I heart these books so much and not just because she writes about my hometown, the big San Francisco but because the heroine is just perfect. How often do you come across a main character you just enjoy? For me, not since Minerva Dobbs in Bet Me.
With her wild child ways long behind her (or so she thinks), main protagonist Isabel "Izzy" Spellman is a productive member of her family business. A second generation private investigator, Izzy is a natural- poking and prodding into other people's secrets until the truth comes to light. Only problem- her whole family is like that. From her mother, sweet, deceptively gentile and beautiful, to her father, the old fashioned gumshoe to her uncle- the screw-up to younger sister, the voyeur, not one person in the Spellman family understands the concept of personal boundaries.
A lifetime of Spellman meddling has taught Izzy to hold her cards close to her chest. Especially when she finds a new boyfriend- a Normie. Suddenly all Izzy wants is a normal life, one where family members don't snoop, wiretap, search or spy on each other in the name of love. But before she can leave the business- her family challenges her to complete one last case. An unsolvable.
Izzy digs in, probing and prodding the fifteen-year-old, ice-cold missing person case trying to get new clues to shake loose. All while dodging her teenage sister Rae, her meddling mother, and maintaining a "normal" front to her boyfriend. He thinks she's a teacher. It's a lot for a girl to handle.
I can't say the mystery was exactly a surprise but Lutz writing more than made up for it. You just want to take the Spellmans and put them in your pocket or squeeze their cheeks just like Great Aunt Marge used to. However dysfunctional they may be- this is a family I'd love to be part of. Put this series on your must read this immediately list. Immediately.