If there’s a book out there that’s more fun than Lisa Lutz’s purely wonderful Curse of the Spellmans then I sincerely hope I’m lucky enough to find it someday. In the meantime, I want Lisa Lutz to write, write, write, so that I don’t have to wait very long to read the next installment in her series about the delightfully neurotic Spellman family.
For those of you who haven’t read Lutz’s first book, The Spellman Files, I am very jealous. This is what you need to do. Send away your children (or don’t have any until you’ve read the aforementioned books) and your spouse/partner (or stay single until you’ve read the aforementioned books) and then settle down in a sunny spot for a weekend of reading with some yummy treats and beverages to fortify you. If you don’t fall head over heels for the hilarious Spellmans, I’ll be very worried about you.
The Spellmans are a completely dysfunctional family of private investigators. There’s the “Parental Unit” (Albert and Olivia Spellman), David Spellman (lawyer, perfect older brother), Izzy Spellman, (diehard PI, middle child) and Rae Spellman (super precocious youngest daughter). You couldn’t call any of the Spellmans “normal.” Aside from David, they’re just about the most suspicious, bungling, secretive, wacky crew you’ll meet in a novel. I’d love to be able to describe the plot, but it’s just too silly and convoluted to bother. Let’s just say it involves Izzy doing some serious surveillance, numerous Suspicious Behaviour Reports on family members, some vandalizing of holiday lawn tableaux and a few Doctor Who marathons. Part of the pleasure in reading this book is trying to follow all of the crazy narrative threads. It’s one madcap romp into family instability. Read it. Love it. Then introduce the Spellmans to everyone you know.
Read my equally gushy review of The Spellman Files here.