Their first caper, The Spellman Files, was a New York Times best seller and earned comparisons to the books of Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich. Now the Spellmans, a highly functioning yet supremely dysfunctional family of private investigators, return in a sidesplittingly funny story of suspicion, surveillance, and surprise.
When Izzy Spellman, PI, is arrested for the fourth time in three months, she writes it off as a job hazard. She's been (obsessively) keeping surveillance on a suspicious next door neighbor (suspect's name: John Brown), convinced he's up to no good - even if her parents (the management at Spellman Investigations) are not.
When the (displeased) management refuses to bail Izzy out, it is Morty, Izzy's octogenarian lawyer, who comes to her rescue. But before he can build a defense, he has to know the facts. Over weak coffee and diner sandwiches, Izzy unveils the whole truth and nothing but the truth - as only she, a 30-year-old licensed professional, can.
When not compiling Suspicious Behavior Reports on all her family members, staking out her neighbor, or trying to keep her sister, Rae, from stalking her "best friend", Inspector Henry Stone, Izzy has been busy attempting to apprehend the copycat vandal whose attacks on Mrs. Chandler's holiday lawn tableaux perfectly and eerily match a series of crimes from 1991-92, when Izzy and her best friend, Petra, happened to be at their most rebellious and delinquent. As Curse of the Spellmans unfolds, it's clear that Morty may be on retainer, but Izzy is still very much on the case...er, cases...her own and that of every other Spellman family member.
(Re)meet the Spellmans, a family in which eavesdropping is a mandatory skill, locks are meant to be picked, past missteps are never forgotten, and blackmail is the preferred form of negotiation - all in the name of unconditional love.
©2008 Spellman Enterprises, Inc.; (P)2008 Simon and Schuster Inc.
I listened to these books out of sequence, I first listened to the later books ready by Christina Moore. The story and maybe more importantly the performance of these books was hilarious. Ms. Moore;s dead pan deliver is spot on for this character. Now, we come to Ari Graynor, who sounds like a high school English Lit student reading her paper aloud to the class. No inflection, no dramatic performance, just....blah. i made the mistake of purchasing these two books without listening to her. Lesson learned. I don't know if I'll be able to finish them.
Why abridged? Why this terrible narrator? I love this series and I've listened to it several times since I purchased, regularly skipping over this book and the next because the performances are so terrible. I listened to it recently just to give it another shot. Unbearable. Luckily I was able to find at least book 3 (Revenge of the Spellmans) read by Christina Moore on Amazon. Loading up the 8 CDs worth of tracks is worth it to not have to listen to Ari again. If a Christina Moore version of this book exists, please please please make it available. This sucks.
Oh Izzy, Izzy, Izzy. You have to be really stubborn or hungry for the answers to get arrested four times in one month. That takes talent.
Just as funny as the first book, I enjoyed following Izzy as she sleuthed her way to the answers, trying to figure out what her neighbor is up to, why her father is taking yoga classes, and where her mom goes in the middle of the night. And as before, I enjoyed her sassy attitude and straight-forward insight. Looking forward to the next read.
"If people really grew up, there would be no crime, no divorce, no Civil War reenactors....it's not like you think it will be, that one day you'll wake up and realize that you've got things figured out. You never figure it out. Ever."
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
As a follow up to the introductory novel, this book was just OK. I still enjoyed getting to know the Spellmans.
This is the family you'll love to...observe at a distance. You hope you never have to meet them, but still can appreciate their quirkiness. Once again there are several good chuckles and creative story lines. Sometimes though you wonder if they ever have a real case.
I've only listened to two of this series, but while I find the premise rather silly, I'm pretty sure that's the point. This tongue-in-cheek treatment of the mystery genre with plenty of wise-guy comments worthy of comparison with Archie Goodwin, my all time favorite wise-guy, is fun. Period.
Lisa Lutz books are enjoyable to listen to when I do my morning walks. I like the characters growning/developing.
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