Fine line (or slippery slope) between news & gossip the germ of this murder mystery

Each day leading up to the April 16 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists.Today we feature 2011 Genre Fiction finalist:
Silencing Sam
Julie Kramer
Atria Books/Simon & Schuster
Category Sponsor: Marvin Windows & Doors:


An excerpt from an interview with Julie Kramer:

“I wanted to write a topical thriller that incorporates some of the real life controversies in the news. Stories about Tiger Woods, John Edwards, and Michael Jackson have put the gossip versus news debate on the front lines of journalism. And I was also curious about all the wind farms going up across the Midwest and decided those environmental issues would make a fresh backdrop for my next book.”

When a disliked gossip columnist is found dead, Riley Spartz must secretly investigate a case in which she becomes the prime suspect. When Riley is charged with the homicide, the police seem unwilling to look any further for perpetrators, although numerous local news-makers have reason for revenge – even a motive for killing. Meanwhile, Riley must fight to stay ahead as a new reporter arrives and causes a surge in ratings at the station.


Julie Kramer is a freelance network news producer and author of the previous Minnesota Book Award-winner, Stalking Susan. She formerly ran WCCO-TV’s national award-winning investigative unit in Minneapolis.


Silencing Sam has a sexy protagonist, a sinister plot, and delivers another delightful read in this smart series.” – Linda Fairstein

“Best-selling author Kramer has delivered her finest Spartz novel to date; fiction readers will love this riveting, action-packed journey into television news investigations.” – Library Journal, starred review

“Julie Kramer combines real life experience with just the right amount of humor layered on a great plot to deliver a book that is Grade-A steak in a world that loves to give us cheap burgers.” – Crimespree Magazine

“Riley Spartz’s voice feels authentic as we read about the behind-the-scenes world of television journalism. The mystery is well-paced with interesting additional details about wind farms.” – Minnesota Book Awards Preliminary Judge


Book Trailer

Joe Cullen interviewd Julie Kramer for his Northeast Journal program.

In the first interview in her Minnesota Writers series, Cathy Wurzer interviewed mystery writer Julie Kramer on “Almanac” back in February 2010. In the series, Wurzer chats informally with Minnesota authors about what they read, how they write and how they managed to get into the process of creating books. Kramer brought along her first Minnesota Book Award, for Stalking Susan.


Award winners will be announced at the 23rd Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 16, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in downtown Saint Paul. The opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and are available by clicking here or calling 651-222-3242.

Each year in the weeks leading up to the Minnesota Book Awards gala, all Minnesotans are invited to take part in voting for the Readers’ Choice Award. Vote online now through the end of March at Please, only one vote per person.

Have you read Silencing Sam? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: