Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book Review - Lisa Lutz's Revenge of the Spellmans

Revenge of the Spellmans (The Spellmans Book 3) by Lisa Lutz
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 10th, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 375 Pages
Rating: ★★★★★
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Court ordered therapy is the least of Isabel's worries in this third installment in the Spellman saga. Having a car that keeps going MIA, a secret home as well as the looming decision of what to do with her life all compound to make Izzy's life very busy. Isabel has left her job at Spellman Investigations only to have Milo, her current employer and owner of The Philosopher's Club, attempt to force her back into what she's good at by offering her a case and then promptly firing her so that she'll make the right choice and go back to her parents. But Izzy isn't ready to make up her mind as to the future of Spellman Investigations until after she's spent some time rearanging David's liquor cabinet and searching his house while he's supposedly in Italy, giving her free reign... well there was a list of rules, but Izzy's working on breaking every one of them. Also Henry and Rae are not talking. Henry has gotten himself a sweetly neurotic girlfriend, Maggie, who Rae has made it known she will not like... she changed Henry's locks on her without Henry's consent. Of course Maggie and Rae becoming best friends might even be worse then them at loggerheads. But that is nothing compared to Rae being accused of cheating on the PSATs (pronounced pssssssats).

Meanwhile, Izzy, sick of living in a shit hole in the Tenderloin, upon finding that David has a fully furnished apartment in his basement, promptly moves in, without David's knowledge. This ill advised, yet economically viable due to her lack of employment, scheme brings on a whole new plethora of problems. Mainly she's blackmailed. But not in the way you would think. It's more of a cultural blackmailing involving trips to the zoo, which apparently is not a legitimate replacement for SFMOMA according to the blackmailer, whomever he or she is. Also David is acting strange on his return and is also surprisingly not at work, a strange thing for a workaholic to do... and inconvenient for the person secretly squatting in his basement. But while all these people are moving on and making something of their futures, Milo selling the bar, Morty moving to Florida, Henry getting a girl, Isabel is not growing up. She's reverting to her old habits of evasion and subterfuge, which she won't even discuss with her therapist. Lacking sleep and clear conclusions she decides that her one case will decide her fate. If she can do this the right way, the way a professional would, and not resort to her baser tactics... then maybe this is the career for her... but what happens when there's old family feuds with dubious PIs, bribery by political consulates and the ever looming deadline as to what will become of the family business? And where did she leave her car!?!

If I liked them less, perhaps I could talk about them more. But the Spellmans are just my favorite fictional family. All the snooping, spying and double dealing... plus don't forget the negotiations! I know that they're a complete train wreck but can I help it that I wish I knew them... it's not like I have anything to hide, so I think we could get along, once they finished fishing and I provided them with my social security number. Again I feel that I relate a bit to closely to Isabel's tendency to do whatever it takes, sleep be damned, to get what she's after. If only she'd apply these techniques to Henry Stone... or at least listen to Morty. I believe this book also perfectly caputres the feeling of those in their early 30s, the ones who aren't sure where they're life is going or what they're doing... not that this is similar to me... But Isabel is doing what she's always done and everyone else is changing. By the end, the fact that she's actually able to come to a clear decision of what her near future holds shows that Isabel is capable of change as well, even if it isn't so radical as those around her... Also I really hope we get more books, I know there's the forth, but I was hoping for a fifth, she did mention a fifth in the distant future no matter what The Spellmans Strike Again says in it's blurb... personally I think, seeing as she's using the Pink Panther films as a naming convention, we should have at least two more, there's still The Return of the Pink Panther and Trail of the Pink Panther. And while these are my two least favorite Panther films, mainly because unused clips formed into a film and recasting David Niven was stupid, I still think they'd make great Spellman book titles!

Make sure to enter my Surfeit of Spying Spellmans Giveaway to win this, or any of the other Spellman books. All signed 1st editions!


Ah, another series I want to try. Great review, you make the Spellmans seem so compelling!

They are so compelling! I can't get enough of them. Make sure to enter my giveaway April! I love it when my friends win :)

I really enjoyed this one, and definitely plan to go back and read the others in the series. Such zany, silly fun.

Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting

I know, I wait for each one with more and more excitment!

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