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The Spellman Files
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First novelist Lutz introduces a comical mystery series with this book, which features the Spellman family of private eyes. Twenty-eight-year-old Isabel "Izzy" Spellman has a problem with her bosses at Spellman Investigations, namely, her parents. The family business consists of Albert and Olivia, Izzy, and precocious 14-year-old daughter Rae, named after another member of the business, Uncle Ray. Rae's primary job within the firm is keeping track of Izzy for her parents; Izzy had been a problem child, and they fear she may lapse at any moment. The eldest of the Spellman children, David, an attorney, isn't part of the firm but is often called upon to negotiate among family members. The Spellmans spend a lot of time surveilling each other as they all try to find out who is doing what and to, or with, whom. Christina Moore does a good job reading; each character's voice has a unique nuance that makes it easy to follow the person speaking. Recommended for public libraries.-Deb West, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Cracking the case can get complicated and outrageously wacky when a family of detectives is involved, but Lutz has a blast doing it in her delicious debut. Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, a San Francisco PI who began working for Spellman Investigations at age 12, could easily pass as Buffy or Veronica Mars's wiser but funnier older sister. Izzy digs TV, too, especially Get Smart (an ex-boyfriend's ownership of the complete bootlegged DVD set is his major selling point). Now 28, Izzy thinks she wants out, but elects to take on a cold case while dealing with 14-year-old sister Rae, a nightmarish Nancy Drew, and parents who have no qualms about bugging their children's bedrooms. At times the dialogue-heavy text reads like a script and the action flags, but these are quibbles. When Rae suddenly disappears, Izzy and her family must learn some serious lessons in order to find her. Can the family that snoops together stay together? Stay tuned as a dynamic new series unfolds. 150,000 first printing. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Fast-paced, irreverent, and very funny, The Spellman Files is like Harriet the Spy for grown-ups."

-- Curtis Sittenfeld, author of The Man of My Dreams and Prep


"Hilarious. My enjoyment of The Spellman Files was only slightly undercut by my irritation that I hadn't written it myself. The funniest book I've read in years!"

-- Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada and Everyone Worth Knowing


"The Spellman Files is hilarious, outrageous, and hip. Izzy Spellman, P.I., is a total original, with a voice so fresh and real, you want more, more, more. At long last, we know what Nancy Drew would have been like had she come from a family of lovable crackpots. Lisa Lutz has created a delicious comedy with skill and truth. I loved it."

-- Adriana Trigiani, author of Lucia, Lucia and Big Stone Gap


"A spirited, funny debut...a rush of humor and chaos...casual, swift, and hip...A fresh story that works real issues through an offbeat premise."

-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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