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Missing Mark    by Julie Kramer order for
Missing Mark
by Julie Kramer
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

A want ad reading 'Wedding Dress for Sale. Never Worn,' found by TV reporter Riley Spartz is so intriguing that she just can't let that go by without finding out why this dress is for sale. What's the story behind it?

In this second of the Riley Spartz series, Riley discovers the why. The groom was a no show at the wedding! He was fine the night before at the rehearsal but didn't make it to the altar the next day. Did he chicken out? Had an accident? Mugged? Was he in a hospital? On the beach at Cancun? Or maybe, heaven forbid, dead?

The bride-to-be acquiesces when Riley approaches her to write a column about the dress and why it wasn't worn. She's worried her snooty socialite Mama won't like it. Her mother-in-law to be waits weeks to file a missing persons report. The police aren't that interested. Men disappear from their weddings okay?

Riley is an investigative reporter and her boss is looking to raise their ratings. Riley is up the creek for a juicy story but didn't expect her exclusive to turn into a murder investigation. The only other big story is about the fish that got away. How much can one talk about when a record-breaking fish is stolen?

Author Julie Kramer has a good series going here. Delightful, with twists and turns that deviate from the script a bit but then scoot right back to the matter at hand and tie in. Riley is a pretty gutsy lady who may be afraid of what she considers she must do for her job, but she gets out there and gets the job done. Surely, turning up a murder is not in her job description.

Missing Mark is a quick, fun read with characters you might like to count among your friends. The murderous ones, of course, remain on the outside looking in. I'm looking forward to Kramer's next Riley Spartz episode.

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