Izzy Spellman and the rest of the Spellman clan are back for another hilarious romp through the streets of San Francisco in The Spellmans Strike Again, the fourth novel of the Spellman Files. Isabel Spellman is finally trying to grow up. She has agreed to take over the family business, she is trying not to investigate people for no reason (emphasis on “trying”) and she has even made efforts to make small talk. Meanwhile, Izzy’s mother desperately wants her to investigate her brother David and discover the identity of the attractive blonde–who is not David’s girlfriend Maggie–who has been spotted leaving David’s house. Izzy is dead set against investigating family members, but her mother is holding Prom Night 1994 over her head, which leaves her with no option but to surveil David. Not all is well inside the Spellman house either–quite literally. Doorknobs, towel racks, and light fixtures are disappearing, and Izzy can’t figure out why her parents aren’t worried about this. Finally, Izzy’s relationship with Detective Henry Stone keeps getting more confusing. Now, after saying he didn’t want a relationship with Izzy, he says he wants to be friends, which is one more thing Izzy just can’t handle right now.
I just love these Spellman novels, and I liked this one best of all of them so far. (I actually thought this was the last novel in the series, and was stoked when I visited Lisa Lutz’s website and discovered there are more!! Woohoo!!) I really liked that Izzy finally started to grow up a bit…enough to be less whiny, but not so much that’s she doesn’t continue to get herself into hilarious and ridiculous situations. I like where the story is going with her older brother David too, a character you just have to like, and I like the new(ish) character Maggie as well. We met Maggie in book three when she was dating Henry Stone, but we really get to know her now that she is dating David and interacting with the Spellman family in this book.
It’s hard to talk about these books without giving anything away, and I don’t want to say too much. I love the interaction between characters in this book, and how silly they are while still being realistic. I also really enjoy how even though Izzy figures things out, the reader doesn’t get to solve any puzzles until everything comes together at the end of the novel. Makes it really hard to put these books down, which is great. I also like the transcripts of recordings. Occasionally when I read these books my boyfriend will look over my shoulder and ask why the dialogue is written “in such a weird way.” To which I (after explaining) respond that it makes these scenes so much funnier than if you were reading about them “live” so to speak. And the footnotes continue to be funny. And make me want to watch Dr. Who. And Get Smart. Maybe this summer when I have some more free time. I’ll let you know if they are as great as Izzy says they are.