My friend Deb – she is of the now-2000+ “books read” list – had a new discovery for me – Lisa Lutz’s Spellman trilogy. These hilarious books, written in the voice of 30-ish Isabelle Spellman, feature a family of private eyes. Dad – former cop/PI. Mom – auburn-tressed and still attactive PI. Little sister Rae, who grows from prepubescent to fully pubescent over the course of the three books, is devilish, stubborn, and has an uncanny flare for PI-ing. Lone hold out is business savant brother David.
I already knew of the Spellmans, having read the first two books (now out in paperback!) The Spellman Files and Curse of the Spellmans. And yet, according to Deb, there was a third book! Yesterday afternoon I began The Revenge of the Spellmans. Yesterday at 10:38 p.m., I set it down, replete. Yes, the new book is just as funny. Mom and Dad are still manipulating Isabelle, and she’s fighting back in her usual passive-aggressive way. (After all, she really loves them.) Isabelle is also completing court-ordered therapy, and if you ever have to do this, you should know that long, apparently thoughtful pauses are the key to getting through the 50-minute hour with minimal actual conversation. Rae is as independent as ever and her best friend, 45-year-old police detective Henry Stone, has a new girlfriend, which upsets everyone (even though they really like her). Meanwhile, Izzy’s own best friend, octogenarian attorney and poor driver Morty is under great pressure from his wife to move to Florida. There’s so much going on that the actual “case” – two women, one rich, one pretty poor, who get together at intervals and the rich one gives the poor one gifts – is just one of many equally compelling plot threads. Seriously, you should read this book. Start with The Spellman Files and work your way through all three. If you hurry you can get them all in before New Year’s Day.
But wait! The news gets better. March 2010 will bring us a fourth Spellman book: The Spellmans Strike Again. I would say I “literally” cannot wait, but obviously I can. So I’ll just say I wish I didn’t have to.