The Spellman Files

Published 11:13 am Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Book: “The Spellman Files”

Author: Lisa Lutz

“The Spellman Files” by Lisa Lutz is a fun romp through the lives of a dysfunctional family who all happen to be private investigators.

The book is told from the perspective of the elder daughter, Izzy (Isabel) Spellman.

Izzy, 28, who has been working for the family firm Spellman Investigations since she was 12, wants to quit.

She is good at what she does, but the lack of privacy has taken its toll.

Her parents/bosses use the company surveillance equipment on Izzy and her younger sister Rae, and they run background checks on her boyfriends, a habit Izzy even picked up.

Her parents allow her to quit her job with just one condition. She must solve one more case, a 15-year-old cold case. But the case quickly becomes less important than one closer to home.

Even though the main characters are detectives, do not think The Spellman Files is a traditional mystery.

There are mysterious elements: car chases, missing persons and interrogations, but the characters and their relationships are the primary focus.

Just how does a family that routinely picks locks on each other’s doors maintain privacy? The Spellman family returned in The Curse of the Spellmans. The third installment of Lisa Lutz’s series, “The Revenge of the Spellmans,” is due out later this month.

If you like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books for their madcap antics and humorous characters, Lutz’s Spellman Series will keep you laughing.

Reviewer: Anna Olson is the popular materials librarian at the Pelham Public Library.