The Spellman Files (Lisa Lutz)

The Spellman Files is the first novel in the Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz.
Finished on: 26.1.2017

After a rough youth, Izzy Spellman has found her perfect job, her calling: she’s a private investigator to her very core. The only drawback is that it’s the family business. Her parents are private investigators. Her little sister Rae is only fourteen but already training very hard to be one. Only her brother chose a different way to go: he became a lawyer – and a perfectly law-abiding one at that. But when Izzy’s parents set Rae to spy on Izzy (to find out the identity of her new boyfriend), Izzy has had it with the other Spellmans and she leaves the agency and her home. But when Rae goes missing, she can’t stay away anymore.

I remember grabbing the book from a second hand shop bargain bin quite on a whim. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a long time, and every once in a while I would take it up and wonder why I bought it in the first place – it just isn’t what I usually read. This spring I moved, and I figured, I’d start reading the book to see whether it would make the move with me. And I have to say that I was absolutely pleasantly surprised. The Spellman Files is funny and fast-paced and an entertaining delight to read.

The Spellman Files is probably never going to win a nobel prize or be thought of as high literature. But that is not necessary for it to be a good book – and it definitely was good. I enjoyed reading it and really breezed through it.

It’s not only the fluid writing and the well-constructed plot and the sense of humor that makes the book such a joy to read, it’s mostly the characters. They are well-drawn and make sense. Even when they’re comically exaggerated – and they are to great effect – there is always an honest emotional core to them and especially the way they relate to each other. And Izzy is a seriously but wonderfully flawed heroine to carry the novel.

There is also a dash of romance in the book, but it takes a back seat to the crime story. Which again takes a back seat to the sense of humor that’s absolutely essential to the tone of the book.

It was such a nice discovery for me that immediately after finishing it, I pushed it at a friend and told her to read it as well, I think she’ll enjoy it greatly. And I think I will enjoy the sequels to this one.

Summarizing: Sweet and fun.

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