The Spellman Files: A Novel (Izzy Spellman Mysteries)

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9780743564342: The Spellman Files: A Novel (Izzy Spellman Mysteries)

Izzy Spellman is 28, single and works for Spellman Investigations, a family-run private detective agency. She might have a chequered past littered with romantic mistakes - but at least she's good at her job. Invading people's privacy comes naturally. To the whole family. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail and wiretap a Spellman. But when Izzy's parents hire her 14-year-old sister to discover the identity of her new boyfriend, Izzy decides she wants out. Before they'll let her go, her parents ask her to solve one last case - a 15-year-old, ice-cold, missing person, impossible-to-solve case. But when a disappearance occurs far closer to home, Izzy's Impossible Case becomes the most important of her life.

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About the Author:

Lisa Lutz is the author of The Spellman Files, a New York Times best-seller; Curse of the Spellmans, a national best-seller and nominee for both the Macavity and Edgar? Awards for Best Novel of 2008; and the critically acclaimed Revenge of the Spellmans. Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor's degree. Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film was made in 2000, she vowed she would never write another screenplay. A motion picture adaptation of The Spellman Files is in development with Paramount Pictures.

Ari Graynor's theater credits include Little Dog Laughed, Brooklyn Boy, Dog Sees God, Spanish Girl, Fall, King Lear, and Into the Woods. Films include For Your Consideration, The Great New Wonderful, Game 6, Imaginary Heroes, and Mystic River. On television, she has appeared in Veronica Mars, The Sopranos, and Law & Order: SVU.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

THE INTERVIEW

Chapter 1Seventy-two Hours Later

A single lightbulb hangs from the ceiling, its dull glow illuminating the spare decor of this windowless room. I could itemize its contents with my eyes closed: one wooden table, splintered and paint-chipped, surrounded by four rickety chairs; a rotary phone; an old television; and a VCR. I know this room well. Hours of my childhood I lost in here, answering for crimes I probably did commit. But I sit here now answering to a man I have never seen before, for a crime that is still unknown, a crime that I am too afraid to even consider.

Inspector Henry Stone sits across from me. He places a tape recorder in the center of the table and switches it on. I can't get a good read on him: early forties, short-cropped salt-and-pepper hair, crisp white shirt, and a perfectly tasteful tie. He might be handsome, but his cold professionalism feels like a mask. His suit seems too pricey for a civil servant and makes me suspicious. But everyone makes me suspicious.

"Please state your name and address for the record," says the inspector.

"Isabel Spellman. Seventeen ninety-nine Clay Street, San Francisco, California."

"Please state your age and date of birth."

"I'm twenty-eight. Born April 1, 1978."

"Your parents are Albert and Olivia Spellman, is that correct?"

"Yes."

"You have two siblings: David Spellman, thirty, and Rae Spellman, fourteen. Is that correct?"

"Yes."

"Please state your occupation and current employer for the record."

"I am a licensed private investigator with Spellman Investigations, my parents' PI firm."

"When did you first begin working for Spellman Investigations?" Stone asks.

"About sixteen years ago."

Stone consults his notes and looks up at the ceiling, perplexed. "You would have been twelve?"

"That is correct," I respond.

"Ms. Spellman," Stone says, "let's start at the beginning."

I cannot pinpoint the precise moment when it all began, but I can say for sure that the beginning didn't happen three days ago, one week, one month, or even one year ago. To truly understand what happened to my family, I have to start at the very beginning, and that happened a long time ago.

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