Izzy Spellman has turned her back on the family business and has been working as a bartender for a few months now, while attending court-mandated therapy. But her therapy is nearing its end (and Izzy definitely doesn’t want to continue longer than she has to), her parents still hope that she will take over the family detective agency, her friend and boss Milo asks her to take on a very simple case for a friend and also fires her. Plus, there is something going on with both her brother David and her sister Rae, and Henry Stone has a new girfriend. Moving into her brother’s basement apartment without his knowledge may not be the only thing that is costing Izzy sleep, but the biggest question is if she can get to a halfway stable place and make important decisions.
Revenge of the Spellmans is again entertaining and funny, but it also has a more serious emotional core here than the first two novels. It worked beautifully and grounded the series in an important way, I thought.
That the Spellmans are an entirely dysfunctional family was clear in the first two novels as well. But in Revenge of the Spellmans, that fact is faced a lot more head-on than before with Izzy in therapy. As much as she resists the therapists’ efforts to get to her, it still works and she becomes more introspective and reflects more about herself and her situation – even if her first impulse is still to ignore problems that concern her while picking apart any perceived problem of the people around her. That her own process also affects her relationships is clear, but how that in turn kind of pushes the family together as a whole was nice to see. I doubt that they will change to a healthy family dynamic (any time soon), but things are moving and changing. And the biggest take-away is that change happens anyway and sometimes it’s even for the better.
All of this is wrapped into a fun story that focuses less on the investigation angle ,but still features a couple of mysteries. Things are chaotic, but they fit together in an overarching theme, glued mostly together by a great sense of humor. Much like Izzy herself. Also like Izzy, every once in a while there comes an emotional depth that always takes you by surprise. I did shed a couple of tears [SPOILER] after Izzy kisses Henry and his reaction to it. [/SPOILER]
In any case, I’m very curious to see how things continue with Izzy and her family, especially Rae. And I’m also intrigued by Connor, a new player introduced in this book who will surely play a bigger part in the next one (well, I hope so at least).
Summarizing: Hugely enjoyable series.