make some changes, and, when a high-profile judge offers her payment to keep schtum about his nefarious activities, it gives her an idea. Perhaps other clients will also pay for her silence…

THE REVENGE.

Crystal engages on a revenge mission to rob, blackmail and expose her most depraved clients. But some of these men are highly dangerous and, if Crystal wants to exact her plan of revenge, she must accept the risks that go with it.

Heather Burnside is back with this breath-taking, heart-racing series, perfect for all fans of Kimberley Chambers and Martina Cole.


Little Girls Sleeping
by Jennifer Chase
(Bookouture)

He looked down at the little girl, sleeping peacefully, her arms wrapped around a teddy bear. He knew he was the only one who could save her. He could let her sleep forever.

An eight-year-old girl, Chelsea Compton, is missing in Pine Valley, California and for Detective Katie Scott it’s a cruel reminder of the friend who disappeared from summer camp twenty years ago. Unable to shake the memories, Katie vows she won’t rest until she discovers what happened to Chelsea.

But as Katie starts to investigate, accompanied by her loyal ex-military dog, Cisco, the case reveals itself to be much bigger and more shocking than she feared. Hidden deep in the forest she unearths a makeshift cemetery: a row of graves, each with a brightly coloured teddy bear.

Katie links the graves to a stack of missing-persons cases involving young girls—finding a pattern no one else has managed to see. Someone in Pine Valley has been taking the town’s daughters for years, and Katie is the only one who can stop them.

And then another little girl goes missing, snatched from the park near her home.

Katie’s still haunted by the friend she failed to protect, and she’ll do anything to stop the killer striking again—but can she find the little girl before it’s too late?

Compulsive and gripping crime fiction for fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh. Katie Scott’s first case will have you on the edge of your seat and gasping with shock.


Bold Lies
by Rachel Lynch
(Canelo)

An investigation leads Kelly back to her former command… and the ex who betrayed her.

A brutal murder in the Lake District.

A double assassination in a secret lab in London’s west end.

Seemingly unconnected, unexpected links between the gruesome crimes emerge and it’s up to DI Kelly Porter to follow the trail – all the way to the capital.

Back amongst old colleagues and forced to work alongside her calculating ex, DCI Matt Carter, Kelly must untangle a web of deceit that stretches into the highest echelons of power. A place where secrets and lies are currency and no obstacle is insurmountable.


The Last Thing She Remembers
by J.S. Monroe
(Park Row)

Who can you trust if you don’t know who you are?

She arrives at the train station only to realize her bag had been stolen—her passport, credit cards, laptop, house key now all gone. And even more disturbing, when she goes to report the incident, she can’t recall her own name. All she has on her is a train ticket home.

Suffering from stress-induced amnesia, the woman without a name is a source of mystery when she appears at the sleepy Wiltshire village where she thought she lived. She quickly becomes a source of conspiracy and fear among the townspeople. Why does one think he recognizes her from years earlier? And why do the local police take such a strong interest in her arrival?

From the critically acclaimed author of Find Me comes a shocking new tale of dark pasts and deception, leaving us breathlessly analyzing the role memory plays in defining who we are—and who others think we might be.


Borrow the Night / The Fifth Caller
by Helen Nielsen
(Stark House Press)

BORROW THE NIGHT Judge Ralph Addison has been receiving threatening letters for the past six days, but he hasn’t taken them seriously. Until now. The seventh letter is followed up by a phone call. He is being watched. Perhaps this isn’t just a prank. The letter states that “you will die when Messick dies,” and is signed “Mr. Justice.” The judge had sentenced young Walter Messick to death for the murder of Faye Harper. But when he goes to the D.A. with his fears, he finds that Patrolman Matt Coleman, also involved in the case, has received the same threatening letters. And now that Messick’s execution is upon them, together they only have one day to find out the truth…or die at the hands of Mr. Justice.

THE FIFTH CALLER Dr. Lillian Whitehall has been brutally murdered. DA Inspector Doug Marchall knows that the crime occurred at 5:20pm because she was bludgeoned to death with a clock. Everyone assumes that the murderer is her Hungarian nurse, Anna Bardossy, who is lying in a hospital bed, the victim of a suicide attempt and now suffering amnesia. But there were other callers that day: her high-strung patient, her exacting lawyer, her unemployed brother. They all paint a picture of poor put-upon Dr. Whitehall, badgered by her unfaithful nurse. But could there have been another caller, someone who knew what had happened to Anna—and what had caused the doctor’s all-too-timely end?


No Law Against Angels / Doll for the Big House / Chorine Makes a Killing
by Carter Brown
(Stark House Press)

Al Wheeler was Carter Brown’s most popular mystery series. These three novels have been reprinted from their original Australian editions.

The first two were originally revised for U.S. publication as The Body and The Bombshell, but Chorine has never been in print in the U.S. before.


The Man Who Got Away With It / The Three Widows
by Bernice Carey
(Stark House Press)

THE MAN WHO GOT AWAY WITH ITTwenty years ago, young Inez Bailey was strangled to death, and the killer was never found. On a trip to California to visit his sister, Chicago police inspector Roy Malley finds this old crime intriguing. He’s sure he could have discovered the murderer if it had been his crime to solve. Busman’s holiday or not, he starts to dig. And uncovers more than he intended when he sets the wheels in motion in this small community. Because the killer is still among them, a respected member of society, a family man and business owner. He is in tight control of himself, has been for years. But with just a little push, he could let himself go. But letting go is the one thing he can’t let himself do.

THE THREE WIDOWSThe Bladeswells are on vacation, traveling by car from Omaha to California. While in Santa Cruz, they hear about a man found dead on the beach, which brings to mind a similar event which occurred while the couple were vacationing in Yellowstone—a man found dead with no identification on him. When Mr. Bladewell hears about another similar case in Yosemite, he begins to wonder if there isn’t someone on a select killing spree. The next night finds them at a cabin resort in Escondido, where they join their hometown friend Chet. The unmarried Chet is enjoying the attention of three older women vacationers, all recently widowed. This sets Mr. Bladeswell to thinking—three dead men and three widowed women—that perhaps there is more than coincidence at work here … that maybe one of them is a murderer.


Godzilla: King of the Monsters
by Greg Keyes
(Titan Books)

The official novelization of the summer blockbuster Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the latest film in the MonsterVerseTM franchise, starring Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, with Ken Watanabe and Ziyi Zhang.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters follows the heroic efforts of the cryptozoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and its ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species–thought to be mere myths–rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.


Last Stage to Hell Junction
by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
(Kensington)

New York Times bestselling author Max Allan Collins again brings to life the legacy of crime-writing legend Mickey Spillane in another explosive chapter in this now-classic western saga. Caleb York has a tin star, a blazing gun, and plenty of courage. All he needs is a little luck to deliver big justice . . .

On a lively night at the Victory saloon in Trinidad, New Mexico, Sheriff Caleb York interrupts his poker game to settle a minor dust-up that raises the stakes into major trouble. The wounded miscreant he ushers to the hoosegow spills the secret behind the mysterious disappearance of a certain stage coach.

Bound for Denver, the stage carried three important passengers—beautiful ranch owner Willa Cullen, lovely temptress Rita Filley, and wealthy banker Raymond L. Parker. The two women are rivals for the lawman’s love, while Parker is a key investor in Trinidad’s future. But all are gone, with only the corpses of fellow passengers as bullet-ridden clues.

York follows a trail of blood to a ghost town known as Hell Junction. To rescue his lady friends and the banker, he must infiltrate an outlaw den . . . and pray no one among the thieves, killers, and kidnappers will recognize him. With only his desert rat deputy to back him up, York must free the captives, round up the badmen—and, whenever necessary, send them straight to Hell.


The Flesh Molder’s Love Song
by Roland Blackburn
(New Bizarro Author Series)

The Flesh Molder’s Love Song is a Cronenbergian horror story that takes body modification to a bizarro new level.

After a vicious attack, Rain discovers he has the power to mold and shape human flesh. What starts out as just an ability to defend himself, becomes even more useful as Rain begins to explore the creative capacity of his new power. Rain finds that the changes he can make promise everything he’s ever wanted: looks, strength, and sex appeal. He begins experimenting with his newfound abilities on himself and others. He gives his best friend instant weight loss, he molds himself a more attractive and buff physique, he even finds a girlfriend who is turned on by the act of having him modify her. But as more and more moldings spiral out of control, the gory details threaten to tear apart everything he cares about, and someone who knows marks him for a very dark purpose. Can Rain learn to control this deadly gift and find the love he’s always wanted, or will he rip everyone into bloody shreds?


Memento Mori: The Fathomless Shadows
by Brian Hauser
(Word Horde)

Underground filmmaker Tina Mori became a legend in the late 1970s with a stolen camera, a series of visionary Super 8 shorts (The Eye, The Stairs, The Imperial Dynasty of America) and a single feature film, heralded as her masterpiece, Dragon’s Teeth. Then she disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Was it foul play, or did Tina Mori go somewhere else? And if so, where? Could it have been the otherworldly Carcosa so often referenced in her films?

Through many layers, including letters, a ‘zine made by a teenage horror film fan, and a memoir written by Mori’s college roommate and muse, film historian and debut novelist Brian Hauser delves deep into Tina Mori’s life and legacy, exploring the strange depths and fathomless shadows situated between truth, fiction, fantasy, and the uncanny.


Shadow
by James Swallow
(Zaffre)

From the Sunday Times bestselling author of NOMAD and EXILE, things are about to go viral for Marc Dane in his most dangerous adventure yet . . .

A ruthless far-right terrorist is broken out of captivity

A mysterious bio-scientist with a terrible secret is abducted

A lethal contagion threatens millions of lives across Europe and the Middle East

Ex-MI6 officer Marc Dane faces a deadly challenge against all odds, to stop a devastating attack before a new kind of weapon is unleashed . . .

Praise for the Marc Dane series:

‘Unputdownable. A must-read’ Wilbur Smith

‘Britain’s answer to Jason Bourne’ Daily Mail

‘An ultra fast paced, worldwide chase to stop a madman, while leaving the reader breathless’ Choice

‘Explosive’ Irish Examiner

‘This is edge of the seat stuff that is terrifyingly real in places’ Closer

‘A killer of a thriller’ Weekend Sport


Judgment
by Joseph Finder
(Head of Zeus)

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR
‘STUNNING’ Peter James.
‘FANTASTIC’ Martina Cole.
‘TERRIFIC’ Ian Rankin.
‘TIMELY’ Karin Slaughter.
‘TWISTY’ J.P. Delaney.
‘EXQUISITE’ David Baldacci.

It was just one night. But it was a night that would destroy everything.
Judge Juliana Brody is a woman with principles. She is happily married, she doesn’t drink, she doesn’t lose control. She definitely doesn’t sleep with a handsome stranger at a law convention. Except that, last night, that is exactly what she did.

Matias understands that if anyone found out about their one-night stand, it would destroy Juliana’s marriage and, most likely, her career. They agree that they will never see each other again.

And then, a week later, he walks into her courtroom.

Julia knew that her latest brief, a high-profile sex discrimination case, would make her some powerful enemies. But she didn’t expect her own life, and the lives of her family, to be put in mortal danger…

‘Gripping, trenchant and human. One of the best novels I’ve read this year’ Stav Sherez.

‘Stunning … I cannot remember when I last read a book so gripping and so satisfying’ Peter James.

‘A masterclass in tension, with complex characters and a twisty plot’ J.P. Delaney.


The Demon’s Beneath
by WD Jackson-Smart
(Panther Publishing)

A detective new to London. A possible serial killer. And a demon?

When a bloody corpse is discovered in a North London park, Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is the man tasked with finding the killer. With no clues and no suspects it seems like a dead end. Then another body turns up and this time it looks like it could be his fault. Has his investigation caused the murderer to strike again? Is he dealing with a serial killer?

As the case gets ever more complicated, a report comes in of another suspicious death but this is nothing like any other Graves has dealt with. All involved are convinced that something supernatural is to blame. A demon. Daniel is no believer but could he be wrong?

With two cases on his shoulders and the truth behind each beyond his grasp, Graves must race against time before both killers, human or otherwise, strike again.

ve new to London. A possible serial killer. And a demon?

When a bloody corpse is discovered in a North London park, Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is the man tasked with finding the killer. With no clues and no suspects it seems like a dead end. Then another body turns up and this time it looks like it could be his fault. Has his investigation caused the murderer to strike again? Is he dealing with a serial killer?

As the case gets ever more complicated, a report comes in of another suspicious death but this is nothing like any other Graves has dealt with. All involved are convinced that something supernatural is to blame. A demon. Daniel is no believer but could he be wrong?

With two cases on his shoulders and the truth behind each beyond his grasp, Graves must race against time before both killers, human or otherwise, strike again.


London Rules
by Mick Herron
(Soho Crime)

Ian Fleming. John le Carré. Len Deighton. Mick Herron. The brilliant plotting of Herron’s twice CWA Dagger Award-winning Slough House series of spy novels is matched only by his storytelling gift and an ear for viciously funny political satire.

“Mick Herron is the John le Carré of our generation.” —Val McDermid

At MI5 headquarters Regent’s Park, First Desk Claude Whelan is learning this the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he’s facing attack from all directions: from the showboating MP who orchestrated the Brexit vote, and now has his sights set on Number Ten; from the showboat’s wife, a tabloid columnist, who’s crucifying Whelan in print; from the PM’s favorite Muslim, who’s about to be elected mayor of the West Midlands, despite the dark secret he’s hiding; and especially from his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner, who’s alert for Claude’s every stumble. Meanwhile, the country’s being rocked by an apparently random string of terror attacks.

Over at Slough House, the MI5 satellite office for outcast and demoted spies, the agents are struggling with personal problems: repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath. Plus someone is trying to kill Roddy Ho. But collectively, they’re about to rediscover their greatest strength—that of making a bad situation much, much worse.

It’s a good thing Jackson Lamb knows the rules. Because those things aren’t going to break themselves.


Hairless Harassment
by Molly Fitz
(Sweet Promise Press)

I never signed up to be a private investigator with a snarky, talking cat for a partner, but there’s no backing down now. Especially considering a prominent politician was murdered pretty much right in my backyard.

The only witnesses were the senator’s two hairless cats, Jacques and Jillianne. Normally pets want to help us solve their owner’s murders, but this time it seems the two devious felines might actually be the ones who committed it…

Surprisingly enough, my own partner in crime, Octo-Cat, actually wants to help this time, but he can barely understand our two prime suspects because of their strange Sphynx accents. And I thought speaking tabby was hard!

So, there you have it, even with two successful cases behind me, I really don’t know how I’m going to solve this one. Is it too late to go back and pick another career?


Something Borrowed, Something Mewed
by Bethany Blake
(Kensington)

Daphne Templeton’s sister Piper is getting married—and their mother is getting carried away. She insists on hiring Sylvan Creek’s top event planner, Abigail Sinclair, who proposes an Independence Day theme complete with Statue of Liberty-inspired bridesmaid dresses. With all the bickering among the families, Daphne’s glad her only duty right now is pet-sitting for Abby’s cat, Ms. Peebles. But there are some fireworks coming that aren’t part of the ceremony. The Poconos will never be the same . . .

At a tension-filled dress fitting, the abrasive wedding planner is found strangled by a garter—a weapon both borrowed and blue. Now Daphne’s services are required not just for organizing the big day, but for figuring out whether one of the in-laws is an outlaw . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!

“Doggone charming from start to finish!”
—Cleo Coyle, New York Times bestselling author on Death by Chocolate Lab


Murder with Cucumber Sandwiches
by Karen Rose Smith
(Kensington)

Daisy’s Tea Garden in Pennsylvania’s Amish country is known for its elegant finger foods—but now owner Daisy Swanson has to finger a killer . . .

Restaurant critic Derek Schumaker, notorious for his bitter reviews, is about to visit Daisy’s Tea Garden, and Daisy and Aunt Iris are simmering with anxiety. A bad word from the culinary curmudgeon could really hurt their business, but Daisy tries to stay confident. After all, how can he resist her cucumber sandwiches with pimento spread—not to mention the cheesy cauliflower soup and strawberry walnut salad?

Schumaker takes a to-go order when the afternoon tea service is done, which Daisy hopes is a good sign. But when he perishes from a seizure, it looks like his food was dosed with something deadly. Considering a threat that recently appeared on his blog—and whispers of scandal in his past—Daisy has quite an assortment of suspects to sift through . . .


Ruff Justice
by Laurien Berenson
(Kensington)

With the excitement of the spring dog show season sweeping Connecticut, prize-winning Poodle owner Melanie Travis is determined to help her son finally lead his Standard Poodle toward a championship title. But the competition is fierce . . .

Aunt Peg even skips the judging panel to exhibit a pup of her own, standing out from the pack with a handmade leash from elite artist Jasmine Crane. Jasmine’s handiwork is to die for—but Aunt Peg didn’t expect to find her strangled to death by one of her dazzling custom creations . . .

When Amanda, Aunt Peg’s longtime dog sitter and a renter on Jasmine’s property, vanishes that same day, Melanie suspects a dangerous connection. Her hunch only grows as she discovers sketchy secrets about the late artist. Juggling a teaching job, the show ring, and a daunting suspect list, Melanie finds herself entangled in a mindboggling murder mystery—and hot on the trail of a desperate killer . . .

“If you like dogs, you’ll love Laurien Berenson’s Melanie Travis mysteries!”
—Joanne Fluke, New York Times bestselling author


Sconed to Death
by Lynn Cahoon
(Kensington)

Cat Latimer pursues a scone-cold killer who iced a top chef in a local bakery . .

Cat has a full plate at her Aspen Hills Warm Springs Resort, as a group of aspiring cozy mystery authors arrives for a writers retreat. So when baker Dee Dee Meyer stirs up trouble by filing a false complaint with the health inspector against the B&B—all because she insists Cat’s best friend Shauna stole her recipes—Cat marches into the shop to confront her.

But Dee Dee’s about to have her own batch of trouble. Greyson Finn—a celebrity chef and, until today, one of Denver’s most eligible bachelors—has been found dead in her bakery. Cat’s uncle Pete, who happens to be the chief of police, warns her not to engage in any half-baked sleuthing. But as her curiosity rises, Cat’s determined to discover who served the chef his just desserts—before the killer takes a powder . . .

Praise for Lynn Cahoon

“Better get your flashlight handy, A Story to Kill will keep you reading all night.”
—Laura Bradford, author of the Amish Mysteries

“Lynn Cahoon has created an absorbing, good fun mystery in Mission to Murder.”
—Fresh Fiction


Murder at Morrington Hall
by Clara McKenna
(Kensington)

Stella Kendrick is an all-American heiress who can’t be tamed. But when the lively aspiring equine trainer tangles with British aristocracy, she meets her match—and a murderer . . .

Spring, 1905: Free-spirited like the Thoroughbreds she rides across the Kentucky countryside, Stella takes adventure by the reins when she’s asked to attend a mysterious wedding in rural England. But once she arrives at the lush Morrington Hall estate, her cold and ambitious father confesses that he won’t only give away his best racehorses as gifts—he has also arranged to give away his daughter as bride to the Earl of Atherly’s financially strapped son . . .

Stella refuses to be sold off like a prized pony. Yet despite a rough start, there’s something intriguing about her groom-to-be, the roguish Viscount “Lyndy” Lyndhurst. The unlikely pair could actually be on the right track with each other . . . until they find the vicar who was to marry them dead in the library.

With culture clashes mounting between families, a scandalous murder case hangs over Morrington Hall. Now, Stella and Lyndy must go from future spouses to amateur sleuths as they team up to search for the truth—and prevent an unbridled criminal from destroying their new life together right out of the gate . . .


Southern Sass and Killer Cravings
by Kate Young
(Kensington)

Life has always been sweet on Georgia’s Peach Cove Island, but a case of murder has Marygene Brown down in the pits . . .

For generations, the women of the Brown family on Peach Cove Island have been known for their Southern sass and sweet homemade desserts at their beloved Peach Diner. Since their mother’s passing two years ago, Marygene has been stuck in Atlanta while her sister Jena Lynn has been running the family business. Now Marygene has left her husband and returned to her hometown, where she can almost feel Mama’s presence.

But all is not peachy back home. Marygene has barely tied on an apron when a diner regular drops dead at the counter. When it turns out the old man’s been poisoned, Jena Lynn is led away in handcuffs and the family eatery is closed. Now, to save her sister and the diner, Marygene must find the real killer. With some startling assistance from her Mama’s spirit, Marygene will be serving up a special order of just desserts . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!


A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder
by Dianne Freeman
(Kensington)

In this exciting historical mystery debut set in Victorian England, a wealthy young widow encounters the pleasures—and scandalous pitfalls—of a London social season . . .

Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, enjoys more freedom as a widow than she did as a wife. With her young daughter in tow, Frances rents a home in Belgravia and prepares to welcome her sister, Lily, arriving from New York—for her first London season.

But no sooner has Frances begun her new life than the Metropolitan police receive an anonymous letter implicating Frances in her husband’s death. Frances assures Inspector Delaney of her innocence, but she’s also keen to keep him from learning the scandalous circumstances of Reggie’s demise. As fate would have it, her dashing new neighbor, George Hazelton, is one of only two other people aware of the full story.

While busy with social engagements on Lily’s behalf, and worrying if Reggie really was murdered, Frances rallies her wits, a circle of gossips, and the ever-chivalrous Mr. Hazelton to uncover the truth. A killer is in their midst and Frances must unmask the villain before Lily’s season—and their lives—come to a most unseemly end . . .

“This lighthearted debut tale of mystery, love, and a delightful sleuth will leave you wanting more—which is presumably just what Freeman had in mind.”
—Kirkus Reviews


Seeing Red
by Dana Dratch
(Kensington)

If it wasn’t for art thieves, spies and killers, Alex Vlodnachek’s life would be bliss.

Her freelance career is catching fire. Her relationship with B&B owner Ian Sterling is flirty and fun. She’s even attending a glittering cocktail party at his sprawling Victorian inn.

But, to this ex-reporter, something seems “off.” And it’s not the canapés. When Ian’s father vanishes, the enigmatic innkeeper asks for her discretion. And her assistance.

Meanwhile, Alex is having the opposite problem at her tiny bungalow: People keep piling in uninvited. Including a mysterious intruder found sleeping in her kitchen. Her grandmother, Baba, who shows up “to help”—with Alex’s own mother hot on her heels.

When the intrepid redhead discovers a body in the B&B’s basement and a “reproduction” Renoir in the library, she begins to suspect that Ian is more than just a simple hotel owner.

With editor pal Trip, brother Nick, and rescue-pup Lucy riding shotgun, Alex scrambles to stay one step ahead of disaster—and some very nasty characters.

Can she find the missing man before it’s too late? Or will Alex be the next one to disappear?


Crêpe Expectations
by Sarah Fox
(Kensington)

When a murder case from the past heats up again, it’s up to Marley McKinney to sort through a tall stack of suspects in the latest Pancake House Mystery. . .

Although it’s a soggy start to spring in Wildwood Cove, the weather clears up just in time for the town to host an amateur chef competition. Marley McKinney, owner of the Flip Side pancake house, already signed up to volunteer, and chef Ivan Kaminski is one of the judges. But when Marley visits her landscaper boyfriend Brett at the site of the Victorian mansion that’s being restored as the Wildwood Inn, she discovers something else pushing up daisies: human remains.

The skeleton on the riverbank washed out by the early-spring floodwaters belonged to eighteen-year-old Demetra Kozani, who vanished a decade earlier. While the cold case is reopened, Marley must step in when some of the cook-off contestants fall suspiciously ill. Stuck in a syrupy mess of sabotage and blackmail, it falls to Marley to stop a killer from crêping up on another victim. . .

Includes pancake recipes right from The Flip Side menu!

“Readers will cheer this brisk, literate addition to the world of small-town cozies.” -Kirkus Reviews on Wine and Punishment


A Tale of Two Murders
by Heather Redmond
(Kensington)

On the eve of the Victorian era, London has a new sleuth . . .

In the winter of 1835, young Charles Dickens is a journalist on the rise at the Evening Chronicle. Invited to dinner at the estate of the newspaper’s co-editor, Charles is smitten with his boss’s daughter, vivacious nineteen-year-old Kate Hogarth. They are having the best of times when a scream shatters the pleasant evening. Charles, Kate, and her father rush to the neighbors’ home, where Miss Christiana Lugoson lies unconscious on the floor. By morning, the poor young woman will be dead.

When Charles hears from a colleague of a very similar mysterious death a year ago to the date, also a young woman, he begins to suspect poisoning and feels compelled to investigate. The lovely Kate offers to help—using her social position to gain access to the members of the upper crust, now suspects in a murder. If Charles can find justice for the victims, it will be a far, far better thing than he has ever done. But with a twist or two in this most peculiar case, he and Kate may be in for the worst of times . . .

“Mr. Dickens himself would thoroughly enjoy this literary play on his early life and sleuthing abilities. Great fun to read!”
—Catherine Lloyd, author of the Kurland St. Mary Mysteries

“An all-over twisty read and a Dickens of a good mystery!”
—Julie Mulhern, USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders

“Sharp, incisive, and delightfully twisty.”
—Anna Lee Huber, bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mysteries

2 Replies to “Indie Crime New Releases: Week of May 26”

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