Private investigator Isabel “Izzy” Spellman is not your typical gumshoe. In fact, everything about the thirtysomething San Francisco sleuth is a bit offbeat, from her quirky family to the curious cases she takes on. In this fifth installment (after The Spellmans Strike Again, 2010) in Lutz’s irreverent series, Izzy is submerged in surveillance, monitoring the movements of a devious UC Berkeley coed and keeping close watch on the apartment of a fastidious math professor. Meanwhile, Izzy’s mother, Olivia, engages in an eclectic collection of extracurricular activities, including a Russian-language class in which she learns such valuable phrases as “The gentleman will pay for everything.” Isabel bonds with her boyfriend’s mother while ignoring her beau’s repeated requests to discuss their unraveling relationship. And siblings David and Rae butt heads over Rae’s perverse influence upon David’s infant daughter. With each entry, Lutz’s plots, while amusing, have become a bit more predictable. All the same, this is a wise (and wisecracking) choice for mystery readers seeking a break from the genre’s bloodier fare. --Allison Block
“Hilarious, but also tender and melancholy and full of hard-won wisdom. This one's going to stay with readers for a long time."
(Laura Lippman, author of I’d Know You Anywhere and the Tess Monaghan series)
“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.”
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