Pamela Samuels Young is a practicing attorney and bestselling author of several legal thrillers, including Murder on the Down Low, which tops today’s Buffet.

pamelaIn addition to writing legal thrillers and working as an in-house employment attorney for a major corporation in Southern California, Pamela formerly served on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime-L.A., an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. The former journalist and Compton native is a graduate of USC, Northwestern University and UC Berkeley’s School of Law. She is married and lives in the Los Angeles area.

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Murder on the Down Low (Vernetta Henderson Series No. 3)

Thrillers > Legal
Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Murder on the Down Low (Vernetta Henderson Series No. 3)

A high-profile lawsuit erupts into chaos, revealing its place in a larger spree of violence in this scandalous tale of lust, lies, and vengeance. A brazen gunman is targeting prominent African American men on the streets of Los Angeles, and police are completely baffled. At the same time, savvy big-firm attorney Vernetta Henderson and her outrageous sidekick, Special, lead the charge for revenge against a man whose deceit caused his fianceé’s death.

For Special, hauling the man into court and suing him for wrongful death just isn’t good enough. While she exacts her own brand of justice, a shocking revelation connects the contentious lawsuit and the puzzling murders.


While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age

Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > Civil Rights & Liberties
Author: Carolyn Maull McKinstry
While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement

On September 15, 1963, a Klan-planted bomb went off in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Fourteen-year-old Carolyn Maull was just a few feet away when the bomb exploded, killing four of her friends in the girl’s rest room she had just exited. It was one of the seminal moments in the Civil Rights movement, a sad day in American history . . . and the turning point in a young girl’s life.

While the World Watched is a poignant and gripping eyewitness account of life in the Jim Crow South—from the bombings, riots and assassinations to the historic marches and triumphs that characterized the Civil Rights movement.

Murder on Moloka’i

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Author: Chip Hughes
Murder on Moloka'i (Surfing Detective Mystery Series)

When Boston heiress Adrienne Ridgely strides into his Honolulu office, Surfing Detective Kai Cooke likes what he sees, but doubts what he hears. Adrienne’s sister, environmental activist Sara Ridgely-Parke, plunged to her death from a mule on Moloka‘i – the first fatal incident on the soaring cliffs above Kalaupapa’s fabled leper colony. Murder, cries Adrienne, perpetrated by Sara’s ex-husband, developer J. Gregory Parke. Cooke flies to Moloka‘i, tracking tantalizing leads to an unlikely murder that, despite himself, he starts to believe in.

Was the mule prodded or spooked or drugged? Did Parke do it for vengeance, or Adrienne for an inheritance, as Parke alleges? Soon Kai uncovers a motive more noxious than either of these – entangling him in the shady dealings of big-time developers, corrupt politicians, and underworld thugs. As he hops from island to island seeking a pivotal clue, the clock ticks down on more than the P.I.’s case or even his own life. The future of Moloka‘i itself is at stake.

Attorney’s Run

Mystery > Police Procedurals
Author: R.J. Jagger
Attorney's Run (Nick Teffinger Thriller)

Fresh out of law school, London Vaughn discovers there’s no room in Denver’s prominent law firms for a middle-of-the-class graduate. While barely making ends meet as a waitress, she encounters a beautiful woman who engages her services irrespective that she has no experience, no office and no reputation. Almost immediately, London and her client are thrust into the deadly throes of a high-stakes international thriller of unimaginable scope.

Other People’s Skeletons

Mystery > Women Sleuths
Author: Julie Smith
Other People's Skeletons: An Action-Packed but Semi-Cozy San Francisco Mystery; Rebecca Schwartz #5 (The Rebecca Schwartz Series)

Rebecca Schwartz, “Jewish feminist lawyer,” as she’s fond of saying, thought she knew her best friend–and her boy friend. Not to mention her family. But everything’s about to change.

Secrets spill out of these pages like hornets out of a nest, each with its own distinct sting, as author Smith weaves a thrill-packed and complicated mystery that’s as much about how little we know about our nearest and dearest as it is about whodunit.

Rebecca’s shocked when Chris Nicholson, her glamorous law partner, is arrested for murder–but not nearly so shocked as when she discovers Chris can’t come up with an alibi. What she was doing, Chris says, involves a secret so damaging she’d be drummed out of San Francisco legal circles if anyone knew. All she’ll say is what her secret isn’t–crime, drugs, sex, alcohol, addiction, illness (mental or otherwise), or an eating disorder. So what’s left? Sure enough, when Rebecca uncovers it, her world tilts on its axis—and continues to list, ever more dangerously, as the story picks up speed and this formerly rational lawyer finds her worldview threatened by things she never knew existed.

Elephant Girl: A Human Story

Biographies & Memoirs > Child Abuse
Author: Jane Devin
Elephant Girl: A Human Story

Written in three distinct voices — child, teen and adult — Jane Devin takes readers on an intimate, imaginative and often harrowing life journey. Born unwanted and raised without love, the child-author invents a rich inner life to see her through years of trauma. Leaving home at 16, the teen-author struggles to find happiness and a sense of place in a world that feels confusing and unfamiliar. Then, years after stumbling into an adulthood mired in tragedy and broken dreams, the woman-author finds herself at a crossroads. The choice she ultimately makes is as stunning as it is brave.Told in unflinching and often lyrical prose, Elephant Girl goes beyond a singular life story to speak of powerful, universal truths and the ability of the human spirit to redeem itself.

Letters To My Wife

Genre Fiction > Family Life
Author: Terry Dean
Letters To My Wife

Kevin Clarke is telling his story, his way. He’s writing love letters to the only woman he’s ever loved – his wife. He posts the stories on a blog, hoping she might read them. Little does he know, the neighbors across the street are reading the letters, as is the cop who took him into custody one night. In fact, most of the world is reading the private stories Kevin is telling through his letters to his wife. But while the blog is anonymous, Kevin slips up and the world discovers him. What happens after that is a love story for the ages.

Grave Shift

Mystery > Women Sleuths
Author: Barbara Burgess, Blanche Day Manos
Grave Shift (mother/daughter sleuth team)

A strange letter from a desperate mother begging Oklahoma natives Darcy and Flora to help find her missing daughter sets the mother/daughter duo off on what appears to be an exciting adventure.

But their mission suddenly turns dangerous when they discover that the missing woman is at the heart of some local criminal shenanigans. That and–not one but–two earthquakes then unearth more than just a little dirt. It’s quite an adventure for these two ladies and even the local sheriff who pines for Darcy is powerless to discourage her from her quest.

Scarlett

Literature & Fiction > African American > Romance
Author: Tiece D Mickens
Scarlett

Scarlett Harper is a down to earth, country girl who possesses many beautiful qualities, but her insecurities hold her back from showing them. Her existence consists of being mentally and physically abused by her unfit mother and unknowingly spending most days with a no good, trifling best friend.

Her life seems to be on a repeated cycle of crazy misfortunes and sad uncertainties when it comes down to finding genuine love. However, good deeds from an older lady gives Scarlett a new lease on life and finally romance is on the rise, until her scarred past comes back to haunt her. Now, with skeletons creeping out of the closet left and right, can a new improved Scarlett stand the storm or will she be on the verge of losing it?

The Runner (A Silo Story)

Science Fiction > Dystopian
Author: WJ Davies
The Runner (A Silo Story)

Time is running out. As the Great Flood threatens to consume the silo, Ace and a team of divers are in a desperate battle to avert disaster. When a terrible accident destroys the person he cares about most, Ace has little left to live for.

After nearly succumbing to the silo’s flooded depths, Ace realizes that drastic measures must be taken in order to save their underground home. But those in charge deem his ideas too dangerous, his methods too forbidden, and he is shunned for his sin of toxic words.

When an opportunity for redemption presents itself, Ace has only one question: If these people aren’t willing to help themselves, why should he fight to save them?

The Last Witchking

Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery
Author: Vox Day
The Last Witchking

The Last Witchking consists of three stories set in the epic fantasy world of A Throne of Bones. The title story concerns the hidden heir to a fallen race of magicians, who learns his father’s dark lore as he pursues vengeance against those who destroyed his people. The second story, The Hoblets of Wiccam Fensboro, is a tale of survival and the triumph of simple human decency in the face of brutality and defeat. The third story, Opera Vita Aeterna, tells the story of an elven sorcerer and a religious monk, and how they discover that the transformational power of friendship is the highest, most potent magic of all.

Amarillo

Genre Fiction > Action & Adventure
Author: Bill Durham
Amarillo

In the Texas Panhandle town of Amarillo, New York attorney Max Friedman is assigned to represent a nightmare client. Joe Wagner is a violent man, dangerous both to family and friends. As Max builds his defense case for murder, he reveals a reason for Joe’s violence. But is it a justification? The characters whom Max meets during the course of his investigation include Smith Dixon, a career criminal trying to change the course of his life; Carl Puente, a gambler desperate for a big score; Carl’s brother-in-law Freddie Odom, a family man drowning in alcoholism; legendary police detective Champ Phillips; Angel, a pool hall owner who both frightens and attracts Max; and Bailey, a wolf-dog hybrid who is the bouncer at the pool hall.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2