The Spellmans Strike Again (Lisa Lutz)

The Spellmans Strike Again is the fourth novel in the Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz.
Finished on: 18.8.2020
[Here are my reviews of the rest of the series.]

Plot:
Izzy Spellman has finally agreed to take over the family business, but so far nothing has changed all that much. Izzy is still trying to dig up dirt on Rick Harkey, the other PI in San Francisco and a known bastard. Her parents are still doing strange things like forcing Izzy to go on dates with lawyers (despite her boyfriend Connor) and ignoring that small items like door handles keep disappearing from the house. Rae has found something new to obsess about: freeing innocent prisoners. And Henry? Henry tries to be friends with Izzy again but Izzy isn’t sure she is ready for that. Oh, and of course, there is also an actual case Izzy is working on.

The Spellmans Strike Again is a great addition to the Spellman series that I’ve been reading with continuous joy and some heartbreak. We definitely get both here.

The book cover showing many keys next to each other so they are forming a grate with two hands clutching the bars.

[SPOILERS]

The Spellman novels all have like five different plots and the story jumps between them. This gives the book fast pacing, but there is a risk that they might feel disconnected from each other. And yet, Lutz always manages to keep things together (unlike Izzy, for the most part, who at least manages to pick things up after they fall apart). It never gets confusing and they always tie together into a theme. Most of all, they all show how Izzy keeps growing and learning.

Rae gets to show some growth, too. But I think, Rae makes Izzy realize how much she has grown already. And yet, she still remains the same person at the core – and I think that balance is probably what Lutz is best at. She also manages the same thing for Henry: he has changed since he met the Spellmans, but he is also still Henry.

That Henry and Izzy finally get together in this one, was intensely gratifying. I really do hope that they will stay together. I was a little less happy about how Henry goes about their (second) first kiss, though – surprising Izzy while she is half-asleep to get past her defenses is a bit of a dick move because, hello, consent?!?! But it is a move straight out of the Spellman playbook, so at least he is fitting in.

There is also some pretty devastating news in this one, and it speaks to the quality of the series and my connection with the characters that it doesn’t just make me laugh, but makes me cry, too. And I can’t wait to read the next book.

Summarizing: Fantastic.

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