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The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

The Spellman Files

Relationship Stories   Crime / Mystery   Debuts of the Month   Family Drama   Books for the Boys   eBook Favourites   
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This book has some of the funniest dialogue and wackiest characters we have come across in a long time. The Spellman’s are a dysfunctional family firm of private investigators who sadly can’t leave the tools of the trade outside the family home. This clearly makes for strained family relationships, when your mother runs a social security check on all your boyfriends, and totally destroys personal relationships when you know what your boyfriend is spending on his credit card before he gets the bill! The book is just brilliant and you have to read it!

If you like Lisa Lutz you might also like to read books by Janet Evanovich, Christopher Brookmyre and Carl Hiaasen.


The Spellman Files by 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.


Addictively entertaining. -- Glamour

A fun and irreverent debut. -- Entertainment Weekly

Truly the funniest book I've read in years. -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips Isabel Spellman...the love child of Dirty Harry and Harriet the Spy. -- People

Irresistible.... Starts out funny and does not let up. -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Fast-paced, irreverent, and very funny, The Spellman Files is like Harriet the Spy for grown-ups. -- Curtis Sittenfeld, author of The Man of My Dreams and Prep

She's part Bridget Jones, part Columbo. Lisa Lutz's resilient P.I. Isabel Spellman emerges as a thoroughly unusual heroine in her delightful, droll debut novel. -- USA Today

A spirited, funny debut...a rush of humor and chaos...casual, swift, and hip...A fresh story that works real issues through an offbeat premise. -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Hilarious. My enjoyment of The Spellman Files was only slightly undercut by my irritation that I hadn't written it myself. The funniest book I've read in years! -- Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada and Everyone Worth Knowing

The Spellman Files is hilarious, outrageous, and hip. Izzy Spellman, P.I., is a total original, with a voice so fresh and real, you want more, more, more. At long last, we know what Nancy Drew would have been like had she come from a family of lovable crackpots. Lisa Lutz has created a delicious comedy with skill and truth. I loved it. -- Adriana Trigiani, author of Lucia, Lucia and Big Stone Gap

About the Author

Lisa Lutz grew up in Southern California. After graduating high school, she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, University of Leeds in England and San Francisco State University, although she still does not have a bachelor's degree.

Lisa spent most of the 1990's hopping from a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting a mob comedy called Plan B. After it was made in 2000, Lisa vowed she would never write another screenplay.

She began working on The Spellman Files in January of 2004. In the fall of that year, she drove across the country and moved into a 200-year-old house in the town of Westernville, New York (pop. 300). It was there Lisa shoveled snow and wrote the bulk of her first novel. Though she's not on the lam, Lisa has not had a permanent residence in over two years. She's calling Seattle home, for now.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th August 2008


Lisa Lutz

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Simon & Schuster


384 pages


Relationship Stories
Crime / Mystery
Debuts of the Month
Family Drama
Books for the Boys
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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