The Spellmans Strike Again
Simon and Schuster, Mar 16 2010, $25.00
In San Francisco, thirtyish Isabel Spellman knows the family rules rule having broken all of them at one time or another, but now she grooms herself to take over Spellman Investigations from her retiring parents Albert and Olivia. Her older brother David is downsized corporate America lawyer and her other sibling is simply Rae, no description necessary beyond she is seventeen.
Currently, in spite of the DNA, Isabel learns one rule of private sleuthing is tediousness. Accompanied by her friend Len Williams, she investigates the disappearance of Mason Graves (who she hopes does not live up to his surname), valet to wealthy Franklin Winslow and studying (alone) the garbage of Jeremy Pratt's former wife for proof she stole his screenplays. Izzy and her boyfriend bartender Conner O'Sullivan find time when they can. At the latest Eleventh Commandment thou shall attend the Sunday Family Dinner; Rae gives her the stare of Medusa for failing to investigate the case of Levi Schmidt defended by David's defense-attorney girlfriend Maggie Mason at a time when doorknobs and fixtures vanish from the house.
The final Spellman dysfunctional family tale (see Revenge of the Spellmans) is an entertaining entry as the “Recovering delinquent” understands family values (not just insane rules) with the help of friend Inspector Stone and of course octogenarian Morty. The story line is thin, but like the Spellmans zany and all over the place barely held together by the rules that govern plots. However the yes we can (except to felonies; that is most of the time) theme makes for an enjoyable insane finish as dizzy Izzy knows dad at sixty five may retire, but mom will always cross the line when it comes to sleuthing into the lives of her kids.