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Revenge of the Spellmans: A Novel (Isabel "Izzy" Spellman) Hardcover – March 10, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. San Francisco PI Isabel "Izzy" Spellman endures court-ordered therapy sessions as well as blackmail in Lutz's wacky crime novel, the third entry (after Curse of the Spellmans) in a series that keeps getting better and better. Albert and Olivia Spellman, Izzy's parents, want her to return to work for the family PI firm; otherwise, they may have to sell it. While Izzy contemplates their offer, she secretly moves into her brother's guest apartment; helps her elderly lawyer friend, Mort Schilling, accept his upcoming move to Florida; and mourns the loss of her bartending job. Will she rediscover her yen for snooping when she takes on "the Case of Ernie Black's Not Terribly Suspicious Wife Who Probably Wasn't Cheating on Him"? Or say sayonara to snooping? Hyper spy girl Rae, Izzy's teenage sister (who may have cheated on her PSAT), provides dizzy distractions. Punctuating the rapid-fire plot are amusing therapy session transcripts and footnotes. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* The wisecracks crackle in Lutz’s third mystery featuring twentysomething San Francisco private investigator Isabel “Izzy” Spellman (after Curse of the Spellmans, 2008). On hiatus from her parents’ detective firm, Izzy ponders the suspicious behavior of her straitlaced, type-A brother David, who has traded his Brooks Brothers suits for a bathrobe and taken to calling in sick to work. (He has no clue Izzy has been living in the basement apartment of his house.) Izzy also looks into the life of Linda Black, whose husband, Ernie, is certain she’s cheating on him. Or could that expensive clothing and perfume she’s been bringing home simply be the sign of a serious shoplifting problem? Izzy must once again contend with Rae, her troublemaking, Twizzler-chomping teenage sister, who’s been “relocating” Izzy’s car to various spots around the city. (Izzy has enough trouble finding her wheels when she parks them herself.) And then there’s Henry Stone, Izzy’s police inspector ex-boyfriend, who has an annoyingly likable new squeeze. Rounding out this mordant mix is Izzy herself, whose court-mandated therapy sessions boast more quips than a Groucho Marx retrospective. Those in the market for mayhem and mirth will revel in Lutz’s irresistible blend of suspense, irony, and wit.
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Product Details

  • Series: Isabel "Izzy" Spellman
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416593381
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416593386
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of The Spellman Files, Curse of the Spellmans, Revenge of the Spellmans, The Spellmans Strike Again, Trail of the Spellmans and Heads you Lose (with David Hayward). Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor's degree. Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film was made in 2000, she vowed she would never write another screenplay. How to Negotiate Everything a children's book (illustrated by Jaime Temairik) will be released in 2013 along with The Last Word, the sixth installment in the Spellman series. Lisa lives in a town you've never heard of in upstate New York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By CeeCee on March 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not going to go into detail- I'll leave that for better reviewers. But I will say this, I'm a huge fan of Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum Series, especially the first half, but Lisa Lutz and the Spellmans have shoved Plum down the list. This is a great new series, Revenge of the Spellmans being the third installment. There's laughter, thriller, suspense, heartache, hope and everything else in between (what, that's not enough to entice you?). This is a keeper, along with the first two, and I would recommend all three for all readers, no matter their favorite genre. It's one of those series that everyone can fall in love with. The only issues I have are: one, the ending always seems too soon for me, and two, I have to wait a year for the next book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dennis E. Henley on April 1, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the third time I've visited the world of the Spellmans and I'll definitely be back. I'm not sure I'll be back via the Kindle since the footnotes (and there's a lot of them) are a pain to use on the Kindle. You have to place the cursor on the note, hit the okay button, get taken to the note, read it, and then hit the back button to be taken to the story. That's okay if there's only one note per screen, but on one screen, there were 3 notes and it's just too much of a hassle to switch back and forth (navigation of the the Kindle's cursor is not the easiest task). It's even more annoying when the footnote reads, "See Appendix." This is one time when the paper format is superior to the digital format.

As for the story, it's the same funny sleuthing that made the previous two such a joy to read (the kind of book where the reader laughs out loud several times - to the great annoyance of anyone around who is not in on the joke). I'll be back for more. And, if Amazon figures out a better way to do footnotes, I'll be using my Kindle.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. Griffin VINE VOICE on March 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Revenge of the Spellmans is the third installment in the series, and although you do not have to read the other two books first, it is recommended that you do for the greatest enjoyment!

Revenge focuses on Izzy Spellman as she struggles with defining herself as adult while her family and friends grow and change around her. After her "stalking" escapades in Curse of the Spellmans, Izzy has a part-time job in a bar owned by her friend Milo, court ordered therapy, a beautiful new apartment where she is a secret tenant, and a car that keeps disappearing.
Izzy's sense of unrest in heightened by the different things going on in the lives of her friends, changing her relationships with Petra, Milo, Morty, and Henry.

Izzy agrees to investigate a case for her friend Milo, and decides that her success or failure to solve the mystery will also decide her future career--she will re-join the family PI firm only if she can solve the case. While following a suspect, Izzy realizes that she herself is being followed, and begins to spy on a competitive PI firm.

The real fun with the Spellman books is beyond the mystery story, and with Izzy's family and friends. Her brother David is having a mid-life crisis, her sister Rae is immersed in teen-age angst, her parents worry about (and investigate) all three Spellman children. The antics are what Spellman readers would expect, and more--visits to the police station, impounded cars, parent / teacher conferences, wilderness experiences, Buddhist temples, lots of candy, meditation centers, and investigating family, friends, and friends-of-friends.

Revenge of the Spellmans is a wonderful addition to the series. The story is varied, with unexpected twists, and the characters develop in ways that are surprising yet
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By reviewer VINE VOICE on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Private investigator Isabel Spellman quit her job with her family's detective business and is working part-time as a bartender at her friend Milo's bar while trying to decide what to do next. She's also been through one block of court-ordered therapy and has been passed by that therapist on to another. Milo persuades Isabel to take on a relatively simple case for one of his friends, whose wife is acting mysterious and bringing home expensive items. Meanwhile, Isabel's brother David returns from a secret trip and stops going to work. Isabel finds out David has a secret apartment in his basement so moves in without his permission. Isabel's sister Rae's been accused of cheating on the PSATs and has finally made Detective Henry Stone angry enough he is no longer speaking to her. Isabel can't sleep in her new home due to her fear of being found by David, so takes naps on buses. She tails the wife, only to be tailed herself. If that isn't bad enough, her car keeps disappearing. And her feelings for Henry Stone just can't stay put.

Once more Lisa Lutz provides readers with a fun-filled whodunit which is more about the wacky Spellman family than the actual mystery, but readers won't mind one bit. The Spellmans are a fascinating, dysfunctional family with individual quirks and laugh-out-loud personas. A definite must-read for those who enjoy a good dose of humor along with a good book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S Day on June 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After reading the first two Spellman books by Lisa Lutz, I was extremely pumped up to read the third. Unfortunately, my public library decided it didn't need to to purchase this one, so I had to request it from inter-library loan. I love the characters and how much they are built up from book to book - I am actually going through withdrawal now that I don't have any others to read. The problems weren't quite as complex as the first two (though one of the "mysteries" was hard to understand even after it got explained to me), and I really really really got tired of the footnotes telling me that the previous books were "available in paperback!" (Really. Chances are if someone is reading the third book, they've read the others or will be interested in checking them out after they are finished - I was reminded what seems like 25 times of the books availability and it actually started to take away from my reading experience.)

The ending of the book left me hanging - I couldn't believe it was done because of the way some of the relationships were at a stand still. According to her website, Lisa Lutz is working on a 4th book (The Spellmans Strike Again), but it's not available until March 2010. I guess for now I'll have to settle for what I've got and make myself forget about how much I want to read the next installment for awhile.
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