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The Spellman Files (The Spellmans #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  23,685 ratings  ·  2,939 reviews
Isabel Spellman, the uncompromising—okay, obstinate—twenty-eight year-old San Francisco private eye in Lisa Lutz's riotous debut novel, THE SPELLMAN FILES has her share of problems. And those problems all happen to be named Spellman. Her parents, Albert and Olivia, co-owners of Spellman Investigations, think nothing of placing their daughter under 24-hour surveillance simp ...more
Paperback, 370 pages
Published 2008 by Pocket books (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
The Spellmans are a dysfunctional family of detectives. When Rae, the youngest, goes missing, her sister Izzy drops what she's doing and goes looking for her while delving into the Spellman family's past. Who kidnapped Rae Spellman? And does it have something to do with a cold case Izzy is working on?

The Spellman Files reads like Sara Gran on mood elevators. The writing style reminds me of a more humorous version of the Claire DeWitt books. As for the Spellmans themselves, they remind me of The
I'm one of those people who will forgive anything of a movie or a novel as long as I enjoy the characters. If I like the characters, if I find them amusing or admirable or realistic, I'll gladly read hundreds of pages in which nothing really happens just for the pleasure of their company. This is one of those novels and, as such, while I enjoyed the hell out of it, I probably won't actively recommend it because I don't want anyone wondering, "I don't get it. What did she think was so special in ...more
Beach read.
Funny read.
I-want-to-be-this-character read.

Lisa Lutz, if you ever read this, please don't take it the wrong way. By beach read I mean that I was completely entertained, laughed out loud a couple of times, and didn't want to move while I read it. Your book sucked me in and kept me there. When I had to put it down, the story and characters stayed with me enough so it was easy to pick back up. Izzy Spellman reminded me of Thursday Next ( The Eyre Affair) and Jane Charlotte ( Bad Monk
Tea Jovanović
Zauvek ću pamtiti kako me je ova knjiga "kupila" kao urednika :) Dobila sam od njenog agenta rukopis knjige mesecima pre nego što je objavljena... odštampala sam je i ponela papire sa sobom na Sajam knjiga u London, da čitam usput... Te godine sajam je bio izmešten na Doklends i gotovo sat vremena putovali smo metroom od hotela do sajma i obrnuto... I ja sam vukla papire sa sobom, čitala, cerebečila se i svaki cas cimala za rukav vlasnika Lagune i prepričavala mu urnebesne scene iz teksta... pos ...more
THE SPELLMAN FILES (Private Investigator, Izzy Spellman, San Francisco, Cont) – Poor
Lutz, Lisa – 1st book
Simon and Schuster, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9781415432392
First Sentence: I duck into the parking garage hoping to escape.
*** Izzy Spellman is a private investigator from a family of private investigators. Her parents sent Izzy and her brother David out on their first official surveillance when they were 12- and 14-years old respectively. Izzy eventually decides to quit the family business
Oct 07, 2013 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone looking for the literary equivalent of Bringing Up Baby

This book won’t work for some, but head into it in the right frame of mind and it’s a fun ride, a modern screwball comedy crossed with spy caper,Harriet the Spy meets Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead.

Isabel is a private investigator in the family business, Spellman Investigations. It’s been a hard road getting there after a decade of childish rebellion. “Since David [her brother] had cornered the market on perfection, I had to settle for mining the depths of my own imperfection.” Spellman

Ovo je jedna od onih knjiga do koje ne bih došla da nema Goodreads-a, što bi bio veliki propust.
Zabavna, uzbudljiva, opuštajuća, duhovita knjiga koja mami osmeh na lice od prve strane.
Pratimo svakodnevnicu porodice Spelman, oni vode porodični biznis - oni su privatni detektivi, njuškala, zovite ih kako hoćete.
A Spelmanovi su mama, tata, ujka Rej, Dejvid, Izi i mala Rej.
I have a confession to make :) ja sam ista, preslikana Rej Spelman, da klinče od 13-14 godina, to sam JA.
Ispričaću vam jednu i
Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽
I still haven't forgiven this book for looking so appealing on my own, personal (also, in my bedroom) bookshelf that my daughter, who was about 12 at the time and a precocious reader, snitched it from my shelf and read it. I didn't find out until after she was finished. It's not the worst thing in the world that she could have read at that age, but it has some adult content that, let's just say, I wasn't quite ready for her to be exposed to yet. And yes, it was totally the book's fault and not m ...more
Ilona Andrews
A deeply hilarious book about Isabel Spellman, a PI in San Francisco, who works for her parents' firm. The entire Spellman family is deeply weird but strangely functional. I loved it, the whole thing: the quirky anecdotes about the family, the list of ex-boyfriends, the younger sister addicted to surveillance.

One small warning: before you read this book, take the concept of plot, put it in a drawer in a closet, and don't come back to it until you are done. It is a non-linear book, and it doesn't
Lois Bujold
Aug 09, 2013 Lois Bujold rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who like contemporary family dramedy
Recommended to Lois by: random internet review

My casual reading didn't used to come with homework...

Anyway, that was fun. If required to succinctly sum up the mode, I'd dub it family dramady. An... alternatively-functional family of P.I.s in contemporary San Francisco combine variously to drive each other around the bend. The main character reminded me of that tune of Sheryl Crow's, which I mentally dubbed "the borderline-personality girlfriend song", the title of which escapes me just now -- might have been "Man Enough to Be My Man".

That p
Every once in a great while I stumble across a writer who just gets it, one who possesses The Humor – that elusive knack for expressing razor-sharp wit by fusing language and wordplay with insight into human nature and the ironies surfacing in relational complexity. Lisa Lutz looms large in this category. This opening entry in her series about the Spellman family introduces a spirited line-up of family members whose San Francisco private investigation business facilitates honing inquiry skills o ...more
Well, I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite like this. This family was insane! Hilarious for us, but quite dysfunctional.

Pretty much everyone in the family, except the odd man out, David, works as a private investigator for the family company. Privacy is an alien concept to the Spellmans. To keep information to yourself in this family you'll need to lie, dodge tails, and constantly check for bugs. It's an interesting lifestyle, but it's getting exhausting for Izzy.

Izzy had a
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
4.5 Stars

This is the first book in the Spellman Series and I absolutely loved it. I found it refreshing and funny and although the Spellman family is bizarre, weird and bordering on completely insane, I simply adored this dysfunctional family.

Isabel, who is the main protagonist and tells the story from a first person narrative, is such a great character. She's strong, feisty and a teeny bit nuts. Brought into the family business, a private detective agency, and the life of a PI at the age of twe
RJ McGill
Lisa Lutz’s first novel, “The Spellman Files,” introduces readers to the lovable, albeit highly dysfunctional Spellman family. Be prepared to adore this zany cast of characters, that will butt their way right into your heart and have you laughing a long the way. A strong female protagonist with a meddling family may, at first glance, seem a bit blase’, but don’t be fooled, the writing, narrative and perspective work together like a well oiled machine generating the ideal reading experience…

As a mystery novel? No.
As a cute and funny chick-lit novel? Yes.

I asked my librarian to help me find a book that was good, but not sad, violent, or about animals (What? I don't like sappy books about animals.) I wanted something mind-numbing to pass the time. Something kind of funny maybe?
She gave me this book and told me, "My mother really loved it!". I really tried to smile at her when she said that. There's a possibility it looked more like a grimace. But I took it anyway, because it's just
Lisa Vegan
Oct 30, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy light mysteries, dysfunctional families & black humor
The Spellmans are one of the most unconventional dysfunctional families ever in a book, and they are hilarious. They are outrageous and over the top and have very peculiar ways of showing love. This delightful book is really, really funny, if you have a weird sense of humor, which I guess I do. It is interesting that what I’d consider disturbing and child abuse in real life can, in a book, cause me to feel affection for all of the characters and send me into frequent peals of laughter.

The friend
Zaista se ne sećam kada sam se toliko zabavljao uz neku knjigu i odmah veliko HVALA GR-u i posebno Tei Jovanović što je (između ostalog i meni) skrenula pažnju na ovaj roman.

Knjiga je totalna forica koja će vam dizati raspoloženje od prve do poslednje stranice.

Već sam spomenuo Izi i Rej koje su više nego genijalne ali i oststak porodice Spelman ne zaostaje za njima. Svi njihovi slučajevi, međusobna praćenja, zvrčke koje su smeštali jedni drugima, Izini momci i epitafi koje su dobijali, veza sa
Izuzetno lagana i lepršava knjiga. Moram priznati da mi nije privukla pažnju sve dok nisam primetio da je dvoje prijatelja sa Goodreads-a (J. i V. hvala na preporuci!!!) čitaju i uživaju u njoj. Šteta je što izdavačka kuća nije malo poradila na sinopsisu i promociji knjige, ovako je nezasluženo završila u zapećku, zanemarena zbog nekih drugih romana koji ne zaslužuju ni upola pompe koju dobijaju (što od izdavačke kuće, što od čitalaca).
Roman "Dosijei o Spelmanovima" je pravo osveženje, knjiga ko
My perspective on The Spellman Files was a bit different this time, as I reread it after reading all the books as they were released. I enjoyed it at least as much this time, and I was definitely more invested in the characters. I also think I caught nuances that slid past me when all of the characters were new to me.

Isabella "Izzy" Spellman is a twenty-eight year old private investigator who lives at home and works in her family's business. She has never been an easy individual, and now she is
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
This one was okay. A few parts a heck of a lot better than others but not as good as I was hoping for. This was a recommendation from my library's manager directly to me. I wish it had been better as there are more books that come after this. I don't know if I will read them at this point.
Jan 13, 2010 K rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Janet Evanovich fans
Isabel Spellman, the new Stephanie Plum, is a 28-year-old single woman from a dysfunctional family. That in and of itself is not unusual, but the particular form her family’s dysfunction takes is quite different – the family business is a private detective firm and snooping and blackmailing each other is a way of life for all family members, from the middle-aged parents down to Isabel’s tough-as-nails 14-year-old sister. The family wouldn’t be complete without debauched live-in Uncle Ray, a heal ...more
Nadine Jones
Newsflash: boring title conceals highly entertaining book!!! Thanks to Amy for giving it a rave review and piquing my interest :-)


I started out loving this book, but then ... not so much. It begins with lots of really fun character set-up, then there is a whiff of a plot, then there is more set-up, and then ... more set-up and more set-up. Finally there is a plot! The mystery was mildly interesting, but by that point I pretty much hated everyone in the book. There is dysfunctional and then ther
Ruth Turner

I started this series hoping these books would fill a void left by Janet Evanovich's Plum series, which in my opinion went downhill fast after Lean Mean Thirteen. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen.

Well written and often funny, it has a cast of crazy characters that appealed to my sense of humour.

The beginning of the book pulled me in, learning about the Spellman family and all their idiosyncrasies. However, the middle of the book became a little tiresome and repetitive with the continual
Duhovit roman o neobičnoj porodici koja vodi privatnu detektivsku agenciju. Devojke Spelman su fantastične-duhovite-inteligente buntovnice i obožavam ih. Naravno tu je i savršeni stariji brat koji jedini nije u porodičnom biznisu ali je velika podrška sestrama u prikrivanju njihovih nestašluka i ispada. Šteta što ovaj roman nije imao neku veću reklamu i što izdavač nije više zainteresovao čitaoce i objavio još neki nastavak. Samo što sam završila knjigu a Spelmanovi mi već nedostaju.
Trenutno je
Boring storyline and writing style, annoying characters, pathetic, totally irritating 'heroine'.
Not recommended.
Harold Ogle
I have a compulsive habit. OK, really I have several. But the one I mean to talk about it books: I can't pass up an opportunity to pick up some books that look interesting. I've managed to save some money for my family by switching by compulsion back to libraries in recent years, but it's still out of control. I go to return some stuff to the library - any library, you pick - and I tell myself "OK, I'm just going to return the stuff I have here. I'm NOT going to get anything else until I finish ...more
What a fun, absolutely kooky story. The Spellmans are a fun family, but one I would go crazy in. The Spellmans run an PI firm and everybody, including 12 year old Rae is apart of the firm. Well except for perfect David, he is a perfect lawyer instead. I have had this book on my TBR for along time and am hoisted by my own petard at having such a funny gem all this time.

I did take me awhile to warm to up to Izzie, the oldest daughter. Alot of the times I just felt she was being an immature jerk o
Feb 03, 2015 Milica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Milica by: Tea Jovanović
Shelves: humor, books-i-own
Odličan književni početak godine. Hvala Tea Jovanović na preporuci ne verujem da bih ikad sama došla do ove knjige.

Život porodice privatnih detektiva ispričan iz ugla jednog člana. Iako su slučajevi zanimljivi, zaista nisu suština knjige. Ono na čemu je akcenat su porodični odnosi u jednoj neobičnoj porodici opisani kroz niz sitnih dogadjaja i vrcavih dijaloga tako da je gotovo nemoguće ne poželeti da ste se rodili u nekoj sličnoj porodici. Bar je meni bilo nemoguće :)
Apr 30, 2015 •Anna• rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
When I started this my mind couldn't focus, so I'd erroneously took for granted it was going to be a total bore.
My apologies.
As a matter of fact, this was AMAZING.


I wouldn't know where to begin... Let's just cut to thechase.

Lisa Lutz’s “The Spellman Files" deals with this zany, dysfunctional family of private investigators, the Spellmans.
When Rae - Spellmans fourteen years old daughter - goes missing, the whole family mobilizes to find out how that could happen.
Rae's missing could have somethi
It's been a little minute (two-three years) since I read this book, so I don't have a lot of specifics to share about it. I happened to run across another book that reminded me of this one in my news feed today and thought I'd add The Spellman Files to my "read" shelves. Also, I wanted to remind myself to go find the sequels.

This was a humorous story with a snappy, foul-mouthed narrator...about a family of private investigators. Really adorable. Seriously. Read it for the voice and the characte
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz 1 13 Jan 28, 2015 08:31AM  
Ask Lisa Lutz!: Ask Lisa about The Spellmans 33 302 Oct 23, 2013 03:14AM  
It's Lisa Lutz, not Linda Lutz 4 88 May 15, 2012 05:42PM  
Ask Lisa Lutz!: Ask Lisa any other question! 15 97 Feb 19, 2012 10:46AM  
Win a Free Signed Copy of this Book! 1 33 Oct 05, 2008 09:02PM  
finished this one...may look for next in the series 1 30 Aug 20, 2008 08:55AM  
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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, Spellman Six: The Next Generation (previously published as The Last Word), Heads you Lose (with David Hayward), and the children's book, How to Negotiate Everything (illustrated by Jaime Temairik). Her latest book, How to St ...more
More about Lisa Lutz...

Other Books in the Series

The Spellmans (6 books)
  • Curse of the Spellmans (The Spellmans, #2)
  • Revenge of the Spellmans (The Spellmans, #3)
  • The Spellmans Strike Again (The Spellmans, #4)
  • Trail of the Spellmans (The Spellmans, #5)
  • The Last Word (The Spellmans, #6)
Revenge of the Spellmans (The Spellmans, #3) Curse of the Spellmans (The Spellmans, #2) The Spellmans Strike Again (The Spellmans, #4) Trail of the Spellmans (The Spellmans, #5) The Last Word (The Spellmans, #6)

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“I have a weakness for tough guys who read.” 72 likes
“My father insisted that the boys in my life were directly responsible for my juvenile-delinquent tendencies.
My mother, more accurately, assumed that I was the bad influence.”
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