Author: Lisa Lutz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2007
My Rating: B+
Summary (from the author’s website):
Isabel Spellman, the uncompromising—okay, obstinate—twenty-eight year-old San Francisco private eye in Lisa Lutz’s riotous debut novel, THE SPELLMAN FILES has her share of problems. And those problems all happen to be named Spellman.Her parents, Albert and Olivia, co-owners of Spellman Investigations, think nothing of placing their daughter under 24-hour surveillance simply to find out if she has a new boyfriend.
David, her perfect older brother, who escaped the family business by becoming a lawyer, is hypercritical of just about everything Isabel says, wears, or does. Fourteen-year-old sister Rae lives on sugared snacks, considers recreation surveillance her favorite hobby, and believes that life is one endless opportunity for intra-familial blackmail. And good-natured Uncle Ray, a former cop and health food nut, now embraces gambling and drinking; and when he’s not in battle with his niece Rae over the whereabouts of his favorite shirt, must be rescued from “lost weekends.”
The reason I wanted to read this book was because I had a chance to meet the author at a panel discussion at the Santa Rosa Book Fair last Fall. She was so charming and funny and a little sarcastic that she had the audience chuckling a lot.
I had a hunch the author’s personality would come through in her stories. It certainly did. In my opinion she was the main character, Izzy. I could imagine the expressions on her face and the sparkle in her eyes. On top of that, Izzy tells the story in the fiirst person, so it’s even easier to see Lisa Lutz as Izzy Spellman.
The Spellman Files is the first book in the author’s series. It was an excellent introduction to the family of investigators. I enjoyed meeting everyone and learning about Izzy’s background. It was also fun tagging along with Izzy as she followed people and conducted her investigations. There was no big mystery throughout the book. I’m assuming that will come in the next few books. If you’re looking for a fun series set all around San Francisco, check out the Spellman Files.