Book Review: The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz


Rarely has a book utterly captivated me from page 1. The Hunger Games did (I’m eagerly awaiting the final installment in that trilogy), and that book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.

The Spellmans are a family of private investigators; they are an extremely dysfunctional family, but they seem to make it work. Mr. Spellman is a retired police officer who met his wife while she surveilled an unfaithful boyfriend. The entire family has followed in their footsteps, except for David, their oldest son. David is a lawyer, and he is perfect in every way. Izzy (Isabel) Spellman (described on the book’s summary as “part Nancy Drew-part Dirty Harry“) is the middle child, and has joined the family business and excelled–though she can’t keep a boyfriend. Rae is about 10 years younger than Izzy and has become hooked on surveillance as a hobby–and she’s excellent at it–and has developed a serious drinking habit (of ginger ale on the rocks at the local bar).  The family enjoys tailing each other, planting bugs on one another, and doing background checks on potential ex-boyfriends of Izzy.

This novel, for the most part, is told in the form of interconnected vignettes. I enjoy that, as they read like short stories, self-contained, but essential background information. Truly, this is the story of a family’s relationship with one another, odd as it is, and how they discover that they need each other, and that they cannot live without one another. It was hilarious and addictive, I simply could not stop reading (listening, in my case!), and I can’t wait for the sequel!

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

  1. Darn you, sirrah!

    For now I have no option to add this my growing list of “To Reads”!

    I simply have no power to resist a family of spies.

    BD

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Reads of 2010 « Elementary, My Dear Reader

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