Tracy Clark

Second Cass Raines Mystery

Borrowed Time

A Chicago Mystery #2

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In Tracy Clark’s electrifying new mystery featuring Cassandra Raines, the former Chicago cop turned private investigator looks into a suspicious death as a favor to a friend—and makes some powerful enemies.


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Sitting in cold cars for hours, serving lowlifes with summonses . . . being a P.I. means riding out a lot of slow patches. But sometimes the most familiar paths can lead straight to danger—like at Cass’s go-to diner, where new delivery guy Jung Byson wants to enlist her expertise. Jung’s friend, Tim Ayers, scion of a wealthy Chicago family, has been found dead, floating in Lake Michigan near his luxury boat. And Jung is convinced there’s a murderer on the loose . . .

Cass reluctantly begins digging only to discover that Jung neglected to mention one crucial fact: Tim Ayers was terminally ill. Given the large quantities of alcohol and drugs found in his body, Ayers’ death appears to be either an accident or suicide. Yet as much as Cass would like to dismiss Jung’s suspicions, there are too many unanswered questions and unexplained coincidences.

Why would anyone kill a dying man? Working her connections on both sides of the law, Cass tries to point the police in the right direction. But violence is escalating around her, and Cass’s persistence has already attracted unwanted attention, uncovering sinister secrets that Cass may end up taking to her grave.

Praise For Tracy Clark

“This street-smart first mystery boasts great characterization and a terrific new protagonist. Get this writer on your radar now.”Booklist

“Engrossing and superbly written—I can’t say enough good things about Broken Places!” —Lisa Black, New York Times bestselling author of That Darkness and Unpunished

“Unforgettable. . . . Distinctive, vividly written characters lift this promising debut. Readers will be eager for the sequel.”Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Clark’s compelling, suspenseful, and action-packed debut introduces a dogged, tough African American woman investigator who is complex and courageous and surrounded by a family of fascinating misfits. Fans of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone or Sara Paretsky’s V.I Warshawski will welcome Cass Raines to their ranks.”Library Journal (Starred Review)

Broken Place has been mentioned as:

  • Best New PI 2018, CrimeReads

  • One of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2018, Crime Fiction category

  • Short-listed in the mystery category on the American Library Association’s 2019 Reading List

  • Nominated for the 2018 Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel

  • Nominated for the 2019 Anthony Award for Best First Novel

  • Nominated for the 2019 Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel

Broken Places has received both critical praise and award recognition, so it seems that Cass Raines – and Tracy Clark – are going to be part of the crime fiction community for some time. To read her is to be a fan of her, so do not waste another moment – read Tracy Clark’s Broken Places today.  – Kristopher Zgorski, BOLO Books

Tracy Clark is a native Chicagoan who writes mysteries set in her hometown while working as an editor in the newspaper industry. She is a graduate of Mundelein College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned her MA.

Since reading her first Nancy Drew mystery, Tracy has dreamed of crafting mysteries of her own, mysteries that feature strong, intelligent, independent female characters, and those who share their world. Cass Raines, ex-cop turned intrepid PI, is such a character.

In addition to her Cass Raines novels, Tracy’s short story “For Services Rendered,” appears in the anthology “Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African-American Authors.”

She is currently writing her next Cass Raines mystery and binge-watching “Game of Thrones”.

Tracy’s photo by Bauwerks

In Tracy Clark’s debut (first of three Cass Raines novels)

Cops can make mistakes, even when they’re not rookies. If anyone knows that it’s Cass Raines, who took a bullet two years ago after an incompetent colleague screwed up a tense confrontation with an armed suspect.

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Deeply traumatized by the incident, Cass resigned from the Chicago PD, leaving one less female African-American on the force. Now she’s the head of a one-woman private investigation agency, taking on just enough work to pay the bills. She spends the rest of her time keeping an eye on the tenants in her little Hyde Park apartment building, biking along the lakefront, and playing chess with the only father figure she’s ever known, Father Ray Heaton.

When Father Ray asks Cass to look into a recent spate of vandalism at his church, she readily agrees to handle the case. But only hours later she’s horrified to discover his murdered body in the church confessional, a dead gangbanger sprawled out nearby. She knew Pop, as she called him, had ticked off plenty of people, from slumlords to drug dealers and even some parishioners and politicians, with his uncompromising defense of the downtrodden. But a late-night random theft doesn’t seem like much of a motive at a cash-strapped parish like Saint Brendan’s.

The lead detective assigned to the case is all too ready to dismiss it as an interrupted burglary gone awry, just another statistic in a violent city. But Cass’s instincts tell her otherwise, and badge or no badge, she intends to see justice done . . .

Praise for Broken Places

“Sara Paretsky meets Julia Spenser-Fleming in Tracy Clark’s Broken Places. Colorful characters zing to life against a vividly grim Chicago backdrop in this auspicious career-launcher. Broken Places is the breakout mystery of the year!” – Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author

“Cass Raines is my favorite new private investigator. Broken Places takes you into a world where characters are the highest currency, wit is sharpened to a fine point, and the action makes your heart pound. A winning debut. Tracy Clark is one to watch.” – Carlene O’Connor author of Murder at an Irish Wedding

“Engrossing and superbly written–I can’t say enough good things about Broken Places! ” — Lisa Black, NYT Bestselling Author of That Darkness and Unpunished

“Clark’s kickoff to an exciting new character-driven series explores the dynamics between a black investigator and a white world in a story ripped from the headlines.” – Kirkus Reviews magazine

Broken Places Reviews

“Distinctive, vividly written characters lift this promising debut. Readers will be eager for the sequel.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

This street-smart first mystery boasts great characterization and a terrific new protagonist. Get this writer on your radar now.” — Booklist

“The first book in the new Chicago Mystery series is chock full of eccentric characters and a fierce PI who demands answers. Eventually, a small group is formed around a PI firm that is street-savvy and highly entertaining. The streets of Chicago provide enough fodder for a intense page-turning adventure.” — Romantic Times, top pick

Read Tracy’s short story

For Services Rendered

in the anthology

Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African-American Authors

“A dazzling collection of crime and mystery stories, Shades of Black is a landmark achievement. Bringing together today’s brightest talent from the field…” –Goodreads

For Services Rendered Cover

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