Trail of the Spellmans is the fifth novel in the Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz.
Finished on: 24.10.2020
[Here are my reviews of the rest of the series.]
Spellman Investigations is busy as usual, but also as usual, Izzy has to keep a close eye on her family members as well because something is going on with pretty much all of them. Rae and David aren’t speaking, and neither is David’s little daughter Sydney. Rae has gone off to college. Izzy’s mother keeps finding new hobbies for herself so that she is barely home – only it doesn’t seem like she actually likes her new activities. And Henry’s mother is coming to visit and, what is even worse, Henry wants to have a talk with Izzy – two encounters Izzy has been trying to avoid by sneaking and hiding, her usual strategies. And Izzy’s father is working a case that seems to be connected to her own, but he won’t let Izzy peek at his files. Things are complicated indeed.
Trail of the Spellmans gives us some nice twists and turns that continue in the Spellman series tradition, but also add some new elements. It was fun and enjoyable until it ripped out my heart.
The Spellman is one of the most dysfunctional families I have ever read about – and I am constantly impressed by the balance that Lutz manages. Dysfunctional doesn’t mean abusive, although people often confuse them with each other. And the Spellmans may be many things and (some of) their ethics may be questionable, but they are not abusive, I think.
And as usual, they keep growing and changing. Although the more things change, the more they stay the same. So even though they all keep evolving, they don’t become entirely different people. And even new people – like Demetrius – don’t really change the general trajectory of their relationships. That means reading the novels is always like visiting dear old friends you only irregularly keep in touch with. It’s a good mix of making the familiar feel fresh and Lutz really has that mix down pat.
I am very glad, in any case, that this isn’t the last of the Spellman novels (there is one more for now, titled The Last Word, so it might be the last). Not only because I enjoy the novels so very much, but also because I have a hard time accepting one of the last turns of events here, a definite heartbreaker. Things cannot end this way, and I really hope that they don’t. I guess I will find out soon.
Summarizing: Fun and entertaining.