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Mystery Monday – Stalking Susan

Stalking Susan by Julie Kramer

Review by Cheryl R. (Spuddie)

#1 Riley Spartz mystery. Riley is a television reporter in the Twin Cities, MN area–until recently, a top-notch investigative reporter. Her star has fallen considerably over the past year, however, as she struggled to put her life back together after the very public death of her husband Hugh Boyer, a former cop who had been working as chief security for the Governor of Minnesota when a firebomb intended for the Governor killed him while cameras were rolling.

So Riley is intrigued when a long-time police source (now retired) throws her a lead about a couple of murders that happened exactly one year apart, both featuring women named Susan. There were other similarities that weren’t revealed to the public, but no other connection besides the name could be found. Upon investigation, Riley finds several other Susans who died on November 19, some more than a decade ago and not in the Twin Cities area, and not all were classified as murder. Between that case–which was a hard sell to her manager–and the pet cremation fraud that her boss has her working on, Riley doesn’t have much time to be mooning around any longer. The pet scandal actually turns into a real ratings booster, and when someone begins following her around and leaving dead flowers for her, Riley’s not sure if it’s someone associated with the vet’s office or from her Susan investigation. As Nov. 19 approaches, Riley’s anticipation rises, but her world collapses when her friend who was the source is arrested for the murder of another Susan on that night.

I really enjoyed this book–I actually picked it up randomly from the community bookshelf in the break room at work when I finished my regular book and hadn’t brought a backup with me. The bright yellow cover drew me to it and when I read the flyleaf and realized it was set locally and written by a local author I opened it up…and had a hard time putting it down.

Although I’ve never been a fan of “the news” (which, IMO, is mostly NOT news and a load of horse puckey! LOL) the story was intriguing from the beginning and I learned a few things along the way. It’s well-written with an easy-to-read style, the main character was interesting and appealing, the local flavor is excellent, and there’s a good balance of action and introspection. Although I had one of those ‘gut feelings’ about the bad guy fairly early on, I wasn’t sure of the motive or how the crimes were actually committed. It’s been awhile since I read a real page-turner, but this was definitely one of those. Won’t be long til I read the next in series.

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One Response to “Mystery Monday – Stalking Susan”

  1. Diane G. (icesk8tr) , says:

    I love mysteries, and this is one author I am not familiar with. Will have to check this one out soon!! Added it to my list of books to investigate and possibly order on PBS!

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