Cass Raines

Created by Tracy Clark

CASSANDRA “CASS” RAINES was proud of being a Black woman on the Chicago police force, but she quit the department after taking a bullet, courtesy of a less-than-competent fellow officer. Now she runs a one-woman private investigation agency on the South Side, where she was born and raised, struggling to keep herself above water. She also manages the apartment building she lives in, and her best friend is a nun. But at least she won’t get shot again.

She hopes.

Cass’ debut, Broken Places (2018), made Library Journal’s list of the Best Crime Fiction of 2018 and was short listed in the mystery category on the American Library Association’s 2019 Reading List, while CrimeReads named Cass Raines Best New PI of 2018.

Native Chicagoan Tracy Clark works as an editor and writer, and routinely roots for where she roots for the Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks. She also swears she has never once put ketchup on a hotdog, and of course, she likes her pizza deep, not flat.


  • “Clark writes with purpose, her sense of social justice never venturing into dogma but remaining fully rooted in Raines’s actions and personality. She saves, but is no savior, because she operates in a world where survival is the benchmark, and pain remains in the aftermath.”
    — Sarah Weinman (July 2021, The New York Times Book Review)



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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