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Review: Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

30 Jul

Cover: The Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa LutzMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Spellmans are one of the most hilariously dysfunctional (but overall loving) families around. When the family business is private investigation, the kids are likely to grow up a bit warped…

Summary via Goodreads:

FOR THE FIRST TIME in Spellman history, Isabel Spellman, PI, might be the most normal member of her family. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities—with no apparent motive. Dad has a secret. Izzy’s brother and sister are at war—for no apparent reason. And her niece keeps saying “banana” even though she hates bananas. That’s not to say that Izzy isn’t without her own troubles. Her boyfriend, Henry Stone, keeps wanting “to talk,” a prospect Isabel evades by going out with her new drinking buddy, none other than Gertrude Stone, Henry’s mother. 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 math professor hires Izzy to watch his immaculate apartment while he unravels like a bad formula. And as the questions pile up, Izzy won’t stop hunting for the answers—even when they threaten to shatter both the business and the family.

I think it might have been best if I had read books 2-4 in this series, or, failing that, hadn’t actually read book 1. I spent quite a chunk of mental energy trying to remember what I knew from Trail of the Spellmans, and figure out how the characters got from there to here.

But I did enjoy reading this book, although more for the characters (all the kids are grown up now) and the family drama (Grandma adds to the mix) than the mysteries.

Thinking back on the OCD college professor, the man who was clearly NOT having an affair, the college student with somewhat overprotective parents… the cases were interesting enough, but they won’t be what I remember about Trail of the Spellmans.

What I’ll remember is Isabel following her sister Rae to see exactly what is (or isn’t) happening with the above mentioned college student, Isabel following her client and running headfirst into her father on the trail of one of his cases, the investigation into why brother David is so upset with sister Rae (and why he isn’t taking revenge (and how his daughter’s fascination with the word “banana” fits in)), the relationship between Isabel’s mother and her mother-in-law, and the incredible techniques the entire family have developed to avoid confrontation.

I’m planning on filling in the gaps in my reading, and I’d recommend the series, although not necessarily starting with this book.

I obtained this book from the publisher for review.

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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in books, reviews

 

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One response to “Review: Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

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