Revenge of the Spellmans: Reviews
Here come the good reviews...
Those crazy Spellmans return, in all their serendipitous glory, in this third series entry (after The Spellman Files and Curse of the Spellmans). Isabel "Izzy" Spellman is in court-ordered therapy following her obsessive behavior and stalking to prove that their law-abiding neighbor was a criminal, and Izzy's private investigator parents and junior detective sister are busy snooping into Izzy's life. She's bartending while she tries to figure out what she wants to do, but her boss, a family friend, decides to push her back into the real world by coyly suggesting that he has a friend who needs a little detective work. Nothing in the Spellman world is ever simple, and this cheating wife investigation throws Izzy's outrageous life back into full gear. Fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, Kathleen Bacus's Calamity Jayne novels, Toni Causey's Bobbie Faye series, and Leslie Langtry's "Greatest Hits" romances featuring the Bombay family assassins will enjoy Lutz's Spellman books. Highly recommended for all popular fiction collectons.
Starred review, Library Journal (February 2009)
The wisecracks crackle in Lutz's third mystery featuring twentysomething San Francisco private investigator Isabel "Izzy" Spellman (after Curse of the Spellmans, 2008). On hiatus from her parents' detective firm, Izzy ponders the suspicious behavior of her straitlaced, type-A brother David, who has traded his Brooks Brothers suits for a bathrobe and taken to calling in sick to work. (He has no clue Izzy has been living in the basement apartment of his house.) Izzy also looks into the life of Linda Black, whose husband, Ernie, is certain she's cheating on him. Or could that expensive clothing and perfume she's been bringing home simply be the sign of a serious shoplifting problem? Izzy must once again contend with Rae, her troublemaking, Twizzler-chomping teenage sister, who's been "relocating" Izzy's car to various spots around the city. (Izzy has enough trouble finding her wheels when she parks them herself.) And then there's Henry Stone, Izzy's police inspector ex-boyfriend, who has an annoyingly likable new squeeze. Rounding out this mordant mix is Izzy herself, whose court-mandated therapy sessions boast more quips than a Groucho Marx retrospective. Those in the market for mayhem and mirth will revel in Lutz's irresistible blend of suspense, irony, and wit.
Starred review, Booklist (February 2009)
San Francisco PI Isabel “Izzy” Spellman endures court-ordered therapy sessions as well as blackmail in Lutz's wacky crime novel, the third entry (after Curse of the Spellmans) in a series that keeps getting better and better. Albert and Olivia Spellman, Izzy's parents, want her to return to work for the family PI firm; otherwise, they may have to sell it. While Izzy contemplates their offer, she secretly moves into her brother's guest apartment; helps her elderly lawyer friend, Mort Schilling, accept his upcoming move to Florida; and mourns the loss of her bartending job. Will she rediscover her yen for snooping when she takes on “the Case of Ernie Black's Not Terribly Suspicious Wife Who Probably Wasn't Cheating on Him”? Or say sayonara to snooping? Hyper spy girl Rae, Izzy's teenage sister (who may have cheated on her PSAT), provides dizzy distractions. Punctuating the rapid-fire plot are amusing therapy session transcripts and footnotes.
Starred review (January 2009)
The investigative powers of the Spellman family remain undimmed in the third installment of Lutz's series. This madcap romp opens with series protagonist Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, the single, snarky middle Spellman child, in court-ordered therapy, where she spends her time avoiding personal questions. Despite her parents' desperate attempts to win her back, Izzy has sworn off investigating—but she's bored. Snooping and prying is a dominant family trait, and before long Izzy is lured away from her bartending job by a seemingly easy case of a possibly straying wife. But when her older brother, the straight-living David, goes missing, her instincts really kick in. The book, written in the form of a case file, is filled with humorous notes ("tends to wear sneakers so she can always make a run for it," reads one), and the cast of wacky yet lovable friends and family members keep things interesting. Izzy’s 84-year-old best friend Morty, for example, may have to face a move to Florida—or lose his wife—while Rae, the youngest Spellman, who seems to have cheated on her PSATs, continues in her unabashed campaign to reunite Izzy with one-time beau Henry. Even with the many digressions, the pacing remains swift and the tone wry. Another fast, funny winner from Lutz...
—Kirkus (January 2009)