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James Chandler Books In Order

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Publication Order of Sam Johnstone Books

Misjudged (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
One and Done (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
False Evidence (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Capital Justice (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Truthful Witness (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Conflict of Duty (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Smith and Bauer Books

with Laura Snider
Justice Bites: A Legal Thriller (2025)Description / Buy at Amazon

James Chandler
Author James Chandler spent his formative years in the western part of the United States. When he wasn’t catching footballs or fish, he was roaming around center field and attempting to hit the breaking pitch. After a mediocre baseball career in college, he turned in his number seven jersey for some camouflage that was issued by the United States Army, which he wore all around the globe and with great pride for twenty years.

He has a Bachelors degree from Eastern Oregon University and a Master’s degree from Marshall University. James earned his Juris Doctor after he attended night school at the George Mason University School of Law during his time assigned to the Pentagon. Then he practiced law for twelve years in Wyoming before his appointment to the bench.

When James is not busy writing or working, he is likely to have a rifle, shotgun, or fly rod in hand. He and his wife are blessed with two incredible adult daughters and a grandson.

James’ debut novel, called “Misjudged”, was released in the year 2020. His work is from the thriller genre.

“Misjudged” is the first novel in the “Sam Johnstone” series and was released in the year 2020. After a disabled veteran takes a new job as an attorney in a tiny Wyoming town, he gets thrust into a mysterious murder case. Sam Johnstone was hoping for renewal as he took a job at a boutique law firm located in rustic Wyoming. The streams and mountains in the west would be quite refreshing and a quiet place to begin again after years of turmoil and war in his personal life.

However after a local woman gets savagely murdered, he realizes that things aren’t that quiet in this rural American town. The accused is Tommy Olsen, who is a known delinquent that was sleeping with the victim. Sam is repulsed by this crime and doesn’t want anything to do with the case, however he meets with Tommy just to make sure he’s got legal representation. But things just aren’t as they appear.

What starts as a cut-and-dry case soon gets infinitely more complex while new facts are revealed, and Sam agrees to serve as defense attorney for Tommy. Sam, with the murderer’s identity still not known, gets enveloped in the tiny town politics and courtroom drama of a murder case which keeps getting more shocking. However should he not be able to uncover the truth, there’s an innocent man that may be punished, all while the real killer looks on from the shadows.

Readers found this to have some strong characters from an author that knows the legal system inside and out, with pacing that is entertaining and swift. This has a fantastic plot, mixed with humor, as well as some strong character development. Readers appreciated James’ insights into the police investigation practices and in the legal world. There are few seasoned writers that can deliver what James is able to with his debut, using his experiences as an Army veteran and as a lawyer which shines through on every page.

“One and Done” is the second novel in the “Sam Johnstone” series and was released in the year 2021. An all-star college athlete gets charged with murdering a fellow student, Sam has to solve a crime which isn’t nearly as cut-and-dry as it seems. After his impressive performance in front of a full house, Davonte Blair (a local college basketball stand out) celebrates this victory with some friends. However a fierce argument about drugs goes wrong, taking the evening to a violent place, and a member of their group ends up missing.

The cops find the body of the basketball team’s manager, the town soon turns into a tinderbox of emotions. The press calls it a hate crime. The college president is just desperate to avoid any kind of scandal. And the police department is facing intense pressure to solve this horrific case.

While Sam Johnstone starts looking into the murder, the case gets even more complex. Ronnie Norquist, the son of Sam’s longtime friend and law partner, was the deceased student’s roommate; he was also there the night his roommate vanished. His professional and personal worlds have collided, and Sam is aware that Ronnie knows more than he lets on. However what is it that Ronnie actually witnessed? Whose guilt does it even prove?

In a case which is filled with competing versions of the truth and circumstantial evidence, Sam has to figure out what actually happened before this college town rips itself apart.

The multiple storylines and the multiple plot twists make this such a compelling read in another excellent legal thriller from James Chandler. All of the twists and turns lead to a conclusion that is impossible to see coming. The savvy and engaging characters add well to this informative and well researched and eloquently written thriller.

“False Evidence” is the third novel in the “Sam Johnstone” series and was released in the year 2021. After breaking up with his girlfriend and a falling-out with his business partner, Sam thinks that a long vacation could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Before he can quit town he gets a call from Lucy Beretta, who is the wife of the missing local college president. With a stunning accusation made against an acquaintance and a plea for protection, she derails Sam’s plans to get a quiet escape.

However when her alleged attacker ends up dead, she gets charged with murder, and Sam’s the one appointed to represent her. While struggling to ready his defense, he learns that Lucy is lying about a lot of things. The facts aren’t in her favor at all, and to make things worse, she is also a suspect in her husband’s vanishing.

Should Sam be successful, a guilty woman might just go free, and if he’s not, he’s going to have failed at doing his job. Facing one aggressive prosecutor that is eager to get a conviction, a client that cannot appear to tell the full truth, and one ethical dilemma of epic proportions, Sam faces his most challenging case to date.

Book Series In Order » Authors » James Chandler

7 Responses to “James Chandler”

  1. Dave Schwaner: 11 months ago

    James , I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Sam Johnstone series and am currently reading Truthful Witness. While I was not deliberately proof reading your book, I found two errors that should be corrected, at least for Kindle editions. At the end of Chapter 23, you state “Daniels asked if there will be any more . . . ‘. Of course, it should have read “Bridger”.

    Towards the end of the Misty trial just before summation, you state (not exact words) that Cathy will go first and that the state because they have the burden of proof will follow. Of course, thats backwards and the ensuing text has the correct order with Lee’s summation followed by Cathy’s.

    I spent 40+ years as an expert witness in real estate litigation (yes, there is a lot of money to be made in some jurisdictions) and spent many hours proof reading my own reports (100-200 pages) as well as the reports tendered by opposing counsel.

    Keep up the good work, I’m a fan of legal thrillers and love the Wyoming venue as I’ve vacationed there several times.

  2. PR Alexander: 11 months ago

    You certainly have a gift and I hope you will continue with your writing. You are at the top of the ladder – no one compares to you and this series!!!

    Thank you for sharing your legalese stories with the public! They are one of a kind and wonderfully done…can’t wait for the next one to arrive.

  3. Ray simon: 1 year ago

    LOVE YOUR BOOKS put you in the same class John Grisham and that’s a honor keep up the great work. Can’t till your next book👍🏻

  4. Nada L Hughes: 2 years ago

    I just rewad Capital Justice andloved it. The list of titles in the book says there is another book out, The Truthful Witness, if this is so, where can I find it. I live in a retired community park and am incharge of our over 3,000 book library. Every month I write a column for our newletter and I recommended your first three books for reading.

  5. Paul Duggan: 2 years ago

    Dear Mr.Chandler,
    I have enjoyed reading your books. But I have a problem with the counselor Martinez. When Sam says that he feels guilty for the loss of his men, Martinez say he is not guilty, but may be responsible. Unfortunately, in terms of counseling practice, when M. says this he cuts off the healing process for Sam. In practice this means that Sam must start all over again in going through the healing process. If would be better if M. would accept Sam’s feelings and assessment of guilt and work from there. Although I am not a counselor, I know from studying counseling practices and dealing with some counseling situations that Sam must be allow to follow out this assessment of guilt in order to properly deal with it and get past it.
    Paul Duggan

  6. Connie Ferrell: 2 years ago

    THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH for these newsletters! They are indispensable in choosing audiobooks!! I used to plug in your book recommendations and hope for an audio one to pop up 🤣 What a blessing you are‼️

    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      You’re welcome Connie thanks so much for taking the time to comment that. Much appreciated 🙂


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