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Posted July 29, 2011
Great mystery with characters you want to know
Every genre has its sub-categories, and mysteries are no different. The brilliance of Julie Kramer's books is they successfully bridge the gap between two of my favorites styles. Keeping it all Minnesota, you have the gritty police procedural that can be quite dark (think John Sandford's Prey books), and you can also have the light and often humorous cozies (Think Joanne Fluke's Bakery books). Riley Spartz is an imperfect investigator who seems to blunder through life on a wing and a prayer, slowly and congenially unraveling the mysteries that come her way. But at the same time this book isn't all relationships and fun, she is often presented with some pretty bad criminals and a series of terrible crimes; crimes that don't come with a cookie recipe (but don't get me wrong, you should never join Hannah Swenson on an investigation if you are on a diet - they are damn good recipes).
Riley finds herself thwarted from the story she wants only to be thrust into the story that needs her. Through a careful piecing together of the clues she is slowly able to put together a story that encompasses far more than she originally bargained for. The scene is set through southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa, including Iowa City landmark The Black Angel. The landmark is so descriptive Lisa has committed us to visiting it on our next trip visiting our parents. Though when pressed she insisted we will not be making out in the moonlight, regardless of the authenticity of the experience.
So if you want a fun mystery with a likable lead character investigating some pretty serious crime then Julie Kramer's Riley Spartz is definitely for you. The books are well written and quickly paced (Lisa and I received our copy on a Thursday and were both through it by Saturday - and that was with me hiding it from her while at work Friday). One of the best aspects of the books is also what made 24 great, a commitment to story over character. For example, you pretty much knew from the moment Nina shot Teri in season one that no character except for Jack Bauer was safe (and even then I could have seen them killing him off if the plot demanded it). It is that tension that keeps the fun from diluting the mystery in Kramer's work; Who can we trust? Who can we rely on? Killing Kate will keep you guessing until the end and then keep you anxiously awaiting book 5.
Speaking of book 5 - Tempting Ted, Finding Frank, Watching Wendy?
Where I got the book: The author very kindly sent us an advance copy for review (but Lisa and I also attended her book signing and bought our own hard copy to keep).
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Posted August 2, 2011
Twists and Turns will keep you guessing
Killing Kate is my new favorite in Julie Kramer's Riley Spartz series. I have read all of her fourbooks. The writing is very crisp dialogue that keeps the storyline moving. I like the fact that Kramer doesn't focus a lot in the way of sex and blood and guts scences. The storyline supports the plot. Killing Kate is darker than her other series, and written besides from Riley's point of view we are taken into the killer's mind. It really gets you involved in the story and trying to guess where the killer will make a mistake. I like having my favorite characters back, especially Riley's parents and her paster, Fr. Mountain. There is always some comic relief to bring to the storyline. The mixture of some true happenings in the storyline keeps it very intriuing, sometimes thinking this is all true.
This book would be appropiate for high schoolers through adult. We like the Minnesota angle and my daughter and some friends have used Kramer's book for school book reports. This would make a good book club discussion also; do you think we have gardian angels looking after us?
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Posted December 28, 2011
Posted August 16, 2011
Killing Kate is another winner!
The fourth Julie Kramer mystery, Killing Kate, is another winner! The story is told in both Riley's and the killer's voice, which makes for a great read. With humor and suspense, this is one I couldn't put down. Riley has become my favorite heroine. I can't wait to see what she will do next!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 3, 2011
I've read her first 3 books and this one took it to a different level. She changed up the style to give it a different feel giving us the killers points of view. It also gave a different twist in the end that I didn't see coming. If you liked the other one's you'll really like this one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 21, 2011
Killing Kate is intense new book from Julie Kramer!
Welcome back Riley Spartz, and the usual cast of characters. Riley is a smart and funny investigative reporter for Channel 3, and she is constantly on the lookout for a story. When the stories find her, it's usually a sign of trouble. We see the world through Riley's eyes, you are right there with her, immersed in the sights and sounds, blood and terror and nail biting scenes, but this book brings Julie Kramer's writing to a whole new level! We experience part of the story through the eyes of a serial killer. It is chilling and intense, and kept the pages turning. The plot twists and turns and when the stories converge and continue it leads to an explosive and jaw dropping ending! Leave your lights on; a serial killer could be the guy next store, or the man you talked to in the grocery line! I sat down for a second read of this breathtaking thriller, as only Julie Kramer can deliver it! This fourth book in the Riley series is another must-read!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 2, 2011
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