Trail of the Spellmans (Spellman Files Series #5) [NOOK Book]

Overview

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SPELLMAN HISTORY, Isabel Spellman, PI, might be the most normal member of her family. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities—with no apparent motive. Dad has a secret. Izzy’s brother and sister are at war—for no apparent reason. And her niece keeps saying “banana” even though she hates bananas. That’s not to say that Izzy isn’t without her own troubles. Her boyfriend, Henry Stone, keeps wanting “to talk,” a prospect Isabel evades by going out with her new ...
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Trail of the Spellmans (Spellman Files Series #5)

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Overview

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SPELLMAN HISTORY, Isabel Spellman, PI, might be the most normal member of her family. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities—with no apparent motive. Dad has a secret. Izzy’s brother and sister are at war—for no apparent reason. And her niece keeps saying “banana” even though she hates bananas. That’s not to say that Izzy isn’t without her own troubles. Her boyfriend, Henry Stone, keeps wanting “to talk,” a prospect Isabel evades by going out with her new drinking buddy, none other than Gertrude Stone, Henry’s mother. Things aren’t any simpler on the business side of Spellman Investigations. First, Rae is hired to follow a girl, but then fakes the surveillance reports. Then a math professor hires Izzy to watch his immaculate apartment while he unravels like a bad formula. And as the questions pile up, Izzy won’t stop hunting for the answers—even when they threaten to shatter both the business and the family.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Three cases, all surveillance operations, start out routinely enough but prove anything but in Lutz’s engaging fifth novel featuring San Francisco PI Isabel “Izzy” Spellman and her eccentric family of investigators (after 2010’s The Spellmans Strike Again). A wife wants her husband followed; a brother wants his sister observed; and parents hire the Spellmans to keep tabs on their Berkeley freshman daughter. Things soon become more complicated as unexpected connections crop up among the initially unrelated cases. Meanwhile, siblings Rae and David are at war over an incident neither will discuss; mother Olivia is overbooked with strange new hobby classes; father Albert makes a major decision without informing his children; and Izzy, loathe to discuss her personal life, refuses to define her relationship with boyfriend Henry Stone. Lutz’s dry, biting humor is in full force, yet there’s more than a hint of melancholy to be found in Izzy’s increasingly solitary pursuits. Agent: Stephanie Kip Rostan, Levine Greenberg. (Mar.)
Booklist
“A wise (and wise-cracking) choice for mystery readers seeking a break from the genre’s bloodier fare.”
Laura Lippman
Hilarious, but also tender and melancholy and full of hard-won wisdom. This one's going to stay with readers for a long time."
From the Publisher
Hilarious, but also tender and melancholy and full of hard-won wisdom. This one's going to stay with readers for a long time."

“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.”

Library Journal
The Spellmans make a business out of quirkiness, and they're running at full tilt in title number five (after The Spellmans Strike Again). Izzy's the one who must maintain order. [See Prepub Alert, 8/26/11.]
Kirkus Reviews
America's most dysfunctional family of detectives (The Spellmans Strike Again, 2010, etc.) are up to their deerstalkers in another gaggle of featherweight cases. Even though the Spellmans have assigned themselves animal nicknames to make coded communications among themselves easier, they still can't conduct coherent conversations. Adam Cooper wants Isabel, the Gopher, to follow his sister Meg. Margaret Slayter wants Izzy's father Albert, the Tortoise, to follow her husband Edward. Harvey Blake wants Izzy's kid sister Rae, the Weasel, to follow his daughter Vivien. Walter Perkins, convinced that something will go wrong in his house every time he leaves, wants Izzy to keep checking on it. Izzy's mother Olivia, the Eagle, can't follow anyone because she's immersed herself in so many crazy hobbies (pottery, yoga, crocheting, Russian). Sydney, the 18-month-old niece of Izzy's brother David, is too young to follow anyone, but not too young to call everything she sees or wants "banana." Just in case this sitcom zaniness seems incomplete, there'll be unexpected roles for Gertrude Stone, mother of San Francisco police inspector Henry Stone, whom Izzy presciently refers to as "Ex-boyfriend #13" even as she's sleeping with him, and for Al's mother Ruth, the inimitable Grammy Spellman, along dozens of Izzy's winking footnotes, which are likely to leave readers first amused, then bemused, then sleepy. Through it all, the clients and their trifling mysteries are hard-pressed to compete for attention with the regulars, who spend far more time battling each other than battling evildoers. Lutz's title couldn't be more apt.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451608144
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Series: Spellman Files Series , #5
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 32,628
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Lisa Lutz is the author of the New York Times bestselling, Edgar Award- and Macavity Award-nominated, and Alex Award-winning Spellman series. She is the coauthor of Heads You Lose, written with David Hayward. She lives and works in upstate New York.
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Read an Excerpt


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.

“Excuse me?”

“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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Exciting book

    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!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2012

    The Saga Continues

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    Don't get in a nook book

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Best of the series!

    This book was by far the most entertaining and best written of the five books in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    A Complete Reversal

    I LOVED the Spellman books 1-4. I thought they were hilarious, and had characters that were both fun and interesting. The author spent 4 books writing about the Spellmans and moving their relationships forward. Book 4 really seemed to wrap up the series in a nice bow, so I was surprised to find out that there was a book 5. After reading it, I almost feel that the author was also surprised. It's almost like she realized that if she wanted to continue the series, she had to unwind almost everything she did in Book 4. While I still enjoyed that author's writing style, I was very disappointed to see most of the characters take a big step backwards.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2012

    If you are a fan of the series its a must read!

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    Fun

    Irreverant and fun,always sad for these to end

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Side-splitting Funny!

    The fun and mayhem continue. You won't want to put it down until you're done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Funny series

    I love the Spellman books. Read them all and can't wait or the next one.

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  • Posted August 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fans of the earlier adventures of the irrepressible Spellman fa

    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
    all around!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    I have enjoyed every one of the books in this series. They are

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Hilarious!

    Just as funny as her other Spellman books. Enjoyed it very much.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2012

    Great book...Great series!

    Another great book in the Spellman series. I recommend reading them all in order to get background on the family. I can't wait to see what happens next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Boring

    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.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 5, 2012

    Laugh out loud

    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  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    great read!!!!!!!

    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  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 3, 2012

    Fun read

    Love the whole series, very clever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Wickedly Delightful

    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.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Recommend it

    Fun book. This series isn't great literature but it is an enjoyable and entertaining read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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