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When Day Breaks

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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 du 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.


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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 du 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.

30 review for When Day Breaks

  1. 4 out of 5

    David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party

    I read “When Day Breaks” because I was looking for a good mystery, and that’s exactly what I got. A good mystery. Just not a great one… I will say that Mary Jane Clark does a great job with the overall mystery itself. This mystery lover was grinning as suspect after suspect was being introduced, each with their own reason for hating soon-to-be murder victim Constance Young. Adding a little extra spice to the mystery was the inclusion of a valuable unicorn pendant from medieval times that may or m I read “When Day Breaks” because I was looking for a good mystery, and that’s exactly what I got. A good mystery. Just not a great one… I will say that Mary Jane Clark does a great job with the overall mystery itself. This mystery lover was grinning as suspect after suspect was being introduced, each with their own reason for hating soon-to-be murder victim Constance Young. Adding a little extra spice to the mystery was the inclusion of a valuable unicorn pendant from medieval times that may or may not be related to Constance’s murder. Ms. Clark did a masterful job balancing the multitude of suspects to keep the reader guessing. Of course, the make-or-break moment for a mystery is the solution, and Ms. Clark excels here as well. It drives me nuts when mystery writers try to shock their readers, so they come up with an unlikely twist that only comes as a complete surprise because it makes no sense! Or the ever famous "let's make the killer someone who hasn't even been in the book (view spoiler)[ *cough* Mary, Mary *cough* (hide spoiler)] . To Ms. Clark’s credit, she plays fair with the reader. There are clues given throughout the story as to who the guilty party is…granted, the real clues are mixed in with a lot of red herrings…and I mean a LOT of red herrings! I was very pleased when I got to the reveal and it made perfect sense with what had happened throughout the book. So why am I only giving this three stars? Well, while I enjoyed the mystery itself, I can’t say the same for the characters. Honestly, I just found most of the characters to be dull…especially the protagonists! Sure, lead character Eliza Blake seems like a nice enough person, but she lacks the wit and charisma of an Alex Cross or a Stephanie Plum. To make matters worse, much of the dialogue is dry and uninteresting. Speaking of the dialogue, there were also times where Clark had characters reveal plot exposition in such a clumsy manner that it took me completely out of the book. For example, someone mentions the character Stuart Whittaker, and the other person says, ‘You mean the guy who made millions from designing those creepy video games featuring dragons and medieval castles?” Seriously, who talks like that?!? Another problem was that some parts of the book really test the reader’s suspension of disbelief. MINOR SPOILERS HERE – I knew I was in trouble in the first few chapters when it was revealed that the aforementioned valuable unicorn pendant had been stolen from a museum. Not only was this priceless artifact astonishingly easy to steal, but the museum doesn’t even notice it’s missing at first…despite the fact that it’s the centerpiece of their exhibit opening in just a few days! Another problem was that some characters actions just didn’t make any sense at times. One character in particular displays such poor survival skills, they make the scatterbrained victims from the Friday the 13th movies look like Mensa members in comparison! Granted, an explanation was given for why this character acted this way, but it still seemed like a real stretch. END OF MINOR SPOILERS So, in the end, I found “When Day Breaks” to be very much like beautiful murder victim Constance Young herself…pleasing on the surface, but rather shallow underneath! Still, Mary Jane Clark did a good enough job crafting the mystery that I would definitely be willing to give her another chance.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nels

    A pretty enjoyable read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Good read. Was horrified by the opening chapter. Wasn't sure I wanted to continue with the book. After a couple days I resumed reading and finished quickly. Good read. Was horrified by the opening chapter. Wasn't sure I wanted to continue with the book. After a couple days I resumed reading and finished quickly.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lauryn Johannsen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Constance Young was the star of the morning show on Key News. All of her viewers adored her. But, all people aren’t always the way they may seem on television. Off camera, Constance’s high maintenance and self-absorbed attitude created many enemies for her, one of which would murder her. When Constance announces that she will be leaving the show and taking a job with the competition, some are happy but many are furious. After her last day at Key News, she is found dead at the bottom of her pool. Constance Young was the star of the morning show on Key News. All of her viewers adored her. But, all people aren’t always the way they may seem on television. Off camera, Constance’s high maintenance and self-absorbed attitude created many enemies for her, one of which would murder her. When Constance announces that she will be leaving the show and taking a job with the competition, some are happy but many are furious. After her last day at Key News, she is found dead at the bottom of her pool. The nation mourns her death, but her employees jump right onto the case. As many new components are added to the mystery, the list of suspects grows longer and longer. When a lead on the case is found, the person that may have had the information is murdered. The murder becomes more complex by the minute. Eventually a mistake in the killers trail reveals her identity. Constance’s housekeeper watched the murder from the house. Knowing she will be killed, the housekeeper leaves a poem for the police that reveals the killer. After she is murdered, the police find the poem. The name hidden in the poem surprises everyone. The last person everyone may have thought ends up being the killer. The murder of Constance Young is finally solved. All books written by this author have the same style. Short, choppy chapters with dozens of characters. I, personally, don’t prefer this style of writing. When reading, it is very confusing. You don’t know who is talking at some points and it ruins the story. I think it would have been helpful if the name of the character that was narrating the chapter was put into the heading. In addition the story had many loose ends and characters were underdeveloped. Random characters that readers had no background on were put into the plot. At the end, there were still a few characters that were unknown to me in the story. Another problem with the story is that it wasn’t very suspenseful. I found the story original, repetitive and boring. I could predict what would happen in almost every part of the mystery. I like that lots of foreshadowing was used, but I would recommend that the author eliminated some of it so readers can attempt to solve the case themselves. If the story wasn’t so predictable, it wouldn’t be as boring and original. Plus, parts of the story were repetitive. When the case was unfolding, many characters had the same fate. The Key news and police that were investigating would find someone that needed to be questioned and before they could, the person would get murdered. Besides those few critiques, I liked the story! My favorite part was the ending. I never would have expected Eliza to solve the case with the killer right in front of her. Fighting and wrestling was a little over the top, but the surprise of the ending was a good way to finish off the book. Overall, if you would like a good mystery with a lot of change from character to character, I would recommend this book!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Petula Darling

    This book was ok, but I had to drop a star for the stupid ending

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    Not the first book that I've read in the KEY series but this was the first with new characters. Almost did not make it past the prologue (check out other reviews on this book for what happens to the dog in the first chapter) I've read some horrific books but ones with animal cruelty are not my thing. The number of chapters (over a hundred) seemed daunting but they actually went by quickly as most were only a few pages but there was such a large number of characters that I had to go back a few ti Not the first book that I've read in the KEY series but this was the first with new characters. Almost did not make it past the prologue (check out other reviews on this book for what happens to the dog in the first chapter) I've read some horrific books but ones with animal cruelty are not my thing. The number of chapters (over a hundred) seemed daunting but they actually went by quickly as most were only a few pages but there was such a large number of characters that I had to go back a few times thruogh the earlier chapters to try to keep them straight. While there were some false clues and kept you guessing at times, I actually figured out the murderer before the story did (yay me!). I wouldn't read this again. The poor dog.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    I'm sorry to say this is the first book I've read by Mary Jane Clark but it won't be my last . I was hooked on the first chapter until the last . There wasn't a time I was bored with this book . Every character was possibly a suspect . Sadly I was wrong as to who the murderer was and that is what makes a great suspense novel . I plan on reading this author again I'm sorry to say this is the first book I've read by Mary Jane Clark but it won't be my last . I was hooked on the first chapter until the last . There wasn't a time I was bored with this book . Every character was possibly a suspect . Sadly I was wrong as to who the murderer was and that is what makes a great suspense novel . I plan on reading this author again

  8. 5 out of 5

    LyndaIn Oregon

    The drowning of a television celebrity in her home pool causes an uproar which becomes a firestorm when it's revealed that she was murdered. Colleagues at the television station manage to bumble their way into identifying the murderer, but not until well past the time when Careful Reader has already sussed it out. This book is listed as the first of a series. The drowning of a television celebrity in her home pool causes an uproar which becomes a firestorm when it's revealed that she was murdered. Colleagues at the television station manage to bumble their way into identifying the murderer, but not until well past the time when Careful Reader has already sussed it out. This book is listed as the first of a series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Loretta

    When Constance Young, the star of morning tv, is found dead in her own swimming pool, her colleagues, including Eliza Blake, are shocked. Constance had just left KEY news to go over to the competition. As more deaths follow Constance's death, the puzzle gets more complicated. Eliza, her cameraman and producer, try to discover who would do this thing, no matter how unliked Constance was. When Constance Young, the star of morning tv, is found dead in her own swimming pool, her colleagues, including Eliza Blake, are shocked. Constance had just left KEY news to go over to the competition. As more deaths follow Constance's death, the puzzle gets more complicated. Eliza, her cameraman and producer, try to discover who would do this thing, no matter how unliked Constance was.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caleigh O'Shea

    I tried this several months ago but couldn't get past the prologue. Animal lovers, just DON'T read those few pages! You can still understand the gist of the novel without them, and they're too gruesome anyway. I tried this several months ago but couldn't get past the prologue. Animal lovers, just DON'T read those few pages! You can still understand the gist of the novel without them, and they're too gruesome anyway.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Again, I didn't get the culprit pegged until Clark wanted me to. There were a lot of suspects and red herrings, but that is what I expect from a good mystery. It was also exciting, edge of the seat reading toward the end, especially. I love this author. Again, I didn't get the culprit pegged until Clark wanted me to. There were a lot of suspects and red herrings, but that is what I expect from a good mystery. It was also exciting, edge of the seat reading toward the end, especially. I love this author.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Exceptional mystery! Exceptionally great mystery! I loved every chapter. The characters feel like people I know or world like to know.... Well, all except the murderer, of course! Read this if you like mysteries.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Deissler

    Constance Young died in the beginning of the book by drowning in her pool- her colleagues, who are tv reporters start finding out things little by little that add up to a murder vs. an accidental drowning. Interesting twist as to who and why.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Candace Apple

    It kept my interest. At first I wasn't sure about it because I though it was Mary Higgins Clark daughter but it isn't. The plot was good and the characters were good. I'm glad I read it and will read another one of her books. It kept my interest. At first I wasn't sure about it because I though it was Mary Higgins Clark daughter but it isn't. The plot was good and the characters were good. I'm glad I read it and will read another one of her books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mareah Vega

    one of my favorites. I have been reading all of these series, and I love How's the same characters are in all, and towards the end they are slowly turning into bad guys! one of my favorites. I have been reading all of these series, and I love How's the same characters are in all, and towards the end they are slowly turning into bad guys!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Luanne Clark

    A good beach book. Nice mystery, well plotted. I’ll probably read another.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Becky Schulman

    Search for the killer of Constance Young, a morning tv star, becomes the focus of Eliza Blake, the anchor of KEY Evening Headlines

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Shocking ending

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    Constance is found murdered in her pool and becomes top of the KEY news

  20. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Another fun Summer read that kept me turning the pages. I never guessed 'whodunit'. Another fun Summer read that kept me turning the pages. I never guessed 'whodunit'.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Betz

    Great read I really enjoyed this book, kept me in suspense and guessing the entire time. The characters are great and well thought out.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

    First book I've read by Mary Jane Clark. I found it to be an interesting read. First book I've read by Mary Jane Clark. I found it to be an interesting read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tuffy

    The story was fine but I had read better. Not her best work for sure. I was expecting a more interesting twist but it was so simple.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Massanutten Regional Library

    Linda, Elkton patron, July 2019, 5 stars: A great "who done it" with entire book full of suspects. Linda, Elkton patron, July 2019, 5 stars: A great "who done it" with entire book full of suspects.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    TV news women is jealous of another TV news woman and they fight for ratings

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Only complaint there were a few too many repetitive pages.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hulsey

    Once I got past the killing of the dog, electrocuted in the pool, it was pretty good. It had me guessing the whole time about who the killer was, and that surprised me a lot.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jane Harris

    Fun suspenseful story This book was a quick read. It was a suspenseful story of the news media and murders. It was a fun read. Enjoyable but nothing deep.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Elliott

    She killed the dog! One rule for writers is don't kill the animals! I won't read this as the dog dies on the third page! She killed the dog! One rule for writers is don't kill the animals! I won't read this as the dog dies on the third page!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Fast, easy mystery.

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