The best fearless female detective novels

Tracey S. Phillips Author Of Best Kept Secrets
By Tracey S. Phillips

Who am I?

Haven’t we all seen things? Done things? Felt guilt or remorse over stuff that happened? I’m fascinated by the darkness within and I’m an eternal student of psychology. I was a musician first. I’ve played piano since age three and studied music at Berklee College of Music. Later, I found my artistic calling when I began to write. Those life experiences have added up and it’s not all roses. My characters have good hearts but they’re struggling with demons—like we all do. I hope my readers can relate and if not, maybe they see something true.

I wrote...

Best Kept Secrets

By Tracey S. Phillips,

Book cover of Best Kept Secrets

What is my book about?

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,  now a homicide detective, is still haunted by the abrupt end to her best friend's life. She knew Fay held a secret in those final days but the leads have run dry. Until she's called to the scene of a murder: a woman whose body is left mangled, too similar to Fay's to ignore. This is the case to set her back on the killer's trail. The closer she gets, the harder it forces her to confront the memories of herself and her best friend. 

The books I picked & why

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My Sister's Grave

By Robert Dugoni,

Book cover of My Sister's Grave

Why this book?

New clues have surfaced surrounding a missing girl. Despite warnings from colleagues, Detective Tracy Crosswhite takes the investigation into her own hands. For years she’s been searching for answers to her sister’s disappearance. Tracy is determined, emotional, and driven to follow up on information that finally makes sense. Dugoni’s descriptive, fast-paced thriller is raw and unsweetened. He gives you the sense of urgency, the sweat, and the dirty truth. Tracy reminded me in many ways of Morgan Jewell in my book. She’s a smart, fierce woman. She’s the type of woman I love to read about, and the type I love to write. 

Bad Axe County

By John Galligan,

Book cover of Bad Axe County

Why this book?

Bad Axe County is placed in my home state, Wisconsin, during the spring. Galligan captures the crazy weather—from blizzard to melting and freezing runoff—using it as the backdrop to this fast-paced thriller. Police detective Heidi White has unanswered questions about her parent’s murder-suicide. But that’s in the past and everyone tells her to leave sleeping dogs alone. In this dark, twisted thriller, she must capture a monster to finally learn the truth. I loved Heidi’s fearless plunge into the dark.

And Now She's Gone

By Rachel Howzell Hall,

Book cover of And Now She's Gone

Why this book?

Grayson Sykes reminds me of so many friends. She is real, she has stuff in her purse that she’s been carrying around for too long. She’s a reluctant sleuth. And she has a tortured past like the characters in my book. Isabel Lincoln is missing. Or is she? I often wondered which woman was hunting and which was the hunted. Howzell Hall brings on the slow reveal with such cunning that I was blown away by the ending. Her clever descriptions made me devour this book. 

Tracking Game: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery

By Margaret Mizushima,

Book cover of Tracking Game: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery

Why this book?

The man who may have killed Detective Mattie Cobb’s father is found dead in his cell. A string of clues leads to deadly narcotics and a missing baby. Mattie and her K-9 partner Robo must journey into the mountains to find the infant’s killer. And Robo just became father to a litter of pups. What I love best about this series is Mattie’s relationship with Robo. To learn more about Mattie’s buried past, I recommend reading Mizushima’s books from the beginning. These characters –both human and K-9—will stay in your heart long after you’re through reading.

The Silent Corner

By Dean Koontz,

Book cover of The Silent Corner

Why this book?

Jane Hawk is as fierce and fearless as they come. She’s a rogue FBI agent on a mission to learn why her well-adjusted husband suddenly committed suicide along with hundreds of others. This case has nothing to do with cults, or Kool-Aid. As she gets closer to the truth, Jane is hunted too. She’s lost so much, her one true love and the doting father of their boy, but Jane is driven to make the leader of this horrific tragedy pay. This book is laced with Koontz’s flair for description and his talent for pushing readers to the edge of their seats for a heart-pounding conclusion.

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