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The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
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The Spellman Files (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Lisa Lutz

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0771483,191 (3.84)149
Member:phoebesmum
Title:The Spellman Files
Authors:Lisa Lutz
Info:Pocket Books (2008), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:**1/2
Tags:fiction, crime, to oxfam it goes

Work details

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz (2007)

  1. 00
    A Good Man Gone by A.W. Hartoin (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar humour and banter among characters.
  2. 00
    Diver Down by A.W. Hartoin (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar kind of humour and also about a family of private investigators
  3. 00
    Bubbles a Broad by Sarah Strohmeyer (glade1)
  4. 11
    This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (bookwormteri)
    bookwormteri: Both families with lots of love, but so dysfunctional that it hurts.
  5. 00
    'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy by Leslie Langtry (infiniteletters)
  6. 11
    Heist Society by Ally Carter (infiniteletters)
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» See also 149 mentions

English (148)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (150)
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
The Spellman Files is a whole lot of fun if not at all serious. In short, it’s generally what I think of as “fluffy” or “a beach read,” with excellent character and a delicious sense of humor.

Technically, The Spellman Files is classed as a mystery, but it’s really more of a family drama. The most important case doesn’t show up until the half way mark and it’s far from the focus of the book.

Instead, The Spellman Files is the story of the Spellmans, a family who runs their own PI firm. They’re dysfunctional in many ways, but still obviously love each other, which is what makes them as likable and enjoyable as they are.

Izzy Spellman is the twenty-eight year old protagonist who’s parents founded the firm. She’s always been the family troublemaker, but she’s trying to shape up her act and clean up her own messes. Still, I found that she often read as much younger as twenty-eight, and she makes some notably stupid decisions.

Izzy’s younger sister Rae, the youngest of the Spellmans at fourteen, is probably the most important secondary character, and Rae’s quite a character! She’s addicted to sugar and does “recreational surveillance” for fun, along with blackmailing her siblings to get her own way. Rae’s a whole heap of trouble, but she’s always hilarious.

Surprisingly, Izzy’s older brother David was among the best realized characters. While the “chronically perfect” older sibling is usually not one with a whole lot of development, David came off as more realistic as most, possibly due to his desire to exist independently from his family.

Izzy has something of the same desire, which is the driving plot, if there is any. The Spellman Files is a character centered novel, no doubt. Because of it’s cast of quirky and flawed yet likable characters, it succeeded in getting me to burn the midnight oil to the finish.

If you’re looking for a deftly turned plot or heightened suspense, The Spellman Files is not the book for you. But if you’re in search of a story about the oddities of families, go no farther.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Dec 1, 2014 |
[Note: I listened to an abridged version of this book on audio.]

Meet Izzy Spellman, a woman with a checkered past and an unusual family business: private investigation. They take it to extremes, including spying on each other on a regular basis. When Izzy realizes that she can never have a normal life unless she leaves, her parents/bosses send her on one last assignment: a 15-year-old missing-persons case. The whole thing is very funny, especially Izzy's commentary on her past transgressions, but the ending takes a dark turn and comes across as very strange. I suppose it might have been leading up to a sequel, but on its own it left me a little bit unsure as to how I felt about things. But up until that point it was a lot of fun. ( )
  melydia | Sep 19, 2014 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Sep 9, 2014 |
Probably a good readalike for those who like Janet Evanovich. Same type of quirky characters. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
A fun frolic with lots of twists and turns. Great characters crazy plot page-turning unique read. Good for summer time light reading. Lighter more down to earth version of Jasper Fforde and Terry Pratchett. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
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I duck into the parking garage, hoping to escape.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743295153, Paperback)

New. Free tracking. Fast shipment.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:25 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Izzy Spellman launches her career as a private investigator while working for the firm of her outlandishly dysfunctional family.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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