THE SPELLMANS STRIKE AGAIN by Lisa Lutz

THE SPELLMANS STRIKE AGAIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bizarre clients, fleeting romances and byzantine rules of personal conduct keep a family of private investigators teetering on the edge of dysfunction.

Sam Spade she’s not. But Isabel Spellman (Revenge of the Spellmans, 2009, etc.) does her best to prepare for her eventual takeover of San Francisco’s Spellman Investigations from her parents Albert and Olivia. So far, her best has included the undercover inquiry she’s run with some help from her actor friend Len Williams into the disappearance of Franklin Winslow’s valet Mason Graves, her garbology detail examining the trash of Jeremy Pratt’s ex for signs of stolen screenplays, and her post-midnight meetings with her boyfriend Conner O’Sullivan, whose job as a bartender forces him into a Box-and-Cox relationship with Izzy. What it hasn’t included is a way to end mandatory Sunday Family Dinner, where her delinquent 17-year-old sister Rae glares at her over bulgur-wheat “meat” loaf for not helping their brother David’s defense-attorney girlfriend Maggie Mason free wrongly accused client Levi Schmidt. Though the Spellmans are canny enough to write family rules on the communal whiteboard (“Rule #33—Communication by instant message only this afternoon”), no one can explain why the doorknobs and light fixtures are disappearing from the Spellman domicile. It takes the intervention of a longtime friend, police inspector Henry Stone, to set Izzy on the path to family unity.

Rule No. 379: Don’t expect Proust; just lie back and enjoy this tale of intergenerational gumshoe mayhem.

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4165-9340-9
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2010




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