When Day Breaks (Sunrise Suspense Society Series #1)

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Eliza Blake, veteran of the morning show and now the anchor of the KEY Evening Headlines is suddenly thrust into the spotlight when Constance Young, the undisputed star of morning television, is found at the bottom of her swimming pool. Eliza is committed to finding out who wanted Constance out of the way, and why.

But the mystery runs deeper than anyone expects. Why was Constance wearing a precious artifact and where is the missing treasure now? Eliza soon learns that Constance...

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When Day Breaks (Sunrise Suspense Society Series #1)

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Eliza Blake, veteran of the morning show and now the anchor of the KEY Evening Headlines is suddenly thrust into the spotlight when Constance Young, the undisputed star of morning television, is found at the bottom of her swimming pool. Eliza is committed to finding out who wanted Constance out of the way, and why.

But the mystery runs deeper than anyone expects. Why was Constance wearing a precious artifact and where is the missing treasure now? Eliza soon learns that Constance has more enemies than she could ever have imagined. The closer Eliza gets to unmasking the murderer, the closer she gets to becoming the next victim.

Eliza marshals three KEY News co-workers to help. Annabelle Murphy is able to switch from producing to investigative work at a moment's notice. B.J. D'Elia contributes brains, brawn, and a much-needed male perspective. And on-air psychiatrist and recent KEY News hire Dr. Margo Gonzalez has a frightening propensity to figure out what suspects may really be thinking. Together they come to form the "Sunrise Suspense Society," relying on each other, their ingenuity and courage tested to the limit, in this nail-biting media thriller in which everyone is a suspect, and every word is a clue.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Clark's talented media quartet unravels the death of a controversial costar of KEY News's top-ranking morning news program in this Morrow debut (prior titles in the series were published by St. Martin's). Clark lives in New Jersey. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Clark's tenth continues her decorous TV-land carnage by killing off the well-hated co-anchor of KEY to America as she prepares to jump ship for the competition. After a chilling rehearsal that involves tossing a Great Dane and a toaster into a swimming pool, somebody gives Constance Young the same treatment the weekend before her planned debut on Daybreak. As usual in Clark (Dancing in the Dark, 2005, etc.), the suspect pool is as deep as the Yankees' bench. Constance's assistant, Boyd Irons, and her coworkers find her beyond high maintenance. Her housewife sister, Faith Hansen, resents her stinginess. Her beau, video-game czar Stuart Whitaker, is rattled because she won't return the unicorn amulet he filched from The Cloisters. Ex-Wall Street warrior Jason Vaughan is convinced that she's ruined his life. Luckily, KEY to America producer Annabelle Murphy, The KEY Evening Headlines anchor Eliza Blake and KEY cameraman B.J. D'Elia keep one step ahead of the benighted police, soon digging up the one and only clue to the killer, which Clark confidently displays a hundred pages before her truthbusters can figure out what it means. All right, so this isn't a world-class whodunit. What remains are the simple pleasures of dishing on media types as petty as your teenagers; stripping back the cliches of TV news to reveal the juicier cliches beneath; and knowing that you're not going to miss ten seconds of sleep over this carnival of crime. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh/William Morris Agency
“Clark has perfected the suspense novel…in classic Christie fashion”
Fern Michaels
As slick as they come. A real page-turner!
Taylor Smith
“Impossible to resist.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061443039
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/5/2007
  • Series: Sunrise Suspense Society Series, #1
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 7
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Jane Clark worked at CBS News for nearly three decades. Her twelve KEY News media thrillers were inspired by that experience. Envisioning the Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake mystery series, Mary Jane enrolled in cake-decorating classes and researched unique wedding locations. The daughter of an FBI agent and a mother who customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when she was growing up, Mary Jane has two grown children and splits her time between New Jersey and Florida. She is currently concocting her next novel.

Isabel Keating garnered a 2004 Tony® nomination for her role as Judy Garland in The Boy From Oz. She has numerous off Broadway credits, and made her Broadway debut starring in Enchanted April.

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Read an Excerpt

When Day Breaks

A Novel of Suspense
By Mary Clark

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Mary Clark
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061286070

Chapter One

The morning rush was on.

Breakfast eaten. Teeth brushed. Hair clipped. Shoes tied. Sweater buttoned.

As she hustled Janie out to the garage, Eliza picked up her daughter's backpack. "Anything in here I should see?" Eliza asked.

Janie's blank expression prompted Eliza to unzip the nylon bag. She pulled out a yellow sheet of paper.

"Oh, yeah. You need to fill that out, Mommy," said Janie. "It's for the picnic."

Eliza scanned the notice. The first-grade family picnic was coming up in a few weeks to celebrate the end of the school year.

"This sounds like fun, sweetheart," said Eliza as she grabbed a pen from the kitchen counter. "Should we ask Kay Kay and Poppy if they want to come?"

Janie shook her head, a solemn expression on her face. "No, Mommy. Mrs. Ansley says no grandparents or friends. It's only for parents and children."

Thanks, Mrs. Ansley, thought Eliza. Thanks a lot. "I'm sure if I asked Mrs. Ansley, she'd let us bring Kay Kay and Poppy and even Mrs. Garcia," said Eliza.

Janie shook her head. "Uh-uh. Mrs. Ansley says there's not enough room, and she can't make any 'ceptions."

"Exceptions," Eliza corrected.

"Exceptions," repeated Janie. "Mrs. Ansley says, 'No exceptions.'"

Eliza didn't want to hear any more about what Mrs.Ansley had to say. She took the pen and signed her name to the form, filling in the appropriate information.

One child. One adult.

There were just two in the Blake family eligible to attend the first-grade picnic.

Eliza hurried back to the house after dropping Janie off. She poured a second cup of coffee and positioned herself in front of the kitchen television set just in time. Constance Young was looking straight out of the screen, tears welling in her luminous blue eyes.

"The years I've spent with all of you have meant more than I can possibly express. Each morning we've faced the world together. We've learned new things together, explored possibilities together, had some laughs together, and faced too many harsh realities together."

Listening to the words coming from the television, Eliza found herself admiring Constance's beautifully cut green jacket and the lighting that accented her glowing skin and her ever-blonder hair. Eliza wondered if she should talk to the director about making some adjustments to the lighting on her own Evening Headlines set. She was definitely going to talk with Doris about upping the makeup magic to camouflage the darkness that inevitably developed beneath her eyes. In the last tapes Eliza had reviewed, there was no denying she'd appeared tired.

When Eliza went from hosting KEY to America to anchoring The KEY Evening Headlines, she had been thrilled at the professional achievement and the privilege of becoming one of the select few to whom the national audience turned to deliver the news of the day. But the mother in her had also looked forward to a more civilized schedule. She wouldn't have to get up at 4:00 a.m. anymore. She could have breakfast with Janie and take her to school in the morning before leaving for work. Other mothers might sigh at the daily grind of transporting their kids to and from school, but Eliza—though she could well afford a driver—savored the normalcy of those car rides with her first-grader. As it turned out, the reality of the nightly anchor job was just as much study and homework and travel as she'd done in her previous position, and though Janie and she could share scrambled eggs in the morning, they never had dinner together during the week. Eliza considered it a good day when she was home in time to tuck her daughter into bed at night.

Constance Young had replaced Eliza on KEY to America. And now Constance was leaving the highly rated morning program as well, but not for the evening broadcast or even another job at KEY News. Constance was going over to the competition. Next month she would be greeting morning viewers from another network. Today was her last appearance on KEY to America, and Eliza wanted to hear every word of the farewell address.

"The news hasn't always been happy or predictable. Far from it. Sometimes the things we've confronted together have been almost impossible to wrap our minds around. But I've always felt that no matter how worrisome the event or how painful the news, gathering together each morning and sharing the issues and problems of the day has somehow lightened the load a bit. There has been reassurance in knowing that there are millions of us, all hearing the same thing at the same time, all digesting the same information. And because knowledge is power, we go out better prepared to face the day, better equipped to take care of our children and parents, abler to be better spouses and friends, more likely to be solid citizens."

Pausing to dab a tear from the corner of her eye, Constance smiled bravely before continuing.

"There are so many people I should thank. There just isn't enough time to name them all. But I do have to express my gratitude to Harry. He has been the best colleague anyone could ask for as we've sat at this desk together every morning, and I'll miss him more than I can say."

The director cut to a two-shot of Constance and Harry Granger sitting beside each other. Constance leaned over and gave her cohost a kiss on the cheek.

"And I wish the very best of luck to my successor, Lauren Adams, who has already been part of our KEY News family as our lifestyle correspondent. I know Lauren will do a wonderful job as host."

Constance stared earnestly from the television.

"The KEY to America family is just that—a family. It includes all the people you see on the screen each morning, countless people you don't see as they work so hard behind the scenes to get us on the air, and all of you, the viewers. Without you there would be no KEY to America. Because of you, KEY to America will go on and thrive. My departure is really only a tiny blip on the radar screen."

Eliza smiled as she put her coffee cup down on the counter. If she hadn't known Constance Young and witnessed what had been going on over the last year, she would actually have believed that the popular morning-show personality meant every word.


Excerpted from When Day Breaks by Mary Clark Copyright © 2007 by Mary Clark. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2014



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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014


    I couldn't put it down. The author did a good job.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    When Day Breaks

    I'm sure we all know a Constance Young type of person so it wasn't a surprise to find her murdered. Mary Jane Clark offers just enough information about the characters to make the story interesting without over doing it.
    I found this to be a delightful weekend escape.

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  • Posted April 30, 2009

    If suspense is what you're looking for...

    Then this is a book for you! The storyline had me turning pages nonstop. A classic 'whodunnit' with enough twists and turns to keep you hooked until the very end.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    Wonderful author

    Excellent read!!!

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    Everyone hates Constance Young. It's no secret that her colleagues think she's a world class b***h, and rightly so. But when she ends up dead at the bottom of her swimming pool, it's up to those same colleagues to figure out exactly what happened to her. <BR/><BR/>Constance had just quit her job at KEY To America to move over to the morning news competition, Daybreak. No one was sad to see her go, but who hated her enough to kill her? <BR/><BR/>As bodies start piling up and the news business gets fierce, it will be up to KEY Headline News evening anchor Eliza and her coworkers Annabelle, B.J., and Margo to get to the bottom of the mystery. <BR/><BR/>This was a fun, fast mystery that I enjoyed. The behind-the-scenes working of television news was a great subplot, and the storyline makes perfect sense. This is a great summer beach read.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read!

    I picked this book up from where I work that has a gift shop. I like suspense books and this is by far an excellent book to read. I read this in two days because I could not put it down! I noticed that this will be a series off this book. I can't wait for the next one to come out!<BR/><BR/>YOU ALL MUST GET THIS BOOK. Very Good!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    great book

    This is a wonderful read for those hot summer days. It keeps you on your toe until the very end, and you 'll be looking for more...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is the best in the series. I was guessing until the very end. Start the summer off with this great beach-read...you won't be able to put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2007

    Too bad for Marco...Great for us!

    The clues 'stunning!' were all there, and I missed them! That means, of course, that I MUST read the book again! A fun, engaging, intelligent, gripping read. One gets to know the KEY characters better than ever before. Thanks, Mary Jane! Can hardly wait for the next in the series!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2007

    Breathless Page-Turner

    Considering myself very fortunate to get my hands on an advanced reading copy of Clark¿s tenth thriller, I confess that I couldn¿t put it down. From the first pages that describe a gruesome ¿practice¿ killing, to the final pages that uncover the identity of a murderer who stood right before our eyes all along, When Day Breaks provides everything a mystery fan hopes for. Eliza Blake, Clark¿s best drawn character -- Do You Want to Know a Secret? and Close to You -- joins forces with three of her KEY News colleagues to solve the murder of Constance Young, the luminous and viciously ambitious co-anchor of the daily news journal, KEY to America, who was leaving KEY to join a rival network and take her loyal following to its morning show, Daybreak. Moments after the discovery of Constance's body, Eliza, B.J., Annabelle and Margo dub themselves the Sunrise Suspense Society as they investigate not just Constance¿s murder, but the deaths of others, too ¿ three victims who know way too much. Watching Eliza's successive news reports on KEY¿s Evening Headlines along with the rest of the nation, the murderer soon determines that Eliza Blake is uncovering too many secrets. . . . Mary Jane Clark knows how to tell a story, with suspects-a-plenty, surprising clues and page-turning twists that keep us breathless. My advice: Don¿t miss Clark's latest, and best, thriller!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    An excellent gripping mystery

    Constance Young, the hostess of Key to America, is leaving for a better position at a rival network and almost everyone is glad to see her go. She has alienated everyone at work with her demands and petulant behavior and is worse to those in her personal life. Her sister resents her as the multimillionaire Constance refuses to help pay for the care of their mother rationalizing that mom lives in Faith¿s house instead of a nursing home. Her lover millionaire Stuart Whitaker stole an artifact from the Cloisters museum for her and when he asks for it back she refuses to give it to him.---------------------- When she arrives at her Westchester home, Constance goes swimming not realizing someone rigged her pool to electrocute her when a toaster is thrown into the water. The killer perfected this technique by practicing on a dog gotten from the pound. An arrest is made when the artifact which she was wearing on the day of the murder is found in her assistant Boyd¿s coat pocket planted there by the clever killer. The man who gave the dog that was electrocuted to the killer is also murdered as is Constance¿s housekeeper who saw the killer. Eliza Blake, the anchor of Key¿s headline news, investigates the story and finds she is next on the murder¿s row.------------------------ Even though the victim comes across as a person with many enemies who had reasons to want her dead, the author makes it clear that nobody has the right to be judge, jury and executioner. She gets that point across through the actions and verbal asides of her characters. Mary Jane Clark provides an excellent gripping mystery that leaves readers wondering throughout who killed the odious Constance as suspects are everywhere.--------------- Harriet Klausner

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