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Silencing Sam

(Riley Spartz #3)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  777 ratings  ·  107 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
Hardcover, 335 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Atria Books (first published May 26th 2010)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

another good one. Some intriguing mysteries w/the dead reporter & the wind power turbines.
And again, I did figure some of it out b/c it was sort of obvious but the writing was good enough to keep me interested & entertained.
I liked the inclusion of Riley’s parents as new characters in the story as they added some humor & warmth.
3.5 stars. I love all the Minnesota references but the story had almost too many storylines to keep everything straight
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
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
Jul 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2011
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
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
M. Sprouse
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This was my first of Julie Kramer's, Riley Spartz mysteries. First the positives. It was a fun, light, romp of a mystery. For a whodunit, this book walked that, sometimes not so fine line, between being too easy to figure and and impossible to solve. I thought the last hundred pages were excellent, with lots of suspense, which unfortunately is not often the case in a lot of novels.

My biggest problem was with the main character, Riley. Even though I found her easy to cheer, she at times was frus
Sep 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, rt2010, 2018-read
Unfortunately, Silencing Sam didn't continue the promise of book Missing Mark. It took a while to get to the dead body and the police seemed like idiots. Not that I didn't understand their focus on Riley, it's just that she really isn't the murdering type. Sam Pierce is a gossip columnist and printed some terrible (ly accurate) things about Riley. She threw a drink on him. Is that really a good enough reason for murder? The sub-story, which was interesting, was on wind turbines and how bats are ...more
William Wehrmacher
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read several Julie Kramer books and have liked them all. I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, so I am familiar with many of the references to places and our culture, Dontcha know.

Beyond the familiarity-based comfort, Silencing Sam has an excellent storyline. Our hero Riley Spartz is a local TV news reporter who is struggling along with her station's declining popularity. She interacts poorly with a sleazy newspaper gossip columnist who ends up dead, (not that anyone really cares.) Riley ends
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Pretty oh hum book, but nicely read.

Riley, a TV reporter, is threatened by a new comer to the station, Clay. A rival journalist, known for his scathing gossip column, writes some scandalous piece about Riley. In it, he suggests that she was already cheating on her husband with her current beau, months before her husband’s death.

Then, shortly after Riley has thrown a day ink in this reporter’s face, he is found shot to death. Riley is arrested, accused of his murder.

Riley and Clay, the new guy, h
Sandra Small
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another hit!

Ms Kramer is fast becoming one of my top 5 authors! This story will keep you guessing until the end. Smartly written, Ms Kramer took me through my hometown with vivid details of the city. Her characters are very believable and this story does not disappoint!
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another fantastic book by Julie Kramer! Though I’m not sure if the narrator of the book is different then the previous books but there were voices and names that were different and took me a little while.. but I still love this series and I’ve already downloaded the next one!
Cute - a little predictable but then, these kinds of books always have a certain formula that they follow. I don't think it detracted from the story at all though, I still had fun reading it and watching the characters come to their own conclusions. ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoy Ms. Kramer’s mysteries as they’re rather funny as well as well written. I would have given this one a higher rating if I hadn’t figured out who the perp was in the first 30 pages. There are an awful lot of red herrings in this, but everything wraps up nicely in the end.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love the one liners!
Julia Shaw
Mar 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was genuinely surprised by how bad this book was, given that it was a staff pick at the library. Had to force myself to finish it, but it was pretty painful.
Chick Marks
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Entertaining and fun
Gretchen Stein
good book to read while home sick
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 Enjoying this series
Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Paul Pessolano
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it
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 08, 2016 rated it liked it
There are multiple plot lines unfolding in this book, and believe it or not, they do, somewhat, come together in the end.

When local gossip columnist Sam Pierce is found dead and local investigative journalist Riley Spartz is known to have had an angry dust-up with him, all fingers point toward her as the culprit. The problem, she did not do it and as she digs into his past, there are too many names on the chalkboard that could have. To add more complication, a headless corpse has shown up in to
Mar 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Suspense Magazine
Sep 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
William Bentrim
Aug 28, 2011 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
Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Feb 18, 2016 rated it liked it
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
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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)
  • Killing Kate (Riley Spartz, #4)
  • Shunning Sarah (Riley Spartz, #5)
  • Delivering Death: A Novel (Riley Spartz, #6)

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