Trail of the Spellmans

Trail of the Spellmans (Spellmans #5) – Lisa Lutz

The Spellmans are back!  Again!  In the fifth installment of Lisa Lutz’ acclaimed series following a family of detectives, there is no shortage of suspicions and backstabbery (I don’t think this is a word, but I’m going to use it anyway).  This go-around, we have family members that are no longer on speaking terms and the parental unit is playing the reasons for their own actions close to the vest.  Now in a new relationship, has Izzy matured at all?  Or is her infamous list of ex-boyfriends destined to add a new name?

Like the best episodes of Frasier, everyone’s problems could be solved quickly and efficiently if these people would just be honest with each other.  Then again, where’s the fun in that?  Also, counting on dishonesty between folks is the backbone of the P.I. industry – so we can’t have people telling the truth all the time, can we?  That said, having established a pattern that it seems to be OK to go behind one another’s back leads to a monumental event at the novel’s conclusion.  Maybe it would be better to sometimes leave well enough alone.

I know this should be a given, but Lisa Lutz makes her characters frustratingly consistent in their decision making and behavior.  I absolutely love Izzy, but man… can she be a difficult character to root for.  You just want the best for her and the worst is that she knows what is best for her, but still proceeds with total self-destruction.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re all stubborn in their own ways, but I feel Izzy is the only one whose actions result in placing her in a worse position.  Well, maybe Rae too.

Enough about Izzy.  Lutz’ series has one of the best supporting casts of any ongoing series I’m reading – and even more great ones are added in this entry!  There’s not a bad one in the bunch that I wish would just “go away” and the fact that there are so many keeps each book just flying by like a Japanese bullet train.  I mean, these are hard books to put down and Trail of Spellmans is no exception.  If you’re wondering why I’m being so vague, this is the fifth book in the series and I’m desperately nervous about even dropping the slightest spoiler.

Having finished the fifth book, I just have one more waiting for me but I’m just not ready to say goodbye to these characters yet.  I’m not sure if Lutz ties things up with a bow at the sixth book’s conclusion or if she’s left it open-ended enough for an eventual return to the characters down the line.  Although, things are blown up spectacularly at the end of this book and I have no idea where things will go from here.

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