2013: #3 – The Spellmans Strike Again (Lisa Lutz)

Title: The Spellmans Strike Again
Author: Lisa Lutz
Series: Spellman Files #04
Format: Kindle
Pages: 404
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: personal copy

At the ripe old age of thirty-two, former wild child Isabel “Izzy” Spellman has finally agreed to take over the family business. And the transition won’t be a smooth one.

First among her priorities as head of Spellman Investigations is to dig up some dirt on the competition, slippery ex-cop Rick Harkey—a task she may enjoy a little too much. Next, faced with a baffling missing-persons case at the home of an aging millionaire, Izzy hires an actor friend, Len, to infiltrate the mansion as an undercover butler—a role he may enjoy a little much.

Meanwhile, Izzy is being blackmailed by her mother (photographic evidence of Prom Night 1994) to commit to regular blind dates with promising professionals—an arrangement that doesn’t thrill Connor, an Irish bartender on the brink of becoming Ex-boyfriend #12.

At Spellman headquarters, it’s business as unusual. Doorknobs and light fixtures are disappearing every day, Mom’s been spotted crying in the pantry, and a series of increasingly demanding Spellman Rules (Rule #27: No Speaking Today) can’t quite hold the family together. Izzy also has to decipher weekly “phone calls from the edge” from her octogenarian lawyer, Morty, as well as Detective Henry Stone’s mysterious interest in rekindling their relationsh . . . well, whatever it was.

Just when it looks like things can’t go more haywire, little sister Rae’s internship researching pro bono legal cases leads the youngest Spellman to launch a grassroots campaign that could spring an innocent man from jail—or land Rae in it.

The Spellmans Strike Again is hands down the most hilarious, thrilling, and moving book in this bestselling, award-nominated series. And it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Isabel Spellman, no matter how much she matures, will never be able to follow Rule #1: Act Normal.

My thoughts:

Despite there not being one main mystery in this book, I thought this was one of the better books in the series. Isabel is growing up a bit (better late than never), and she’s discovering that there are lines that even she will no longer cross. I was particularly amused by the storyline with Isabel’s friend pretending to be a personal valet and discovering that he enjoyed it a bit too much, even if I could never remember what she was actually investigating. The dynamics are shifting in the Spellman family, and I’m curious to see where things go next.

I do think the author is a little too enamored with her footnotes. It seems like the longer the series continues, the more unnecessary they are. Perhaps I just found them a little too annoying while reading it electronically.

This is a series you definitely need to read in order. But it’s worth it.

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | WorldCat

Other reviews:

  • “I love seeing the characters grow up (but not too much), Isabel in particular.” Speed-Reading Book Nerd Reviews
  • “These books won’t be mistaken for literary fiction. They’re lite and easy to read. If you want something easy to pick up and hard to put down, give this series a try.”Joe Beernick
  • “If you haven’t read any of these books, you really should go back and start with The Spellman Files. You’re in for a wonderful trip.”Jandy’s Reading Room

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