The Spellman Files

The Spellman Files

Book - 2007
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From the award-winning author of The Passenger comes the first novel in the hilarious Spellman Files mystery series featuring Isabel "Izzy" Spellman (part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry) and her highly functioning yet supremely dysfunctional family of private investigators.

Meet Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors--but the upshot is she's good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family's firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people's privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman.

Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. Duties include: completing assignments from the bosses, aka Mom and Dad (preferably without scrutiny); appeasing her chronically perfect lawyer brother (often under duress); setting an example for her fourteen-year-old sister, Rae (who's become addicted to "recreational surveillance"); and tracking down her uncle (who randomly disappears on benders dubbed "Lost Weekends"). But when Izzy's parents hire Rae to follow her (for the purpose of ascertaining the identity of Izzy's new boyfriend), Izzy snaps and decides that the only way she will ever be normal is if she gets out of the family business. But there's a hitch: she must take one last job before they'll let her go--a fifteen-year-old, ice-cold missing person case. She accepts, only to experience a disappearance far closer to home, which becomes the most important case of her life.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2007
ISBN: 9781416532408
Branch Call Number: Suspense F Lut


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Apr 24, 2018

Witty, face-paced Private Detective story with a dysfunctional family full of people I'd love to call friends. Perfect summer reading. (I read it in one day, sitting in the shade on our first lovely day of the year.) HIGHLY recommended light reading with no sex and no violence, just interesting, well written characters and strong female characters who don't make men look dumb.

DCLadults Apr 05, 2018

I enjoyed the family dynamic of this one. Lots of quirky and funny interactions that added a unique, delightfully bizarre feel. Though the mystery was rather anticlimactic I can see how this series has promise. A lot like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series.

Jul 28, 2017

More comedy than mystery. Funny characters and even funnier writing. Be sure to read all the footnotes!

Nov 28, 2016

(The first book in the Izzy Spellman Mysteries series)

Nov 18, 2016

An okay read. Goofy story of a goofily dysfunctional family in the Private Detective business. First of a series – in this one the oldest daughter can move out if she solves a cold case involving a teenager lost on a camping trip. A sort of a Cozy with Young Adult overtones.

Jun 11, 2016

Hilarious, quirky, unusual, unique...I highly recommend this first in a series about a family of private investigators, in which the mystery is the subplot and not the main attraction.

Dec 07, 2015

Isabel “Izzy” Spellman is 28 years old. She works as a licensed private investigator for her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Her approach to her work is part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry. The files of her personal life are largely made up of romantic mistakes, excessive drinking and creative vandalism.
The Spellman family finds it impossible to leave work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; to tail a Spellman; to dig up dirt on a Spellman; to wiretap and blackmail a Spellman.
Izzy’s parents, Albert and Olivia, take their role as private investigators to heart, and have no regard for personal privacy. The two of them met during a stakeout. They think nothing of placing their daughter under 24-hour surveillance to find out if she has a new boyfriend.
Sibling relationships within the Spellman family are equally complicated. Throughout Izzy’s childhood, she envied her overachieving, all-too-perfect older brother David. Today, he is a successful lawyer who believes anything can be negotiated. This penchant towards bargaining and bartering has been an integral influence on their younger sister, Rae.
The first installment of the Spellman series focuses on 14-year-old Rae’s growing addiction to “recreational surveillance” and efforts to track down her uncle and namesake, Uncle Ray, who randomly disappears on benders dubbed “Lost Weekends.”
From the moment I started listening to this series as a book-on-cd, I became fascinated with the quirky cast of characters. The plotline twists and turns in unexpected ways, which kept me guessing regarding how all of the seemingly unconnected storylines might be intertwined. At the end of each installment in this series, the puzzle pieces come together and make perfect sense.
Spellman Files will appeal to those who like humor and mystery. It is mesmerizing from start to finish, and often laugh-out-loud funny. As a protagonist, Izzy is like a grown up Harriet the Spy. If you were a fan of the early books in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plumb series, you are sure to enjoy this.

Available in hardback, paperback, large print, nonmusical sound recording and audio ebook. (LD)

Oct 25, 2015

I wouldn't have minded if this book had been 150 pages shorter.

Jul 20, 2015

I couldn't get past the first 15 pages. Returned it unread. I will not be adding this author to my list of favorites.

Dec 31, 2014

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz, which is slated to become a movie in 2011. is actually the first of three and potentially a fourth book in the Spellman family series. Meet Izzy who had the fortune, or misfortune, to grow up in a private detective family that finds nothing wrong with using their private eye skills on one another. Hired to find out if a woman’s ex-boyfriend is gay, Izzy meets the handsome and charming dentist Daniel Castillo. Sleuthing out the fact that Daniel is in fact not gay, Izzy soon hopes for him to become Ex-Boyfriend #9, but she must maintain this relationship in secret. Of course secrets never stop the Spellman folks and pretty soon Albert and Olivia Spellman hire their 14-year- old daughter Rae to do surveillence on Izzy because nothing rumples up Mrs. Spellman more than a dentist. Add Izzy’s perfect brother, her crazy Uncle Ray, candy binges, blackmail, and missing persons — this is one family that you might be thankful you don’t have!

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