The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz is the first book in a series following the escapades of main character is twenty-eight-year-old Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, a licensed PI who favors Get Smart reruns and entertains houses through windows rather than doors (including her own).
The rest of her family includes her father and mother, Albert and Olivia, older brother David, and younger sister Rae.
The Spellman family own a private investigation (PI) business aptly called Spellman Investigations, which they run from the first floor of their home.
Izzy has quite a negative history with her family, routinely getting into trouble. She especially enjoyed picking on David, who is the scholar in the family. Izzy spent quite a number of hours in the Interrogation Room facing her father after her frequent misdeeds.
When Izzy finds out that the family assigned Rae to follow her in order to find out her newest boyfriend, Izzy decides to give up the family business and go on her own. Unfortunately, the family wouldn’t let her go until she solved one more case - a fifteen-year-old cold case that caused a disappearance closer to home.
The Spellman Files sets up whom each family is what role each person plays in the home and in the PI business, and explains in fairly chronological order the history of the Spellman's. Basically, it brings the reader up to date so that future stories have a solid base.
Lutz has a unique way of writing that keeps the reader from getting bored. The notes, lists, and chapters of varying length keep the reader engaged. The chapter titles are also part of the fun of reading this book.
The family certainly goes through their share of trials and struggles, both as a family and in their occupation as PIs. The novel has its serious side as well as snappy dialogue and sassy asides.
I have read other reviews where people are comparing Izzy Spellman to Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich), but I don't see it at all. They are two very different characters and the books are written in quite a different style. That does not mean that both are not good, just different.
This first book in the series shows great promise and has periods of LOL fun. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
A special thank you goes to Simon & Schuster for providing a complimentary review copy of The Spellman Files.