Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

"What did they tell you about me?"
"Does it matter now?"
"Yes. It does."
Stone, Consulting his notes, says, "I know you used to knock over trash cans with your car on garbage night. I know about the drugs, I know about the drinking, I know that you can't keep a boyfriend, I know about the Neighborhood Watch meetings in your honor, I know about a string of unproven cases of vandalism that all occurred during your school years. Shall I go on?"
"You got anything good in there?"

How could you NOT love a book where the above conversation is normal? And I'll apologize now for forgetting to put in the page number, I swear it came from the book, but I suppose you'll have to read it to figure out what page exactly.

This is the first in the new series. The Spellmans are a family of 5, well, 6 if you count Uncle Ray. They own a PI business. The children end up getting involved early on in life and while the oldest, Daniel, goes on to become a lawyer, the two younger girls stay with the business. Even though the youngest, Rae, is still in high school.

The story begins with the main Spellman, Isabel, having to give the police a background of her family and life because her youngest sister has disappeared. In fact, the majority of the book is what lead up to Rae's disappearance. We learn about what Isabel was like has a child (lord I hope my future kid is not like her! haha!) and how her normal relationships go. We also learn what it is like to live as a Spellman. Let me tell you, this is not a normal family. We have the family tailing each other, looking up background information on future/possible boyfriends, and lost weekends with Uncle Ray.

Towards the middle or end of the book, Isabel picks up an old case file that her parents never solved. She looks into it knowing she won't solve it but everyone she interviews regarding the file seems like they are hiding something. The more she looks into it, the more she is threatened to stop.

I have to say, overall, loved the book. I laughed several times. I want to compare the book to Janet Evanovich's Plum series. I won't say it's the same, it's not. But the humor was similar. It's the type where you can read it to get some laughs. That being said, if you aren't one to like the Plum books, I still suggest looking into this book. Go to the bookstore, read a couple pages and you'll have an idea of what the writing style is like and what the characters are like. If you don't like it, fine, but if you do, take it home. I personally already own the second in the series and can't wait to read it. Although as most of you know, I won't read it right away. In fact, this might be one that I save for a rainy day when I'm feeling glum and need something light and fun.

Have you read this book and reviewed it on your blog? If so, drop me a line and let me know. I'll put a link below.

This book has also been reviewed over at Thoughts of Joy.

new author/mystery/353 pgs


Kristie said...

I loved this book too! I just read it a couple of weeks ago and still think about it. I think what makes it so funny is because all of the characters are a little wacked out, not just one of the them. Though the ending was a little sad.

April said...

I LOVED this one as well and have the next sitting on my shelf to read very soon!

Thoughts of Joy said...

Great review, Kris. I think knowing a little of what to expect from this book will help readers enjoy it more. Also, I fully agree - if you are not a Stephanie Plum fan, then a pass on this book would be the best bet. I'm very curious as to your thoughts on the second in this series. I'll be keeping an eye out for it. :)