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K.C. Constantine Books In Order

Publication Order of Rocksburg Books

The Rocksburg Railroad Murders (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Man Who Liked to Look At Himself (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Blank Page (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Fix Like This (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Always a Body to Trade (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Upon Some Midnights Clear (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Joey's Case (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sunshine Enemies (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bottom Liner Blues (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cranks and Shadows (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Good Sons (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Family Values (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Brush Back (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blood Mud (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Grievance (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Saving Room for Dessert (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

K.C. Constantine is the pen name of writer Carl Constantine Kosak. An American writer of mystery novels, Carl is more familiarly known to his readers as K.C. Constantine, a name as mysterious as the thrillers he pens. Born in 1934 in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, K.C. Constantine is a very mysterious figure. Almost little to nothing is known about him, so you could say that he is as intriguing as the characters and complex mystery tales that get published, but perhaps even less likely to be spotted out and about in public.

K.C. Constantine prefers to live a life that is largely anonymous. He does not appear in the limelight often and has given only a handful of interviews in his life, leading to very few photographs of him. However, there are a few things that are known about him and of course, he is known for his published works of fiction.

It is thought that he may have played in the minor leagues of baseball. Another rumor is that K.C. Constantine studied in a writing program at the University of Iowa in the sixties, and that he may have been a journalist for some time at a western Pennsylvania paper. He worked at a job when he allegedly lost that job in 1993 and turned to writing as a full-time occupation. He also worked at Seton Hill College (now Seton Hill University) in Greensburg, where he worked as an English teacher teaching creative writing and composition. However, a refusal to complete his master’s degree meant that he was dismissed.

One thing that is known about his early life is that he served as a Marine for the United States Military at some point in the early 1950s. He is an alumnus of New Wilmington’s Westminster College in Pennsylvania. He confesses that he flunked freshman composition twice due to not knowing how to create an English sentence, as reported in a bulletin of the college’s library circulation. He appeared in person for the first time at the Festival of Mystery in May 2011, where he signed books and gave a live interview at the festival at a Greek Orthodox Church in Oakmont.

He currently lives with his lovely wife Linda in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

K.C. Constantine is known for his mystery series. His most famous character is the police chief Mario Balzic, who serves in the fictional town of Rocksburg, Pennsylvania. This town is a mirror of Kosak’s hometown in Pennsylvania, McKees Rocks and Johnstown and Greensburg as well. He has expressed an interest in the characters in his stories over the actual mystery, and the reader can see an increase in the philosophical nature in his books.

He is the author of the Rocksburg mystery and detective series. The first book in this series was published in 1972 and was received quite well. There are seventeen novels in the series. K.C. Constantine is the recipient of the Edgar Awards Best Novel nomination for his 1989 book Joey’s Case.

The first novel in this series is called The Rocksburg Railroad Murders, and in the opening of the book the reader quickly finds that a horrible murder case is underfoot. This man was well-liked and known around town for being honest and hard working is brutally murdered while he is waiting at the train depot. The main character in this novel is Mario Balzic, who works in the town of Rocksburg, Pennsylvania as a police chief. The town mostly runs on coal mining, which employs a lot of the people in the town. Mario is a Serbo-Italian American family man and works hard to try and serve his town by using sense and not force. He prefers to get results by asking questions and doing good work.

Mario is not a pretentious or boastful man, so when the man found beaten to death with a Coke bottle of all things on the Rocksburg Railway Station platform, he is stunned beyond words. He was a family man just like Mario, and slowly but surely the detective becomes convinced that it was the stepson of this man who killed him. However, he still needs to find out for sure and get justice in the case of this horrible murder of a former classmate from school.

Excitement and intrigue are abounding with every footstep in this debut series novel from K.C. Constantine. Readers will be turning the page to find out whether the police chief can solve the murder and find out who did it in this classic and well-written “whodunnit” story. With other background characters like his wife, mother, and children making an appearance and a motive for the murder that is recognizably human over something more sinister and sociopathic, you’ve got to pick up this Rocksburg Railroad murder story and see who did it for yourself.

Tthe sequel to this book is called The Man Who Liked to Look At Himself and it was published in 1973. The story starts out once more with the protagonist Mario Balzic, the honorable and dependable police chief and detective in the small coal-mining town of Rocksburg, Pennsylvania.

In the beginning of this book, Mario Balzic is hunting pheasant with his friend Harry, who is a Lieutenant with the state police. They are at the local club hunting when Mario is bitten by his friend’s dog. Later on, the dog digs up a bone that seems to have been tampered with. In other words, someone may have been killed.

Harry apologizes, but it is later that the dog discovers another bone to go for– but this one is human and from a person that has long since missed it. Not only that, but this human bone does show signs that it was hacked apart. Convinced that he has a murder on his hands, Mario is determined to find out what happened to this person, who did it, and why. When more remains suddenly turn up and the body ends up being identified, the police force in this small town is that much closer to discovering who committed this horrible crime. Pick up this book and see who the missing citizen is and whether Mario Balzic can solve the case and finally bring a murderer to justice.

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