Customer Reviews for

The Spellman Files (Spellman Files Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 424 )
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(28)

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(18)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

Fine Funny Family Frolic

'The Spellman Files' is the story told by private investigator Izzy Spellman, less about her work as an investigator (work she is trying to quit), and more about her role stuck in a family of private investigators. The book is about the characters in the family, and ho...
'The Spellman Files' is the story told by private investigator Izzy Spellman, less about her work as an investigator (work she is trying to quit), and more about her role stuck in a family of private investigators. The book is about the characters in the family, and how they negotiate a life in which each member is driven to keep secrets by the fact that the family invariably works to pry those secrets loose. Readers of light mysteries will like this book, as will readers of 'chick-lit' -- but I am, as a rule, a reader of neither, and I recommend the book highly. The word 'frolic' in my title is there for the alliteration, and the book is frolicsome for most of its length, but the word is misleading, because by the end the story accumulates real emotional weight and is about real things about the relationships among family members.

posted by Anonymous on September 13, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing

I bought this book based on the reviews but I'm not sure I read the same book. Whoever compared this book to a Janet Evanovich has obviously never read one. I kept thinking it had to get better. It didn't. There was no plot and not very amusing either.

posted by Anonymous on April 10, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2007

    Fine Funny Family Frolic

    'The Spellman Files' is the story told by private investigator Izzy Spellman, less about her work as an investigator (work she is trying to quit), and more about her role stuck in a family of private investigators. The book is about the characters in the family, and how they negotiate a life in which each member is driven to keep secrets by the fact that the family invariably works to pry those secrets loose. Readers of light mysteries will like this book, as will readers of 'chick-lit' -- but I am, as a rule, a reader of neither, and I recommend the book highly. The word 'frolic' in my title is there for the alliteration, and the book is frolicsome for most of its length, but the word is misleading, because by the end the story accumulates real emotional weight and is about real things about the relationships among family members.

    21 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A new kind of Stephanie Plum

    Very similar to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. This first book introduces you to who the Spellman's are. Guaranteed a few laughs. Leaves a lot of potential for future novels.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    A reviewer

    My girlfriend suggested this book. I loved it. Fast reading - great characters,good story. I loved it so much I am now reading her second book.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is a fun private investigative chick lit tale

    In San Francisco Isabel Spellman has worked in the family business since she was twelve years old. However, the down side of being part of a family of private investigators is that your nosy parents have access to check into her dates though she is now twenty-eight years old. Still working for Spellman Investigations is an easy way to make a living.-------------- However, to the shock of her siblings, her Uncle Ray and her parents, Izzy falls in love with a dentist of all things worse a Bush loving dentist. Her parents worry she is setting a bad example for her fourteen years old younger sister Rae who is the Bay area¿s greatest barterer. He older brother David the attorney is pleased to a degree with a dentist as he figures on discounts though he has not sunk his teeth into the man's background. However, Uncle Ray has vanished again so this no time to think about love as Izzy is assigned as always to find him. Rae is hired to follow Izzy to uncover the identity of the mystical dentist while Izzy is assigned a cold case to resolve. Life is normal amidst the Spellmans until Rae vanishes and the get Smart tapes must go on pause.--------------- This is a fun private investigative chick lit tale that will have readers chuckling at the antics of the zaniest family since the Sycamores rooted their shtick in You Can't Take It with You. The story line is driven by Izzy as she drives everyone around her dizzy with her antics. Fans of lighthearted amusing capers will appreciate this interesting thriller that showcases a grown up Nancy Drew trying to get a life outside her bugging family.-------------- Harriet Klausner

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    I Loved this book.

    The Spellman Files is absolutely hilarious. Lisa Lutz charecter "Izzy" has an absolutely great personality and a nice wry sense of humor.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    Just when I was ready to give up on this book and write it off as a disappointment, Lutz kicked things into gear. I was halfway through it and the plot--or what I thought was the plot: i.e., finding Rae--had not started. I grew tired of some of the schemes and all the car chases. Some of those could have been eliminated. However, the book was so hilarious I was compelled to keep reading. And I'm glad I did. The genius of the book was the way the true plot was revealed in the last two chapters. It was almost like a rosebud finally opening up. Everything just came together so subtly. It was an excellent book and I look forward to more in this series.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book has something for everyone. Complicated family relationships, several story lines and lots of laughs and heartfelt trauma/drama along the way. I can¿t wait to read the next installment detailing the Spellman family adventures!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    Kept me Laughing!!!!!!

    I've read hundreds of myteries over the years, but none with the dry wit of Isabel Spellman. Her comments and personality had me laughing and smiling through the whole book......the way she handled situations was hysterical........totally entertaining. I look forward to reading 'The Curse of the Spellmans'......I've come to love the Spellman family and their antics!!! (I originally read this book because I work in a library at Spellman H.S. in the Bronx....I'm glad that it caught my attention......thank you Miss Lutz.)

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2007

    Loved it!

    I'll admit that, at the very beginning, I had to get used to the style of this author, but it was worth the effort (just a couple of chapters!). It was very funny, creative and intelligently written. As for the Janet Evanovich comparison, I found myself thinking that Ms. Evanovich should read this one to possibly get her thinking about originality. The last few of hers have been so tired. I look forward to another installment of the Spellmans.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    The cover is awesome. The story had me hooked. Great Read!

    The cover is awesome. The story had me hooked. Great Read!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    The Spellman Smiles

    I thought this book was great! I could not stop laughing! The entertainment I found in this book was unsurpassed by many other books I've read. Other than the brilliant comedic performance by the Spellman clan this book teaches you something everyone knows but never can truly admit. You family is your family, you cannot escape them via car chase or brilliant disguise. Your life is what you make it, even if you choose to pass out on front porches. And love is not easy, every lawyer isnt for you and a clean background check does not mean a healthy relationship. I look forward to more books from this incredible woman.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Great!

    The Spellman family is hilarious. I will be reading more from this author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Smart, hilarious, shocking, endearing.

    This book had me laughing out loud, shaking my head in disbelief, and crying. I loved it. I love a female lead who has flaws as well as strengths. I thought I needed a vampire and a bad-ass female lead to enjoy a book. I was wrong. I needed Izzy Spellman and her crazy disfunctional family to really entertain me. I'm hooked!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2007

    I am a SpellMan Family FaN

    This is a Very Enjoyable-Read (worth more than a few laughs-out-loud) but I did wish that some of the story had been edited a little tighter....and some of the other characters brought out more...But I do look forward to more Spellman Family adventures in San Francisco....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2007

    Disappointing

    I bought this book based on the reviews but I'm not sure I read the same book. Whoever compared this book to a Janet Evanovich has obviously never read one. I kept thinking it had to get better. It didn't. There was no plot and not very amusing either.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Wrong in all the right ways!

    I fell in love with the Spellmans (and their author) within the first 50 pages. Well written and laugh out loud funny, this quirky family is the one you're glad you never had, but somehow wish you did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    O

    Hhsss

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    WHAT AGE IS IT GOOD FOR??????????????????????

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Dysfunctional family of Private Investigators

    As Lisa Lutz puts it herself in her recent WSJ article-2-18-12; ignore the rules when writing. Visit her online and one can tell she's equally adept at creating her own strong image by the things she says on her website. I thought the concept was very original but the writing is better suited for a younger crowd-perhaps YA. Short chapters, funny footnotes and a narrator who has a snarky tone. Lutz is obviously a talented writer; because all you have to do is read the reviews on the back cover of this book and the other four in the series; Kirkus, Publishers Weekly among others give it high marks. But I was hoping for more as an adult reader.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2009

    More Quirky than Good

    This is just an OK effort by a writer who is better than that. When the quirkiness of the characters is the most outstanding trait of the story, there just isn't enough to capture the reader's attention and keep it. Nothing about this book kept me going through it to the end except the expectation that the (usually entertaining) author had something really good in store for me if I was patient enough to get to it. I was wrong.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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