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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spellman Detective Drama at Boswell Book Co.

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If you think your life is complicated, meet Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, a private eye who continually finds herself in insane situations. Izzy has come a long way since being homeless and barred from her place of employment (a family business, no less) because of a restraining order. Izzy, America’s favorite female Sherlock Holmes and the zany, slightly mad heroine of author Lisa Lutz’s best-selling series about the eccentric Spellman family, is back in the fourth and final installment, The Spellmans Strike Again. This hilarious pseudo-crime novel follows the young P.I. as she struggles through an entertaining mix of relationships, mysterious assignments, and the trials of adulthood.

The Spellmans’ private investigation business is filled with dysfunction, and Izzy is a bit off-kilter herself. In the new book, Izzy has agreed to take over the family operation; however, the transition isn’t a smooth one—Izzy’s mother is blackmailing her and sabotaging her romantic life, her sister has taken on a pro bono case that may land her in jail, and even her typically boring brother is adding to the dramatics. The Spellmans Strike Again continues the precedent set by previous installments in the series by following this uproarious clan of detectives in a fun, fast-paced style.

The saga of Izzy and the rest of the Spellman family has helped author Lutz garner a number of accolades. The first book, The Spellman Files, was a New York Times best seller; Curse of the Spellmans, the second in the series and another national best seller, was nominated for the Macavity and Edgar awards for best novel of 2008.

Lutz, who hails from California, attended four universities throughout the 1990s but never received a degree. She has found plenty of success with her books about the Spellmans, though; in addition to the book series, a motion-picture adaptation is in development with Paramount Pictures.

Lutz goes on tour this month and stops in Milwaukee at Boswell Book Co. on Thursday, March 25, at 7 p.m.