Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: Curse of the Spellmans

Curse of the Spellmans
By Lisa Lutz

First published: 2008
Series: Spellman Files #2

Read: 29 April - 28 May 2011
Pages: 500
Challenges: 2nds Challenge #2
Mystery and Suspense Challenge #5

From the cover

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) surveilling a suspicious neighbor and attempting to apprehend the copycat vandal whose attacks on Mrs. Chandler's holiday tableaux eerily match the 1991-92 crime spree when Izzy and her best friend Petra, were at their most delinquent. After the displeased management (i.e., Mom and Dad) at Spellman Investigations refuses to bail Izzy out, her octogenarian lawyer comes to her rescue. But first Izzy must unveil the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as only a thirty-year-old licensed professional can...

Fast, fun and fresh

I read the first book in the Isabel Spellman series last year and absolutely loved it. This sequel does not disappoint.

Isabel Spellman, licenced PI, is in trouble. Again. A new guy has moved in next door, and after dating John Brown (that can't possibly be his real name) for a short time, Izzy is sure he is hiding something. She just doesn't know what. And she can't rest until she finds out.

Izzy is one of my fictional BFFs. She's clever, funny and just the right amount of crazy. (Random fact: Her preferred method of entry is through windows.) I was afraid her obsession with the suspicios neighbour would be too much after a while, but it never got to the point of annoying. Instead I was just as curious as Isabel to figure out what he was really up to.

I love the way the novel is built up. It begins in the middle of the story, after Isabel has been arrested for the fourth time and goes back to the beginning as she is trying to explain her actions to her elderly lawyer. Izzy's story catches up to the present towards the end of the book and then we move forward to the solution. Like in the first book, the chapters are short and full of footnotes, lists and transcripts, and with Izzy as the narrator, we also get lots of digressions and distractions. This may sound confusing, but it really isn't. I find it very refreshing, not to mention frequently hilarious (there's even a curling reference in there!).

Curse of the Spellmans is just as witty and smart as it sounds, and if you haven't made the acquaintance of the Spellmans yet, I urge you to do so immediately. You won't regret it.

My rating:

The Spellman Files
  1. The Spellman Files (2007)
  2. Curse of the Spellmans (2008)
  3. Revenge of the Spellmans (2009)
  4. The Spellmans Strike Again (2010)

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