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Missing Mark (Riley Spartz #2)

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  939 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
From the award-winning author of Stalking Susan, TV reporter Riley Spartz returns in another breathtaking, furiously-paced thriller.
When Riley Spartz sees a want ad reading “Wedding Dress for Sale: Never Worn,” she finds a jilted bride unsure whether her groom got cold feet or has become a cold case himself.  Her betrothed, Mark, last seen at the rehearsal dinner, never
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Anchor (first published July 14th 2009)
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Sarah Madison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 29, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 04, 2014 Jean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Oct 12, 2011 Jaime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, general_mystery
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
Jun 08, 2016 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Overall I enjoyed this book but a few story points were too contrived - stumbling upon dead bodies, the movie quotes, locating missing fish, etc. That being said, I'll still continue on with the series!
Not bad, but lost points for major predictability.
Pamela Allen
Missed the mark...
Bill Wehrmacher
Feb 18, 2017 Bill Wehrmacher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Missing Mark is every bit as intriguing and exciting as Stalking Susan. I was so glad my library had the second Riley Spartz novel at hand. I will definitely have to go back to get the third.

I have come to expect, and hope, not to be disappointed in the next. Ms. Kramer manages to weave a couple of stories, one of which she doesn't want to do, the other she does, but is only tentatively allowed to follow.

Riley Sparks stumbles across an add by a jilted bride: "For Sale: Wedding Dress, Never Worn
Jan 30, 2017 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Riley Spartz is an investigative reporter who stumbles upon a missing person case. Although a fairly interesting plot: Riley encounters drug dealers, multiple dead bodies and a jilted bride, the writing was just meh. I began to lose interest with the many subplots. It was a light read with not a lot of depth.
Jul 26, 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
Jun 09, 2010 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Feb 21, 2014 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Carl Brookins

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.
Loved all the Minnesota references.
Jun 30, 2009 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 10, 2009 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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 12, 2013 Sterlingcindysu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
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
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
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
Holly Lee (Bellas Novella)
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
David Peters
Dec 03, 2009 David Peters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 11, 2011 Stacey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 11, 2012 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julie Kramer is the reason I started reading mysteries again. I really enjoyed “Stalking Susan;” not so much, “Missing Mark.” I can’t quite figure out what’s missing with this one – maybe there was just too much going on – there are at least 3 sub-stories. It was clear to me early on who the murder was, but it wasn’t as much fun seeing the story progress. Kramer is a local author, and uses White Bear Lake, MN as the backdrop to this story, where “Stalking Susan” was set in Minneapolis, so maybe ...more
Oct 15, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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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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