San Francisco, Lisa Lutz’s home town, is the setting for her stories.
The Spellman family runs a Private Investigation business out of their
Victorian style home, they are a well meaning crew but apt to be a bit removed
from normal. The parents figure the best way to keep up with their kids is to
bug their rooms and tail their cars. It makes their middle child, Izzy,
crazy. She expends considerable energy acting up. David, the oldest,
seems to have come through unscarred; he is a successful attorney not at all
prone to breaking the law. Rae, the youngest, is a natural. She tails random
people just to sharpen her skills. Rae is a mite obsessive. Inspector Henry
Stone; the long suffering cop lets Rae do homework in his office and tries to
inspire her toward a more conventional life. Splendidly quirky, the Spellman
clan recklessly charges through life with the vigor and finesse of a bull in a
From the award-winning author of The Passenger comes the first novel in the hilarious Spellman Files mystery series featuring Isabel “Izzy” Spellman (part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry) and her highly functioning yet supremely dysfunctional family of private investigators.
Meet Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors—but the upshot is she’s good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people’s privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman.
Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. Duties include: completing assignments from the bosses, aka Mom and Dad (preferably without scrutiny); appeasing her chronically perfect lawyer brother (often under duress); setting an example for her fourteen-year-old sister, Rae (who’s become addicted to “recreational surveillance”); and tracking down her uncle (who randomly disappears on benders dubbed “Lost Weekends”). But when Izzy’s parents hire Rae to follow her (for the purpose of ascertaining the identity of Izzy’s new boyfriend), Izzy snaps and decides that the only way she will ever be normal is if she gets out of the family business. But there’s a hitch: she must take one last job before they’ll let her go—a fifteen-year-old, ice-cold missing person case. She accepts, only to experience a disappearance far closer to home, which becomes the most important case of her life.
About the Author
Lisa Lutz is the author of the New York Times bestselling, Edgar Award– and Macavity Award–nominated, and Alex Award–winning Spellman Files series, as well as the novels How to Start a Fire, The Passenger, and The Swallows. She lives and works in upstate New York.
"Fast-paced, irreverent, and very funny, The Spellman Files is like Harriet the Spy for grown-ups."
-- Curtis Sittenfeld, author of The Man of My Dreams and Prep
"Hilarious. My enjoyment of The Spellman Files was only slightly undercut by my irritation that I hadn't written it myself. The funniest book I've read in years!"
-- Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada and Everyone Worth Knowing
"The Spellman Files is hilarious, outrageous, and hip. Izzy Spellman, P.I., is a total original, with a voice so fresh and real, you want more, more, more. At long last, we know what Nancy Drew would have been like had she come from a family of lovable crackpots. Lisa Lutz has created a delicious comedy with skill and truth. I loved it."
-- Adriana Trigiani, author of Lucia, Lucia and Big Stone Gap
"A spirited, funny debut...a rush of humor and chaos...casual, swift, and hip...A fresh story that works real issues through an offbeat premise."
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)