Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sophomore Spellman Novel Inspires Repeat Public LOL-ing

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

A plot summary that captures the essence of a novel in a few succinct, but hilarious paragraphs is a thing of beauty.  Whoever writes the cover copy for the Spellman mysteries by Lisa Lutz nails it every time.  As a tribute to his/her genius (and a nod to my laziness), I give you the perfection that is his/her description of Curse of the Spellmans:

In this sidesplittingly funny follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The Spellman Files, San Francisco’s own highly functioning yet supremely dysfunctional family of private investigators are back on the case in another mystery full of suspicion, surveillance, humor, and surprise from award-winning author Lisa Lutz. Curse of the Spellmans was nominated for both the Edgar Award and the Macavity Award, and the Izzy Spellman Mysteries have earned comparisons to everything from Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich to Veronica Mars and Bridget Jones.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               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.
As you may remember, The Spellman Files, the first book in Lutz's zany series about a family of private eyes working in San Francisco, made me laugh out loud.  More than once.  In public.  It's that hilarious.  Curse of the Spellmans, the second book in the series, inspired a repeat performance.  There's just something about Isabelle, our lovable anti-hero, that I find wholly appealing.  Not only is she hapless and hilarious, but she's so real.  Her madcap adventures make for fun, addicting reading.  Every time.  After the first Spellman novel, Curse of the Spellmans does feel a little formulaic and predictable.  Still, the novel kept me royally entertained.  I'm not usually a big fan of screwball comedy, but I make an exception for the Spellmans.  I don't care how goofy these mysteries get, I adore them.

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Spellman series [The Spellman Files; Revenge of the Spellmans; The Spellmans Strike Again; Trail of the Spellmans; and The Last Word])

Grade:



If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language and depictions of underage drinking and illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find




4 comments:

  1. I've read the first book in the series and discussed it at a book club meeting. Meant to read on. Haven't. Story of my life. LOL

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  2. I really just heard about this author and she sounds really fun! I'll definitely be looking for the Spellman series but I might put a few books in between the first and second to help with the formulaic feeling. Plus that's easy to get past if the book is funny enough!

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  3. These sound like such fun comfort reads!

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  4. I just picked up the first Spellman Files from the library today! Can't wait to read a funny and smart mystery - and set in San Francisco, too!

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