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Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5 (The Spellmans series) [Kindle Edition]

Lisa Lutz
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)

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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Murder on the Champ de Mars
"[Cara Black] is on to a good thing: each of her novels is set in a colorful Parisian neighborhood—and there are a lot of them. The cumulative result of reading this addictive series is a sort of mini-tour of the city, as seen through a filter of fictional murder ... Leduc is always a reliable and charming guide to the city's lesser-known corners." —The Seattle Times

Book Description

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SPELLMAN HISTORY, Isabel Spellman, PI, might be the most normal member of her family. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities—with no apparent motive. Dad has a secret. Izzy’s brother and sister are at war—for no apparent reason. And her niece keeps saying “banana” even though she hates bananas. That’s not to say that Izzy isn’t without her own troubles. Her boyfriend, Henry Stone, keeps wanting “to talk,” a prospect Isabel evades by going out with her new drinking buddy, none other than Gertrude Stone, Henry’s mother. Things aren’t any simpler on the business side of Spellman Investigations. First, Rae is hired to follow a girl, but then fakes the surveillance reports. Then a math professor hires Izzy to watch his immaculate apartment while he unravels like a bad formula. And as the questions pile up, Izzy won’t stop hunting for the answers—even when they threaten to shatter both the business and the family.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A wise (and wise-cracking) choice for mystery readers seeking a break from the genre’s bloodier fare.” (Booklist)

Product Details

  • File Size: 7441 KB
  • Print Length: 418 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1451608136
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GG0MBK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,680 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yay! More Spellmans! February 2, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is one of the most fun, laugh-out-loud series that I have ever read. After the fourth installment, The Spellmans Strike Again: A Novel (Izzy Spellman Mysteries), I had believed Internet rumours that said it would be the last Spellman book, so my delight was tremendous when I first heard about this book's imminent publication (and don't worry, this time the Internet is very upfront that an additional two books have been contracted in the series!)

I love Lutz's writing style and sense of humour - in fact, I first read The Spellman Files: A Novel in 2008, and have since re-read it aloud on a road trip, and just for fun to myself several times over these four years. I would definitely recommend reading them in order, though Lutz provides appendices to fill in out-of-order-readers, I think you will the whole experience more enjoyable if you read them in order - and it is certainly worth it!

In the two years since we last saw the Spellman family, plenty of changes have taken place and right from the beginning, there is plenty of excitement, intrigue and family feuds. I loved the whole book - I think I smiled the entire time, and actually read it in one sitting, so my face was quite sore afterwards! It was just a joy to read! The worst part was coming to the last page, knowing that it will be a long wait before the sixth book is published...
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Spellman read January 31, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
P.I. Izzie Spellman somewhat has her life on track. She has been living with Henry for a couple years now but she is avoiding him because a) his mother is visiting and b) he wants to have THE talk. So Izzie busies herself with solving some mysteries around her family. One, her mother has suddenly filled up all her free time with yoga, crochet classes, Russian classes. Izzie is determined to find out why. Also, her brother David has thrown out their younger sister Rae from his house's basement apartment. But neither of them will say why.
Izzie is also concerned about some cases her parents have accepted. But if she does the right thing, she risks getting fired from the family business.

I have read all of the Spellman books and I am so happy I discovered this series and I hope Lutz keeps writing them. This latest offering maintains all the humor and craziness of the others. Even with Izzie showing more maturity, the series has not lost any of it's fun and uniqueness. I loved and highly recommend this book. But if you haven't read any of these books, you really do need to start at the beginning. I personally am planning a reread of them all.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst in the series August 22, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ugh! I don't understand authors that take a break from a series or characters for years only to come back and mess everything up where they had left off. (Jennifer Weiner did this too and I hated it!) Izzy is just totally annoying in this book. Can she ever evolve beyond a teenager in her mindset? It just gets boring after a while. You just always know that Izzy is going to mess everything up but then come through at the end and show she has a heart of gold. So cliche at the fifth book.

Spoiler! Why spend all the time to get Izzy and Henry together over several books to just break them up again?? The grandmother Spellman was the only character I liked in this one. Plus the released inmate. The explanation of how Rae became a super human at negotiation was kind of funny, but unrealistic. Overall, I would stop with book four in the series.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful & humours mix of mystery & family February 12, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Trail of the Spellmans is the fifth book in the series featuring the smart, funny, and exceptionally eccentric Spellman family. Subtitled Document #5, the book features Isabel Spellman, the family's oldest daughter and the only child working full time in the their family-owned investigative firm.

The work aspects of the book focus on several cases that are unique in either the subjects or that the Spellmans find that that there really isn't anything to investigate. When two of the cases over lap, the family institutes "Chinese walls" to protect client confidentiality. As fans of this series already know, any secret between family members is an immediate signal for one or more of them to devise innovative ways to discover the truth.

Even more enjoyable is the dynamics of the Spellman family. The family home, which is also where the office is, has opened its doors to include an ex-con released from prison after falsely being convicted of murder, and Grandmother Spellman, a cranky and weight obsessed senior citizen. Everyone's interactions with Grandmother Spellman are hysterical, and the affect the Grandmother has on Isabel's mother is slyly humorous.

Along with the dysfunctional family fun and human interest stories from surveillance, Trail of the Spellmans includes several serious notes. Isabel is struggling to define what she wants from life, and faces an ethical business dilemma between the right thing to do and the rules of the business. To avoid spoiling the story, I will only say that all three of the Spellman children inch further towards adulthood in this book.

The Spellman series is one of my favorites, it is consistently delightful and enjoyable to read, and always offers a fresh perspective on something. You don't need to read the first four books to enjoy Trail of the Spellmans, but I can promise that if you haven't read them yet, you will once you finish this book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific series
Loved this series- witty,smart,fresh and fun. I need 14 more words but that sums it up for me in a nutshell
Published 23 hours ago by Sarah McCarty
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Book!!
Hilarious with witty dialog and another great family story in between. Lot's of fun to read. Another Great Book. Sydney is a great addition to the family dynamics.
Published 20 days ago by Lori Donadson
4.0 out of 5 stars Fifth in series
This series shows unusual growth of characters while staying interesting. Full of interesting characters and cases it is an eclectic mix of strange cases and the chaos that is the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by E.P. McLean
5.0 out of 5 stars SPELLMANS Adventure
SPELLMANS INVESTIGATES has 3 new clients that the surveillance has been divided between Dad, Mom, Izzy and Rae has a college girl whose parents want to know what she doing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bettylouise
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Spellman Files series
Love the Spellman Files series! Quirky characters, engaging plots. Once I read the first one, I had to keep reading until I had finished the whole series. Read more
Published 5 months ago by bstdznr
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spellman novels just keep getting better and better
The Spellman novels just keep getting better and better. Lutz always leaves the reader wanting to know what will happen next.
Published 7 months ago by wendylore
5.0 out of 5 stars PI madness.
This is the fifth book in the Spellman series. I have the first four in paperback and was pleasantly surprised to find Lisa Lutz has continued with the series. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Congokjt
3.0 out of 5 stars It was enjoyable as following the Spelman's csn be and ...
It was enjoyable as following the Spelman's csn be and yet not as engaging as past adventures of this wacky family.
Published 8 months ago by Jane Kenney
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, Love the Spellmans, but I am missing Document 4.5!!
I cannot believe this book takes place TWO YEARS after document #4. After two books anticipating the relationship between Harry and Izzy, I feel gyped! Read more
Published 8 months ago by bee
2.0 out of 5 stars NON BUYER
Published 9 months ago by monahana
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More About the Author

Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of The Spellman Files, Curse of the Spellmans, Revenge of the Spellmans, The Spellmans Strike Again, Trail of the Spellmans and Heads you Lose (with David Hayward). Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor's degree. Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film was made in 2000, she vowed she would never write another screenplay. How to Negotiate Everything a children's book (illustrated by Jaime Temairik) will be released in 2013 along with The Last Word, the sixth installment in the Spellman series. Lisa lives in a town you've never heard of in upstate New York.


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