Three New Series For Fans of Janet Evanovich

Do you have a Janet Evanovich fan who’s already bought Takedown Twenty for herself? Worry not. Here are three feisty, funny female characters who are just as entertaining as Stephanie Plum.

Lisa Lutz’s Izzy Spellman
First Book in the Series: The Spellman Files
Latest Book in the Series: The Last Word

Izzy is a professional, if somewhat disorganized, private investigator, in one of the most dysfunctional family firms that’s ever existed. When the Spellman’s aren’t doing surveillance for a client, they spy on each other. Lutz uses the idea of a detective firm to give a satiric yet brutally honest look at relationships and family.

 

Sophie Littlefield’s Stella Hardesty
First Book in the Series: Bad Day For Sorry
Latest Book in the Series: Bad Day for Mercy

On probation after killing her abusive husband with a monkey wrench, Stella has gone into the business of helping women get back at the bad men in her life. Sometimes the work has her running afoul of her sometime boyfriend, Goat, the local sheriff. She also has to juggle her friend and daughter in this series that offers a realistic take on Midwest.

 

Janice Hamrick’s Jocelyn Shore
First Book in the Series: Death On Tour
Latest Book in the Series: Death Rides Again

Jocelyn is a newly divorced Austin school teacher dealing with the men and dead bodies in her life. Janice Hamrick delves into human naure and behavior while delivering a well plotted and entertaining read.

A Heavy Dose of Humor, Spellman-Style

Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files series (or documents) are mainly known for their humor, but they also deal with many of life’s tougher struggles head on. No matter how strange PI Isabel “Izzy” Spellman’s cases or the entanglements of her dysfunctional family (who are also her co-workers) get, Lutz is able to make us relate. In her latest, The Last Word, she delves even deeper into the problems of family and work.

It was bad enough when Izzy was working for her parents, Albert and Olivia, but now she’s learning how powerless she is as the boss. The folks haven’t taken well to her hostile take over of the agency and have staged a passive-aggressive rebellion by coming to work in their pajamas and curlers and barely doing their work load. It’s no wonder she does the bidding of her full time client, Edward Slayter, a businessman in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and somewhat of a second, more stable father to her. When her younger sister, Rae, adept at surveillance and blackmail, comes back to “help”, Izzy has her suspicions. The plot truly thickens when evidence of embezzlement from Slayter’s company implicates The Spellman Agencey.

In a genre known for putting things in order, Lutz writes about chaos better than anybody else. Besides the takeover of the company, the embezzlement, and whatever Rae is up to, Izzy has a few cases to juggle, a possible new boyfriend, and a family crisis to deal with. Lutz captures the in-over-your-head feeling as she struggles to be detective, boss, and daughter. A subplot with her dating one of Slayter’s lawyers has less to do with romance than a respite from everything tugging at her.

The book does a solid job tackling the politics and emotions of having to switch roles with your parents as you both get older. It studies the resentment such upheaval brings and the division between siblings. Slayter’s Alzheimer’s and his demands add a different flavor to this problem for Izzy. Lutz portrays the stress, bitterness, love and every emotion in between in the situation, along with a heavy dose of humor.

The Last Word tickles your funny bone while it pulls no punches. It frames the isolation of life’s stress and the emotional crimes family love seems to pardon in entertaining fashion. With Lutz, you have to laugh, otherwise all you can do is cry.

Lisa Lutz will be at BookPeople this Wednesday, July 17th at 7pm to speak about & sign The Last Word. If you can’t make it, you can order a signed copy over on our website