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Trail of Secrets: Dark Horse, Book One

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Next Generation Indie Book Awards Best First Novel Nominee (2016)

Sometimes people vanish for a reason...
Spending three weeks of her summer at the Foxwoode Riding Academy in northern Michigan should have been one of the happiest times of sixteen-year-old Brynlei's life. But from the moment Brynlei arrives at Foxwoode, she can't shake the feeling she's being watched. Then sh
Kindle Edition, 209 pages
Published August 18th 2019 by Blue Pond Press (first published January 1st 2015)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.45  · 
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Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-mystery
"Excellent mystery and adventure"
When I started Laura Wolfe's Trail of Secrets, I was immediately pulled in by the characterization of Brynlei and the other girls and animals at the Foxwoode riding academy. A summer camp for girls that excel at horses is the perfect setting for a ghostly mystery. The cabins with squeaky floors and woods that seem to have eyes.

The voice of Kelli Andresen brings the entire story a vivacious and energetic feel. Reminding the reader that these are teenage girls. Th
I hate to say this, but I usually don't have high expectations when a local author asks us to add his or her book to our collection. Fortunately, this book was not only "good enough" to add, but exceeded all expectations! This was a real page turner that caught my attention and kept it from the very first page. It was a great story, well-written, and kept me guessing until the end. Well, okay, I kind of solved the mystery in general terms a little bit before it was revealed, but there still was ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very hard to put down. Wolfe writes strong, believable characters. And the mystery was very suspenseful. I don't want to reveal too much, so I will simply say that I absolutely wanted to know if Brynlie would figure out the mystery that looms over Foxwoode. I enjoy reading all types of books, including a lot of YA. This novel felt refreshingly different. Yes, there is a romance element, but it is not the focus of the story. Instead, its focus is the mystery, and dealing with fr ...more
Clare O'Beara
This is a highly enjoyable and exciting read for young adults, especially girls, who love horses or want to know what an equestrian summer camp would be like. Our guide is a girl who is highly sensitive so she is just the right person to ferret out secrets after spotting the camp ghost.

At the same time, we learn a good bit about advanced jumping training and we meet a variety of characters; there's always something to learn from the interactions. I found quite a few nice surprises which heighte
Torrey Lewis
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trail of Secrets is not my normal evening read, but I was asked to preview it for my neices to see if they would enjoy it. I am happy to say that I wholeheartedly recommended it.

The author takes you on a journey to a sleepaway horse camp and keeps you engaged by skillfully reminding the reader that there is a lot happening beyond the campfires and mess halls. It's also fairly evident that the author is a rider herself as she fluidly guides you through the ins and outs of horsemanship and compe
Erin Fanning
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put down this suspenseful YA mystery, the first in a series, and read it practically straight through. The author does an excellent job of creating a complex heroine complete with her own faults while fully developing the characters around her. I particularly enjoyed entering the world of a riding academy--something I knew nothing about--and learning more about the horses, as well as the instruction and competition. I look forward to reading more of the series!
Laura Wolfe
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: horse-books
Thank you for reading and spreading the word about my book if you enjoyed it.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mtw-week

Laura Wolfe has done an extraordinary job of creating interesting, strong and believable teen characters in this tale woven around the mysterious disappearance of a student of the academy. There was no point in this story when I thought ‘ok, I know what’s coming next’! Her characters have been crafted in a way which is just a little kwirky and yet completely believable, which has been so refreshing to experience.

Kelli Andresen is an excellent narrator and
Trista Borgwardt
Brynlei gets her dream when her parents surprise her with a 3 week summer camp at Foxwoode Riding Academy. Brynlei is a different kind of girl, more sensitive to the world around her. Upon arrival to Foxwoode, Brynlei begins seeing things, a girl, of course these sightings come just after the campfire tale of the teenage girl who disappeared from Foxwoode four summers again. As everyone speculates what happened to this poor girl, Brynlei is convinced that she is seeing her.

Brynlei befriends a k
D.G. Driver
I'm not much of a horse story girl. Aside from some chapter books I read with my daughter when she was in 3rd grade about little girls with ponies, I haven't read a horse book since Black Beauty when I was in 3rd grade myself. Still, the cover of this book is alluring, and I'd heard a lot about it, so I gave it a shot. So glad I did. It is a great summer camp story. It's got all the things you would expect of an all girls' equestrian camp, snotty rich girls, that cool odd ball, and of course the ...more
Tina Collins
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trail of Secrets by Laura Wolfe follows Brynlei as she solves the mystery of missing girl, Caroline Watson. The story all takes place at Foxwoode Riding Academy, a prestigious riding school. Whilst training and enjoying a 3 week stay, she becomes mixed up with the case of the missing girl.

It feels extremely weird when you see alot of yourself in a character written in a book. So, in a way, you’re compelled to finish the story in one sitting. Her love of horses only strengthens this view. As you
Rebecca McNutt
I received a copy of this novel in a Goodreads giveaway.

Trail of Secrets was just like those nostalgic mystery/adventure books I remember getting out of book orders as a kid, but still a book that many young adults today can relate to. Taking place at the prestigious Foxwoode Riding Academy, it combines paranormal themes with horses, adventure and mystery. Brynlei is an easy character to relate to and isn't generic or superficial the way most young adult book characters can be. I really liked th
(Ellie) ReadtoRamble
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've never read anything quite like this book before but it was a really nice surprise. I was expecting to enjoy it, but I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. I was really intrigued by the synopsis, I don't usually read very many thrillers or mysteries, and I've not read a book about horses since I was a child, but I'm so glad I gave this one a shot.

The story is fast-paced, filled with suspense and I did not expect that ending! I really liked the writing style and the characters, they
Ana S
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed this book, although I am not an equestrian. The main characters kept me engaged and the mystery kept me on the edge of my seat!
Even though the book is a spin on a campfire story, the interwoven flashbacks and beautifully written scenes make it so much more than that.
Trail of secrets is an impressive debut. Yes I am a fan!
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DISCLAIMER: I thank the author for sending me a free copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaway.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well-drawn out and the situations were incredibly intricate. My only slight problem with this story was in the beginning it described the horseriding aspect of the story in intense detail. Which, if I knew anything about horses, would likely be very interesting to read, but as I don't, seemed to drag the story a bit. Other than that small issue th
Benjamin  Thomas
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good mystery with some unique twists and elements. Can't divulge too much without giving a spoiler away. I found the climax and resolution to be the most satisfying part of the book. Exceptional
Kerri Marsh
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

I love horse mysteries and this one doesn't fall short. It's not overly romantic, or over the head of non horse people. Love the story and the twists that it takes.
With this book's description, I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this story. What I found could be best described as Canterwood Crest meets Friday the 13th (minus the gore)! Trail of Secrets is a fun and creepy read! It is set at a summer riding academy and I happily absorbed the summer camp environment -- sleeping bunks filled with haughty girls, campfires, ghost stories . . . and riding lessons and trail rides! I immediately liked the main character, Brynlei, as she has a deep ...more
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set at Foxwoode, a prestigious riding camp in Northern Michigan, Trail of Secrets is a captivating mystery about one camper's quest to solve the case of a missing teen. The gripping story line, with its twists and turns, kept me engaged from beginning to end. Although not a rider myself, I gained a new respect for the sport without being overwhelmed or bored with technicalities. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the well-developed characters and felt transported to the fire circle of my own c ...more
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Trail of Secrets is a thrilling YA novel that is taking the reader on an exciting adventure at a Horse Riding Academy. I really enjoyed this book because its puzzling story captured my attention and kept me guessing about what might happen next. The mysteries include a vanished girl, strange sights and unexplained incidents that send the main characters searching for answers. Intrigued by the ghost-like sightings and hidden secrets, I read this book with intense anticipation. The story total ...more
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Michigan. : ) Brynlei goes to horseback riding camp in Northern MI. She's an awkward 15 year old who has trouble making friends. She also "suffers" from HSP (Highly sensititive person) where she feels things much more deeply than other people and "feels" bad things before they happen. While at camp, she sees things and gets the prickly feeling that something is about to happen--she learns that a girl who disappeared 4 years ago at camp was assumed killed in an accident...but there's more ...more
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an avid equestrian, horsey books are my guilty pleasure, and this is one that I would definitely recommend! The story was interesting and well-written, and a few unexpected twists kept me guessing. I thought the characters were very engaging and believable. There was enough horsey stuff to satisfy my fix, but not too much that a non-rider would be overwhelmed by it. A good, fun read!
Brittany Goodwin
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this debut novel from Laura Wolfe. There was twist after twist that I didn't see coming, and as a late 20s reader of YA this book definitely has crossover appeal. Highly recommend.
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick YA read.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-fiction
I enjoyed each character and how the author supported the cliches that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and you can't judge a book by its cover.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Challis Nuffer
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-11-20
Brynlei dreams of attending Foxwoode riding academy. When her dream finally comes true, she will be able to spend 3 weeks there. while she is at the school she discover a story of a vanishing girl. she begins to feel the girls presence and senses the she is luring in the woods. Brynlei then decides to go on a quest in search of the girl to see whether its actually her or her ghost luring in the woods.
The concept of the story line had potential but the way the book was written made the story line
Carly Kade
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this equestrian thriller but I found it a pleasurable read. The story takes place in northern Michigan and Laura Wolfe's Foxwoode Riding Academy reminded me of the places of my youth. A nice light summer read for horse lovers, 'Trail of Secrets' follows the adventures of a horse loving, highly intuitive young woman as she stumbles upon a mystery to solve while away from home at an exclusive summer riding camp.
Julie Osmun
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book captured me in the first chapter. A quick, easy read with lots of details that draws you in and makes you want to keep reading until the surprise at the end. Nice touch in leading us to the next book! An enjoyable mystery for the teen girl or adult! Love the horsey references!
Happy Reader
rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2017
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Laura Wolfe writes fast-paced and twisty mystery and suspense novels. Her upcoming releases include TWO WIDOWS (Bookouture, August 2020) and SHE LIES ALONE (Bookouture, November 2020) The books in Laura's equestrian-themed YA mystery series have been shortlisted for multiple indie book awards. Laura is a lover of animals and nature. When she is not writing, she can be found hanging out with her hi ...more

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