Where I Got It: Amazon Vine
Why I Read It: Because the first book cracked me up
My Rating: 3.5 stars
This is the fifth book in the Spellman series but only the second Spellman book I read. (I read #1 and then jumped to this one.) I thought Lutz smoothed out her writing style in the interval (the first book felt a bit disjointed). If you’re not familiar with the series, the Spellmans are a San Francisco-based family who own a private investigation business run by the Spellman parents and employing Isabel (our narrator) and sometimes Rae (the youngest daughter—in college in this book). The focus is squarely on the dysFUNction of the family (they tend to use their PI techniques to get up in each other’s business) rather than on their cases (though I did think Lutz had a better grip on the cases than in the first book).
In this book, Mama Spellman is suddenly taking up hobbies and attending classes outside of the home on a regular basis and Izzy wants to know why. (The answer, when it comes, was pretty funny.) On the boyfriend front, Izzy spends more time avoiding him than being with him (and has already given him his number in the list of ex-boyfriends). Rae is in college but in a mysterious war with brother David, who has undergone a complete personality transformation since becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad. Living with the Spellmans is an ex-convict (wrongfully imprisoned) who always seems like the voice of sanity compared to the Spellmans.
This is a fun series that is more about the family interaction and the humor rather than the “mysteries” of their various clients. If you already read the series, this was a worthy entry. If you’re new to the series, I’d definitely recommend it (but maybe start with the first book and work your way forward). In a way, it is similar in focus and tone to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series—except this one is smarter and more amusing!
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