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Silencing Sam (Riley Spartz #3)

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  592 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
TV reporter Riley Spartz publicly clashes with local gossip writer Adam Lorenzo and throws a drink in his face after he implies in his newspaper column that she cheated on her dead husband. When the gossip is found shot to death, she is shocked to be charged with murder. Though the victim was widely despised, police seem unwilling to look any further for suspects, and Rile
MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Tantor Media, Inc. (first published May 26th 2010)
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I hate when an author inserts his/her political leanings in a novel. The story begins with a headless body found and the murder of the mean and unmerciful gossip columnist Sam Pierce! I was so excited. This was going to a fun mystery. Then...suddenly...the story shifts to wind turbines. I didn't like this story line at all. I felt it was an attempt at political correctness. It seemed preachy at times. (Not becoming dependent on foreign oil, innocent bats are being killed, the Muslim community is ...more
After a disappointing second entry in the series, Julie Kramer gets back on track with the third Riley Spartz novel.

This time, Riley finds herself the target of a newspaper gossip columnist. After a verbal altercation in a bar ends with Riley throwing a glass of wine in his face, the columnist ends up dead and Riley's the prime suspect. Add in new competition at the station in the form of a uber-reporter Clay and Riley's assignment on a story about windmill farms coming under attack and you've g
Jean Coldwell
This was my fourth Riley Spartz book, having read them out of order. I also think it was my favorite, and not only because I know her characters better. I felt that this story had more "meat," and that the two story lines felt more tightly connected than in her previous novels. As usual, Riley is in hot water with her boss, the police, and her lover. Of course, she wiggles her way out of itI found the book to be a pleasant diversion from some of the very intense thrillers I've been reading latel ...more
Good. Getting a little better about not spoon-feeding every little thing to the reader. The mysteries aren't very challenging, and sometimes, when it takes FOREVER for Riley to put 2 and 2 together, I just wanna scream, "DUHHHHH!!!!", but it is what it is, and should be graded based on that. I still like the characters and the setting. I learned something new (wind turbines, etc.). It's a nice, light story to commute to. I don't know why they changed voice artists on the audiobook, but somebody ...more
Apr 03, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
3rd book in the Riley Spartz series. Seriously took me 2 days to finish. I picked up the audio cd's and listened every chance I had (even while working)...had the hardcover on hand too, finished it up tonight. Looking forward to reading more from this series!
Ann Page
Jul 12, 2014 Ann Page rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Riley Spartz, news reporter, publicly spars with a local gossip columnist just before he’s murdered. Riley is the number one suspect in the murder case, which doesn’t help her popularity in the office. Her new rival at channel 3, an obnoxious Texan named Clay who seems to be the police chief’s new best friend, is beating Riley on every scoop. Despite what seems like a lose-lose situation, Riley never gives up, taking on the killer in the final scene.

The Riley Spartz character’s
Paul Pessolano
Riley Spartz is a young woman who is an investigative reporter for Channel 3 in Minneapolis. Riley is heading up an investigation of a gruesome murder. A young lady has been heheaded but the only thing the police have to on is the body - the head is missing.

Riley's troubles begin when she finds herself being upstaged and outmaneuvered by Clay Burrel. Clay has just been hired by Channel 3 from a rival station in Texas. Clay seems to be getting the best of Riley by scooping the major stories. Rile
Jun 22, 2010 Clare rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don’t tell the mayor, but Minneapolis is ‘Murderoplis’ again. Julie Kramer’s newest thriller, Silencing Sam, brings murder to your front door with wit and a fresh take on current events Minnesotans will secretly relish.

Ambitious television reporter Riley Spartz is back in Julie Kramer’s third novel, having moved to Minneapolis after the recent attempts on her life in White Bear Lake. Yet Minneapolis doesn’t seem much safer, once a headless female corpse is found in Theo Wirth Park. It's sick ho
Aug 26, 2010 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Riley Spartz is no stranger to the territory of breaking news: as an investigative reporter for Channel 3 Minneapolis, she has done her fair share of delving into a variety of cases, each of which has its own particular outcome. But the latest newsworthy incident in Minneapolis has an outcome that might prove a little more personal. After all, she is the prime suspect in the case of Sam Pierce's murder. In the eyes of many people, Sam, the star of the newspaper gossip column, deserved every part ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Silencing Sam, Book 3 in the Riley Spartz series, by Julie Kramer, B-plus, narrated by renee Raudman, produced by Tantor Media, downloaded from

TV reporter Riley Spartz publicly clashes with local gossip writer Adam Lorenzo and throws a drink in his face after he implies in his newspaper column
that she cheated on her dead husband. When the gossip colunist is found shot to death, she is shocked to be charged with murder. Though the victim was widely despised,
police seem unwilling to
Suspense Magazine
Sep 01, 2010 Suspense Magazine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Riley Spartz—Kramer’s daring heroine—is the first to admit that things haven’t been going her way recently. As a female reporter at the Twin City’s very own Channel 3 news station, she watches, open-mouthed as her new, male, chauvinistic, in-house competition saunters in. Handsome and knowing it, his Texas drawl is lost on her from the start. Little did she realize the barrage of questions she received and ignored—about her new nemesis—earlier in the day by viper-penned, gossip columnist, Sam Pi ...more
Aug 24, 2010 Vika rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read the first 2 books in the series (first, because I didn't know the books were a series.. second, because I won this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaway.) So I was annoyed when Kramer would go back to other books without going into detail..
I thought Silencing Sam was boring, I had no desire to keep reading the book, but since it was only 332 pages long, I decided to finish the book anyway.
The main character Riley Spartz was unlikable, and very stupid, to say the least. it m
This review applies to the audio version.

#3 Riley Spartz mystery set in the Twin Cities, MN. Riley, a TV reporter, is herself a suspect in the shooting death of a newspaper gossip columnist who had thrown some nasty tidbits about her in his column. They'd been seen arguing--she threw wine at him--and she had no alibi. To make matters worse, a new reporter from Texas was stealing all the good stories and annoying Riley to death with his condescending attitude, calling her "little lady" even after
Deb Rankin-moore
My favorite part of the book was when Noreen hired the media consultant. It explains why everyone St 'CCO had such active FaceBook pages! When the painters took on the Green Room, I was appalled. Well written.

As time and experience moves on, Ms. Kramer's characters are better detailed and colorful. I loved the addition of Riley's mom and dad to the story. I really like Riley's love interest, Garnett. The friction and deep friendship between the two is honest and believable.
Richard L
Apr 08, 2016 Richard L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a whirlwind book. There was non-stop action in this interesting and detailed plot. Our heroine, Riley Spartz, becomes a murder suspect who has to solve the crime to save herself, but not without almost being killed. The story includes wind turbines and dead bats, a slimy gossip columnist who gets killed, a dine-and-dash patron and many changes at Riley's TV station. I enjoyed the talk about social media too. Another great entry in an exciting series.
William Bentrim
Sep 25, 2011 William Bentrim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-swap
Silencing Sam by Julie Kramer

A nosey reporter finds herself more immersed in her stories than she had ever feared.

This was a good mystery with clues evident at the conclusion but totally masked by plot and subterfuge. Riley Spartz was likeable as the somewhat ditzy protagonist. Her character was very real including her ineptness in personal relations. I particularly enjoyed her interaction with her parents.

This was not a figure it out on the first page mystery. Ms. Kramer kept you thinking thr
Mar 02, 2015 Kymberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective, read-2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2014 Nneutz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 19, 2016 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Better than the other one I read. A good mystery, entertaining, not amazing writing. I listened to this and the reader has a Sean Connery speech impediment thing so words like "us" become "ush". So if you find that sexy, great, I don't. She also made EVERY man sound like he was a Texan, even though the book is set in Minnesota. I don't know how she got that gig.
Jun 20, 2015 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Lots of interesting little subplots and sidebars to this book. Kramer’s stories are set in the world of the media--print and television--and her characters never forget that. Even in the middle of her impromptu murder investigation, we see Riley reporting the news, writing her scripts, and doing research.
Mar 14, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Minneapolis-St. Paul investigative reporter Riley Spartz has a public altercation with Sam Pierce, a rabid gossip columnist, in front of a bar full of witnesses. When he ends up dead, she becomes the prime suspect.

Meanwhile her career is tanking since the station hired a hotshot, gun-toting reporter from Texas who looks great on camera. He's getting all the best stories, leaving her with the leftovers. And her new competition has inside information about a gory murder involving a headless woman.
Feb 13, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this nascent series. Julie Kramer followed that great adage to "write what you know", and her background as an investigative reporter in the Twin Cities has clearly helped her create a realistic protagonist (an investigative reporter in the Twin Cities). Her MN setting has always come across to me as realistic and not cliched. A reporter is also a good option for a believable detective that still takes us away from the traditional police department setting. The action scene at the ...more
Cheryl Turoczy hart
I enjoyed this one--the first of Kramer's books I have read, although I may put some more on my request list. The author lets you figure out who done it before the protagonist which always makes me feel a little superior ;-)
Linda Sirvio
Interesting mystery although not real twisty-turny. It wasn't until the last 9 or so chapters that they hinted at who the real killer was. I liked the ending - a worthwhile read!
Jun 25, 2012 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An very entertaining audiobook for a road trip. Riley Spartz is an investigative reporter for channel 3 in Minneapolis. Then Clay is hired from Texas and keeps getting the inside scoop on a headless body investigation. A local gossip columnist, who had a public spat with Riley, turns up dead and Riley is charged with the murder. All this sounds heavy but is handled in a lighthearted manner for this book. There are fun side stories, like the professional basketball player who keeps trying to prov ...more
Jan 29, 2016 Thart2002 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chic-lit murder story. I liked that it was based in Minnesota. That just added another layer of fun. The story is well written and moves at a pretty fast pace.
Laura Olson
Jul 09, 2015 Laura Olson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Needed a book to listen to...and just grabbed something. very predictable and could tell that it wasn't the first book in a series...sigh. It served it's purpose.
May 30, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book club read so I'm not sure I would have picked it up on my own. I really liked it, especially when it got rolling and it went until almost the last page.
Feb 17, 2014 Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this series! Another home run for Julie Kramer....started this yesterday and couldn't put it down. Awesome story with a really good mystery.
Mar 15, 2014 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My least favorite book so far of the series. One of the main characters is someone from Texas and the author clearly has never even been close to Texas or meeting a Texan. Literally every time he talks he said a stupid "texasism" like "you have a better chance of scratching your nose with your elbow" or "more scared than the devil is of holy water". It just got annoying. Then you realize the character is supposed to be 25 and you don't believe it for a second. Really takes away from the story. A ...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)
  • Missing Mark (Riley Spartz, #2)
  • Killing Kate (Riley Spartz, #4)
  • Shunning Sarah (Riley Spartz, #5)
  • Delivering Death: A Novel (Riley Spartz, #6)

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