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Shunning Sarah

(Riley Spartz #5)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  970 ratings  ·  194 reviews
The latest thriller in Julie Kramer’s bestselling crime fiction series, featuring the smart, funny, and compulsively entertaining television reporter, Riley Spartz.

An insular Amish town . . . A secret that won’t stay buried . . .

Minneapolis’s star investigative reporter Riley Spartz is constantly in search of her next TV sweeps piece. When she hears that a young boy is tr
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books (first published June 26th 2012)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  970 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
As a fan of both mystery and Amish fiction novels, I was delighted when I found that free copies of Shunning Sarah, by Julie Kramer, were up for a giveaway on this site. Luckily, I was one of the eight chosen to receive a free advance copy from Atria. Knowing that Julie Kramer is a National Best Seller, and based on reviews of her past novels, I was confident that I would enjoy the mystery aspect of the novel. What I was a little more hesitant about was the accuracy of the Amish aspect of the no ...more
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
A solid one and a half stars--and a mental note to avoid this series, forever. In the summer, I like "lite" reading: mysteries, nanny diaries, chick lit, and thrillers. And, especially, series where I can read a long string, watching characters develop. But they have to be well-written.

This book read like the author's daily journal, if the author was a heroic, whip-smart journalist ready to take on all challenges. When I say it read like a daily log, I mean that the story wandered all over the
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am ashamed to say that I won this book nearly FOUR years ago and just got around to reading it. WHY, oh why, didn't I pick this up sooner? I LOVED it and I WILL be picking up more of Julie Kramer's books. SOON.

Riley Spartz is an investigative reporter and when a "boy trapped in a hole" story becomes a murder investigation, she is on top of it. This murder mystery has it all: Suspense, sex, lies, fraud, money, and even a few dogs. If you're a fan of the genre, check this series out.

*** I recei
Anne Trinkle
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve enjoyed listening to these books. I think they can be a bit verbose but I also enjoy learning about the ins and outs of the television news business.
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Riley Spartz is an investigative reporter in Minneapolis who knows a good news story, even when her new boss Bryce doesn't. When she gets a tip about a ten year old boy who has fallen into a sink hole in Harmony Minnesota, a rural area that is in the middle of an Amish community, she convinces her boss that it is a newsworthy story. By the time she arrives on the scene though the little boy Josh Kueppers has already been rescued.Undaunted Riley decides to interview the sheriff on the scene, and ...more
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is my first introduction to the Riley Spratz series by Julie Kramer and I am very impressed. She has a captivating writing style that keeps you reading. The main character Riley Spartz is a television news reporter whose investigative skills take her deep into a mystery in the Amish country of Minnesota.

Amish books particularly in the romance field are very popular these days. I would imagine it is because in our complicated technology filled lives it is nice to go to a simpler place...the
Michael O'Leary
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was an unexpected great mystery read. It was one of those "this book looks interesting" impulse reads. This is book #5 in the Riley Spartz series by Julie Kramer. Here's what the publisher says about the book:

"Minneapolis’s star investigative reporter Riley Spartz is constantly in search of her next TV sweeps piece. When she hears that a young boy is trapped at the bottom of a sinkhole, she smells ratings. Little does she know just how big the story will be—not only does it involve a tragic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kira Gimm
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Eh. My mom told me to read it and raved about how awesome it was. But it was only ok. The premise of the story was good, but what really bugged me was the author is local (which is fine), but how many Minnesota references does she want to make? I swear every other page she was making a mention about small town MN life, or referencing some MN landmark or history etc. It was very annoying and distracting. I get it, you hail from MN and want to show your MN pride but come on! Also, this book had ab ...more
Dec 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Was hoping it would have been GREAT because part of the storyline takes place in Harmony. Even though the storyline was a bit lackluster, it was fun to read about some of our local favorites being included in the book, such as The Village Square and Quarter/quarter. It took me a LONG time to get through the first half of the book, but things did improve as the story lines started coming together in the final chapters. Worth a read if only for the local references and the fact that the author wil ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
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Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
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Jessica Kern
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a book that kept me up in my seat all night. It is one book I couldn't put down. Julie Kramer writes with good taste and skill and she really gets the characters to come alive in the story. This story is about an Amish woman who was murdered and people who work on the news want to use this story on tv they try to help sole the crime and this story is also great because the location of this story is right in Harmony Minnesota. ...more
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another solid addition to Julie Kramer's series featuring the fictional character of Riley Spartz. Living in the Midwest I love that her thrillers are all set regionally. If you have not read any of her books yet start with Stalking Susan..Julie Kramer has one of the best new thriller series in crime fiction I have read!! ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Julie Kramer just gets better and better with each book. In this one she takes us to the world of the Amish and creates a wonderful mystery. Add to this a new station manager who tends to use his power in a way that only Riley can take
Aug 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, amish
Multiple layers to this story but not as well written as Linda Castillo but worth the read.
Kaitlin Marie-Brown Salter
weirdly, I like Amish murder mysteries, but this book was not that great. The first few chapters were good, but it all went down hill from there
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I picked up this book I thought it would be a typical Amish/mystery romance. This was not so, there is a lot going on in this book. It seemed to go a little to fast.
Mary Jo
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
loved it. want to read more of her books
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have a love hate relationship with this series. There are certain parts that I love – Riley’s bumbling. Yet at the same time, I really dislike Riley’s bumbling. Some parts seem to take too long to conclude, yet other parts are over much too quickly. There is only one more book in this series, and hopefully, Julie Kramer will be able to draw all the parts of Riley’s life together and maybe see a happily ever after for her.

You have to go with what mom says and if she is pointing you towards the
My oldest grabbed this off the inspirational shelf and I ended up reading it. I liked that it wasn't the typical Amish fiction where girl is bemoaning her Amish life and can't decide if she wants to marry the Amish guy and eventually she stays and marries. I liked that but I will admit I'm mystified by the fact it's considered inspirational as there was much in the way of Christianity, unless you count Riley's few conversations with a Catholic priest, religious. She does get anointed at the end ...more
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Started somewhat strong - good storyline, but main character is flat to me, as were her relationships. Maybe because this was a series, it would've helped to have read in order. Surprising, if that's true. Usually the author paints a better picture of what happened in previous books, especially when it's backstory, not anything relating to the current plot. Who was Garnett? Just her ex-fiancee. Nothing to make you feel she's sorry he's gone. (Maybe she's not!) Did she feel any sense of remorse a ...more
Carolyn D.
As far as Amish stories go, this one was lackluster. The story jumped from one thing to another very quickly and then would somewhat work it's way back around, but it doesn't matter. There was too much going on to make this thing stick.

Predictable storyline. Kinda boring.

I couldn't tell what age the narrator was portraying for the main character?? This lady's voice sounded maybe 50s-60s. But then would talk about engagement, marriage, children, her sex life, etc in a way that you think maybe she
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Happenstance moment in seeing this book on the library shelf. Author, Julie Kramer , is new to me. I am so delighted with this read, even though I read this book out of order, book 5, I plan to go back to book 1, Stalking Susan and catch up with this series taking place in Minnesota.

This story is a religious mystery in SE Minnesota within the Amish Community. This religious sec does not integrate with the "English" people, as Amish people remain separate unto themselves. So
for news anchor, Rile
Mellanie C
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
When a young boy gets trapped in a sinkhole, reporter Riley Spartz smells a human interest story and rushes off to the scene. The boy is recovered safely, but so is the corpse of an unknown young woman. Battling with a new station manager, Riley is determined to follow the story and discover the killer of the girl. I had never read this author before, but I liked the layering of twists and turns of the story, the sleazy boss, the secretive Amish, and Riley's mentorship of up-and-coming reporter ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

So when I did "delivering death" (#6) in this series, I thought I missed something. Now I know why. Apparently, I had skipped this one (#5) w/out realizing it.

Ok, so now I’m caught up and very glad to have another book in this series to listen to at work.

This one was interesting b/c it occurred in the Amish community.

The mystery developed slowly over the narrative building up the anticipation.
I had a feeling about some of it so I really wanted to know how correct I was.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To me, this book was all over the place. I just kept skipping anything that didn’t have to do with the main topic or what I thought was the main topic of the book which was who killed Sarah. I didn’t care for the bear stories, etc. and the mundane daily crud of office life. Her reporting jobs beyond Sarah’s death, were boring. I skipped all that. I kept thinking she needed a job change desperately. All in all, the book was disappointing and not for me.
Betty Day
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 if it were possible . . . just a little glib . . . too many hair-raising escapes . . . could have been several books with a little more development for each . . . characters almost believable . . .
Louise Pledge
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found there were two Julie Kramer books I didn't have so had to remedy that. This was one, and I'm so glad I bought it! It was, particularly, interesting to me since I have spent some time in the last few months at Amish villages. I love their marketplaces! Great plot, loved the book! ...more
Mary Mann
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mary-s-books
I enjoyed this book never read this author before but will look for her other books
I was afraid in the beginning of the story that I wouldn’t enjoy it but the author really reeled me in with the suspense
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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)
  • Killing Kate (Riley Spartz, #4)
  • Delivering Death: A Novel (Riley Spartz, #6)

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