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Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5

Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5

Written by Lisa Lutz

Narrated by Christina Moore


Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5

Written by Lisa Lutz

Narrated by Christina Moore

ratings:
4/5 (60 ratings)
Length:
10 hours
Released:
Feb 28, 2012
ISBN:
9781442348455
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

The fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling series by Lisa Lutz, featuring the fearless private investigator Izzy Spellman and her quirky, yet endearing, family of sleuths.

For the first time in Spellman history, Isabel Spellman might be the most normal member of her family. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities. Dad has a secret. Her brother and sister are at war, but neither will reveal the source of the conflict. While domestic disturbances abound, there is one source of sanity in the Spellman household: Demetrius Merriweather, employee of the month for eighteen months straight.

Things aren't any simpler on the business side of Spellman Investigations. First, Rae is hired to follow a girl, only to fake the surveillance reports. Then a socialite has Isabel tail her husband, despite a conspicuous lack of suspicion. A man in a sweater vest hires the Spellmans to follow his sister, who turns out to be the socialite. Izzy won't stop hunting for the answers-even when they threaten to shatter both the business and the family.

Readers are sure to love the next novel in a "series that keeps getting better and better" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Released:
Feb 28, 2012
ISBN:
9781442348455
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Lisa Lutz is the author of the New York Times bestselling, Edgar Award– and Macavity Award–nominated, and Alex Award–winning Spellman Files series, as well as the novels How to Start a Fire, The Passenger, and The Swallows. She lives and works in upstate New York.

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What people think about Trail of the Spellmans

4.2
60 ratings / 61 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Surveillance seems to be the order of the day: Rae is following college co-ed Vivien Blake, Dad is following Meg Cooper, and Adam Cooper hires Izzy to follow his sister and, at the same time, Izzy is, at the behest of his wife, also following Edward Slayter. But all is not well at Spellman Investigations. Mom is suddenly indulging in enough extracurricular activities to keep her out of the house almost all of the time; Dad is keeping secrets; David and Rae are engaged in a personal war.But Izzy is determined to find the answers . . . even if it destroys both her family and their business.With only one Spellman tale remaining, the fifth Spellman saga brings all the expected characters . . . and a few new ones . . . together once again. There are, as in the previous tales, lessons learned as the characters grow, and there are still some hilarious moments. A subplot involving Grammy Spellman provides chuckles and unexpected twists while Demetrius adds some much-needed sparkle to a story that is a bit darker than previous tales. Still, readers [especially those in search of delightful chuckling] will find much to appreciate the banana incident.Recommended.
  • (4/5)
    I love these books! Lutz writes with such wit and smarts that I find them a pleasure to read. The characters are richly drawn and grow in each book in the series.

    This is the 5th book in the Spellmans Series, and one of the best. There is so much going on, but it causes no confusion. By this time, the reader is familiar with the characters and their individual idiosyncrasies...the storyline flows nicely and rapidly and propels this family forward just like real life.

    I highly recommend the entire series, with this being one of the best. But read them in order, so you get the maximum effect.
  • (4/5)
    46 of 75 for 2015. What can I say. I've been hooked on Lisa Lutz's Spellman series right from the beginning. How could I not be? Yes, it's set in San Francisco, my favorite city, even though I don't actually know of any Spellmans living there these days. But mostly, it's the title. This crazy, dysfunctional family, does not resemble my known relatives in any way, but I still feel obliged to read anything I can find about the Spellmans. Buying this volume from the remainders at Barnes and Nobel, I told the clerk that when he saw my card, he'd know why I had to buy the book. Not great literature, by any means, it is a fun read, the kind of light and frivolous story my mother turned me onto oh so many years ago. And this, number 5 in the Spellman series, has won great reviews. I don't think it's necessary to read volumes 1 through 4 first, but it couldn't hurt.
  • (4/5)
    Things are stranger than usual in the Spellman family. Isabel's mother, Olivia, has suddenly signed up for a lot of evening classes. Her father, Albert has some kind of secret. Her siblings (David, older and Rae, younger) are suddenly not speaking to each other. And David's toddler daughter calls everything a banana (except bananas). Isabel is the first to admit that she's not very good at relationships. Rather than just ask her family members what's going on, she investigates: tailing, eavesdropping and snooping. (Granted, this is not atypical for the Spellmans, who go on "disappearances" instead of vacations.) Instead of talking to her boyfriend Henry about their future, she starts going out drinking with Henry's mother.Still, Izzy is perturbed about her family's apparent unravelling, and resolves to do something about it. Is Izzy finally growing up?Lutz has included all the ingredients of her winning Spellman series recipe: copious footnotes and appendices, plus.this time, "copies" of school assignments created by her siblings. It's not as laugh-out-loud funny as the first book in the series, but you might still find yourself giggling to yourself. *Many thanks to the publisher for the Advance Reading Copy.
  • (5/5)
    Everything I expected from Lisa Lutz and more...I love her characters.
  • (4/5)
    Book number five in Lisa Lutz's Spellmans series, featuring the quirky Izzy Spellman, her even quirkier family, and their quirky family PI business. In this one, the Spellmans take on several unusual surveillance cases, and we get pretty much everything I've come to expect from a Spellmans novel: a slight but entertaining-enough plot that takes a back seat to character and humor, various family members scheming and keeping secrets from each other, and Izzy dealing (or, rather, attempting not to deal) with some issues in her personal life. When I put it that way, it makes this series sound kind of same-y, and maybe it is, a bit, but what the heck. It's a formula that works. And it actually does have more character development than I might expect from this sort of thing, as various characters grow and change and find themselves in different life situations over time. That certainly continues to be true in this one, and while not all the changes are necessarily the ones I would root for, I appreciate it, anyway. It's a nice, realistic grounding for a lot of the silliness.Mostly, though, like all the rest of the series, this one is just a fun, quick read, and it made an ideal palate-cleanser for me between heavier and more serious books.
  • (4/5)
    I can't say anything except this is an excellent book. Funny, endearing, interesting. As with all the previous 'documents' there are quite a few plot lines and Izzy Spellman does her usual excellent job at getting to the bottom of all of them. The evolution of character development throughout all the books has been interesting, humorous and at times painful to witness and bittersweet. I'd have given this book 5 stars, but was personally disappointed with the resolution of one of the story lines. A definite recommendation for anyone who enjoys some hilarity with their sincerity.
  • (4/5)
    funny as usual. gotta love this quirky family.
  • (4/5)
    If you're in the mood for a deftly written comic novel, you can't do much better than the Spellman series by Lisa Lutz. Her hilariously cockeyed view of modern family life is extremely entertaining, and if you're inclined to look hard enough you can even discern some wry wisdom buried in the rapid-fire, wisecracking exchanges between Izzy Spellman, the main protagonist, and her endearingly quirky friends and relations. (It's not required, though. You can just go ahead and laugh out loud for the hell of it.)
  • (3/5)
    I had to return it to the library, so I won't do a usual kind of review of Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz, but I'll make a few comments about it. This is the latest in a humor/mystery series featuring Izzy (Isabel) Spellman and her aggressive, uninhibited family that runs a private detection agency. She's in her 30s now and her romantic life remains complicated. These aren't typical mysteries. The Spellmans surveil people (and often each other) and decipher their dirty (or not dirty) deeds. When Izzy mentions it would be nice to get a murder case, her mother says, "We can dream."The dialog is always sharp and funny, and Lutz is particularly good at having characters act in bizarre, unlikely fashion, only to have the reader later learn why - and the why is always reasonable and logical. For example, Izzy's mother suddenly takes up a variety of seemingly unrelated hobbies and classes, like ceramics, Russian, crocheting, for no apparent reason. Turns out there is an amusing and very good reason.In this one the Spellmans are surveiling a husband, sister and daughter, and keeping their clients and ethics straight is a challenge, not to mention the whys and wherefores of what their investigations disclose. Izzy sorts it all out in a questionably ethical, but unquestionably right, way. At the same time she's investigating what's going on in her own family and trying to determine whether she can ever have a long-term romance (she's up to ex-boyfriend #13. There are a lot of good laughs, and Lutz is adept with footnotes, including several improbably involving actor Morgan Freeman.
  • (4/5)
    MY THOUGHTSLOVED ITI adore the Spellmans and in this latest installment, they are back to their homespun wackiness where no one trusts anyone as far as they can throw them. The story skips back and forth between the family members, each having their own issues. Mrs. Spellman suddenly throws herself into a whirlwind of acitivities. David is now a stay at home dad whose daughter refers to everything as "banana". Rae is in college and still working part time for the family, but has lost her interest. She does develop feelings for a boy whom she treats with little regard. Isabel is on and off with Henry and finds she has more in common with his mother lately. Her father has taken on several questionable cases.It really sounds like none of these things should go together, but Lutz weaves them all with humor and sarcasm. This is the first book in the series I couldn't sit down and read straight through. I had read that the author wasn't feeling the series anymore and I think it shows a bit. I did laugh out loud quite a bit and felt this would be a good book to end the series on since most major issues are tied up neatly. I will miss the family, well, at least until I find out there is another book on the way!
  • (2/5)
    I was bored by this book and didn't finish it. I really enjoyed the previous Spellman books, but this one didn't have any bite.
  • (5/5)
    Document #5 in the Spellman series was a very fun read. While not everything went in the way I expected (or hoped) it would, how can I say that anything has ever followed a linear line in these books? Between the usual, interesting plot lines (cases), we get the unusual too. There's a new employee at Spellman Investigations, a possible Ex-boyfriend #13, an open-ended visit by Grammy Spellman, and siblings at odds. For once, Izzy doesn't seem like the strangest one in this lot of characters and almost seems like she could take control of her future. Lutz has had me hooked since the first book and I will continue to follow any and all Spellman sagas.
  • (3/5)
    Let me start by saying I'm not a big fan of humorous mysteries. I'm not a Carl Hiaasen reader. I stopped Janet Evanovich after book four. However, I have great respect for authors who can write humorous mysteries because I think it's one of the hardest genres to be consistently good at.So, when I initially read the Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz I was surprised how 'laugh out loud' funny it was. I continued laughing through the antics of the Spellmans in books two through four. I whole-heartedly recommend reading them.Then something happened and Lutz co-wrote Heads You Lose with her ex-boyfriend, still friend David Hayward. It was like she took an anti-comedy pill. I struggled through 50 pages and had to put it down.With Trail of the Spellmans (Document #5) Lutz is climbing out of the abyss and starting to get her groove back. As with most of her Spellman books, it's a mish mosh. There is the usual intra-family subterfuge. In addition, they are hired by three related people to follow other members within this triumvirate, for reasons not readily apparent. And then there is Walter, who leaves his house afraid he left the toaster plugged in or the water running. Hey, in the private eye business, you take what you can get.Lutz has also introduced a likeable new employee, Demetrius, aka D, an ex-con who served 15 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit. And there is the always dependable Henry, with whom Isabel has moved in. Lutz's characteristic footnotes and appendices are present, although not in such quantities as in prior books. As always, Lutz lets you know that more Spellman mania could very well be down the pike.While not her greatest Spellman book, Trail of the Spellmans certainly is required reading for Spellman fans. It's a quick, enjoyable read, minus the laugh-out-loud component (I did chuckle a few times though). So, if you haven't read a Lisa Lutz book, start with the Spellman Files and work your way through this short series. If you have read one of the books, just keep going through them in order. You'll be laughing til tears come out of your eyes.P.S. I was pleased to see that Ms. Lutz, on her last page. supported independend bookstores and suggested strongly that we frequent them. For that alone, this book is worth reading!
  • (4/5)
    This book is #5 in the Isabel Spellman series. I had only read the first book before this, and I liked this one even more than the first one (The Spellman Files).The Spellman family are all experienced private investigators, by hobby or by trade, and instead of talking to one another like normal people, they spy on each other and show no regard for personal privacy. At first glance, they all seem to be a bit crazy.In this book, Izzy's mom has suddenly started all sorts of hobbies and Izzy doesn't know why. David and Rae, Izzy's brother and sister, are fighting - and again, no one knows why. And Izzy and her parents all seem to be investigating the same family, but her dad isn't allowing her to talk about it. Izzy, along with the reader, must try to piece all of this together by the end of the book. To further complicate matters, Granny Spellman is hanging around. Oh, and Izzy needs to figure out where her relationship with her boyfriend is headed, what she wants to do with the rest of her life, and how to keep from being fired.This is a delightful and fun book that kept me guessing all the way until the end. I will definitely read the remaining books (#2 through #4) in this series. Recommended if you like fun, mysterious novels with eccentric characters.(I received this book through Amazon's Vine Program.)
  • (5/5)
    P.I. Izzie Spellman somewhat has her life on track. She has been living with Henry for a couple years now but she is avoiding him because a) his mother is visiting and b) he wants to have THE talk. So Izzie busies herself with solving some mysteries around her family. One, her mother has suddenly filled up all her free time with yoga, crochet classes, Russian classes. Izzie is determined to find out why. Also, her brother David has thrown out their younger sister Rae from his house's basement apartment. But neither of them will say why.Izzie is also concerned about some cases her parents have accepted. But if she does the right thing, she risks getting fired from the family business.I have read all of the Spellman books and I am so happy I discovered this series and I hope Lutz keeps writing them. This latest offering maintains all the humor and craziness of the others. Even with Izzie showing more maturity, the series has not lost any of it's fun and uniqueness. I loved and highly recommend this book. But if you haven't read any of these books, you really do need to start at the beginning. I personally am planning a reread of them all.
  • (3/5)
    After the last entry in the series - The Spellmans Strike Again - I though it was good the series was coming to an end (that was the rumor at the time). Though Izzy and her family are funny, wacky, and completely dysfunctional, the series was becoming stale. None of the characters seemed to grow or learn from their many, many mistakes. Luckily, Lisa Lutz didn't disappoint with the newest entry.In Trail of the Spellmans, all members of the family are in fine form. They are as unpredictable, uncommunicative, and sneaky as always. But, there were also some twists: finally, Izzy, David, and Rae each practiced a little self-reflection and came to significant conclusions. It was great to see the Spellman kids grow up a bit. The resulting changes should keep the series fresh and interesting for at least a few more books.Overall, a satisfying addition to the Spellman family.
  • (5/5)
    I love this series. This is probably my favorite book of the five. A little more character development and depth, with Izzy showing some maturity and "serious side" in addition to her usual silliness. Can't wait till the next one in July.
  • (3/5)
    Just as fun as the first one. I started reading it on Saturday and finished it Monday afternoon. It's a fast read, but enjoyable at the same time.
  • (4/5)
    The Spellmans – mom Olivia, dad Albert and two daughters – are going about their business (detecting) and all is well. Or is it? Izzy (daughter #1) thinks there’s something fishy going on with a female client who wants her wealthy husband followed. Rae (daughter #2) has mixed feelings about following a female college student about her own age – at the request of her parents. And a client with obsessive-compulsive disorder wants Izzy to check to make sure all is well at his apartment. And, as usual, the family relationships are strained, convoluted and messy. The only sane person at the Spellman agency is Demetrius or “D”, who is newly out of prison after having served 15 years for a crime he didn’t commit. When Grandma Spellman moves in and joins the family circus, Olivia goes bonkers trying avoidance first, then subtle warfare. But D and Grandma are bonding. What??? Then there’s Izzy’s love life, such as it is, complicated by the arrival of her beau Henry’s mom.Readers who like their mysteries “straight” aren’t the prime targets of these delicious Spellman stories. No, they’re for people who like light, frothy and fun stories that focus as much on relationships (odd as they are) and not on detecting. I mean, who else writes voluminous footnotes and appendices in a novel but Lisa Lutz? Although I thought the story got off to a slow start, it soon picked up steam and had me laughing out loud. Bring on more of them!
  • (4/5)
    The fifth in the Spellman family series, finds private investigator Izzy Spellman and her quirky family of sleuths, engaged in a lot of weird activities—even for them. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities. Dad has a secret. Her brother and sister are at war, but neither will reveal the source of the conflict. There is one source of sanity in the Spellman household: Demetrius Merriweather, employee of the month for eighteen months straight. On top of everything Grandma Spellman has come to live with the family. On top of all the family craziness, various members of Spellman Investigation are hired to follow a variety of people—that slowly begin to overlap. I love this series. Though the mysteries are not always complicated—the family is a joy. This one did take on a few more serious changes in the relationships of the family—which I found sad but understandable. 4 out of 5 stars.
  • (5/5)
    The Spellmans are back in their typical dysfunctional way. D (Demetrius Merriweather), an ex-con introduced in Document #4, has joined the crew. We are also introduced to Sydney Spellman, David’s daughter, who seems to have her own neurotic association with bananas. Rae is sitting in trees. And Grammy Spellman is coming to live with the family, if only someone could get along with her. Investigations are starting to interfere with each other, they have to introduce a Chinese Wall. And then someone in the family will have to defeat it. There is a real shake-up brewing in the Spellman home. Investigations introduce a neurotic mathematician, someone broke into his home and made toast. Then there’s the family who want to investigate their daughter, and another man who just wants to be followed. A wife who wants to have her husband followed, and whose brother wants her followed. Naturally, Izzy has to cross everyone she meets, pushing her own luck with the company. She is still seeing ex-boyfriend #13, but for how long? This book answers a lot of questions:* Why doesn’t David seek revenge on his sister, Rae?* Has D been dating a single woman in secret? * Have D and Grammy Spellman founded a friendship, or a conspiracy?* Who broke into the mathematician’s house to make toast and do other forms of sabotage?* How can they get rid of Grammy?Just in case everything might become reasonable in the Spellmans home, they introduced nicknames. But there is little risk of functionality in this family.
  • (4/5)
    This is the fifth book in the Spellman series but only the second Spellman book I read. (I read #1 and then jumped to this one.) I thought Lutz smoothed out her writing style in the interval (the first book felt a bit disjointed). If you’re not familiar with the series, the Spellmans are a San Francisco-based family who own a private investigation business run by the Spellman parents and employing Isabel (our narrator) and sometimes Rae (the youngest daughter—in college in this book). The focus is squarely on the dysFUNction of the family (they tend to use their PI techniques to get up in each other’s business) rather than on their cases (though I did think Lutz had a better grip on the cases than in the first book).In this book, Mama Spellman is suddenly taking up hobbies and attending classes outside of the home on a regular basis and Izzy wants to know why. (The answer, when it comes, was pretty funny.) On the boyfriend front, Izzy spends more time avoiding him than being with him (and has already given him his number in the list of ex-boyfriends). Rae is in college but in a mysterious war with brother David, who has undergone a complete personality transformation since becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad. Living with the Spellmans is an ex-convict (wrongfully imprisoned) who always seems like the voice of sanity compared to the Spellmans.This is a fun series that is more about the family interaction and the humor rather than the “mysteries” of their various clients. If you already read the series, this was a worthy entry. If you’re new to the series, I’d definitely recommend it (but maybe start with the first book and work your way forward). In a way, it is similar in focus and tone to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series—except this one is smarter and more amusing!
  • (4/5)
    I remember when I first started this series. As soon as I read the first novel, I was hooked. The Spellmans were just so hilariously dysfunctional and I loved them all. It was really fun reading about Izzy and I wanted to watch her grow into a mature adult. By the end of the fourth book, she had reached a good place and it seemed like she had settled into her new life. I had mixed feelings when I found out there would be a fifth novel since I thought the fourth book ended perfectly.This book definitely still has those laugh out loud moments that Lutz is famous for. Izzy is still as insane and endearing as ever, and so is her family. I really liked the addition of Demetrius to the Spellman clan and he seemed to be a great influence on everyone.This is a solid addition to the series, but it does seem a little lacking at times. There weren’t even any Henry and Rae scenes! The whole book seems to be missing the spark and charm that I loved in the first four novels. The Spellman clan seemed so fragmented and Adult Izzie is fine to read about, but a part of me does miss Irresponsible and Reckless Izzie.I’m completely invested in this series and I adore the Spellman family. I recommend this series to anyone looking for a laugh and wanting to meet a dysfunctional and loveable family of private investigators.
  • (3/5)
    Sequel to The Spellman Files. Izzy and her dysfunctional family return for another set of humorous investigations. Izzy is obsessed with the mysterious new next-door neighbor. Rae is now a teenager and shows an occasional sign of normality, although her attachment to adult policeman Henry Stone illustrates all the things she's not getting from her parents. The story lines are negligible and serve only to give the characters space in which to be eccentric. The humor doesn't quite work for me; I didn't have any trouble finishing the book, but it will soon return to the library garage for their next book sale.
  • (4/5)
    This is the second book in the Spellman series. While I enjoy the series and the mysteries, I'm getting a little weary of the constant footnotes and bouncing around in time. It was very funny the first time, wearing a little thin this time. I'll try the next in the series and see if it still annoys me but this might be my last Lutz for a while.
  • (4/5)
    This was a great listen! Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    Curse of the Spellmans is the second book in Lisa Lutz's Spellman series. This series follows the misadventures of Izzy Spellman, an overly suspicious private investigator with a dysfunctional family (most of whom are employed by the family's p.i. firm and love to spy on one another) and a long list of ex-boyfriends. In this installment of the series, Izzy notices that all the members of her family are behaving suspiciously so she begins to keep "Suspicious Behavior Reports" on them as well as her new next door neighbor and potential ex-boyfriend. Izzy practically wears herself out trying to spy on all these different people, and leaves little time and energy for the case that she is actually being paid to investigate - the vandalism of a widow's holiday yard displays which are exact replicas of the vandalisms that occurred when Izzy was a teenager and which she insists that she knows nothing about. Through the course of trying to solve all these mysteries, she gets arrested 2 times (or 4 times, but Izzy doesn't think arrests 2 and 3 should count), loses her rent-controlled apartment, and feels inadequate for never having been in the Olympics.

    The book remains consistent with the writing style that Lutz developed in The Spellman Files, the first book in the series. It is fun and quirky, with plenty of footnotes and even an appendix containing several lists including a list of ex-boyfriends. I still found the footnotes to be a little distracting and annoying, but they did break things up a bit and added some additional interest. And I still love Izzy. She consistently makes bad choices, but they are so funny! I should add, however, that this book continues to see her grow and mature, a process that she began in the first book. I am also very excited about the development of Henry Stone's character. I can't wait to see if he and Izzy ever have a romantic relationship! The book ended with something of a shocker concerning Izzy's status with in the family business - I won't divulge it here, but I have to admit that it has me intrigued enough that I already checked the next book out from the library and plan to start it soon.
  • (4/5)
    3 1/2 stars for this one.Curse of the Spellmans is the sequel to The Spellman Files, a novel about an unconventional family that runs a private investigation firm. I really enjoyed The Spellman Files--it's light, amusing, and there is an inventive quality to the narrator, Izzy Spellman's, manner of conveying her story. Because of her training as a P.I., Izzy tells us everything in the form of case file reports and transcripts of secret recordings. What worked for the first novel lost some of its quirky charm for me in the second novel simply because I expected it. However, that is not to say that I didn't enjoy Curse of the Spellmans, because I certainly did.Izzy Spellman is now 30 years old and has spent half of her life working for her parents' private investigation firm. Because she was exposed to this lifestyle in her impressionable years, Izzy is pathologically suspicious of everyone and everything, and she lacks the ability to compartmentalize her work life and her personal life. With skills like surveillance, lock picking, on-the-spot lying, GPS tracking, and performing routine background checks, woe upon you if Izzy thinks you're hiding something from her. As one might expect, this wrecks any chance Izzy has for a normal romantic relationship. Izzy fast-forwards through the whole "getting to know you" stage of a blossoming romance in favor of gaining DOB and SSN to rummage around in the prospective romantic interest's background. This usually leads to some serious trust issues on the part of the men who fall for Izzy and, as a result, Izzy is still single. And it's just this pattern of thinking that leads her to believe that her next-door-neighbor-and-potential-future-boyfriend is hiding a criminal past behind his suspiciously average name and an even more suspiciously locked door in his home. In addition to this mystery, Izzy's family members seem to have secrets of their own and Izzy, a complete stranger to the concept of personal privacy, begins to ferret out why her brother's wife seems to have disappeared, why her mother runs suspicious errands at 2:30 a.m., why her father is rapidly losing weight, and why her loner sister suddenly has friends no one in the family has ever met.If this sounds like another light, chick-lit screwball comedy, it is. The novels don't focus on the serious investigations of the Spellman Agency and instead focus on what happens in a family trying to keep secrets and boundaries when their bread-and-butter is to cross boundaries as a routine part of discovering the secrets of others. The mysteries really don't matter. They're simply vehicles for getting to know this bizarre and dysfunctional and frequently amusing family.
  • (1/5)
    I had some hopes after reading the first book that Lutz would stop forcing her characters to be so hopelessly quirky (solely for the sake of "humor") and concentrate on the plot, but this one is even worse. And, Izzy now makes cutesy comments on her own dialogue(!). And the wildest thing she does is go out the window and down the fire escape rather than through the house and out the door and all the other characters just think she's so outrageous and craaazy. Tedious!