The Spellmans Strike Again is Lisa Lutz’s fourth installment of her Isabel “Izzy” Spellman mystery series. It’s told from the vantage point of 32-year-old private investigator as she looks to take on the family’s PI business. This series has been known for its refreshingly clever, sharp-witted, fast-paced storylines, not to mention its quirky cast of characters. This book provides more of the same, which is simply fantastic when it involves the (almost) always hilarious, screenplay-esque dialogue of the Spellman family as they wield their investigative skills.
How did “Izzele’s” octogenarian, court ordered lawyer* convince his wife to move back to “San Fran”? Why have all of Izzy’s parents’ doorknobs gone missing? Could the ever-dashing Inspector Henry Stone, aneat freak and best friend to her little sister Rae, be potential ex-boyfriend #13? What piece of blackmail does her mother, Olivia, possess that convinces Izzy to suffer through bimonthly mandated lawyer dates (with sound recorded proof, of course!)? The Spellmans Strike Again also takes on a more serious question about prisoners on death row: Were Schmidt** and Merriweather wrongly convicted and imprisoned?
This book is an excellent selection for fans of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. In a genre that has been dominated by a few key players, Lisa Lutz offers a fresh voice and provides a gateway for readers who delight in quality fiction novels with strong female characters. Beginning with The Spellman Files*** (currently being made into a movie), Ms. Lutz offers up a lead character who readers are sure to cheer on and laugh with while simultaneously cringing at her antics (she wasn’t provided a court-ordered counselor for nothing). And I would be remiss not to mention the book’s secondary main character, Izzy’s teenage sister, Rae, who shows a keen panache for investigative work and an insatiable penchant for junk food. This has been the number series that I have been recommending to all my fellow book-lovers this year!