Curse of the Spellmans (Lisa Lutz)

Curse of the Spellmans is the second novel in the Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz.
Finished on: 7.1.2020
[Here’s my review of the first novel.]

Private Detective Izzy Spellman has been arrested for the fourth time in three months and she may think it was unavoidable in the course of her duty, but her parents and employers do not. And her neighbor – whom she has been running unsanctioned but, in Izzy’s eyes, entirely necessary surveillance on – isn’t amused either. That would probably be enough to keep her busy, but with a family like Izzy’s there’s never just one thing going on and there are several family members who behave in very suspicious ways. Plus, Izzy has to make sure that her little sister Rae doesn’t overstay her welcome in police inspector Henry Stone’s life.

Curse of the Spellmans is a great sequel, keeping the energy and sense of humor of the first novel, but also managing to introduce new elements. I really enjoyed coming back to the Spellmans.

What was one of the biggest selling points for me from the first novel was the way Izzy gets to be a mess, but a mess who is allowed to grow. And Curse of the Spellmans absolutely continues that. Izzy keeps developing and growing (up) in the way she accepts responsibility, but growing up doesn’t mean losing all of her flaws or even softening them. The same goes for Rae in this one – she is much more fleshed out here than she was in the last one and she, too, gets to change.

And Henry is such a great character and equally unusual as Izzy, in an entirey different way. He and Izzy are so fucking cute together, and they aren’t even actually together (yet). Oh, and the talk Izzy had with her mother about him, I just wanted to squeal. The way she admits to her feelings so matter-of-factly when it’s never been spelled out before to the reader was beautifully done and carried just the right amount of punch.

I loved that the book makes a point that people have a right to their secrets. In a family like the Spellmans that is built on surveillance of everybody, family members included. It was nice to see that they’re dysfunctionality is recognized as such in any case. But above all, the book is just a hugely entertaining read. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

Summarizing: Fun.

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