Curse of the Spellmans- Lisa Lutz

In the second book in the Spellman series, Isabel Spellman finds herself surrounded by suspicious behavior.  She becomes obsessed with her neighbor’s odd habits.  He gardens.  He shreds an awful lot of paper for a gardener.  He has a locked room inside his house.  Her obsession gets her arrested four times, but she can’t tear herself away from the case until it is solved.

Izzy’s father has started to take a strange interest in salads, while Izzy’s mother has taken to vandalizing a stranger’s motor bike.  Rae, Izzy’s sister, is actually acting like a normal teenager, rousing suspicion when she is caught talking on the phone to age-appropriate friends.  David, Izzy’s brother, is married to Petra, Izzy’s best friend, but neither of them is responding to phone calls.  Milo, Izzy’s loyal bartender, has been acting particularly cantankerous lately.  And a series of vandalizations (identical to those of the 1992-93 school year) of Mrs. Chandler’s holiday yard art has popped up.

With all that suspicious behavior, Isabel has no choice but to investigate everyone in her life all over again!  I really enjoy this series.  It is just a ton of fun.  The characters are funny and quirky and you will love them, despite their misbehavior.  The mysteries in this book were a little better than those in the first, or at least, I didn’t figure any of them out before they were revealed.  And I like the introduction of the Henry Stone character (Rae and Izzy’s friend, a policeman) as his rule-abiding, clean-living seems to complement Izzy’s character quite well.  Again, I highly recommend this series as a change of pace for those times when you just want something light-hearted and fun with loads of quirky characters and a side of mystery.

I read/reviewed this book in conjunction with the Series Catch-Up 2012.  Sign-ups are still open, so join us if you’re looking to catch up on some series before the year ends!