By Lisa Lutz
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007
Series: Izzy Spellman mysteries; 1
Intended audience: adult
Number of pages: 358
Settings: Mainly San Francisco, CA but also Marin county and Reno, NV
Time period: contemporary
Plot summary: 28 year old Izzy Spellman comes from a family of private investigators; she started working in the family business as a teenager and never left. Consequently, her perspective on life is a bit different from the average Jo’s. When Izzy finally realizes that her family is dysfunctional to the point where she will never have any privacy in her life, she decides that she wants out of the family business. Only leaving the business is not as easy as just quitting.
Pacing: Fast pace with lots of short dialogue.
Characterization: Told in first person through Izzy. The story is filled with quirky characters (mainly in the Spellman family).
Frame: The snooping and spying nature of the Spellman family permeates the lives of all of the Spellmans and everyone with whom they associate.
Story line: An entertaining story about the dangers of mixing family and business lives.
Private investigators — Fiction.
Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series
Personal notes: I found this book to be amusing, but not great. The family was certainly dysfunctional, but none of the characters or situations seemed remotely believable to me.
Other (themes, diversity): Diversity – female private investigator
Winner of a 2008 Alex Award (an outstanding adult book which introduces teens to adult literature)