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Delivering Death: A Novel (Riley Spartz) Hardcover – January 7, 2014

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Product Details

  • Series: Riley Spartz
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books; First Edition edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451664664
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451664669
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Who but investigative TV reporter Riley Spartz would receive an anonymously sent package containing 27 human teeth? When the teeth turn out to be those of a dead ex-con who turned government informant in a complex and lucrative identity-fraud scheme, Riley senses a potential ratings coup for her Minneapolis station. A link to wealthy Jack Clemens, newly imprisoned for white-collar crime, makes the story even bigger. Meanwhile, Riley, pining for her ex-fiancé, Nick Garnett, is relieved not to be working on Channel 3’s exclusive coverage of a mass wedding at the Mall of America that will be filmed for a movie. Instead, while covering an auction of Clemens’ personal items, she ends up the owner of a literally fishy painting in an interrupted bidding war. While the previous entry in this series (Shunning Sarah, 2012) seemed to lack spark, Kramer is back in stride here: Riley, intrepid as ever, shows her humanity as the various plot threads are woven together with a highly satisfying epilogue. This sixth Riley Spartz outing features the fast-paced action laced with humor that originally marked this as a winning series. --Michele Leber


“Remember Witness—that truly thrilling movie with Harrison Ford in his heyday? Shunning Sarah is an even better suspense story filled with horse-driven buggies and folks in black hats.”—James Patterson

“Julie Kramer superbly blends two very different worlds—that of television news and the mysterious world of the Amish. Shunning Sarah is a compelling novel chock full of all the elements readers of crime fiction crave. Riley Spartz is a very human heroine—and a force to be reckoned with. You will remember her and this story long after you finish the book—and anxiously await the next installment.”—Linda Castillo

“A stunning entry in this dynamic series with a fascinating glimpse into two worlds unknown to most of us: the Amish and the behind-the-scenes truth about local TV news. Talk about a culture clash!”—Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author

“Addictive . . . A captivating heroine you'll root for and a shocking ending you won't see coming, Shunning Sarah delivers with a satisfying punch.”—Alex Kava, New York Times bestselling author

“Kramer, a former journalist and TV news producer, has outdone herself. Her fourth Riley Spartz thriller (after Silencing Sam) has the perfect mix of suspense, excitement, romance, and surprises to keep the discriminating crime fiction reader captivated.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Kramer’s latest Riley Sparks mystery—set in Amish country—keeps you guessing.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“The descriptions of newsroom politics and life in an insular community, as well as Riley’s never-say-die pursuit of the next big story, are spot-on and fun to follow.”—Romantic Times

“Kramer . . . does a nice job of explaining the turmoil at TV stations and other media these days.” —St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Funny . . . suspenseful . . . an enjoyable breeze to read.” (

“‘Amish fiction’ usually means light, innocent romance. Julie Kramer’s take on it is dark, guilt-ridden—lethal even.” (Sunday News)

“Kramer’s usual mix of suspense, humor and meticulous research in Shunning Sarah again show her series is so entertaining.” (Mystery Scene Magazine)

“Fast-paced, fun and full of surprises.” (Nancy Bush NY Times Bestselling author)

"Highly satisfying." (Booklist)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
Without giving away any plots Riley Spartz will almost get herself killed by one of her sources.
Vernon J. Geberth
The easy reading stories are filled with plenty of plot twists to keep me wondering how the mystery will be solved.
patricia a nelson
This is the first book that I have read by this author and I cannot wait to catch up on the rest of the series.
The Reader's Bar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By destinysbook on January 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a enjoyable read. I fell in love with Riley Spartz. She is a great news reporter. Delivering Death is a fast paced who dun it with Riley and her charm that leads the reader into her office for a master piece of crime. No where else can you find fun, crazy antics and a hot man all in one place. Death, weddings, art and even a coffin will have you guessing as you turn the pages. Julie has a winner with her Riley Spartz novels. She is at the top of her game
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marlyn on July 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Minneapolis television reporter Riley Spartz finds a package in her mailbox at work, and upon opening it, is taken aback to find 27 teeth. Stinky, bloody, gross teeth. She takes them to her dentist, who confirms that they are human teeth, after eliciting a promise to come in for a checkup.
Riley gives the teeth to the police and continues with other investigations while she waits for a report, but learning who the teeth belonged to and why they were sent to her is still her personal priority.

Her search leads her all over the state. She even turns to her ex-fiancé Nick Garrett when another story sends her to the Mall of America where he is the director of security.

One of the coolest things about Riley is that she has a life outside the newsroom. Yes, investigating news stories is her main focus, but she goes to her high school reunion, visits her parents, and worries about her love life. The latter is especially on her mind because her boss wants her to cover a group wedding at the Mall.

All this leads to a well-developed character, with a story that is exciting and gripping, and may cause readers to stay up way too late (so don't start it before bed).

It's not necessary to have read the previous books in the series, to understand this one. But if you haven't, Riley is such a fascinating character, you'll probably want to know more about her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Annie Michelle on February 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Let me just start out by saying if you have never read a Riley Spartz book, you are really missing out. Every paragraph in Julie's books are funny and filled with her dry wit, one liners and local insider jokes that make you chuckle and laugh out loud the whole way through the book. Sometimes the Joke is on Riley but, the best jokes are when Riley turns the tables on the bad guy and gets the story all in one fell... scoop. Wonderful to see the characters in all The Riley Spartz books back again, Riley's on again/off again ex-fiance Nick Garrett as well as her always loyal photographer Malik, computer slueth Xiong, her always fun parents and her news directer and sexual twerp Bryce. Another favorite part in the books is the delightful back and forth Riley & Nick do with movie quotes they throw to each other such as... Riley to Nick "you don't even know how much you'll miss me"... Nick to Riley "Shirley MacLaine, tearms of endearment, 1983" there are many more of these scattered throughout all the books and they will make you smile and try to guess the answer every time.
Riley Spartz is a TV investigative journalist for channel 3 news in the Twin cities MN area. One day she opens her mail at the station and finds a set of loose teeth, newly pulled with no note or explanation. This sets Riley off all over the cities looking for who, what, where, they done it and why they sent them to her? I love to ride along with Riley in our hometown as she sets off hunting down the story, knowing where she is and who she's really talking about is part of the fun! Riley and her mouth frequently get her into trouble but her quick wit usually gets her out, sometimes with the help of her ex Nick.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Sobieck on January 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In Delivering Death, TV investigative journalist Riley Spartz (a little art imitating reality) receives a package full of teeth. Whom they belong to, and how they relate to a well-known Minnesota fraudster serving time in prison (loosely based on either Denny Hecker or Tom Petters, I suspect), makes for a fast-paced A plot.

Still, much of the novel focuses elsewhere. The B plots involve other stories Spartz chases, a mass marriage at the Mall of America, missing dogs, an ex she must turn to as a source and a TV news director sacrificing quality for cheap entertainment during sweeps.

Much as she likely did in real life, Kramer balances each without losing the reader. The writing is crisp, the chapters quick and the plot deceivingly smart. Kramer lobs a few softball homeruns for readers to run the bases with, but clears the floor with a couple bombshells no one will see coming.

However, as my old journalism mentor would say, the "story is done when it's done." I thought the story ended when the A plot wrapped up, but the book kept going for a jaunt to the Mall of America. It felt tacked on to fill pages, but forgivable in light of Delivering Death's other strengths.

One other point, this time about nuts and bolts writing. Delivering Death shifts between first and third person points of view. That's something I pull in my WIP crime novel, and hadn't seen it done before now. Honestly, I was worried that format would throw off would-be readers. But seeing Kramer pull it off so effortlessly - sometimes even within a single chapter - is enough verification to me.

Kramer made a fan out of me with Delivering Death. I can't wait to dive into her other novels. She's my kind of crime writer. You'd do well to be her kind of crime reader.
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More About the Author

Julie Kramer is a freelance network television producer. Prior to that she was a national award-winning investigative producer for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis.

Julie grew up along the Minnesota-Iowa state line, fourth generation of a family who raised cattle and farmed corn for 130 years. Her favorite childhood days were spent waiting for the bookmobile to bring her another Phyllis A. Whitney novel.She now writes thrillers set in the desperate world of television news.

Her upcoming novel, SHUNNING SARAH, centers on homicide amid a clash of cultures: flashy TV news and the reclusive Amish.

Her debut STALKING SUSAN, won the Minnesota Book Award and the RT Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Mystery. It was also a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark, Anthony, Barry, and Shamus Awards.

Her second book, MISSING MARK, was a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence in mystery/suspense.

Library Journal described her third book, SILENCING SAM, as her best yet, calling it "Riveting" in a starred review.

Kramer lives with her family in White Bear Lake, MN.

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