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Killing Kate

(Riley Spartz #4)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  650 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Not all angels are divine…

As TV reporter Riley Spartz discovers a serial killer drawing chalk outlines shaped like angels around the bodies of his victims, she unearths an eerie legend dating back nearly a century. Tracking clues to an Iowa cemetery, Riley finds an infamous Black Angel monument that may be connected to the string of homicides throughout the Midwest. Now sh
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Atria Books
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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This was the first book that I have read by this author, but it won't be the last one. The main character is an investigative reporter in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There are multiple story lines, but not all are resolved in this book. This is a fast-paced book with some twists and turns. ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is a bit heavier & darker than the previous ones in the series though still smartly written.
I was intrigued by the mystery & trying to figure out who/why.

It was interesting to learn about tv news ratings as well.

big twists at the end that surprised me. wasn't expecting that to happen w/some of the characters.

Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Maybe I've been reading too much heavy stuff. Or maybe it was just
time for me to laugh a little. For whatever reason I found this book
to be exactly what I needed.
KILLING KATE is a mystery about Riley Spartz, a television investigative
journalist, who finds herself in the middle of a crime involving a serial

I understand this is the third or fourth book by Julie Kramer and I'll
certainly go back to read the ones that came before. In some ways I wish
I'd have read them in order, but no harm do
Benjamin Sobieck
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A murdered erotica writer with books of coded messages. An urban legend about a cursed angel statue in a cemetery. Chalk outlines of angels mysteriously appearing at crime scenes across the Midwest. What more could you want in a crime novel?

Julie Kramer delivers this and much more in her Minnesota-set Killing Kate crime novel. It's another in her series featuring TV journalist Riley Spartz.

I'd discovered Kramer through Delivering Death (there's that alliteration again that themes these titles),
Book Him Danno
My edition is the ARC.

This is a fast paced book with great pacing, short chapters and memorable characters. Riley is an investigative reporter who is bold and resourceful. Her parents are great, I find myself laughing at their parts in her stories, and I can identify them with other people I know from this area. Her parents are protective and even a bit underhanded at time. I love the fact that she writes about Minnesota and Minnesota nice, even when mixed with murder and Iowa at times.

The myst
Oct 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Of course I grab a good book from the library.
Of course it's part of a series, that I have not even read nor heard of.
I swear. I need to pay attention more when I go to the library.
But I will look into starting at the start of this series.
One day. It was a good book. Nothing fantastic or special.
Where's a good copy editor when you need one?

I read this for the Iowa City references, and now I feel dirty and shamed.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
To me, this came across as a lifeless book. Bouncing between two narratives, the reader is either interested in Buddy, a dog that was left in an overheated car by an aggressive owner or a killer that is stalking waitresses in the Midwest.

Riley Spartz, an on air TV personality, is juggling two stories. The public is obsessed with the dog angle, yet a serial killer has met his match in Riley when his latest victim is an unassuming woman that has a secret life as a bestselling writer of erotica. Wh
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
As usual, coming to a series part way through. Oh, well, it didn't detract from the book.

Riley Spartz is a news reporter. She is off murder investigations, because of things that happened in the earlier books, but, somehow, she ends up on the case anyway.

The sister of a former best friend is found murdered. Because Riley recognized the address, she went to see what had happened and discovered a connection between this murder and previous ones.

She also fronts a story about a dog left in a car in
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
By far this is my favorite of this series so far!! A mystery novel to keep you on your toes and wondering what will happen next!! Twists upon turns! I love the narrator of this audiobook and I’m glad to have her back after the last one being read by someone else! This series is just getting better as it goes! And I can’t wait to start the next one! The characters are likeable and with the setting being familiar to me I can help but feel like I’m right there with them!!
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I listened to this thinking it was by a different author. There was some new stuff in here as the twists of the murder mystery unfolded that were very inventive. I enjoyed it, and should perhaps start from the beginning of the series.
Betty Day
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lots of action . . . misdirection . . . impossible working conditions . . . TV news . . . likeable characters . . . on-again-off-again love interest . . . well-told tale
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
This is a cute series, I really like Riley.
This book had less interweaving of storylines than the previous books. Also it ended on a sad note which I’m sure impacts how I view the book overall.
Jane Scheffres
Loved it. Read it probably around 2011-2012
Chick Marks
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ending caught me by surprise! I liked the twist.
Reed Johnson
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Kramer. Intestering reading it and watch Tiger King during the same time. A few similarities.
Gretchen Stein
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one was definitely better than the last one. Riley's college roommate's sisters is found murdered, seems to be a serial killer on the loose. ...more
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 I will continue this series
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Riley was incredibly annoying in this one. She was such an asshole to her "friend" from college the whole time. ...more
Rebekah Scott
May 01, 2012 added it
Shelves: 2011
For most people, homicide never has an upside. For television reporter Riley Spartz, however, a homicide can mean a lead story on the evening news, a spike in ratings, or on occasion, a threat to her life. Although, that last one’s not really an upside.

Recently, it seems that every journalistic investigation Riley undertakes culminates with one of the previously mentioned threats on her life. Because of this, her animal-loving boss Noreen has forbidden Riley from doing any more stories on violen
Carl Brookins
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of the crucial elements of this series is its platform. It’s a platform the author knows well and uses to full effect. Her platform is the reality and atmosphere of a television news operation. In today’s broadcast television business, tension and often frantic pursuit of ratings, rules. Ratings are tied directly to advertisers and what they can be charged for air time. That’s the reality. This is the novel.

Riley Spartz, newshen of a local television station in the Twin Cities of Minnesota,
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
I expected to enjoy this novel, it's a genre I like and hoped that I would find a new series to collect but sometimes you just don't click with a character and unfortunately that is the case for me in Killing Kate.
By the time I was barely a third of the way into the novel, my attention was wandering and by the half way mark I realised I really didn't like Riley much. The first person point of view revealed her very narrow ambition to 'scoop' a story at any cost. She seemed unable to separate th
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the great things about Julie Kramer's series is that she gives you enough information about the characters that you don't have to have read any of the previous works to fully appreciate and enjoy this one.

The mystery in KILLING KATE is based on a real-life legend of a Black Angel, who sits in an Iowa cemetery, her once brass color having turned to black over the years. Is it the natural process of oxidation? Or proof of dark deeds?

Riley Spartz finds herself in the middle of a murder myste
Kathleen Hagen
Killing Kate, by Julie Kramer, b-plus, Narrated by Bernadette Dunn, Produced by Dreamscape Audio, downloaded from

For some reason, this book was not recorded until now. It’s out of sequence. This is #4 in the series, and I’ve already read #5 which was recorded soon after it was published. In this one, Riley is still working for Channel 3. The news director sends Riley on a dog rescue story sure to win over Minneapolis-St. Paul's viewers. It involves a man who left his dog in a very h
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed the first three books in this series--except for the horrible reader on the audio version of the last one--but found this one to be just okay. It all started when I found an error early on (she "peaked" into the kitchen) and that always seems to distract me from the story because part of my mind is on the alert for more typos or misuse of like-sounding words.

The book itself actually wasn't bad until about two-thirds of the way through, and then it seemed like Riley, the main cha
Linda Day
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well, now I have read them all ! I don't have a Riley Spartz in my queue ... what shall I do when I am looking for a clean, humorous, quick-reading little mystery ?

Julie Kramer has become a favorite over the past few months ! I have loved getting to know and appreciate Riley, an on-the-spot reporter from Ch. 3. In the course of "getting" the story she becomes an amateur sleuth in the solving of the mysteries surrounding the story (see Silencing Sam, Missing Mark, and the beginner, Stalking Susan
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Starr Gardinier
May 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In “Killing Kate,” Kramer pens a refreshing protagonist, journalist Riley Spartz, who works for Channel 3.

While investigating a news report, Spartz finds herself knee-deep in a murder of old roommate’s sister. She becomes the target of a serial killer whose inspiration stems from an almost century old black angel in an Iowa cemetery. The killer is unbalanced and believes he is pleasing the “angel of death” with each murder. The man stalks Spartz and at the same time, believes she is after him.
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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.


Other books in the series

Riley Spartz (6 books)
  • Stalking Susan (Riley Spartz, #1)
  • Missing Mark (Riley Spartz, #2)
  • Silencing Sam (Riley Spartz, #3)
  • Shunning Sarah (Riley Spartz, #5)
  • Delivering Death: A Novel (Riley Spartz, #6)

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