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*Starred Review* Trouble always has a way of finding Isabel Spellman, the snarky, whip-smart sleuth at the heart of Lutz's best-selling series. Although Izzy has plenty of clients to keep her busy, much of her time is devoted to dealing with the mischievous staff at Spellman Investigations, aka her own family. Her mother and father lack any semblance of professionalism, opting to hide out in their bedroom sipping coffee rather than attending firm meetings (or do much work, for that matter). And Izzy's sassy younger sister, Rae, has proved herself a master (mistress?) of blackmail and bribes. This time around, however, Izzy's woes stem not from next of kin but from an uberwealthy former client named Edward Slayter, who's accused Izzy of embezzlement. Slayter, it turns out, has early-stage Alzheimer's and is desperate to hide his diagnosis from colleagues and friends. Izzy is doing her best to keep Slayter's secret and save her own neck. Many of Lutz's quirky characters make appearances here, from Izzy's charming ex-boyfriend (and San Francisco cop) Henry Stone to her brother, David, who's traded the buttoned-up world of high finance for the demanding and disheveled life of a stay-at-home dad. Edgar-nominated Lutz is in fine form, delivering another killer whodunit packed with plot twists and wit.--Block, Allison Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Lutz delivers another rollicking good time in her sixth novel featuring the wacky San Francisco family of PIs (after 2012's Trail of the Spellmans). Everyone in the Spellman clan is in an uproar because of Isabel's hostile takeover of the firm. Izzy's parents, Albert and Olivia, have taken up a passive-aggressive retaliation involving boxer shorts and plastic curlers, while her sister, Rae, has devised a new revenge-based income stream. Meanwhile, Izzy is helping client Edward Slayter hide his Alzheimer's, but it's clear someone is determined to get him kicked out as CEO of a very profitable venture capital firm, and that someone is willing to sic the FBI on Izzy for embezzlement as part of the scheme. Former boyfriend Henry Stone keeps showing up at peculiar times, and Izzy's battles with her tyrannical three-year-old niece, Sydney (aka Princess Banana), are escalating. The hilarious office memos and footnotes add to the fun. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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A little more than three months ago, Isabel Spellman bought out her siblings to become the controlling shareholder of Spellman Investigations, and things have been going downhill for her ever since. Fewer cases, strong parental resistance, and too many missed clues are taking their toll on Izzy's enthusiasm for her new role as a power-mad CEO. Reluctantly, Izzy finds herself reevaluating key decisions, resulting in perhaps unwanted but helpful, self-reflective moments. Can Izzy find her way forward, or is she about to stubbornly backslide into trouble? The Spellmans could be the poster family for strong but lovingly dysfunctional relationships; their eccentricities are also an essential element of what makes them so endearing as individuals. Lutz's secondary characters are as charmingly quirky and provide opportunities for greater emotional depth in her protoganists' relationships. Readers are also treated to a slew of fabulously inventive cases, investigated in grand Spellman tradition. Verdict A mix of happy, sad, and funny elements, this sixth book in the series (after Trail of the Spellmans) delivers all these emotions, plus a mysterious ending fans will find extremely curious and strangely satisfying!-Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.