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Tracy Clark (Chicago Mystery) Books In Order

Publication Order of Chicago Mystery Books

Broken Places (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Borrowed Time (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
What You Don't See (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Tracy Clark is a popular American writer, hailing from Chicago. She is well known for writing mystery, thriller, crime fiction, and suspense-thriller novels. Clark is particularly famous for writing the Chicago Mystery series and for creating the chief protagonist named Cass Raines. She has successfully written a couple of novels featuring the character and is expected to publish the third one in the next year. Author Clark has been a Chicagoan all her life. Her mysteries are set in her hometown and depict Cass Raines as a former police officer, who runs a private investigation firm and takes up murder mystery cases to investigate and solve. Along with being a writer of crime fiction novels, Clark also works as an editor for a local newspaper.

Author Clark completed her graduation from Mundelein College and obtained a BA. After this, she studied at the Illinois University in Chicago and earned her MA. Clark developed an interest in mystery stories at an early age. The first mystery read by her was a Nancy Drew novel, which made her a fan of crime fiction stories instantly. Since then, Clark has dreamed of creating mystery stories of her own that feature intelligent, strong, and independent female leads, and those who share her world. The creation of Cass Raines as an ex-cop turned private investigator was one such dream of author Clark. Along with writing the Cass Raines stories, Clark also likes to write short stories. A few of her short stories have featured in the anthology called Shades of Black.

Currently, Clark is at work on her next mystery book. In her free time, she likes to binge-watch TV and movies. Game of Thrones is her most favorite TV show, which she has watched multiple times from start to end. Clark is an active member of several writers’ associations, including Sisters in Crime, MWA, TWA, and PI Writers of America. She is grateful to all the readers who have read her books and have given positive comments. Clark also offers her gratitude for the critics for liking her work and appreciating her stories, characters, settings, and writing skills. Author Clark looks forward to writing numerous other mystery novels in the future and entertain her dedicated fans for as long as she can.

The Chicago Mystery series written by author Tracy Clark is comprised of a total of three books, two of which have been published in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and the last one is about to get published in the first quarter of the year 2020. The series is also known by the title, Cass Raines series, based on its lead protagonist Cass Raines. Initially, Cass Raines is introduced as a former cop, who begins her new work as a private investigator in the Windy City. She thinks that being a PI is less stressful as compared to being a cop for earning a living. Cass Raines lands her first case when she stumbles upon the body of one of the respected persons in the community. She takes it upon herself to catch the murderer roaming freely in the city. The debut book of this mystery/crime fiction series is entitled ‘Broken Places’. It was released as a Kindle book in 2018. The book features the essential characters other than Cass Raines in the form of Father Ray Heaton, Pop, and several others, etc. Initially, it is mentioned that even the most experienced cops can make mistakes.

Cass Raines proved this when she took a gunshot a couple of years ago after her inexperienced colleague made a big mistake during the confrontation with a dangerous suspect. This incident deeply traumatized her and forced her to quit working for the Chicago PD. To earn a living, the African-American lady sets up a private investigation agency and works as its head. The works that come her way are just enough to enable her to pay her bills. Cass spends a majority of her spare time in keeping a tight watch on her apartment building’s tenants for any suspicious activities, playing chess with her father figure, Father Heaton, and riding her bike along the lakefront to enjoy the cool atmosphere. When Father Heaton asks Cass Raines to have a look at the recent events of vandalism at the Saint Brendan Church, she agrees to investigate. But, just after she begins the investigation, Cass discovers the dead body of Father Heaton inside the church.

Cass realizes that Father Heaton had made several enemies because of his humanitarian works and one them is responsible for his murder. The ones in her list of suspects include slumlords drug dealers, politicians, and parishioners. The incident was made to look like a theft that led to Father Heaton’s murder due to his resistance. But, Cass is surprised to find that hardly anything was missing from the cash-strapped church. She is also shocked to know that the lead detective asked to investigate the case has dismissed it by saying that it is a case of robbery gone awry. As Cass knew Father Heaton closely, she is sure that there is some other angle to this case. She decides to pursue the investigation privately and seek justice for Father Heaton by finding out the truth behind his death.

The second installment of the series is called ‘Borrowed Time’. It was published by Kensington publication in 2019. This novel features the primary characters as Jung Byson, Tim Ayers, and Cass Raines. In this novel, it is depicted that Cass Raines is asked by her friend to investigate a suspicious death as a favor to him. When the new delivery man at the diner, Jung Byson, learns that Cass is PI, he requests her to look into a case for him. The best friend of Jung Byson, Tim Ayers, belonged to a rich family in Chicago. His dead body was found floating near his luxury boat in Lake Michigan and Jung thinks that it was not an accident, but a murder. In the initial investigation, Cass Raines finds that Tim was terminally ill. The autopsy report reveals that there were large amounts of drugs and alcohol in Tim’s body at the time of his death. This makes the police believe that Tim Ayers’ death was either a suicide or an accident.

Even Cass Raines doesn’t see any foul play to think of it as a murder. However, there are some unexplained coincidences and unanswered questions that still keep her busy and look for a cause for murder. Cass uses her connections with criminals and the police to point the detectives in the correct direction. As violence continues to be on the rise in the city, Cass fears that her persistence and the unwanted attention from the community of criminals might prove to be fatal for her. But, she doesn’t back out and proceeds with the investigation until she finds the killer.

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