'All Her Little Secrets' Is an Impressive Debut

"The only thing better than reading a new author is being blown away by their first book."

all her little secrets
(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

Readers were impressed with Wanda M. Morris's debut novel, All Her Little Secrets. The "fast-paced and exciting" legal thriller, as one #ReadWithMC reviewer described it, centers on a young Black lawyer named Ellice who gets caught up in a tangle of conspiracies—while attempting to hide secrets of her own—after she finds her white boss dead in his office.

"This book takes a deep dive into workplace racism in a really insightful and informative way," writes another #ReadWithMC reviewer who compares the book to a crossover between Whisper Network and When No One Is Watching. "I enjoyed how the information was presented to me alongside the thrilling plot."

If you're thinking about giving the book a read (and, no, you don't have to be a lawyer to enjoy it!), find out exactly what the #ReadWithMC community loved about Marie Claire's November book club pick, below.

"Well hello super impressive debut!! I love reading debut authors because you never quite know what to expect and the only thing better than reading a new author is being blown away by their first book. This one was good y’all, I think it will appeal to so many people because while it’s definitely a thriller it also has shades of a legal thriller and a hint of domestic suspense. It also explores race, sexism, and being a woman in the workplace. It was so relevant and important and also totally entertaining, this one truly had it all. The less you know about this one the better off you are, just read this if you like fast-paced and exciting thrillers that have depth." —@novelgossip

"All Her Little Secrets reminded me of a cross between The Whisper Network and When No One Is Watching. It started off similar to The Whisper Network: a high-ranking C-level executive is dead and no one knows why. Instead of Me Too, this one focuses around workplace racism.

I absolutely loved the main character, Ellice. She was extremely no-nonsense, and as soon as she found out something fishy was happening she knew she had to get to the bottom of it. She immediately tried to use her position of power in her company for good and to solve the diversity issues within the company. Unfortunately, there was way more at stake than she thought.

This book takes a deep dive into workplace racism in a really insightful and informative way. I enjoyed how the information was presented to me alongside the thrilling plot.

There is a lot of legal talk, which I can see bogging some readers down. The plot was interesting the whole way through, though. I thought it was very well-paced." —@howdidthatbookend

"Genre: Mystery, thriller, fiction.

Brief synopsis: Corporate attorney Ellice Littlejohn is thrust into the executive ranks of her office after her boss is murdered, but feels that not all is what it seems at the company. While she investigates, secrets from her past threaten to be revealed. 

As a law student, when I read the synopsis of this legal thriller and heard the comparisons to How to Get Away With Murder, I knew I had to read this. I was not disappointed!

What I liked:
⚖️ Started out with a bang!
⚖️ Thrilling moments and twists.
⚖️ Loved the main character and definitely got Annalise Keating vibes.
⚖️ The law student in me loved the lawyer talk and discussion of legal ethics.
⚖️ Dual timelines of the present and Ellice’s past.
⚖️ Important discussion of race, especially in the legal field/corporate world.

What I didn’t like:
⚖️ A little confusing keeping all the coworkers straight.
⚖️ At times a little cheesy/cliché.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and am very impressed this is the author's debut work. There are important messages and themes about race since Ellice is the sole Black executive and one of the few Black employees of the office. There’s also a plot point about an extreme political group, keeping this vague to avoid spoilers.

I was super entertained trying to figure out who arranged the murders, what nefarious thing was going on at the office, and what secrets Ellice was hiding. She had a rough upbringing so please see the trigger warnings. Ellice is a total badass, I would love to see this as a limited series TV adaptation.

If you are looking for a legal thriller, this is the read for you! 

“I was a fighter. Black girls … fight all the time. We fight to be heard, to be recognized, to stay alive. We fight even when we don’t know we’re fighting.”

⚠️: Child sexual abuse, substance abuse, abortion, murder." —@readmorewithlaur

"I practically devoured most of All Her Little Secrets yesterday. It's a fast-paced thriller that follows an attorney who is the only Black employee in her workplace.

Ellice has worked hard to bury her past and it seems all her secrets are threatening to reveal themselves at once. First her boss/married lover is found murdered in his office, then her company promotes her for good press, then she stumbles on a work scandal that could land her in jail as an accessory." —@mswocreader

"All Her Little Secrets revolves around Ellice Littlejohn, a Black lawyer working at Houghton Transportation Company. After discovering her boss, Michael, dead of a gunshot wound to his temple at his desk, Ellice decides to look the other way and pretend she was never there. This is just the beginning of the unraveling of all her little secrets.

After being promoted to Michael’s old position, Ellice finds herself in more and more uncomfortable situations, all revolving around the white men of her department. Her brother, Sam, also appears to be in cahoots with her coworkers, but Ellice can’t understand why. Trying to keep her life together and her secrets firmly under wraps, what Ellice uncovers will shock absolutely everyone around her.

This is definitely a slow burn, but I enjoyed the back and forth between the past and present of Ellice’s life. We come to understand just why she holds onto her secrets for dear life and why she operates the way she does. Ellice came from a rough background, but made something of herself and chose to never look back. I love the ending though. It really brings the story full circle." —@nissa_the.bookworm

Missed out on our November book club pick? In December, we're reading The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams. Read an excerpt from the book here.