Trail of the Spellmans
By Lisa Lutz
I promise, I didn't know that this book was primarily the humor genre--I don't seem to have a sense of humor like many have, so I don't usually read the genre. I thought the book was about PI's and there was a few cases that were interesting, although all of them involved following people, except one client who had OCD and used the private investigator as a backup to make sure someone was dealing with his compulsions so he wouldn't lose his job. None of the situations take much to figure out--I had all of them resolved after the first introduction of each case...
The book was well written although the majority was about the Spellman family itself and the ongoing drama that apparently revolves around the members. The story is told from the point of view of the daughter, Isabel, who clearly has a handle on how the investigative business should be run, but also clearly, contrary to the back cover's statement, is just as dysfunctional as the rest of those who live there. I must admit that the writer's use of footnoting was, for me, completely frustrating from the reader's standpoint since the footnotes were merely attempts to increase the humor, which it didn't, in my opinion. For me, it just increased reading time and was disruptive.
Two parents hired them to follow their daughter who had entered college, to keep track of her activities.
A wife hired them to follow her husband and keep her informed where he was and when he was to return home.
A brother hired them to follow his sister and report back to him.
But the investigator assigned the first case, made up false reports to turn in...get the idea of strange actions. Of course the investigator is the youngest daughter in the family and to punish her for what she did, had her car taken away from her, without anybody explaining why...Funny? You decide...
Isabel did have a basic and healthy attitude about how the job should be done, although the ending action was, in my opinion, quite unethical and, quite naturally backfired on her.
Sorry, I didn't even smile once. Some of the scenes were sad, such as with the client who had OCD and while Isabel did explain everything to him, they did do as much as could be expected as private investigators. I guess I have to admit that most of it was boring for me, since I don't find making fun of dysfunctional family members something that should be done. On the other hand, knowing that many people do enjoy sitcom type of humor, the book itself was fast-paced, except for the footnotes, and certainly should be considered by those who routinely enjoy the humor genre...
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