Julie Kramer appeared in Chatfield last fall and shared her experiences as an author and news reporter. She also talked about her newest book, “Shunning Sarah,” which is set in Harmony and is the selection for the first Harmony community-wide read.
Julie Kramer appeared in Chatfield last fall and shared her experiences as an author and news reporter. She also talked about her newest book, “Shunning Sarah,” which is set in Harmony and is the selection for the first Harmony community-wide read.
The Harmony Arts Board is sponsoring an all-community-read over the next few months. The book chosen for this new event is "Shunning Sarah" by Julie Kramer.

Kramer is a Minnesota author who has written an acclaimed mystery/suspense book series centered on Riley Spartz, an adventuresome television investigative reporter.

In this series' fifth book "Shunning Sarah," Kramer writes about the Amish in the Harmony area. Since the book was published last August, this mystery has received much praise from all over the nation.

This community-wide read is an effort to encourage the community to read the same book, which allows for a lively discussion with friends and family.

Discussions can revolve around questions such as "Did you like it?" "What appealed to you about this book?" or "Would you recommend it?"

This book was selected because of the location of the story. The fictional Harmony in the book has a number of real ties to our community. What fun to compare the fictional and real Harmony!

On Saturday, April 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, Julie Kramer will be at the Harmony Public Library, located at 225 3rd Ave. SW, in Harmony. She will present an author talk scheduled at 11 a.m.

The event will also be the Hot Reads for Cold Nights winter reading program finale.

Kramer, when contacted about the community read, responded by writing, "I thank the residents of Harmony for being such good sports about my turning their town into a fictional crime scene. Nothing personal, but when it comes to Minnesota's Amish, Harmony is full of atmosphere and intrigue."

Kramer is from southeastern Minnesota, growing up on a farm in the Adams area. She graduated from Southland High School and the University of St. Thomas in St Paul. She worked as a television news producer for 20 years at WCCO-TV, then spent several years as a freelance network news producer for NBC and CBS before writing fiction.

She has won the Minnesota Book Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense and the RTBook Review's Best First Mystery. Kramer was a finalist for the Anthony, Barry, Shamus, Mary Higgins Clark and RT Best Amateur Sleuth Awards. She currently lives with her family in White Bear Lake, Minn.

"Shunning Sarah" by Julie Kramer is commercially available in hardcover, audio and ebook formats. Books are available locally from the Harmony Public Library and are for sale at the Village Depot's School House and Harmony Foods.

Tami Hoag, a New York Times bestselling author, originally from Harmony, commented that "Shunning Sarah" is ""Fast paced, a smart heroine, and fresh voice."

"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," shared James Patterson, another New York Times bestselling author of mysteries and suspense.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reviewed the book by saying, "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."

What a rare opportunity to have a book set in our hometown area! The Harmony Arts Board encourages all to celebrate it by reading it, sharing one's thoughts and attending the April 6th program at the library!