julie books events news media contact
Shunning Sarah


Now Available in Paperback!

A young boy's freak accident leads TV reporter Riley Spartz to investigate a homicide in the closed religious society of the Amish. No women near the small Minnesota tourist town have been reported missing and because the victim's face is damaged, she can't be identified without the help of a forensic artist. When she finally is recognized as Sarah Yoder, a young Amish woman, the police have difficulty investigating the case because the Amish believe in forgiveness rather than prosecution, and no one in the community is talking. Because of the biblical ban on graven images, Sarah's family objects to her picture being used by the media even though the police believe the publicity might lead to tips. But when Riley finds a clue the cops miss, she uncovers a dark web of fraud and deception in the community—driven by motives as old as the Bible: sex and money.

Read an Excerpt (PDF format).
Listen to an Audio Excerpt.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

For a signed, personalized and shipped copy, contact Once Upon A Crime.



"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, New York Times bestselling author

"Kramer, a former journalist and TV news producer, has outdone herself....the perfect mix of suspense, excitement, romance, and surprises to keep the discriminating crime fiction reader captivated." Starred Review
   —Library Journal

"Julie Kramer superbly blends two very different worlds—television news and the mysterious society 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, New York Times bestselling author

"This series is more addictive than 24/7 cable news. 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

"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

"An underlying evil that Riley exposes makes for a very satisfying read. I remember being entranced by the Amish after reading a Nancy Drew book, and my interest continues to this day. Kramer did a great job of presenting a difficult story, and balancing all the stories Riley has to juggle. I enjoy seeing the inside of a newsroom, and Kramer is a great tour guide." Grade: A-
   —Deadly Pleasures Magazine

"Another solid entry."

   —St. Paul Pioneer Press

"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, as always."
   —RT Book Reviews

"Kramer's research into the Amish realm is impressive and integrated skillfully into the plot....Kramer's fifth novel remains worthy, just like its predecessors."
   —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Kramer's usual mix of suspense, humor and meticulous research in Shunning Sarah again show why her series is so entertaining."
   —Mystery Scene Magazine

"'Amish fiction' usually means light, innocent romance. Julie Kramer's take on it is dark, guilt-ridden—lethal even."
   —Lancaster Sunday News

"Suspenseful...the ending was fantastic."
   —Ann Arbor News

"It's evident that Julie Kramer knows the news business. Riley Spartz's search for answers drives this story. And, she isn't satisfied until she finds answers, and justice, for an Amish girl who found herself in trouble."
   —Lesa's Book Critiques

"The bad guy—one of them anyway—gets the most creative finishing off I've read in a long time, maybe ever. And then the scene of real hell-and-brimstone-style retribution comes. Kramer definitely knows how to keep you glued to the couch, flipping pages as fast as you can. And if you are interested in the Amish, you'll be glad to hear she's done her homework, a lot of it, very intelligently."
   —Judith Starkston

"A thoughtful outing full of details about what is right and what different people believe...It is also a ripping good story, with lots of twists and turns, and will not disappoint."
   —Minneapolis Books Examiner

"This true-to-life fictionalizing, in my estimation is more than a cut above the average thriller, placing Julie Kramer much closer to the likes of Sinclair Lewis, Judith Guest, Jon Hassler and our other most prestigious chroniclers of the upper Midwestern experience."
   —River Falls Journal

Atria, Hardcover, August 2012, ISBN: 978-1451664638