Curse of the Spellmans: An Overview

Document #2

Izzy's Back . . .

Available in Hardcover, Trade Paperback, and Mass Market Paperback

"My mother used to say that if you can't verify a man's existence, you probably shouldn't go home with him." (Isabel Spellman)

 

♦ Nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel! (read news)

♦ Nominated for a Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel! (read news)

 

Isabel "Izzy" Spellman—everyone's favorite female P.I. and the madcap heroine of the uproarious New York Times bestseller THE SPELLMAN FILES—is back and she's just been sprung from jail for the fourth time in three months. When she finds herself homeless and simultaneously barred from the Spellman offices-cum-residence by a very inconvenient temporary restraining order, Izzy meets with Mort Schilling, her octogenarian lawyer, to hammer out a defense and save her now endangered P. I. license. Over San Francisco's best New York-style deli fare, Izzy recaps the highlights of her recent past and her encounters with the man whose villainy she's determined to unveil-even if she must break the law to do it.

When Izzy first met John Brown, she couldn't have been more pleased with Spellman Investigations' new neighbor. Handsome in a way reminiscent of her favorite Hitchcock actor*, a great cook, and interested in her, John was too good to be true so Izzy did what any sensible Spellman would do—she began to investigate him. But between his "so common, too common, conveniently common" name, his curious reluctance to let her rifle through his wallet, and the permanently locked room in his apartment, Izzy can't get the information she needs for a background check. "His kiss made me forget everything," she admits but-forced to rely solely on her gut instincts-Izzy concludes that he is up to no good.

John Brown soon becomes "Subject" and Izzy's infatuation quickly turns to obsession—of the non-romantic variety—when she bumps into him as he's depositing his recycling and observes, "for a gardener, he sure shreds a lot of paper."

Izzy finds her suspicions validated when further surveillance reveals "Subject" participating in two clandestine package exchanges. However, "Subject" proves to be as wily as Izzy is persistent and soon both the law and her parents are siding with him and trying to put a stop to her snooping.

To further complicate matters, ferreting out "Subject's" crimes isn't the only unpaid investigation that Izzy is working. A peculiar family on the best of days, the Spellman clan is outdoing itself in the erratic behavior department, so much so that Izzy finds herself writing up Suspicious Behavior Reports on each member-even her brother David, a normally boring specimen of male perfection—hoping to figure out why everyone around her is acting so nutty.

Her hitherto health-phobic dad is surreptitiously toting around a yoga mat and eating oatmeal, her mother is making midnight forays to vandalize a motorbike, and David has been moping and indulging in mid-day whiskey-tippling while his wife, Petra, suddenly goes out of town. Only Izzy's teenage sister seems to be herself. But since "normal" for Rae means that she's recently run over her forty-year-old police inspector "best friend," Henry Stone, Izzy finds herself posing as Henry's fiancee to allay the fears of a nosy social services worker. To cap it all off, someone is reprising Izzy's most creative juvenile vandalism and the victim hires Spellman Investigations to find the culprit.

Curse of the Spellmans is a laugh-out-loud escapade that marks the much-anticipated return of detection's most winning dysfunctional family and confirms Lisa Lutz as one of today's finest comic writers because whenever Isabel Spellman** is on the case hilarious high-jinks are never far behind.

 *Joseph Cotton
**Or Izzy Ellmanspay
- depending upon which business card she's using

 

Downloadable Footnotes

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