The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
Genre: Mystery, Humor
Series: #1 in the Izzy Spellman Mysteries series
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2007
The Short Version:
Izzy Spellman works for her family’s Private Investigation firm and it’s amazing that they have any time for outside jobs because they spend a lot of time investigating each other.
Why I Read It:
I laughed so much reading Heads You Lose which the author co-wrote with David Hayward that I just had to read more of her work. I had heard that this was a fun series.
From the publisher
Meet Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors—but the upshot is she’s good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people’s privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman.
Yes it’s a bit (no a lot) over the top but I was had so much fun reading it I didn’t care.
The Spellman’s are a unique family and that’s probably a good thing. Dad is an ex-cop. He and Mom started their PI business and the kids all grew up as both family members and employees. Then there’s Uncle Ray with his drinking and gambling problems and random disappearances. Izzy’s older brother is now an attorney but that doesn’t mean he’s completely away from the family business (and antics). Her teenage sister Rae isn’t old enough to really work much on the family’s jobs but that doesn’t keep her from honing her skills with some free range spying.
When Izzy decides she’s had enough of being followed and spied on by her own family she tells her parents she’s quitting. They make her take on one last cold case.
This was a lot of fun just for fun’s sake. A good portion of the book is spent establishing background and history but it finally gets going when Izzy’s younger sister Rae disappears.
Lutz’s style clearly shows her screenwriting background but that also works to give it some snappy and quick dialog and action. I’m looking forward to reading more of the Spellman family’s adventures. Now that the background has been established in this first book it should be a fun ride.