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Missing Mark (Riley Spartz #2)

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  883 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
In this page-turning sequel to Stalking Susan, TV reporter Riley Spartz pursues a curious story of a bride left at the altar and finds herself caught in a dangerous missing-person case.

When Riley Spartz sees a want ad reading “Wedding Dress for Sale: Never Worn,” her news instincts tell her that the backstory might make an intriguing television sweeps piece.

The groom, Ma
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Doubleday
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(showing 1-30 of 1,379)
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Sep 05, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2009
When investigative reporter Riley Sparkz see an ad in the paper for a never worn wedding dress, she decides there must be more to the story and begins an investigation.

Wealthy socialite Madeline was to marry down-and-out stand-up comic Mark three months after meeting him. But on the day of the nuptials, Mark didn't show up at the church and has vanished. Was it his ex-girlfriend or something more?

Meanwhile, the largest bass in the state of Minnesota is bass-napped by an animal rights group and
Jean Coldwell
Dec 16, 2014 Jean Coldwell rated it liked it
It’s sweeps month again, and when Riley Spartz comes across a newspaper ad that reads, “WEDDING DRESS, NEVER WORN," she knows she has the makings of a good story. What she doesn’t know is that Mark, the potential groom, has been missing for months. She is also asked to cover the story of a missing giant lake bass from Underwater Adventures at the Mall of America, where an animal rights supposedly has taken credit for the fish-napping, but this just smells rotten to Riley.

It has been months sinc
Sarah Madison
Dec 02, 2011 Sarah Madison rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2 1/2 stars
Missing Mark is the second in a series about investigative reporter Riley Spartz. The first is Stalking Susan, which I have not read. Even though I didn't read the first one, I didn't feel as though I missed anything--anything pertinent to the story was recapped quickly.

The story was decent enough, but I felt like it missed in a few places. First, I kept figuring things out way before they were revealed. Maybe too many hints were given or just not enough red herrings to keep the reade
Jul 31, 2009 Sandie rated it liked it
Missing Mark by Julie Kramer was not only an enjoyable read, it turned out to be an educational one as well. Prior to reading Kramer's book, I had never heard of an obscure disorder called Prosopagnosia, a neurological condition that renders a person incapable of recognizing faces (even those of family).

The story's protagonist, TV news journalist Riley Spartz, comes across as advertisement for the sale of a "WEDDING DRESS, NEVER WORN" and is intrigued. Feeling that this would be an ideal subjec
Oct 12, 2011 Jaime rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Stalking Susan, so I had high hopes for this one. Thankfully, it delivered! Riley Spartz is nothing if not persistent. Sweeps are coming up again, and she’s under pressure, as usual. TV news is changing, and the chances of her ending up with a story as big as the last one are low. When the ad for a never worn wedding dress shows up in the paper, she hopes she can find a story there. Along the way we get to visit with some of our favorite characters ...more
Carl Brookins
Aug 03, 2015 Carl Brookins rated it liked it

One of the dangers of coming fast out of the box with a dynamite debut novel, is what happens next. Unfortunately, the title of this one is too indicative of the main problem. In her debut, bright, aware TV investigative reporter Riley Sparks (Stalking Susan) is on her game and almost always ahead of the reader.

In “Missing Mark,” readers are liable to yell at Riley as she stumbles over and ignores too-obvious answers to the many questions she keeps asking herself. The central plot is a good one.
Mar 02, 2014 Nancy rated it it was amazing
After reading her first book, Stalking Susan, I was wondering if Julie Kramer could keep up with her initial offering. I was not disappointed; Riley Spartz is a dynamic lead character. Her day job as a TV investigative news reporter at a second position station in Minneapolis, keeps her in constant movement towards her next forty-share story, but somehow she seems to land smack dab into a mystery.

An advertisement “Wedding Dress for Sale: Never Worn” piques her interest and is much reminiscent of
Jan 31, 2016 Michelle rated it liked it
3.5 Stars. Listened to this 2nd book in the series on audiobook, too. Still guessed whodunit way too early, but I like the characters and the setting, and there is some humor. It's almost perfect for my commute (I prefer books I won't get too distracted by), but if I could give Kramer some constructive criticism, it would be: 1) Try a little harder with the mystery. Your readers can handle it. 2) This one had fewer spoon-fed explanations of things nobody needs explained than the first book did, ...more
It was a pleasing mystery written from the point of view of a TV investigative reporter who is pressured to bring her station into the #1 spot in the ratings. She is casting around for a story when she sees an ad "Wedding Dress for Sale: Never Worn" and thinks there might be a story behind it. There is, and it is a doozy. In the meantime, she had been ordered to follow up on the story of a "fish-napping" as Billy the Big Mouth Bass, a live fish named after the singing toy, has been stolen from t ...more
Jun 09, 2010 Denise rated it really liked it
4.0 out of 5 stars "For Sale: Wedding Dress. Never Worn.", June 26, 2009

This review is from: Missing Mark (Hardcover)

I had selected Missing Mark from Amazon Vine before I realized it was the second in a series so of course I had to get Stalking Susan and read it first. That's just an idiosyncrasy and even though it fleshes out the backstory of our intrepid heroine, Riley Spartz, it really isn't necessary to read it prior to enjoying this book. This sequel is just as well done as the debut.

One of the most important aspects of any mystery/crime book is 1)if all the plot lines are tied up at the end satisfactorily 2)if I figured out who dunnit or 3)if I was wrong, I want to know why I was wrong. Of course, plot, setting, characterization, etc are all just as important but let's face it, if a book gives away the ending too early on or has an ending that's not logical, what's the point?

So I'd really give this a 3.5 because everything was tied up, I figured out who dunnit, but not the
Kathleen Hagen
Missing Mark, by Julie Kramer, b-plus, narrated by Bernadette Dunn, produced by Random House audio, downloaded from This is the second one in the Riley Sparks, t.v. anchorwoman series, in Minneapolis.

In this second book, Riley, always on the look for odd stories that will bring up their ratings during the sweepstakes in May, sees an ad in the paper: “Wedding Dress for sale, never worn.” She decides to look into it thinking that the back story might make an interesting story. She fin
Nov 05, 2009 Marlyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audio-books
Julie Kramer was kind enough to send me this audiobook to donate to my local library, which I'm happy to do now that I've listened to it.

The sequel to 2008's Stalking Susan has investigative reporter Riley Spartz trying desperately to find the right story for sweeps season. A newspaper ad for a never-worn wedding dress leads Riley to a search for a Mark Lefevre, who vanished just before his wedding. Did he get cold feet and run away, or has something more sinister happened?

When Mark's mother is
Jul 10, 2009 Nicole rated it really liked it
Riley Spartz is a TV reporter in Minnesota who keeps having crazy adventures while chasing her sweeps stories. The ad she spots about an unworn wedding dress plunges her into a missing person/murder mystery. Unfortunately, her news director isn’t big on the story and wants her to pursue a stolen fish. And while all that’s going on, Riley has been entrusted with the care of a police dog that has drug-ring assassins after him!

I think I would’ve liked this book more if the main character didn’t wor
Jul 09, 2013 Gabrielle rated it did not like it
I really bought this book because I read Stalking Susan and liked it, however I can barely even read this it is so lame. I forgot that the worst thing about reading book series is that they repeat the same information, which is understandable but in this book, there is no bases for the information to be given again and no attempt to relay it differently. For instance, in both Missing Mark and Stalking Susan, the reporter main character explains that when you write out the script for a newscast y ...more
Jul 16, 2009 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Readers were first introduced to Channel 3 television reporter, Riley Spartz in author Julie Kramer’s debut novel Stalking Susan. Now Riley is back in getting in over her head again in Missing Mark.

Riley has recovered from her scare in Stalking Susan and is ready to get back in action. She sees an ad for a wedding dress for sale. To anyone else they would just glance at the ad and maybe pass it over but not Riley. She believes there is a story behind the ad. She contacts the owner, Madeline to
Aug 02, 2010 Spuddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#2 Riley Spartz 'amateur sleuth' mystery set in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Riley is an investigative television reporter trying to come up with an interesting story for the upcoming "sweeps week" when ratings are even more important than usual. Perusing the want ads in the newspaper, she sees an ad that piques her interest: "For Sale: Wedding dress, never worn."

Intrigued, she answers the ad on the pretense of wanting to buy the dress to learn why the bride-to-be never got to wear
Holly Lee (Bellas Novella)
Jan 17, 2010 Holly Lee (Bellas Novella) rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
Other people have suggested that if you are a fan of Stephanie Plum Novels by Janet Evanovich, that you would like this series by Julie Kramer. They are similar in the sense that they both have a strong leading lady who solves crimes-even though they aren't supposed to-and catch bad guys. I would say that Missing Mark is much more wordy than anything by Janet Evanovich. I was exasperated by all the in depth details about being a news reporter. I found myself wanting to skip ahead very early on i ...more
Aug 04, 2014 Nneutz rated it it was amazing
I became interested in Julie Kramer after I heard her speak last fall at a community event. Books are very similar to Janet Evanovich. They are fun, easy to read and set in Minneapolis. If you have a chance take a look at Julie's story she use to work as an anchor for Channel five news and now rights fictional stories based on stories she once covered on the news.
I enjoyed this audio which was the second in a series featuring an investigative reporter in Minneapolis. Riley is a fun heroine and the insider info on the TV news biz was interesting. The plot turns did get a bit outlandish but the excellent narration of the audio by Bernadette Dunn helped get me through til the end.
Jan 16, 2016 Jill rated it liked it
Silly chick-lit cozy mystery that had so many fishing puns it was painful. Had an interesting condition called Prosopagnosia, which is a usually inherited facial blindness. I wouldn't sit down to read this book, but it was amusing to listen to while at the gym.
David Peters
Dec 31, 2010 David Peters rated it it was amazing
Why I read It
This is book two of Julie Kramer's series and I really enjoyed book 1 Stalking Susan. Plus Kramer is a local writer, so even better. These books were originally recommended to me by a coworker.

The Good
Great mystery and wonderful writing. It also opens up a lot of the inside world of TV news reporting. Plus if you have any Minnesota experience you can have “secret insider” knowledge that just adds to the book. We had just been to several of the places mentioned (Underwater World and
Jan 28, 2016 Wendy rated it really liked it
A fun little mystery. A tv news investigative reporter gets intrigued by the ad for a wedding dress, never worn. The groom never showed for his wedding to a wealthy, socially prominatt woman. What happened to Mark? Kramer threw in several red herrings, but I got the right killer - for the wrong reason! Nice change of pace book.
Jul 25, 2011 Stacey rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-read-2011
I like these books okay and it's very interesting to have all the local landmarks brought up. This book was especially surprising because the author eluded to a crime that happened in MN history, it was about a woman who looked for her son she gave up for adoption only to find out the adoptive parent had killed the boy. The boy was my friends cousin, the birth mother was her aunt. So I remember that crime well.

However, getting back to the book, I thought this one was ridiculous with the unlikely
Oct 17, 2014 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I'm enjoying this series. Riley Spartz is an easy character to like. She feels realistic because she makes mistakes and her life is a little messy. There's lots of background on tv news and investigative reporting that doesn't paint a rosy picture on an invasive and self-centered industry. Riley is definitely a part of that. She is manipulative. She is good at her job and because of that, I'm not always in her corner. As with all books like this where the main character gets involved in murders ...more
Aug 03, 2009 Julia rated it liked it
Minneapolis investigative reporter Riley Spartz is intrigued by a want ad in local paper. Why do people try to sell unworn wedding gowns? With sweeps coming up and news director Noreen wants Riley to come up with a big hit for the hot female ad age group. Riley pursues Madeline's tale of being left at the alter six months earlier by her groom, Mark. I really enjoyed the twists and turns this mystery took and the insider view of the newsroom life. There is a lot of local flavor as well, I don't t ...more
DJ =^^=
This is the first book I have read by this author. I really enjoyed it. I never heard of face blind or corpse flower. I had to look it up both to see if they were actually real.
Oct 15, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 13, 2015 Jovdb rated it it was ok
A predictable novel. Nicely written but very easy to determine the culprit before the end. A little light on character development.

An easy read for the summer.
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Julie Kramer has moved from journalist to novelist. She writes a mystery series set in the desperate world of television news—a world she knows well from her career working as a freelance news producer for NBC and CBS, as well as running the acclaimed WCCO-TV I-Team in Minneapolis.

More about Julie Kramer...

Other Books in the Series

Riley Spartz (6 books)
  • Stalking Susan (Riley Spartz, #1)
  • Silencing Sam (Riley Spartz, #3)
  • Killing Kate (Riley Spartz, #4)
  • Shunning Sarah (Riley Spartz, #5)
  • Delivering Death: A Novel (Riley Spartz, #6)

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