Tag Archives: Lisa Lutz

Here Come the Brides

Bridge Wore Size 12 (nook book)

The Bride Wore Size 12: A Novel by Meg Cabot (William Morrow, $14.99, 400 pages)

Heather Mills is used to having her cake and eating it too, but this time her cake just might be cooked. Her wedding cake, that is.

Prolific author Meg Cabot delivers a new and very funny installment to fans of her Heather Wells series with The Bride Wore Size 12. Heather, a former teen pop singer, works at New York College – a fictitious private school in the city, where she is the assistant dorm director. The setting is ripe with possibilities for mayhem and humor.

The dialogue is snarky and remarkably upbeat considering Heather – who narrates the tale, is swamped by unanticipated drama at the beginning of the school year. Back-to-school events for incoming freshmen and a death in the dorm keep getting in the way of a more important matter – planning for her upcoming wedding to private investigator Cooper Cartwright.

The dorm residents include the son of a wealthy Middle Eastern king, numerous students whose helicopter parents insist on changing the room assignments to place their darlings in the best suites, and a core of resident assistants who help Heather manage the chaos – sometimes with cocktails. The politics of her job are enough to drive the average person bonkers; however, Heather has weathered more stressful situations in her prior career as a performer. Her mom ran off with Heather’s money and her manager to Argentina which necessitated the assistant dorm director job. She relies on her boundless energy and help from Cooper – and some alcohol, to solve the murder and get to the altar on time.

Bridge Wore Size 12 drink recipe

Meg Cabot’s audience clearly overlaps with those of writers Lisa Scottoline and Lisa Lutz. Together these three zany writers have provided many happy reading hours for this reviewer. Keep those book rolling off the presses, ladies!

Highly recommended.

Skating Under the Wire

Skating Under the Wire: A Mystery by Joelle Charbonneau (Minotaur Books, $25.99, 304 pages)

For a complete change of pace, but with a wedding theme as well, pick up the latest book in the roller-skating series by Joelle Charbonneau – Skating Under the Wire. Rink owner Rebecca Robbins is making a go of the business she inherited from her mom. The EstroGenocide women’s roller derby team now has a large and enthusiastic fan base. Rather than return to Chicago and the life she had before her mom’s untimely death, Rebecca has decided to stay in Indian Falls. Her grandfather, Pop, the senior citizen Elvis impersonator lives there, as does a rather handsome large animal veterinarian named Lionel whom Rebecca is dating.

Rebecca’s best friend Danielle is about to be married to the local preacher and Thanksgiving will be here soon. Rebecca is determined to be a super maid of honor for Danielle. The wedding shower for Danielle is held at the local senior center. As the presents are being opened, one of the ladies is missing from the festivities. She is found dead in the TV room! That’s mystery number one.

An intimate Thanksgiving dinner at her apartment above the roller-rink is the other obligation that Rebecca has on her literal plate. Thanksgiving has a strange meaning for the folks in Indian Falls due to a ten-year string of burglaries. You can count on Rebecca to create her own extravaganza as she turns a simple holiday dinner into a mass event all the while following clues and odd happenings to solve her most challenging cases yet.

Highly recommended.

Ruta Arellano

Review copies were provided by the publishers.

You can read a review of Joelle Charbonneau’s earlier book, Skating On the Edge: A Mystery, here:

https://josephsreviews.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/four-to-go/

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It’s the End of the World as We Know It

Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5 by Lisa Lutz (Simon and Schuster, $25.00, 373 pages)

I decided that sitting in a stairwell all night eavesdropping on a conversation in my own home was undignified, so I searched the office for a recording device that I could plant just outside the door.   Then I could listen from the luxury of the office.   Much more dignified.

Wacky, ironic, self-aware and irreverent are adjectives that sum up Isabel Spellman who is the narrator of the rather rambling and highly-entertaining journal of her family’s detective agency activities.   Their headquarters at 1799 Clay Street in San Francisco, California, also happens to be the family home.   Although this address is not really that of a home in San Francisco (a check of Google Earth confirms this fact), there are ample real locations in The City to validate Ms. Lutz’ familiarity with the locale.   She even goes so far as to disguise the name of a bakery in the Mission that has long lines in the hope that its fame will not be expanded by disclosure in the book.   My bet is that she’s referring to Tartine Bakery & Cafe at 600 Guerrero Street.

A family business like the Spellman’s presents opportunities to create intrigue and internal clashes.   The mix is enlivened by the presence of Demetrius Merriweather, a recently-released and wrongfully-convicted 43-year-old man, whose freedom after 20 years of incarceration is attributed to the efforts of the Spellmans.   When Grammy Spellman moves in, the family dynamics are tweaked beyond their usual passive-aggressiveness.

Lisa Lutz has enhanced the charm of this, her fifth book of the Spellman series, with illustrations and an appendix that includes background information on the characters, as well as documents referenced in the body of the story.

This reviewer caught herself laughing out loud on numerous occasions while reading this book.   Perhaps it’s time to read the rest of the series.   Hearty laughter is always a welcome accompaniment to a clever tale.

Highly recommended.

Ruta ArellanoTrail of the Spellmans (nook book)

A review copy was provided by the publisher.   The full title of the single from R.E.M.’s Document: R.E.M. No. 5 album is “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”   Another hit from that album was “The One I Love.”

R_E_M__-_Document

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A review of Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5 by Lisa Lutz.Trail of the Spellmans (AA)

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