Always a Body to Trade

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Always a Body To Trade
K. C. Constantine - Always a Body to Trade A Mario Balzic Mystery.jpeg
Author K.C. Constantine
Country  USA
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher David R. Godine
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 248
ISBN 978-0-87923-458-4
OCLC 9111533
Preceded by The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes
Followed by Upon Some Midnights Clear

Always a Body To Trade is a crime novel by the American writer K.C. Constantine set in 1980s Rocksburg, a fictional, blue-collar, Rustbelt town in Western Pennsylvania (modeled on the author's hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, adjacent to Pittsburgh).

Mario Balzic is the protagonist, an atypical detective for the genre, a Serbo-Italian American cop, middle-aged, unpretentious, a family man who asks questions and uses more sense than force.

The novel tells the story of a double robbery in two identical apartments, rented but hardly ever used by a Pittsburgh drug dealer who's clean with the law. Then young woman is found shot dead on the street. She can't be identified, but her murder has all the appearances of a professional hit. The new mayor of Rocksburg is near hysteria, and he smears the case all over Balzic, who not only has to solve the murder but teach his nosy new boss the not-so-plain facts of police work.

It is the sixth book in the 17-volume Rocksburg series.


  • Constantine, K.C. (2002). Saving Room for Dessert. New York: The Mysterious Press of Warner Books. ISBN 978-0-89296-763-6.