Second time around, Part 1

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
a genre study has compelled me to finish two books I’d started and discarded
(not literally; I returned them to the library). And in both cases, reading them was a
happy experience.
I’d had
a feeling I’d like The Spellman Files,
but I must not’ve been in the mood the first time I started reading it. This
time, though, I was only ornery during the first few chapters, during which
Izzy Spellman, the 20-something narrator, talks about her badass misbehaving
petty crime days. I kind of wanted to slap her.
then the book improved, as her family became more of the story and as Izzy
seemed to start to grow up.
is a family of private detectives, and everyone’s in on the act, even her
little sister Rae, who was bit with the bug as a child and conducted her first surveillance
at age 6. I adore that girl.
So her
family is enchantingly offbeat, and that’s always a plus.
the structure of the book appealed to me. Each chapter had a theme—such as her
ex-boyfriends or her uncle Ray’s lost weekends—yet the story moved forward
nicely even with these side excursions (which actually provided some great
background information about the characters).
Izzy is a Get Smart addict, and
there’s lots to like about that.

yeah. I liked it enough that I have book 2, Curse of the Spellmans, riding around with me in the car, queued up
as my next audiobook. I don’t dive willy nilly into a series, so this is a
meaningful step, guys.

Also — I got all the way through the book without realizing it doesn’t exactly contain a mystery. In fact, no substantial mystery whatsoever. But the book still works. It’s really quite something.