Private investigator Isabel Spellman is back on the case and back on the couch - in court-ordered therapy after getting a little too close to her previous subject.
As the book opens, Izzy is on hiatus from Spellman Inc. But when her boss, Milo, cuts her bartending hours and introduces her to a "friend" looking for a private eye, Izzy reluctantly finds herself with a new client. She assures herself that the case -- a suspicious husband who wants his wife tailed -- will be short and sweet, and will involve nothing more than the most boring of PI rituals: surveillance. But with each passing hour, Izzy finds herself with more questions than hard evidence.
Meanwhile, Spellmania continues. Izzy's brother, David, the family's most upright member, has adopted an uncharacteristically unkempt appearance and attitude toward work, life, and Izzy. And their wayward youngest sister, Rae, a historic academic underachiever, aces the PSATs and subsequently offends her study partner and object of obsession, Detective Henry Stone, to the point of excommunication. The only unsurprising behavior comes from her parents, whose visits to Milo's bar amount to thinly veiled surveillance and artful attempts (read: blackmail) at getting Izzy to return to the Spellman Inc. fold.
As the case of the wayward wife continues to vex her, Izzy's personal life -- and mental health -- seem to be disintegrating. Facing a housing crisis, she can't sleep, she can't remember where she parked her car, and, despite her shrinks' persistence, she can't seem to break through in her appointments. She certainly can't explain why she forgets dates with her lawyer's grandson, or fails to interpret the come-ons issued in an Irish brogue by Milo's new bartender. Nor can she explain exactly how she feels about Detective Henry Stone and his plans to move in with his new Assistant DA girlfriend...Filled with the signature side-splitting Spellman antics.
More mirth and mayhem? Listen to more Spellmans series.
©2009 Lisa Lutz; (P)2009 Simon and Schuster
If Christina Moore was reading, I'd have listened twice. Fortunately, I don't sit and listen to a book or I'd have wasted time. In fact, I wasn't able to finish.
I didn't get far enough into the book to know. I couldn't tolerate Ari Graynor's reading.
No, can't do it.
See below....not with the reader.
What makes or breaks an audiobook is the reader, and Christina Moore is Izzy Spellman and the Spellman family. I apologise to Ari Graynor, but she brings no life to the Spellman family. This disappoints me, as I love the Spellman series and have little time for conventional reading due to work and farm life, and listen to audiobooks on my iPhone as I do various home and farm work, and when I'm driving. Ms. Graynor sounds like she is reading the books aloud to a class or child. I won't be able to complete the book, it is too painful; no exaggeration. I have not found a Lisa Lutz book I don't like, so I gave the book itself a good review. Please keep that in mind in my overall review.
I loved this book. It so wasn't dull. The Narrator made this book come alive more than reading it would have. I loved her tone. The Author's wit is fabulous. I would listen to the first two if they weren't abridged, now I'll have to hunt them down and read them. But Ms. Graynor has set the tone in which they will be read! Loved it -- light, funny and witty!
Easy to listen to- lighthearted and humorous. I would definitely recommend. Also it was something that you can listen to with your entire family and no one will blush!
Lisa Lutz has delivered another deliciously funny out take of Izzy's world. She's being blackmailed, pushed around by an old man and she can't find her car. I laughed so hard my nose ran. I'm already getting a tissue ready for her next book.
The audio narration affected my impression of the book to a significant extent; but first, I'll go into the story itself - weak, but served as a place holder for the next one. This is a series where one must read the books in order, otherwise the characters would be nearly impossible to follow. Izzy, the first-person narrator of the series, came across here as not just quirky, but annoyingly so - attributing that to the dysfunction in which she was raised only goes so far. Her (much younger) sister Rae came off as a brat. At one point Izzy insists on pressing auto theft charges against Rae for taking her car without permission, and when her folks try to get her to drop them as a "misunderstanding", Izzy replies in great frustration, "But ... there are never any consequences for anything she does!" At that point I added an "Amen!" of my own. There's a subplot about Rae and the PSAT test, later extended to her schoolwork and intelligence in general, which I could've done without. Her parents have let her get out of control, and then they're standing around moaning "What happened?" Morty I'll get to in the audio discussion in a second, but the rest of the cast were pretty much stock; they were just ... there. The "secret" and blackmailing ended up a rather lame affair, but the Spellmans would shrivel up and die without that kind of drama in their lives.
I really liked Cristina Moore as the voice of Izzy in the first two unabridged versions, but Audible only offers Ari Graynor (who had read the abridged editions for those) as a choice for this title. I knew right away I did not care for her when I heard almost every single "he said" and "she said" - the woman is terrible with dialogue. Moreover, she made Izzy sound more like a suburban teenager, only a couple of years older than 16 y/o Rae, rather than a 31 y/o native San Franciscan. The most painful part was listening to her do Izzy's 84 y/o lawyer, and friend, Morty. She laid on the New York Jewish accent so thick, he sounded like a parody of a stereotype of a Borscht Belt comedian - ugh! I stuck with the audio as I'd paid for it, or I would've gotten the print book from the library.
So ... would I recommend the book (to Spellman fans)? Yes, as it introduces new characters, and Izzy does actually learn from her 20 mandated therapy sessions, though mostly in hindsight. I do not, however, recommend the audio at all. Just read it!
I liked the narrator of the first book in the series better. This narrator is Ok but it was grating to hear her attempt at an Irish actor for the new character introduced in this book. It is the worst accent attempt I can recall, it sounds nothing like an Irish accent and it was disruptive to the story every time that character voice was in play.
I was very happy with how well this story line read. It was written with a steady pace, lots of mystery, some good laughs, and never a dull moment. It was nice that the Spellmans were not in one big fight the whole book like in previous reads, and I liked to see Izzy back in the game of investigation. While I know Izzy's schtick is to never grow up, but I kinda want her to do so just enough to fall in love (we all know with who) without losing her quirky self. I'm excited to see how the story plays out in the following books :)
I've loved these books for a long time and I'm really enjoying rereading them with Ari Graynor's narration. She sounds exactly how I'd imagined Izzy! Maybe someday she'll play her in the movie...
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