- Isabel Spellman, the uncompromising—okay, obstinate—twenty-eight year-old San Francisco private eye in Lisa Lutz's riotous debut novel, The Spellman Files has her share of problems. And those problems all happen to be named Spellman. Her parents, Albert and Olivia, co-owners of Spellman Investigations, think nothing of placing their daughter under 24-hour surveillance simply to find out if she has a new boyfriend. David, her perfect older brother, who escaped the family business by becoming a lawyer, is hypercritical of just about everything Isabel says, wears, or does. Fourteen-year-old sister Rae lives on sugared snacks, considers recreation surveillance her favorite hobby, and believes that life is one endless opportunity for intra-familial blackmail. And good-natured Uncle Ray, a former cop and health food nut, now embraces gambling and drinking; and when he's not in battle with his niece Rae over the whereabouts of his favorite shirt, must be rescued from "lost weekends."
Welcome to Izzy Spellman's off-kilter world. Equal parts Sam Spade and Bridget Jones, she's a damn good investigator—if only her dysfunctional family would back off and let her do her thing.
There has never been a heroine quite like Isabel Spellman, or a fictional family exactly like the Spellmans. Once you are hooked on her adventures, you’ll greedily snatch up copies of the rest of the series: Curse of the Spellmans, Revenge of the Spellmans, and the recently-published The Spellman’s Strike Again.
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 1990s 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.
After her months in Westernville, Lisa returned to the west coast—and moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Seattle where she stayed for a while to write Curse of the Spellmans. She's recently returned to San Francisco and has promised her friends and family that they won't have to update her entry in their address books again for a long while.
"Cracking the case can get complicated and outrageously wacky when a family of detectives is involved, but Lutz has a blast doing it in her delicious debut….Can the family that snoops together stay together? Stay tuned as a dynamic new series unfolds." —PW
"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
"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
"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)