Book Review: Revenge of the Spellmans

Grade: A+

Next Tuesday, March 10, Revenge of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz hits bookshelves everywhere. This is the third installment in a truly addictive series about a family of private detectives, namely one Isabel Spellman. Izzy could be considered the black sheep in her family. Despite her good intentions, things never really go the way she hopes and she frequently finds herself a bit in over her head, getting caught up in her own curiosity and sometimes letting normal people details escape her. And while you may not always be able to say you’ve “been there” when reading about her escapades, in spirit you have. I think we’ve all kind of felt like the black sheep of our lives at one point or another (or constantly).

And that’s one of the things I love about this series. You will find no unrealistically good looking, smart, savvy people who you could never dream of being. I hate those people. Talk about an ego suck. Like Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovich’s Plum series, Izzy Spellman is a girl like you, even on your worst of days, who pulls through in spite of herself. Now, don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways Izzy is one smart chick. She is a talented PI, in a family of talented PIs, and can usually sniff out a mystery with her nose plugged. It’s turning that curiosity off that’s usually the problem. Imagine being unable to stop yourself from reading that diary, following that car, running a background check on all your boyfriends (and all your family and friend’s significant others, too). She seems to lack an off switch, which makes the people around her crazy sometimes. But to be fair, I don’t think anyone in her family has an off switch either. It’s a family trait.

Anyway, in Revenge of the Spellmans Izzy is forced to endure court-ordered therapy, unemployment, a not so preferable living arrangement, a mountain of secrecy, mysterious blackmail letters, an unintelligible Irish bartender, oh and the guy she’s pretty sure she’s in love with but can’t quite bring herself to tell him? He has a girlfriend now, who despite all her best efforts, she can’t seem to dislike. Amidst all of this is the usual circle of mysteries, in which Lutz weaves the worlds biggest whose duping who and seriously whodunnit web of awesomeness. I actually never figured out any of the mysteries in this book before Lutz wanted me to and I’m GOOD at figuring plot lines out. It’s a talent.

I really cannot complain about this latest installment of Spellman goodness, except to say that, “Lisa, that kiss – and you know which kiss I speak of – was heart breaking. And I’m not sure I’m okay with it.” Oh, and, “I can’t wait for book four!”

Are you new to the Spellman series? You’ll want to start with book one, The Spellman Files (now in mass market paperback!), then move on quickly to Curse of the Spellmans (now in paperback), before finally devouring Revenge of the Spellmans (comes out in hardcover March 10).

If you are already a SpellmanAddict like me, have you gone to Lisa Lutz’s website yet? You can sign up for her quarterly newsletter here!

This review is cross-posted to my personal blog @ Mommablogsalot

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