RogerBW's Blog

Trail of the Spellmans, Lisa Lutz 17 October 2022

2012 mystery-adjacent; fifth in the Spellmans series. Izzy Spellman is by now the most normal member of her family. But that really doesn't take much.

To me this felt as if it was working on inertia. I enjoyed books 1-4, and book 5 is superficially more of the same, so I should enjoy this too. And sure enough, there are the usual family puzzles: why aren't Rae and David (Izzy's brother and sister) on speaking terms? Why is her mother throwing herself into hobbies, when she doesn't seem to be enjoying them? How does Izzy's case overlap with her father's, and why is he trying to keep them separated? (Well, mostly so that no pesky ethical considerations will prevent the firm from working one case or the other.)

But… Henry, who used to be the external voice of sanity, is barely here. Henry and Rae were a great double-act; not here. There is some plot continuity from the developments that have been taking up the previous four books, but most of Lutz's auctorial interest is in this book's new plots, which seem to have brewed up out of nowhere rather than having been foreshadowed. (I suspect book four may have been intended as the series' conclusion.)

I have enough inertia that I'll read the final book but I really wasn't engaged by this one.

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Previous in series: The Spellmans Strike Again | Series: The Spellmans | Next in series: The Last Word

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