Like so many of the books I read these days, Lisa Lutz' series about the Spellman Family was recommended to me by Linda at the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles. I'm glad I listened, because without a doubt, the Spellman books have become some of my all time favorites.
Book one, THE SPELLMAN FILES, introduces the Spellmans, a family of private investigators who have a hard time separating their work life from their personal lives. Isabel Spellman, the eldest daughter, has followed in her parents footsteps as a P.I.and often resorts to unconventional methods to get the job done, even if means keeping her own family under surveillance.
More chronicles of a loving but highly dysfunctional family than crime novels, the Spellman books are unique in every way. Isabel Spellman is a heroine that despite her faults (there are many), is utterly engaging. I have devoured all four of the Spellman books and I can't wait for the fifth, whenever it may come.
If you're buying books as gifts this holiday season, please consider purchasing from your local independent bookshop. The level of customer service you'll receive is unmatched, you'll have the added benefit of making new friends of the staff, and you'll help support a local business.
Books featured in this post can be purchased from the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles (firstname.lastname@example.org).