When Day Breaks (Sunrise Suspense Society Series #1)

When Day Breaks (Sunrise Suspense Society Series #1)

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On the day she died, Constance Young was the undisputed star of morning television. But her plans to move herself and her loyal audience to another network were canceled when she ended up at the bottom of her swimming pool. And the fabled unicorn amulet, the centerpiece of the upcoming Camelot exhibit at New York's Cloisters museum—which Constance had been wearing during her final hours—is missing.

A morning-show veteran and now anchor of the KEY Evening Headlines, Eliza Blake is determined to discover who wanted Constance out of the way . . . and why. But the deeper she digs, the more twisted the trail to Constance's killer becomes—as the list of suspects grows longer by the minute. The one sure thing is that Constance Young made a lot of enemies, and now one of them is Eliza's enemy—and possibly her killer—as well.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061286087
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/29/2008
Series: Sunrise Suspense Society Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 407,035
Product dimensions: 6.76(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.03(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

When Day Breaks
A Novel of Suspense

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 tothe 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.

When Day Breaks
A Novel of Suspense
. Copyright © by Mary Clark. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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When Day Breaks 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
tymfos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Even without reading the description on the dust jacket, it's pretty obvious, from the start, who is going to get murdered in this book. Beneath her down-to-earth public facade, Constance Young is your stereotypical selfish, egotistical celebrity, and her enemies are legion -- hence, the available pool of suspects is even deeper than the swimming pool where her lifeless body is found.If Carolyn is a stereotype, so are many of the supects. We have the fanatic who is in love with her, the assistant who has been constantly browbeaten by her, the author whose life seems ruined by her predatory reporting, the arrogant producer who feels betrayed by her move to another network, the long-suffering sister who has been abandoned to care for their elderly mother alone, and the usual assortment of professional rivals in the TV industry. Thiis is one of the weaknesses of the book. Even the apparent "good guys" (or gals) seem more shallow stereotypes than living, breathing people. I didn't feel I really got to know any of the characters in the course of the story, with the possible exception of Eliza.The plot itself was a decent mystery, which moved along at a fairly quick pace; but there were no plot twists that really took me by surprise. I must say, I did not guess "whodunit" until the very end, when the author (with a rapid series of revelations) was obviously ready to allow readers the satisfaction of figuring it out just before she made the guilty one totally obvious.I found this to be a fast-paced, competently-written mystery, but nothing special.
mreade on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I finally finished When Day Breaks last night. It wasn't that it took me long to read, I just had a few things on my shelf ahead of it (including The Best of Friends).I enjoyed it. I really liked the Eliza character and wished there was more about her and her daughter and Mack. I take it I'd probably get more if I read more books in the series. I liked the suspense of the story and liked the clues that were left behind as to the killer's identity. I will confess that I don't usually put too much thought into whodunit while I'm reading. Oddly I'm much more compelled to do that when I'm watching a mystery on TV.There were many many characters in the book. I found there were a few too many to keep easily straight. I should have kept a list going. I have written in my Bookography the names of at least 8 which I felt were essential to the plot. That's really too many to get to know well in any given book.Was it just me? Did anyone else find they wished they had a cast of characters to help them keep it all straight? (I'm embarrassed to admit that at the funeral I was still struggling to place everyone...especially I remember wondering who Jason Vaughan was)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down. The author did a good job.
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JanBy More than 1 year ago
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.
kimmie_b More than 1 year ago
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.
dmb More than 1 year ago
Excellent read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.

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?

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.

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.
Beadgal64 More than 1 year ago
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!

Guest More than 1 year ago
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...
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago