Pamela Samuels Young

March 24, 2011 

Murder on the Down Low opens at the funeral of Maya Washington.  Mourning are her close knit girlfriends.  Maya died of AIDS infected by her down low fiancé, Eugene Nelson.  Her cousin Special Moore full of vengeful grief makes a scene vowing to make Eugene pay.  Among this circle of girlfriends are two attorneys and a detective each with their own work place challenges.  Special with the group’s help persuades Maya’s mother to bring a wrongful death action against Eugene.  Meanwhile a serial killer is targeting down low professional African American men.  Special in her uncontrollable grief mounts a campaign of harassment stalking Eugene.  The wrongful death suit takes a turn for the worst when Special is charged as the suspected serial killer against a mountain of circumstantial evidence.  Attorney Vernetta Henderson takes the lead as the girlfriends set out to prove Special’s innocence.

Anyone who enjoys the company of sophisticated ladies will love Vernetta Henderson and her crowd.  Pamela Samuels Young sketches various recognizable female personalities and their friendships while painting a faithful portrayal of the men who love them.  The author has mastered the fictional technique of raising the stakes with unexpected plot twist and turns.  In this moral story of tolerance and understanding a seemingly unrelated series of events keeps the reader wondering on the edge of their seat while the author mixes up a mystery package tying it all together in a neat little bow like denouement.

Young self-published her first novel Every Reasonable Doubt establishing her own imprint.  She told me she self-published her first novel hoping to be picked up by a major publishing house. Three block buster Essence Best Sellers later, that is no longer of interest.  Who needs the powerhouse publisher or agent?  Certainly not this author, Pamela Samuels Young is proving to be a self-publishing force.

Editors, publishers, and agents, the industry shakers and movers, the gate keepers sometime get it wrong ignoring certain talent and marketability as often the case with African American fiction writers who resort to self-publishing.  We saw it with Omar Tyree, E. Lynn Harris, Mary Morrison and others time and again.  Young is the latest in a long line of African American writers going against established industry trends.  Thanks to the Internet writers like Pamela Samuels Young rise to success no longer limited by the subjective taste of a small few.

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