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Curse of the Spellmans

(The Spellmans #2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  16,157 ratings  ·  1,385 reviews


Their first caper, The Spellman Files, was a New York Times bestseller and earned comparisons to the books of Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich. Now the Spellmans, a highly functioning yet supremely dysfunctional family of private investigators, return in a sidesplittingly funny story of suspicion, surveillance, and surprise.

When Izzy Spellman, PI, is

Hardcover, 362 pages
Published March 11th 2008 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2008)
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,157 ratings  ·  1,385 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, 2014
Why has Izzy Spellman been arrested four times in one month? Why is her mother leaving the house at all hours of the night to vandalize a stranger's motor bike? What is her father up to? Who is the mysterious neighbor John Brown? And who is recreating the string of vandalism Izzy is alleged to have perpetrated during her youth? All these questions and more will be answered in Curse of the Spellmans!

When you enjoy the hell out of the first book in a series, the second book is a risky proposition,
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-challenge

3.5 stars

Thirty-year-old Isabel (Izzy) Spellman - as well as her mom, dad, and teenage sister Rae - all work for the family private detective business. Spying seems to be ingrained in the Spellman DNA because, besides taking on cases, they constantly snoop on each other and anyone else who comes into their orbit.

Izzy is always on the alert for a new boyfriend (or as she puts it, a new future ex-boyfriend), so an attractive fellow who moves in next door to the Spellmans quickly catches her eye.
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of fun-n-fast detective games
Lisa Lutz‘ Isabel Spellman series is a little like Janet Evanovich‘s Stephanie Plum. Not the recent ones but the early ones, the ones that made me laugh out loud before they got progressively more absurd and recycled the same plots. The Spellmans, however, are a family team and the nature of the family business means they can’t really escape each other, although they may periodically try. Book two, Curse of the Spellmans, was just as much fun as the first and perhaps even a smidge better. I foun ...more
Jan 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
3 1/2 stars for this one.

Curse of the Spellmans is the sequel to The Spellman Files, a novel about an unconventional family that runs a private investigation firm. I really enjoyed The Spellman Files--it's light, amusing, and there is an inventive quality to the narrator, Izzy Spellman's, manner of conveying her story. Because of her training as a P.I., Izzy tells us everything in the form of case file reports and transcripts of secret recordings. What worked for the first novel lost some of its
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So how can something be so good and coherent and yet be so random and rambling? I don't mean random in a negative way at all. In fact, I find the randomness quite charming, just as I find Isabel Spellman quite charming and funny. Izzy and the entire Spellman clan are a bunch of nut cases, but the stories work for me.

In this, the second installment of the Spellman series, Izzy finds herself busy surveilling the neighbor who is surely up to no good; her teenage sister Rae has run over her "best f
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
So much fun! The Spellman dysfunctional and quite crazy family always manage to make me laugh, and this time, Lutz had them also go through life changes that developed the characters in an interesting ways. The plot is suspenseful, the dialogues superb - here is a writer who can write a teenager who is really smart, but who is also still child-like and speaks her age. Intelligent and fully entertaining.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the Spellman family gets a new neighbor, Isabel Spellman cannot shake the feeling that something is off about him. Maybe it’s his all too common name of John Brown? Is it his office door that he constantly keeps locked? Or maybe it’s the fact that privacy and trust is something that is rarely present when it comes to the Spellmans. In Curse of The Spellmans, Isabel seems to be flirting with paranoia and everyone is under a microscope – her Mom, Dad, her sister Rae and even family friend Det ...more
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Funny, smart, sad and ever so enduring. This one was just as funny as the first one, yet more complex, reviled more lairs, run deeper and left me feeling my heart in my throat.
Loved it.
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: easy-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like the Stepanie Plum series
Shelves: mystery
Izzy's back! I was so excited to see a sequel to The Spellman Files.

So, we revisit Isabel and the rest of the Spellman family, but they're not as colorful as I remember them. The Spellman parents aren't as nosey, and her younger sister, Rae, is not the little spy she was in the first book. And her perfect brother, David, isn't so perfect anymore. Only Izzy remains in that crazy Spellman zone--ever suspicious of everyone and everything.

And this is where our story begins. A new neighbor for the Sp
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
I've given up thinking this series is a typical pi story w/a mystery.
it isn't!!! It's more a humorous fiction series about a dysfunctional family of kooky characters who work as PI's.

Positive: funny, likable characters, entertaining

Negative: it meanders alot off topic, the investigation part of the PI story is not developed enough
and footnotes? REALLY!!! It's a fiction, i don't want footnotes w/things like "more about that later." NO!!! i don't want to know later. tell me now or it isn't necessa
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: san-francisco
This was a good follow-up to the Spellman Files. The first couple chapters do a fair amount of reminding the reader of characters and plot lines from the first book, and the main plot of book 2 doesn't take off incredibly fast, but if you like the characters the payoff is worth it. Looking forward to the next several books in the series.
Indigo Editing/Ink-Filled Page
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
“Without a doubt the restraining order put a cramp in my investigation of Subject.”

That’s not how the second in Lisa Lutz’s series on the Spellman family of private investigators starts. No, a lot more happens before thirty-year-old Izzy Spellman is legally restrained from being near her parents’ neighbor/subject of her own personal investigation/boyfriend.

The Spellman parents run a PI firm, and daughters Izzy and Rae help them; Izzy’s been spying since she was twelve and Rae since she was six.
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The second book in "The Spellman Files" is just as funny as the first. Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, having grown up in a highly dysfunctional family of private investigators in San Francisco, is distrustful of everyone, is not deterred by locked doors, social boundaries (really, she's not deterred by boundaries of any kind), and always has to get to the bottom of mysteries, even when it would be better for her if she just let it go. Now thirty and working in the family business, she gets in over her ...more
Jennifer Rayment
The Good Stuff

Another wild and wacky tale of the delightfully dysfunctional, yet totally loveable, Spellman family
Would love to take mamma Spellman to some of Jake's parent teachers meeting - she totally rocks
Love how Izzy refers to potential dates as Ex-Boyfriend #?
Don't really have to read the first book in order to understand the plot, it will help and you will love it, but you won't be totally lost if you don't
Gives you a synopsis of the first book without too much repetition for those
Tom Carrico
Apr 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
Curse of the Spellmans
By Lisa Lutz

The brief testimonials which are included on the book jackets or paperback covers can tell a reader a lot about the book. If the blurb is from a well-respected author such as Scott Turow or Tom Wolfe or even from an established book critic like Jonathan Yardley or Michael Dirda from the Washington Post there is bound to be some credibility to the book. When the quotes (in the case of this book) come from “People” magazine, “Entertainment Weekly” and from an aut
Jacqueline J
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: completed
While I thoroughly enjoyed the humor of this novel, I found it to be so disjointed and oddly organized as to be annoying. The book was chocked full of interesting characters with dysfunctional relationships that offered a good deal of humor but the plot took a backseat to the humor and sadly the humor was the central part of the book. It was funny, but it was far too cutesy. In fact it was so cutesy it came across like an episode of the naked gun. What little mystery there was got resolved in su ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This one gets a 4.5 star rating from me. I'm usually not a fan of series, primarily because of the issues that are in the beginning of this book - the numerous references back to the previous book in case the reader hasn't started at the beginning...
Once I got past that however, and simply let myself enjoy the author's unique and addicting style, I simply loved reading through it. It's too bad that the characters are not based on real people though because Izzy reminds me of an ex-girlfriend or
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: language
With my second book club reading The Spellman Files, I thought I'd be an overachiever and read the next installment in the series. I'm so glad I did. I forgot how amusing those wacky Spellmans are. While I enjoyed the humor and characters in this one more, the mystery in the first was definitely better. (It kind of reminds me of my obsession with the TV Veronica Mars. The mystery in the first season was unmatched in the second, but I was so into the characters that it didn't matter.) And like VM ...more
Daniel Sevitt
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: part-of-a-series
I can't believe I fell for the exact same Spellman schtick all over again. Funny banter, dislocated narrative, faux detective daftness and some sweet emotions and soapy family soppiness. Am I really that easily pleased? I guess I'll have to read the next one to find out.
Anne Hershewe
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Another zany Spellman adventure. A little more over-the-top and bit more predictable than the first book. I had some of the mysteries figured out quite a while before Lutz had Izzy solve them. I also quite missed the presence of Uncle Ray. And, the fact that David didn't feature as much in this book was really too bad (his banter and negotiations with Izzy and Rae in The Spellman Files were just so fun). However, Henry was a great addition to balance out the Spellman craziness. I also love Lutz' ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
when I was reading this, I had to remind myself that this is a work of fiction and none of these people's lives are real. Izzy Spellman comes across as actually mentally ill, even though her antics are obviously meant to be entertaining and kooky (not upsetting). but the writing is great, it's a real page-turner. there are so many little subplots and weird characters (Bernie, Morty, David, the poor woman whose yard keeps getting vandalized), but somehow everything gets addressed and makes sense.
Lisa B.
Apr 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-read
I listened to the audiobook.

I love the sarcastic wit of the Spellman's and how they interact with each other. My favorite family member is Rae and I will continue the series to see how her character develops.
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This family is crazy and I love it.
A good follow up to the first one, although it had it's slow moments and a little less spunk than the first. I do like the character development though. Rae is definitely the best :)
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good chuckle. Too many footnotes though which was kinda annoying and distracted the flow.
RJ McGill
Feb 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Warning: Spending time with the Spellman Family is highly addictive and produces uncontrollable bouts of laughter.

Two years have passed since Lisa Lutz’s debut novel introduced the lovable, dysfunctional Spellman Family and mesmerized readers from coast to coast with the kind of snooping, scheming and blackmailing that could only exist between parties who truly care for one another.

We rejoin Isabel Spellman (a.k.a. Izzy), in San Francisco, now thirty years old and once again working for her pare
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Izzy Spellman works for her parents’ private investigative service, where family members are acting strangely. Izzy’s brother David, a lawyer, has resorted to staying home, watching TV in his pajamas and eating junk food. Her father Albert is sneaking out of the house at all hours, returning with wet hair, while her mom Olivia is sneaking out of the house in early-morning hours and wreaking havoc on a motorbike. Her sister Rae runs over SFPD Inspector Henry Stone, her one and only friend. When a ...more
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
The "Curse of the Spellmans" was very similar to "The Spellman Files"- so highly recommended for those who enjoyed the first book, but do not read if you disliked the first book.

Again, this was a quick read which had some really funny parts that made me laugh out loud, although it also had its flaws. Unfortunately, I must say that the conclusion to the mystery was once again disappointing, because the case seemed initially fascinating and exciting, but it turned out that the truth was neither of
Matt Mazenauer
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone (after reading the first book Spellman Files)
Recommended to Matt by: The Spellman Files
Shelves: signed
Just as in the first book, I come away from this book with an immense desire to be a part of the amazingly dysfunctional distrusting and too-wrapped-up-in-their-own-drama Spellman family. The closest comparison I can draw is still Arrested Development's family issues. There is no way that characters like this could exist in the real world, yet they are provided with such realistic dialogue and motivations that you don't for a second question it mid-story. The joy and excitement of turning each p ...more
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Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of the six books in the Spellman series, How to Start a Fire, Heads you Lose (with David Hayward), and the children's book, How to Negotiate Everything (illustrated by Jaime Temairik). Her latest book, The Passenger, a psychological thriller, will be published March 2016 by Simon and Schuster. Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for ...more

Other books in the series

The Spellmans (6 books)
  • The Spellman Files (The Spellmans, #1)
  • 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)
“If people really grew up, there would be no crime, no divorce, no Civil War's not like you think it will be, that one day you'll wake up and realize that you've got things figured out. You never figure it out. Ever." - Isabel Spellman attempting to explain growing up to her sister Rae” 60 likes
“I'm staying," Henry said, annoyed.


"Because, if I leave, it would be like abandoning two mentally challenged people in a nuclear waste dump.”
More quotes…