Genre: not sure, chick lit mystery?
Cover: my book has a different cover, I prefer this one.
Izzy Spellman is 28, single and works for Spellman Investigations, a family–run private detective agency. She might have a chequered past, littered with romantic mistakes – but at least she’s good at her job. Invading people’s privacy comes naturally. To the whole family. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman, sabotage a Spellman+ dig up dirt on, blackmail and wiretap a Spellman.
But when Izzy’s parents hire her 14–year old sister to discover the identity of her new boyfriend, Izzy snaps. She wants out. Her parents make her a deal: solve one last case and her employment contract with Spellman Inc will be terminated. Trouble is, the Snow case is decades old, ice–cold and more twisted than a pretzel.
Melliane from the Between Dreams and Reality blog loves this series, and she writes very enthusiastic reviews about the books. So I was excited when I finally got my hands on the first book in the series and could start reading it. Unfortunately, I did not like it nearly as much as she does.
The book is written in a kind of diary form, and that is not something I enjoy reading very much. It is supposed to be very humorous, but that is not how I took it all, it is really a battle between all the family members for the things they want and I found it a sad thing.
You have the Spellman parents, private investigators. The oldest son David is super perfect and he can do no wrong. He is brilliant, polite and follows the rules.
Izzy is the second child and very early on she realized she could not compete with David, so she went completely bad girl. Vandalism, petty theft, drinking and doing drugs, you name it. Still, she has worked for her parents since she was little, and she likes it. But when her parents start investigating her, and her new boyfriend, she has had enough. She wants out.
Then there is her uncle Ray, who used to be a cop like her father, doing everything healthy until he got cancer and miraculously survived it. Sensing being good as being pointless, he then embraced all the vices, like smoking, drinking, gambling and whoring. All while wearing his lucky shirt.
The third child is Rae, named after her uncle when he was supposed to die. Which he didn’t. She doesn’t like it when Uncle Ray moves in, as he takes over a big part of her job! And she loves working with her parents and her big sister.
So there is war between Ray and Rae, and well, it went ugly at times.
Izzy’s parents agree to let her leave the firm if she will handle one more case. A cold one. And Izzy agrees, and stubbornly sets out to investigate. But she opens old wounds and her parents are being threatened with a lawsuit if she does not stop. And now Izzy refuses to stop, she feels like she can solve this case of the missing Snow brother.
So of course you can think this is al fun and games, but that was just not how it came over on me. I admit that I don’t have a very good relationship with my family myself, but the Spellman family sure is dysfunctional. They spy on each other, get the others in trouble, destroy their property and what not. They all want to win what they are after, they manipulate, blackmail etcetera. From the little Rae to the parents. And when Izzy finally gets her freedom from her parents, she realizes there is nothing else she is capable of doing, and she loves her job. And without money of her own, she has no choice but to go back to them.
The little Rae is really bad and spoiled, and she gets away with so many things, it is horrible. Uncle Ray is certainly no role model and the perfect brother David is being used by all his family members.
I did like how Izzy tries to make herself better, especially when she notices that Rae is copying her bad habits, but she is also extremely hard-handed with her little sister at times. I did not like that at all.
The Snow case was interesting, and I was completely wrong in my assumptions. But it did not safe the book for me. I do have two other books in this series, and I am really not sure if I will read them. Perhaps when I have forgotten my thoughts and feelings about this book.
But if you want a completely different opinion, read Melliane’s review of the fourth book here: http://www.betweendandr.com/2013/06/25/the-spellmans-strike-again-by-lisa-lutz/
5 stars out of 10.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian