Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

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.

The fifth "document" in the Spellman series is right on par with the first four - tangled, clever and a hoot!  Izzy Spellman is a mix of the best parts of Stephanie Plum and Harriet the Spy.  Her entire life is mysteries and cover-ups - at least from her point of view.  What most families would solve with a few direct questions, the Spellmans solve with stake-outs, bribery and recording devices.

I thought Document 4 was going to be the final installment, so I was thrilled to hear about #5.  I hope there are many more to come. I would recommend that you read the five books in order because they build heavily on each other but, most importantly, read all five books.  


  1. Every time I go to Half Price Books, I try to find these but I have yet to find the first one and I know you always say to start with the first. I'll have to keep looking - I think my pile of books to sell is big enough for a trip soon.

  2. I went from #1 to #5 and wish I hadn't. I'm sure lots happened in between. You're right … she is a cross between Stephanie Plum and Harriet the Spy!