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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Curse of the Spellmans (Izzy Spellman Book 2) by Lisa Lutz

As I said when I reviewed the first book in this series, The Spellman Files, I originally read the first book because people who knew I enjoyed the Stephanie Plum series recommended this little series to me. And as I said then, the two series have a few things in common, but I wouldn't have compared them with each other so much.

I rated the first book a 7 of 10 because it was hard to follow in the "report" style that the book was written in. It was a pretty good book, but the writing style was annoying: dates and times and footnotes and lists and... it didn't flow for me. Too much starting and stopping.

And this book, Curse of the Spellmans, is also written in that same "report" style. I'm a little more used to it now, so it was easier to follow, but it's still not really my preferred reading style.

That being said, Curse of the Spellmans does have a lot going for it. Instead of posting the (too long) blurb I'll give my own rundown of things.

For starters, Izzy has another mystery to sink her teeth into. Most PI work is pretty cut and dried, so she doesn't get an actual mystery to solve very often, and when she does she's like a pit bull with it. Then there is her little sister Rae, still up to her shenanigans, though also beginning to grow up (Rae is 16 at the time of this book). And Izzy's parents are trying to figure out their semi-retirement and what to do with their time. Inspector Stone (from the first book) also plays a pretty large part in this book, as does big brother David. We even have the family going to the dentist and seeing ex-boyfriend number 9.

The second book in this series again gives us a mix of personal problems, family issues, work related things to do, and the all encompassing mystery.

In my last review I called the family functionally dysfunctional. I think that label will have to stick until I can think up a better term.

I'll give Curse of the Spellmans an 8 of 10. There were multiple plots, there were a couple of plot points from the past book pulled into this one, the characters are engaging, and there is even some humor.

The next book, Revenge of the Spellmans, is due out in the next couple of days.

Book Rating: 8 of 10
Series Rating: 7 of 10

I've got this series in Crime Thriller, but that's mainly because it fits best with what I've already got to choose from. I don't really know what genre to put it in.

1. The Spellman Files: A Novel (2007)
2. Curse of the Spellmans: A Novel (2008)
3. Revenge of the Spellmans: A Novel (Mar 10, 2009)

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