Julie Kramer stopped by the store the other day and regaled us with stories about TV reporting. That is what makes her novel so engaging: Kramer knows her business. As a busy freelance journalist/producer for local and national newscasts, she has seen a lot of interesting stories pass across the landscape. Naturally, her main character, Riley Spartz, is a TV journalist. Kramer lives in Minnesota, and Riley lives in Minnesota. We have to hope the parallels end there, because Riley Spartz gets herself into a whole lot of trouble, first by determining that a serial killer has been targeting women named Susan, then by trapping an unsavory veterinarian for another story.
Kramer's plot is interesting and she's not afraid of using humor. Riley has hidden depths and Kramer depicts her with a sympathetic touch. This equals an unequivocal recommendation for this award-nominated debut novel.