Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “lisa lutz”

Bothari’s #CBR4 Review #30: The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Isabel Spellman works as a private investigator for her parents, who are also PIs. Uncle Ray helps out sometimes, and much-younger sister Rae is a surveillance expert, and would love to help out more than she’s allowed. The story weaves back and forth between work stuff (cases worked on, snapshots into detecting and surveillurating – TM Shawn Spencer) and family stuff (the brother who left the family business to become a lawyer, Isabel’s list of ex-boyfriends, Rae’s childhood). I liked most of the Spellmans, and I found the family history interesting, but I really didn’t like Rae. So when she goes missing and the rest of the family is tearing the state apart trying to find her, I found it hard to care. She’s kind of an awful child, and I’m not sure I’d want her back if she were my sister. It sounds terrible, but the Spellmans know they’re not exactly a normal family and I don’t think they’d be offended. Blackmail, extortion, breaking each others’ headlights and taillights to make it easier to follow them…they’ve done it all.

I liked the family enough to read the next book, but I’ll do some checking first and make sure it’s not all about Rae.

HelloKatieO’s #CBR4 Review #21: Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

This is document 5 in Lisa Lutz’s Spellman series, and it was wonderful. For those of you haven’t been introduced to the wonderfully dysfunctional family of private investigators, the Spellmans, I recommend starting with document 1, The Spellman Files. It’s not necessary, because the book contains an appendix reviewing all the major players, but it helps. Lutz introduces a few new characters in this book (an ex-con, Demetrius, their grandmother, Henry’s mom) and brings back some of our favorite old players (Bernie, Fred).

These books are just funny. Laugh out loud funny. There’s an appropriate level of romance, with Isabel’s on again/of again relationship with the (probable) love of her life, Henry the cop. There’s quirk, but not reaching New Girl levels of quirkiness. The family is goofy, the things they do to each other in a never ending series of revenge stunts are ludicrous, and there’s usually some kind of mystery tossed in for good measure.


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