Sunday, November 04, 2007


The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Friday, August 03, 2007

Lutz's debut novel follows the machinations of one of the most disfunctional familes I've read about. Mom and Dad Spellman own their own private investigations business, and their children join the work in their early teens. Actually, Rae, the youngest, starts surveillance at the age of six. Izzy is the middle wild child, trying to get attention from her perfect older brother, David, who later becomes a lawyer. She is also the narrator, telling the story in a straightforward manner while trying to justify some of her loonier actions. Her relationships with men are hopeless: one of her many lists contains all her ex-boyfriends, the duration of the relationship, and the parting line. While there is one small mystery which Izzy is assigned to investigate, it is merely a sidebar to the highjinks of the Spellman Agency and the disappearance of fourteen-year-old Rae Spellman. Because a car with a broken tail light is easier to tail, they carry hammers with them. Because the snoopy family tails each other, they all sport broken tail lights. Izzy's affair with the hot Guatemalan dentist is doomed because of her mother's prejudice, not against Hispanics as he assumes, but against dentists. She spends half the book lining Izzy up with lawyers. Interspersed with these antics are the chapters involving the police detective who is trying to help the Spellmans find Rae. While there are many funny moments, I found the whole clan became a little too silly and frantic. It was a fun, light read, but the book has been mooched and I'm not sure if I will read any future Spellman novels.
Rating: 3
Posted by Framed at 9:22 PM

Literary Feline said...
Thanks for the review, Framed! I haven't read anything by Lisa Lutz before. I was thinking maybe I had a book of hers in my TBR collection, but it's John Lutz's books I have. I haven't yet read anything by him either. :-)
8/04/2007 11:03 AM
Carrie K said...
I haven't read any of her books either. It sounds a bit ditzy.

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