The Spellman Files (Spellmans, #1)The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books where I’d read a review that perked my interest enough to read an excerpt and that was it. I just had to get it.

The Spellman Files is a laugh out loud right from start to finish about Isabel ‘Izzy’ Spellman, a private investigator who, at 28, has been one for about the last 14 years. She was inducted into the family profession when she was young. Dad was a cop who had to retire and became a PI. Mom’s a PI. Elder brother, David is also learning the profession and so she doesn’t stand much of a chance.

The majority of this book is an introduction into the very weird and wonderfully wacky family that is the Spellmans as told by Isabel during an interview with Inspector Stone. As such the story leaps about a bit in time frames as she explains the origins but it eventually settles down and you get used to it.

And why is Isabel talking to a police inspector? Well, as we become aquainted with her and the family, run ins with the police become a regular occurrance as young Isabel is a bit of a rebel unlike her perfect brother, David. However, the true star of the book is Rae Spellman, Isabel’s junior sister by 14 years. This young girl is both smart and funny beyond her years.

However, with an entire family of PIs living under the same roof with the exception of David who became a lawyer, it can be imagined how dysfunctional the family becomes. Imagine trying to hide who your boyfriend is without your parents running background checks on them. Or having to change the locks on the door to your room which would be pointless anyway as the rest of the family can pick locks. Or the repair bill for the smashed lights on the family cars!

But it does turn serious at one point when their profession and how it impacts on the family has some very serious repercussions for the Spellman’s who, by the time disaster strikes, have sucked you in and made you care about what happens to them in the face of this crisis.

The Spellman Files is well outside the normal genre that I read, but it’s such a good story, funny and light hearted that I thoroughly enjoyed it and shall certainly be getting the sequels.

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