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1 Hawthorne Mystery- A to Z

Other titles in the Izzy Spellman Mysteries series:

Curse of the Spellmans (Izzy Spellman Mysteries)


Curse of the Spellmans (Izzy Spellman Mysteries) Cover

ISBN13: 9781416532422
ISBN10: 1416532420
Condition: Standard
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Curse of the Spellmans


Sunday, January 8

1100 hrs

I have trouble with beginnings. For one thing, I don’t find stories all that interesting when you start at the beginning. If you ask me, you only know there is a story when you get to the middle. And besides, beginnings are hard to determine. One could argue that the true beginning to all stories is the beginning of time. But Morty is already eighty-two years old, so given our time constraints, I’ll begin this story on the date I met, or, more specifically, first laid eyes on “John Brown” (hereafter referred to as “Subject” or by some variation of his alias, “John Brown”).

I remember the day that Subject moved in next door to my parents like it was yesterday. He was taking over the second-story apartment of a triplex, previously occupied by Mr. Rafter, whose tenancy lasted close to thirty years. David knew Mr. Rafter better than I since his bedroom was six feet from Rafter’s den and their windows were level enough to provide each a fishbowl view of the other. Since Rafter spent most of his time watching television in his den and David spent most of his time studying in his bedroom, the two men got to know each other in their respective comfortable silences (minus the sounds of the television, that is).

But I digress. As I said, I remember the day Subject moved in next door like it was yesterday. And I suppose the reason I remember it so vividly is because of the events that transpired earlier that day, the events that caused me to be at my family’s home at the precise moment Subject’s moving truck double-parked out front. So, I’m thinking I should probably start earlier that day and mention the aforementioned events.

0900 hrs

I woke in my bed, or, more precisely, the bed in the home of Bernie Peterson, a retired SFPD lieutenant whom I sublet from. My illegal residence in the Richmond district is exactly 2.8 miles and one giant hill away from my parents’ home, but I’m always just a phone call away.

The phone rang, like it always does, before I’d had enough coffee to face the day.


“Isabel, it’s Mom.”


“I’m not in the mood for this today.”

“Not ringing a bell. When did we meet?”

“Listen to me very carefully; I don’t want to repeat myself. I need you to pick up Rae from the hospital.”

“Is she all right?” I asked, concern altering the tone of my voice.#LINK<>#1

“She’s fine. But Henry#LINK<>#2 isn’t.”

“What happened?”

“She ran him over.”


“With a car, Isabel.”

“I got that part, Mom.”

“Izzy, I’m in the middle of a job. I have to go. Please get all the details of what went down. As usual, record everything. Call me when you get home.”

San Francisco General Hospital

1000 hrs

The woman at the reception desk told me that only immediate family would be allowed in Henry’s room. I flashed my quarter-carat engagement ring and asked if fiancées qualified.

A nurse directed me toward room 873 and explained that he was in serious, but stable, condition.

“Can you tell me what happened?” I asked the nurse.

“Your daughter is with him now. I’ll let her explain.”

“My daughter?”

I found my sister, Rae, sitting by Inspector Henry Stone’s bedside, staring at the electronic device monitoring his vitals.

Henry’s nurse tried to smile over her annoyance at Rae’s hypervigilant announcements.

“Seventy-two. His heart rate went up by five beats,” Rae said as I entered.

My sister’s eyes were bloodshot and her flushed cheeks showed signs of recent crying. The nurse looked relieved when she saw me and said to Rae, “Oh, good. Your mother’s here.”

“Eew,” I said, offended. “I’m not her mother. Do I look old enough to be the mother of a fifteen-year-old girl?”

“I hadn’t thought about it,” she replied.

“I’m his fiancée,” I clarified to the nurse, and then turned to the inspector.

Henry Stone was lying in the hospital bed with an assortment of tubes and monitors attached to his body, wearing the standard-issue hospital gown. Minus the unfortunate outfit and the single gauze bandage stuck to his left temple, he looked pretty much the same as he always does: well groomed, slightly underweight, and handsome in a way that’s very easy to ignore. His usually short-cropped salt-and-pepper hair had grown out more in the past few weeks, which had the added benefit of making him appear younger than his forty-four years. Although at that moment the dark circles under his eyes and his patently agitated expression had offset that benefit.

“How is he?” I asked the nurse, trying to emote the appropriate shade of concern.

“There’s some bruising on the legs just below the knee, but nothing’s broken. The main concern is the concussion. He lost consciousness for five minutes and is experiencing nausea. We did a CT and everything looks fine, but we need to keep him under observation for forty-eight hours.”

“Will he have permanent brain damage?” Rae asked.

Henry grabbed my wrist. Hard. “I need to speak to you in private,” he said.

I turned to Rae. “Leave the room.”

“No,” she replied. I never thought a single syllable could possess such heartbreaking desperation.

“Get out,” Henry demanded, unmoved by her wells of emotion.

“Are you ever going to forgive me?” she said to him.

“It’s only been two hours since you ran me over,” he replied.

“Accidentally!” she shouted.

Then Henry shot her a look that seemed to have more power than any lecture, punishment, or curfew my parents ever unleashed on Rae.

“Two and a half hours,” Rae mumbled as she soberly exited the room.

Henry gripped my arm even tighter after Rae was out of earshot. “That kind of hurts, Henry.”

“Don’t talk to me about pain.”

“Right. Sorry.”

“I need you to do me a favor.”


“Keep her away from me.”

“For how long?”

“A couple weeks.”

“Dream on.”

“Isabel, please. I need a break.”

“I’ll do what I can, but—”

“Your sister almost killed me today—”

“Accidentally!” shouted Rae from the other side of the door.

“I need a Rae vacation.#LINK<>#3 Please. Help me.”

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

JeannieB, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by JeannieB)
The Spellmans make your family look positively functional! Not your typical mystery, this series kept me interested in both the "mystery" and the family.
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mike draper, April 3, 2009 (view all comments by mike draper)
Izzy Spellman is a PI. She is arrested for the 4th time due to her obsessive investigation of her next door neighbor. Izzy is in her young 30's and doesn't have a lot of common sense. When she finds that her neighbor's name is John Brown, she's sure it's an alias and that he must be up to something.

Her family owns the Spellman PI Agency and when her parents refuse to bail her out she has to turn to her eighty-two year old uncle Mort to defend her. However, so he can mount a proper defense, Izzy has to tell him the story behing her suspicions.

We meet Izzy's so called fiance, Henry Stone, a police inspector who has been run over (accidentially) by Izzy's 15 year old sister, Rae. Rae happens to have a fixation on Henry so much so that Henry has to plead with Izzy to keep her sister away from his hospital room so he can recover in peace.

I found this book highly enjoyable. Izzy is a batsy character who could have been played by Lisa Kidrow from Friends. With the bizzare behavior of the characters, the story will keep you laughing and is a fun read.

This is Lisa Lutz' first novel and it is currently in development by Paramount. With the same zaney characters and bizzare behavior the movie has to succeed.

The writing style mixes narrative and summaries from the agencies detective work. If the reader can suspend their belief and don't find the characters too absurb I feel they will greatly enjoy this work.

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Product Details

Lutz, Lisa
Simon & Schuster
Gran, Sara
Mystery & Detective - Women Sleuths
General Fiction
Mystery-A to Z
lisa lutz, spellman, spellman files, izzy spellman, trail of the spellmans, curse of the spellmans, spellmans strike again, the last word, spellman six, rae spellman, humor, comedy, mystery, cozy mystery, quirky, hip, hipster, series, funny series, new se
lisa lutz, spellman, spellman files, izzy spellman, trail of the spellmans, curse of the spellmans, spellmans strike again, the last word, spellman six, rae spellman, humor, comedy, mystery, cozy mystery, quirky, hip, hipster, series, funny series, new se
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Izzy Spellman Mysteries
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Sale Books

Curse of the Spellmans (Izzy Spellman Mysteries) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416532422 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This sidesplitting follow-up to the national bestseller "The Spellman Files" brings back America's favorite family of private detectives.
"Synopsis" by , "A distinctive new American voice in mystery fiction." &#8212;NPRs Fresh Air
"Synopsis" by ,
"A distinctive new American voice in mystery fiction." &#8212;NPRs Fresh Air  
When Claire DeWitts ex-boyfriend Paul Casablancas, a musician, is found dead in his Mission District house, Claire is on the case. Paul's wife and the police are sure Paul was killed for his valuable collection of vintage guitars. But Claire, the best detective in the world, has other ideas. Even as her other cases offer hints to Pauls fate&#8212;a missing girl in the grim East Village of the 1980s and an epidemic of missing miniature horses in Marin County--Claire knows: the truth is never where you expect it, and love is the greatest mystery of all.
"There's absolutely nothing predictable about either the multilayered investigation&#8212;cloaked in references to Indian scriptures, Thomas Merton, and cheesy 1980s TV mysteries&#8212;or DeWitt herself, who charms despite her fraying life. A" &#8212;Entertainment Weekly "Grans building something here, something bigger and better than a mere series. Shes building a labyrinthine world and filling it out completely, and Im just happy to be along for the ride." &#8212;Los Angeles Review of Books

"Synopsis" by , Ï»¿


Their first caper, The Spellman Files, was a New York Times bestseller and earned comparisons to the books of Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich. Now the Spellmans, a highly functioning yet supremely dysfunctional family of private investigators, return in a sidesplittingly funny story of suspicion, surveillance, and surprise.

When Izzy Spellman, PI, is arrested for the fourth time in three months, she writes it off as a job hazard. She's been (obsessively) keeping surveillance on a suspicious next door neighbor (suspect's name: John Brown), convinced he's up to no good — even if her parents (the management at Spellman Investigations) are not.

When the (displeased) management refuses to bail Izzy out, it is Morty, Izzy's octogenarian lawyer, who comes to her rescue. But before he can build a defense, he has to know the facts. Over weak coffee and diner sandwiches, Izzy unveils the whole truth and nothing but the truth — as only she, a thirty-year-old licensed professional, can.

When not compiling Suspicious Behavior Reports on all her family members, staking out her neighbor, or trying to keep her sister, Rae, from stalking her "best friend," Inspector Henry Stone, Izzy has been busy attempting to apprehend the copycat vandal whose attacks on Mrs. Chandler's holiday lawn tableaux perfectly and eerily match a series of crimes from 1991­-92, when Izzy and her best friend, Petra, happened to be at their most rebellious and delinquent. As Curse of the Spellmans unfolds, it's clear that Morty may be on retainer, but Izzy is still very much on the case...er, cases — her own and that of every other Spellman family member.

(Re)meet the Spellmans, a family in which eavesdropping is a mandatory skill, locks are meant to be picked, past missteps are never forgotten, and blackmail is the preferred form of negotiation — all in the name of unconditional love.

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