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Best Kept Secrets: A Novel

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Best friends tell each other everything.

Even their deepest, darkest secrets--pinky promise.


Morgan Jewell and Fay Ramsey are enjoying their last summer together before college. Fay is shy, with a controlling mother, and Morgan is the perfect, wild, loud-mouthed yang to Fay's ying. But when Fay is found dead, Morgan's entire world crumbles.

Years later, Morgan is stil
Published October 8th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you @Netgalley for this ARC ebook in exchange for an honest review.
Detective Morgan Jewell is investigating the death of Hallie Marks. Beaten to death in the face with a hammer; hands smashed to pieces prior to death. Strange thing is Morgan doesn't think this is the first kill for the killer. This all ties back to Fay Ramset. Her high school best friend & should be college roomie; but right before move-in day Fay went missing. Some thought she ran away, Fay's mother blamed Morgan.
A few
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been wanting to read something with more grit and more of a police procedural after all the cozies I’ve been devouring lately, and Best Kept Secrets by Tracey S. Phillips hit the spot!

Morgan and her partner, Donnie, were the perfect compliment as far as partners go. Morgan is driven, fast to anger, and gets by on little sleep. While Donnie is calmer and has realized how important family is to one’s health and sanity. The way that Phillips switched between the past and present worked very w
Aleana Harris
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley and voluntarily leaving my review.

Ok this was a good mystery.

Morgan and Fay are best friends when Fay is found murder Morgan had a breakdown and she became obsess with finding Fay killer so she became a cop.

When a murder woman name Hallie is found by her girlfriend Rebecca Morgan sees similar of the crime matching Fay. When her partner Donnie tries to get her to see reason that not every crime is connect to Fay. Then we find an
Debra Dowling
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOW!! This is a page turner that will not disappoint.
Fay and Morgan were best of friends growing up. They were always together, even planning on going off to college together. Until the night Fay disappeared. After weeks of searching, Fay was found murdered. Years later Morgan grows up to become a detective, her life mission is to find Fay's killer.
When a dead body is discovered, beaten in the same way as Fay, Morgan is convinced it is the same killer. Working around the clock Morgan fights to
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Everyone has secrets. Some secrets are harmless while others are haunting. Morgan and Caryn "CeeCee" both have secrets too but it is difficult to tell who carries the worst. Morgan is a detective who lives her life carrying the burden of her best friend's murder. Her entire life is focused on bringing the killer to justice. Meanwhile, Caryn lives a life surrounded by numbers instead of people. Counting every step, day, moment in her life. Both of these women are constantly trying to stay ahead o ...more
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Morgan and Fay were best friends in high school, but before they went to college, Fay was found dead. Years later, Morgan is not a homicide detective, a career shaped by that experience. When Morgan comes across another crime just so similar to Fay's she is intent on linking the two.

So while I enjoyed the premise of this one, it was rather slow in places and repetitive in many areas, particularly with her focus on finding Fay's killer.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this advan
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book was kinda slow to me and all over the place. It was very hard to keep my attention. I even found myself nodding at one point because the thrill factor just wasn’t up to par. I will say that I did like certain parts of the book but it wasn’t enough to give this book a stellar review. Thank you to Netgalley for giving me an Arc of this book for my honest opinion. 3 stars . I gave an extra star because I loved the cover.
CloudOfThoughts_Books Keirstin
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Best Kept Secrets by author Tracey Phillips releases in October 2019 and a full review will follow before release.
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an arc copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.
This was slow reas
Sejla Kazaferovic
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Crime thrillers are my absolute favorite. Especially where the main character is law enforcement, and because of that, my expectations are quite high for this genre. This book failed to deliver.

I felt the mystery and crime wasn’t in depth. Everything was removed from it. There wasn’t enough details or information regarding the murders or the investigation.

Morgan, the main character, was a joke. She had as much finesse as a bull in a china shop. She was on a vengeful mission not doing
Kathleen Graves
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable read! It was exciting right from the start and the pacing kept my attention. Some of the musings of the main character were slightly repetitive but not in a way that was too distracting. I liked how the background of the various cases unfolded over time and how the ties between the two narrated characters were unveiled slowly - it made the solving of the cases feel really immersive. I also appreciated that there were LGBT characters and themes that were written in a way that was seamle ...more
Kathleen Gray
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Morgan became a police officer because her best friend Fay was murdered - killed brutally the summer before they started college. She's been trying to solve that crime for years and now, suddenly, another young woman- Hallie- is found with her face smashed in same way Fay's was. This sets Morgan off in an effort to link a pattern of murders over a 20 year period, which her partner Donnie thinks is futile. At the same time, we're reading Caryn's story, sort of; she's got secrets and no spoilers a ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
thanks netgalley. Morgan and Donnie make great partners. Morgan's friend Fay was killed when she was young.. Now there are a few recent murders that match the same injury patterns. Morgan is trying to make the murders match that of her friend. ...more
Heather Bennett
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Best Kept Secrets is a great read with interesting characters and storyline. It is well written and entertaining.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book

I loved this book. I couldn't put down and loved the characters and how they played the roll in the story.
3.5 stars.

Best Kept Secrets is an intriguing mystery by debut author Tracey S. Phillips.

Homicide Detective Morgan Jewell is obsessed with finding out who murdered her best friend Fay Ramsey sixteen years ago.  She is so fixated on solving the case that she ties other killings with similar MOs to Fay's death.  The present day murder of  Hallie Marks reinvigorates Morgan's theory much to the dismay of her longtime partner Detective Donnie James. Despite his best efforts to rein her in, Morgan dogg
This was a good mystery read which kept my attention flowing in certain parts of the book.

Best of friends were Fay and Morgan when Fay disappeared and was found murdered. Morgan became obsessed about finding her killer and became a cop. A similar crime led Morgan to believe the same perp was was responsible. And that started the ball rolling.

My first book by author Tracey S. Phillips was an entertaining read. Dual timelines and different POV from Morgan and Caryn, another woman with secrets had
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 rounded up for the ending

The writing in this one drags at times. The pacing was a bit slow and repetitive. The characters are decent, Donnie more likable than Morgan (at least to me). I found the change in narration and from past to present a bit choppy.

That being said the story was entertaining enough to finish and it certainly did with quite the sentence! I would try more by this author.

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and Crooked Lane Books for a copy in exchange for a review.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, ebook
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

I'm quitting this at around 25%. Initially I found the writing a little repetitious and heavy-handed, but decided to persevere. Then I found the pace a little slow, but continued to persevere. Then there started to be chapters set in the past and/or from the perspective of a completely different woman than the main protagonist, and this slowed things down even more. The final straw for me was when the same name came up in connectio
abdulia ortiz-perez
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
I received this ARC from Publisher for honest Review.
What a great thrill and suspense it was to read. What a great psychological thrill! This novel had everything in it. The thrill, the suspense, the psychological, romance and the twist is crazy. This novel will keep you thinking and guessing. When you think you right, well let me just say that you might be wrong. This had me all over the place. My heart beating so fast! I couldn't believe what I was reading. If had me in shock. Every page, ever
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best Kept Secrets Review

Thank you to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

This book was FANTASTIC!! I loved the back and forth narrative including going back to the past with Morgan and Caryn. The chapters were kept nice and short so it was easy to follow both storylines. The climax was exciting and I couldn’t put the book down! I really hope there are more books coming because that ENDING!!! Loved it!!


Morgan Jewell and Fay Ramsey
Tracey S. Phillips writes a hugely engrossing and entertaining début novel.

Homicide Detective Morgan Jewell is obsessed with finding out who murdered her best friend Fay Ramsey sixteen years ago. Her desire to obtain justice for Fay is so great that she starts to link other killings with similar M. O. 's to Fay’s death. Against the will of partner Detective Donnie James and in spite of his best efforts to rein her in, the present day murder of Hallie Marks reignites Morgan’s theory of what happ
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Morgan Jewell's best friend Fay, disappeared and was found murdered the summer after they graduated from high school. The murderer was never found. Morgan was devastated and after getting a degree in criminology she joined the police force. Morgan has been haunted by her friend's death throughout her career. She is called to a crime scene where the murder victim has been beaten with wounds eerily similar to Fay's. The investigation is complex and at times leads to more questions than answers. Is ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Crooked Lane Books and the Netgalley website for allowing me to read this book.

It features the two best friends Morgan and Fay who want to make the most of it together before they go to university. Fay is shy, her mother dominates her and Morgan is her perfect yang. Except fay's about to be murdered. Morgan's going to be upset.

Later, still as upset as ever, she'll try to find out more about her friend and find out she had a secret. Now, as a homicide detective, she'll be i
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
In the thriller Best Kept Secrets, Tracey S Phillips gives the reader a psychologically haunted detective, Morgan Jewell, who is fixated on finding the killer of her childhood friend, Fay Ramsey, and who thinks she sees a recurring modus operandi in a string of similar murders. The stories of possible suspects and victims interweave and reinforce themes of childhood trauma, forbidden love, infidelity and sexual obsession – all italicizing the often corrosive effects of secrets.

The ending will su
Joyce Stewart Reviews
Best Kept Secrets: A Novel
Tracey S. Phillips

Best friends tell each other everything.Even their deepest, darkest secrets--pinky promise.
Right? Morgan Jewell and Fay Ramsey are enjoying their last summer together before college. Fay is shy, with a controlling mother, and Morgan is the perfect, wild, loud-mouthed yang to Fay's yin. But when Fay is found dead, Morgan's entire world crumbles.

Years later, Morgan is still haunted by the abrupt end to her best friend's life. She knew Fay held a secre
Olga Gamer
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I nearly finished the novel, reading 3/4's of it, and then coming to the conclusion, I need to put this down. After her friend was brutally murdered in college, Morgan Jewell becomes a homicide detective, hoping this would allow her the opportunity to monitor the unsolved case and find closure after so many years. The leads have run dry and Morgan is sure she will never find answers, never find the real killer, until suddenly, a case pops up, similar to how Fay was murdered. Could this be the bi ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5/3 stars!

I'm still deciding on the rating! I really liked certain parts where Morgan showed a glimpse of Fay, and the synopsis had pulled me in for the fall feels. I love to read thrillers in the fall <3
The plot seemed to go way different than expected, but still in range and I stayed up a bit later to find out what happened next. There was a pov shift that at first was weird and interesting, and I'd wanted to see where it would go.
The said character that we start to see more of is more u
April Taylor
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Best Kept Secrets is told in a present-past-present timeline, much like many other thrillers. The main character, Morgan, became a detective due to her decades long obsession with solving the murder of her childhood/teenage best friend.

The author tosses in a lot of red herrings and suspects to keep readers guessing. Unfortunately, the identity of the main killer wasn’t even slightly hard to figure out. The book’s main twist at the end wasn’t exactly a shock, either. The best, most effective sur
Jul 10, 2019 added it
Morgan is a police officer, who is still looking for answers from her teenaged best friends murder. This book follows her journey in trying to find the killer. Its a good story, but in reading it there were a few mistakes, less details then I would like. I'm not a cop but can you connect murders just because there fingers are broken and their faces smashed in? That doesn't seem like enough to connect murders over a 20 year time period.

Also the main character Morgan was unlikable, and a little a
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Tracey S. Phillips is the author of Best Kept Secrets, winner of the 2018 Hugh Holton award published by Crooked Lane Books. They released the unagented debut in 2019. That year she realized her dream of being a panelist at her first Bouchercon where with other debut authors, she discussed Unusual Ways to Kill. In fiction, of course. In March 2020, she was a panelist at the Chicago Murder and Mayh ...more

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