Friday, March 26, 2010

Jennifer's April Pick - (with the help of a ghost writer)

The Spellman Files
 Lisa Lutz


Meet Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors -- but the upshot is she's good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family's firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people's privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman.

Part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry, Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. Duties include: completing assignments from the bosses, aka Mom and Dad (preferably without scrutiny); appeasing her chronically perfect lawyer brother (often under duress); setting an example for her fourteen-year-old sister, Rae (who's become addicted to "recreational surveillance"); and tracking down her uncle (who randomly disappears on benders dubbed "Lost Weekends"). But when Izzy's parents hire Rae to follow her (for the purpose of ascertaining the identity of Izzy's new boyfriend), Izzy snaps and decides that the only way she will ever be normal is if she gets out of the family business. But there's a hitch: she must take one last job before they'll let her go -- a fifteen-year-old, ice-cold missing person case. She accepts, only to experience a disappearance far closer to home, which becomes the most important case of her life.

The Spellman Files is the first novel in a winning and hilarious new series featuring the Spellman family in all its lovable chaos.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the quirkyness of the Spellman family. I laughed out loud (LOL) at a lot of parts. I think Rae is my favorite character. She is hilarious. Thanks for the fun pick Jennifer! ;)

Favorite Quote: (okay passage)

"I'm not blind," she replied, reaching for the Froot Loops. I was about to protest, but remembered it was Saturday. Rae shook the box, hearing the weak resonance of powdered sugar. She poured the leftovers into the bowl, which offered up not even one solid loop.

"Bastard!" Rae shouted.

"Rae, Grandma was married when she had your uncle." my mother corrected.

"Sorry." Rae said, then replaced the prior insult with "big fat jerk."

"Thank you." my mom said, as if a lesson had really been learned here.

Annell said...

I totally laughed. I totally gasped. I totally cringed. This family is crazy and dysfunctional...crazy enough to have me wanting to find out how the story ended. They all had me cracking up. Thanks Jennifer! I needed a laugh out loud story.

I loved Linda's quote too, but this other had some sentimental memories:

"I tried the knob, but it was locked. My hands were too shaky to attempt a pick. I kicked it twice, but it wouldn't budge. You can't kick open locked doors; that is a myth." pg. 312

I wish someone would have told me that when my daughter locked herself in her room when she was one year old. It was the only door in our rental house that had a key lock that we had no idea where the key was. I tried kicking it in about 5 times and thought, "hmmm, they make it look much easier in the movies."

Lauri said...

Very entertaining, full of weird (I wanted to use quirky but Linda already did) characters that I am glad I don't live with. I don't think I have enough witty comebacks to survive in that family.

Favorite quote: page 75
"My mother shouted out the window at me, "just be yourself honey." Contradictions like this have made my family life so difficult."

And page 125
"That was a rhetorical question, Rae."
"So what?"
"So you're not supposed to answer them."
"No. You don't have to answer them, but you can if you want."

Lucinda said...

FUN BOOK! Thanks!

P. 150
"What's new?"
"Nothing much."
"Your clothes say otherwise."
"I wasn't aware that my clothes were on speaking terms with you."
"oh, they are."
"What are my clothes saying?"
"They're telling me that you're up to something."
"Harsh words from fabric, wouldn't you say?"


The lighting was dim for lunch, and with the candlelight and Meyers holding the chair for me and all, it felt oddly like a date. Except that Captain Meyers had no interest in me. Once again, oddly like a date.

Candy said...

I enjoyed the book, though unlike Linda, I did NOT like Rae at all, and when I read the end I liked her even less, and wanted to throw the book across the room.

Nevertheless, parts of it were very clever, as evidenced by the following quote on page 161: “'Shall I draw you a map to the telephone?' David says, more snappish than usual, which on a scale of snappish is about a ten."

Pam said...

I really enjoyed the book, It was a fun read and I laughed out loud many times (Steve wondered what the heck I was reading). I really liked all the characters and especially Rae. What a strange complicated child. The parents in this story....I couldn't figure out if they were irresponsible or really in tune with their kids? I can't wait to read her other books in the series.
Thanks Jenn!