Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Romance Mystery Novel: Trail of the Spellman's by Author: Lisa Lutz

Love / strong dislike / acceptance

In the past I have had a love / hate relationship with Lisa Lutz as a reader.

I love her because she is dry humor, irreverant, a rebel and she writes like she's filing case reports as a private investigator. If you want a taste of her off kilter humor here is a blogpost I wrote about an April Fool's joke she did in her newsletter that I originally fell for.

I've hated* her because not only does she refuse to give her main character, Izzy Spellman, a happily ever after with Henry Stone; sometimes Izzy goes for whole books with no soft place to land whatsoever. I think both those things are just too harsh.

*Hate is probably too strong a word there.

Don't go building up or foreshadowing a relationship and then refuse to close the deal. Purportedly she does that because not everyone in life gets a happy ending. So fucking what? This is not life. This is fiction.

I've said this a hundred times or more - if I wanted reality I would read non-fiction.

Anywho - she relented and put Izzy with Henry together at the end of Document 4. I knew this from spoilers so I ended my boycott and read the book.

Now Document 5, Trail of the Spellmans, is out and guess what - Henry and Izzy end their relationship. It's like a bad television comedy where they rely on that tired, overused -  on again - off again - bullshit.

For some reason, though, it didn't bother me this time. Izzy seems stronger. And even though it's never the same ally, she always seems to drag up an ally when she needs one.

And it has my favorite thing; a fictional passage that resonates with truth that is useful in everyday life in the real world:

  "The unfortunate tattoo I have on my ass goes against nature," Gerty said. "Modern medicine, electricity, cars, cell phones, four-inch heels, fake tits, Botox, hair color, all go against nature. And there are a lot of natural things that I wouldn't abide. Like an overgrowth of nose hairs or foot fungus. We have an infinite number of choices in front of us. All you can do is make the choice that's right for you. Of course, I wouldn't give this same speech to a serial killer, but I think you get my drift." Gerty from the Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

So simple, yet so true.

Robena Grant expands on that thought in her current blogpost (unknowingly - not a planned thing or even related to Lutz's book that I know of) when she beautifully paraphrases Deepak Chopra:

"To paraphrase: there is a giant river that flows through all reality and once you have found your true self, there is no more cause for action. The river picks you up and moves you forward. All of that busy work, all of that worry, becomes pointless. No one gives you the job of steering the river so all you have to do is relax, enjoy the ride, and appreciate the scenery."

Do you know how hard that is - not to act - or rather not to act TOO MUCH? For me it's very hard. I'm a doer. What about you?

Back to Lisa Lutz - the books are, in order:
Document 1 - The Spellman Files
Document 2 - Curse of the Spellmans
Document 3 - Revenge of the Spellmans
Document 4 - The Spellmans Strike Again
Document 5 - Trail of the Spellmans
Document 6 - The Last Word* (due out July, 2013)
* In typical Lutz fashion this is  not the last Spellman book. She is contracted for 2 more.

Double back to Robena Grant - I talked about her first book, Unlock the Truth, which I highly recommend, here.

Robena has graciously agreed to let me interview her regarding her second book, The Blue Dolphin, which I also highly recommend, here, on Friday!!!

Do you like irreverant humor?

Do you like romantic suspense?

Do you like the questions that are obligatory at the end of blogposts?

Will Alfonso survive the winter now that my mother has moved him away from his beloved La Diabla? Do houseplants whine? If so, is Gladys going to murder Alfonso in a case of houseplant romantic suspense?

For the answer to these questions and more - report here Friday. Same url, same silly author.


  1. Hey, thanks for the shout-out. I'm looking forward to our interview on the making...scrath that...the creating of The Blue Dolphin on Friday. : )
    And yes, I love the questions at the end of blog posts. Good food for thought. Yours made me smile.

  2. Hehe. Poor Alphonso. I've never needed the HEA, so Lutz might just be a good fit for me. :)

    I don't know that I agree with Chopra, there. Life is too short not to act. Also, I don't equate action with busywork; they're not the same. The only thing drifting ever got me was behind on my bills, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the scenery. All of which is to say, Deepak and I have very different philosophies. :D

    1. I agree with you in the sense that I don't want to live by default.
      The problem for me comes in when I want to DO something when there either isn't anything to do or thought needs to be given as to what to do first. I just want to jump in. It is reaction to a long line of relatives who can't make a decision.
      There needs to be balance.
      In the context of what Robena was saying in her blogpost, the Chopra thing made perfect sense.
      In any case, Chopra's philosophy works for him, Robena's works for her, yours works for you, and ocassionally mine works for me.

  3. Yes, I love irreverent humour.

    No, I don't really like suspense much at all.

    Yes and no. I have mixed feelings about the end-of-post questions.

    Crap, now I'm worried about Alfonso.

    1. Not to worry. If Alfonso wants female companionship, he knows how to force a move! In fact, he has my mom worried about re-potting him right now, the little manipulator.