cover image All Her Little Secrets

All Her Little Secrets

Wanda M. Morris. Morrow, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-308246-5

Attorney Morris puts her experiences as a Black woman navigating the corridors of corporate power to good use in her strong debut, a legal thriller. Ellice Littlejohn, a 40-something Black woman, is relatively content as a senior member of the legal department at Atlanta’s Houghton Transportation Company. But that all changes when she arrives for an early morning meeting with her white boss, Houghton’s general counsel and her lover, Michael Sayles, and finds him dead from a gunshot to the head, apparently self-inflicted. Freaked out, Ellice doesn’t report her grim discovery and acts surprised when the news reaches her. She’s further stunned to be immediately promoted to fill Michael’s role before she has a chance to decide whether she wants the position. She becomes increasingly anxious when she’s interviewed by the police, who are treating the death as a homicide. Morris gives her flawed lead plenty to struggle with, including a secret, ex-con brother; workplace sexism and racism; and an awkward encounter with her lover’s widow. The fast pacing doesn’t overwhelm the deep dive into Ellice’s inner life. John Grisham fans will be pleased. Agent: Lori Galvin, Aevitas Creative Management. (Nov.)