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“Engaging….Lutz’s dry, biting humor is in full force.”
“A wise (and wise-cracking) choice for mystery readers seeking a break from the genre’s bloodier fare.”
THE MAN IN THE LIBRARY
For reasons that will forever remain a mystery, my sister scheduled the client meeting at the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library—specifically, the government section, which is low traffic, offering privacy for a new client intake. The file was left on my desk with all the relevant details, including the time and place of the meeting and a brief description of the client: male, five feet eleven, brown hair, brown eyes, fortyish, average in every way (apparently his own description). The only other detail in the newly minted file was the client’s contact information and his name: Adam Cooper.
I arrived early, sat down at one of the glass-encased study desks, and read the same page of a chess theory book that I had been reading over and over again. When I heard footsteps approach, I immediately stuffed the book in my bag. The last thing I needed was to get ensnared in a long-winded discussion on chess strategy when I don’t know any.
Adam Cooper was indeed average in every way—the kind of guy who could confound a police lineup by virtually blending into the wall. That’s not to say that Mr. Cooper’s face was entirely void of character, but the character surfaced at unsuspected times. The only other thing worth mentioning was that he wore a navy-blue sweater vest. Any time someone under the age of sixty wears a sweater vest it’s worthy of comment.
“Are you the Gopher?” he asked me with an ironic grin.
“The woman who confirmed the appointment said that I should ask you that question to be sure I was meeting the right individual.”
“You are meeting the right person,” I said.
I’d never been asked that specific question before—“Are you the Gopher?”—but I had a feeling where it originated from. And I can assure you that the originator was going to suffer the consequences.
“Why do they call you the Gopher?” he asked, smiling. And here, a spark of character surfaced, teeth short and crooked in a way that made him seem friendlier. Maybe it was the sweater vest he wore, or the goofy boat shoes, or the way his bangs hung a little too low on his face. If pressed at the time, the one word I would have used to describe Adam was “harmless.”
“Call me Isabel,” I replied.
“Is that your real name?”
“No. It’s ‘the Gopher.’ But I use ‘Isabel’ professionally,” I said.
“That makes sense,” Adam replied, taking a seat. “So, Mr. Cooper.”
“Call me Adam.”
“Adam, how can I help you?”
“I want you to follow my sister.”
© 2012 Spellman Enterprises, Inc.
Posted November 14, 2011
I'm not all the way through the sample, but so far it's amazing. I'm so excited for when the book comes out!!!! I lisa lutz's writing!!!
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Posted March 7, 2012
This book could be subtitled, "Izzy Grows Up." While the antics of the Spellman family continue, this book has an underlying seriousness as circumstances change for everyone in the family. I think the added gravity takes the series in a good direction, still humorous, but not as frivolous as the earlier books. I look forward to the next installment.
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Posted March 2, 2012
The footnotes can become tedious in a normal book but in the nook book format, when you have to go back and forth to the end of the book in order to decipher them, it's downright irritating. They need to figure out another way to hole them or just drop them altogether.
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Posted September 7, 2012
Posted March 23, 2012
Lisa Lutz is awesome. Document 5 introduces you to two more crazy characters and gives you closure on one. Grammy Spellman shows up to shake the Spellman house up, and Henry Stone's mother shows us why Henry is a tedious person. Fast and fun read!
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Posted December 23, 2013
Posted June 14, 2013
Posted February 9, 2013
Posted August 21, 2012
Fans of the earlier adventures of the irrepressible Spellman family who
thought the series ended with #4, The Spellmans Strike Again, will be
delighted with this new entry. For those who haven’t met these
characters before, it would be best to start with the first book, The
Spellman Files, but feel free to jump right in with this one and then
catch up on the others later if you want to. There are a few references
to earlier cases but not enough to make the new reader wonder too much
about backstory. The Spellmans are a family of very eccentric private
detectives, and Isabel is wondering if she might now be the only
somewhat rational one in the bunch. Her sister and non-detecting
brother are fighting over something big, the same brother and
sister-in-law expect non-maternal Izzy to babysit, mom is taking all
sorts of seemingly random outside classes and dad is clearly up to
something he doesn’t want the rest of them to know about. As usual,
everybody in the family is spying on each other because they simply
can’t resist detecting. On the business side of things, Izzy, Rae and
dad all have some strange cases and they seem to be getting stranger as
time goes by. For instance, what on earth is up with the guy who wants
Izzy to make sure horrible things don’t happen to his apartment when
he’s not there? In the romance department, Izzy’s trying to avoid her
boyfriend Henry’s attempts to “talk” and finds herself spending drinking
time with a very unexpected new buddy. Is Henry about to become
ex-boyfriend #13? And Demetrius, the ex-con who was innocently
incarcerated for years and now works for the Spellmans as a sort of
home/office manager, is actually embarrassed by the family. We’ve had
to wait too long for this installment but Ms. Lutz has lost none of her
touch with wacky humor and sharpness of pace. It’s rare to read a page
without smiling about something the Spellmans are up to and, as goofy as
some of their cases are, the author manages to make the reader want to
know what’s going to happen next in the investigative department. Along
with all the zaniness, though, there are signs that Izzy is finding a
little maturity in herself and it will be interesting to see where the
author takes her in the future. A side note: one of the pleasures of
these books is the footnotes and, while they work very well in the print
and audio editions (I have both), not so much in ebooks because they’re
all gathered at the end. Just be prepared to flip back and forth—make
use of your bookmarks. Trail of the Spellmans is for the mystery reader
who likes a little romance, a lot of humor, and a scattering of puzzling
activity and is a very worthy addition to the series I hope will
continue for years to come. It looks like her next book is a standalone
and then there will be at least two more in the Spellman saga. Good news
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Posted July 28, 2012
I have enjoyed every one of the books in this series. They are wry and humorous. I was a little let down as Isabel's little sister hardly appeared in this story and she has long been one of my favorite characters.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 20, 2012
Posted April 20, 2012
Posted April 9, 2012
This book is boring in my opinion. It starts nowhere and continues to spin its wheels. Not worth the money to purchase or time to read it.
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Posted April 9, 2012
Posted April 5, 2012
I always enjoy Lisa Lutz's books and have a laugh out loud fun time reading them. Enjoyed seeing how she is aging all the usual suspects. Not rocket science, but definitely fun.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 4, 2012
I have read all of the Spellman books and they are fabulous!!! I recommend them to everyone. It will be slightly confusing if you read this one before starting with the 1st. It can be done though. Enjoy!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 3, 2012
Posted March 31, 2012
The Spellmans are back and I’m enjoying the party. Isabel chronicles her family daily activities with their clients and with each other and oh my goodness, the hilarious antics and dialogue continues to entertain me in this well-written and fast-paced tale. The quirky and dysfunctional family have all grown up, well, at least the illusion exists, as they try to one-up one another as they tackle their case load with the normalcy that is their style. Welcome back Spellmans and I can’t wait for the next installment in this wickedly delightful and amusing series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2012
Posted March 30, 2012