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Publisher's Summary

The fifth installment in the New York Times best-selling series by Lisa Lutz, featuring the fearless private investigator Izzy Spellman and her quirky, yet endearing, family of sleuths.

For the first time in Spellman history, Isabel Spellman might be the most normal member of her family. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities. Dad has a secret. Her brother and sister are at war, but neither will reveal the source of the conflict. While domestic disturbances abound, there is one source of sanity in the Spellman household: Demetrius Merriweather, employee of the month for 18 months straight.

Things aren't any simpler on the business side of Spellman Investigations. First, Rae is hired to follow a girl, only to fake the surveillance reports. Then a socialite has Isabel tail her husband, despite a conspicuous lack of suspicion. A man in a sweater vest hires the Spellmans to follow his sister, who turns out to be the socialite. Izzy won't stop hunting for the answers - even when they threaten to shatter both the business and the family.

Listeners are sure to love the next novel in a "series that keeps getting better and better". (Publishers Weekly)

©2012 Lisa Lutz (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • John S.
  • Seattle, WA United States
  • 03-28-13

There's a payoff, albeit a weak one

If I hadn't paid for the book, I might well have given up before the halfway point - the first half seemed one long slog of set up and recap. There still wasn't a lot of tension as far as plot goes later on, but I will give Lutz credit for showing a more mature Izzy by the end of the story. Also, it's confirmed that while she and Henry don't have that much in common, there's ... shall we say, a powerful sexual attraction going on. I must've blinked and missed one detail though - why was Rae doing community service (again)? She had done some previously, for holding her sister captive, but that seemed to be over. Yet here, near the end of the book, she's out on trash detail several hours per week.

Usual disclaimer that this series MUST be read in order, starting with "The Spellman Files".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hooray for Lutz and the Spellmans!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. The plot is interesting and surprising. I laughed out loud many times, and find myself musing about the delightful mind that constructed these unusual and peculiar characters. As usual, the narrator is superb---I love anything she reads.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

I enjoyed the combination of interest in the machinations of the Spellman family and the sub-plots of their "investigations." I felt impatient to know how the plot lines would unravel, but found myself disappointed when the book came to an end.

Have you listened to any of Christina Moore’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Every one of Christina Moore's audio books are terrific---This one was no exception. I could listen to her for days.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book is hysterically funny, subtly chuckle-worthy---a great treat.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Christina Moore = Isabel Spellman

Where does Trail of the Spellmans rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near the top! Christina Moore's performance paired with Lisa Lutz's writing kept me laughing the whole way through.

Any additional comments?

I've seen several reviews that mention a dislike for Christina Moore's performance. When I first began listening to this series, I was in the same boat. I initially thought her voice sounded well... frumpy, is the only way I can describe it. That is, until she began narrating the dialogue. She definitely gives voice to Izzy's dry sense of humor, and her performance of other characters in the series, like Izzy's mother, Olivia, and her previous love interest, Daniel Castillo. Anyways, after listening to Moore read The Spellman Files, she completely won me over. I unknowingly purchased the abridged version of Curse of the Spellmans (book two in the series) which happened to be performed by someone else, and I couldn't even get through ten minutes of the book. For me, Isabel Spellman = Christina Moore. Though I have to say, I'm curious to know if Lisa Lutz agrees with me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Luvs me some Spelmans!

Lutz never disappoints and she's done it again. Get ready for a Rae that can drive, a David that doesn't patronize or judge, and parents who still have a few secrets. Lutz is often described as a West-coast Janet Evanovich, but these characters are fleshier and more unpredictable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Beverly
  • Goleta, California 93117
  • 03-04-12

Back on Course

Any additional comments?

Enjoyed this book the most of all the Spellman spoofs. Am glad to see that she isn't constantly referring to her past books- that got really annoying. Love Isabel- she still has a lot of funny stories ahead of her. Will be looking forward to sharing them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Christina Moore

Christina Moore is the perfect narrator for this series. I literally laughed at loud at certain parts. The sarcasm just shines through.

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Highly recommended disappointment

If you've read any part of this series and are debating continuing, do it. Be aware though that there are some disappointments. There is still plenty of laughter, but with each book the characters are maturing like fine wine - one that sobers. The story and characters don't disappoint, as my headline implies, rather I'm having trouble accepting change, but I think that's one of the intended undercurrents of the series anyway. If you've read past one, you're in it to the end!

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  • Valerie
  • Marietta, GA, United States
  • 07-14-13

Love..love..love..the Spellmans!!!

I first discovered Lisa Lutz Spellmans books at the library. I was hooked from the start! She have the PERFECT narrator in Christina Moore. Like all the Spellman series this book was great!!!

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Spellmans++

If you could sum up Trail of the Spellmans in three words, what would they be?

Characters you Love to hate. (Oops! That's five words.)

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot didn't exactly keep me on the edge of my seat. These books aren't like that, but if you've read the first four books, you already know that. This book does offer the reader more of what you would expect from Lisa Lutz and her family of Spellman Characters.

What about Christina Moore’s performance did you like?

This is the first of the five books I listened to as an audio book. Christina Moore did an excellent job bringing life to these characters without taking anything from the story. Indeed, she only added to my enjoyment. I gave her all five stars.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed a few times, as expected.

Any additional comments?

Lisa Lutz has done something wonderfully different from the standard narrative with these stories. They are completely character driven and oddly enough (pleasantly enough? Differently enough?) they have very little external conflict. She has done a great job of creating a set of characters interesting enough to perform such a feat.<br/><br/>I gave this particular story 4 stars (5 overall, counting Christina Moore's reading) only because I felt it on par with the rest of the books in the series, which I would definitely rate as 5 stars. When this series first came out, I felt it was quite different and intriguing in its presentation. Seeing as this was the 5th book, I felt it was time the author start pushing the envelope of this series a bit. Whether Ms. Lutz does this or not in the 6th book, I'm sure I'll be there to buy it if, and when, it comes out.

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Another great Spellman story

What about Christina Moore???s performance did you like?

Christina Moore does a great job with the narration.

Any additional comments?

You become part of the family in this series. The characters really draw you in. Isabel gets to be the sane member of the family in this one which is saying a lot.