The Spellman files
by Lisa Lutz
Simon & Schuster 2007
Spellman Files - The Book
If you have ever thought about being a Private Investigator, well, this is THE book to read. Isabel "Izzy" Spellman is a private investigator for her parents family business - Spellman Private Investigators in San Francisco. Izzy has been working for her parents since she was 12.
She has learned all the tricks of surveillance, how to tail someone, how to write a surveillance report, and how to do a credit check and a background check on a suspect. If you want to know about the life of a PI then you gotta read this book.
This is the first book (supposedly) in a series of novels about the Spellman family. The family is chaotic. Izzy is 28 years old, and lives at home with her parents and younger sister. She wants to leave home and live somewhere else, preferably with a normal boyfriend, but she knows she cannot get a job because she has no other qualifications. Her only skills are running credit checks and background checks on her potential boyfriends. Izzy even tried working as a receptionist on the switchboard for an insurance company, but quit after 3 days and went back to being a PI.
Izzy is given a Cold Case (missing persons) file to see if she can find anything new. While she is investigating, Izzy is told to drop the case or a lawsuit will be filed. But she can't stop, so she keeps digging. She does eventually resolve the case and then shreds the file.
As most of you know, I love doing research, and most of a PI's job involves research. As a teenager, I seriously thought about becoming a PI for a while because I loved the idea of doing research. This was about the time Magnum PI was on TV. But then I discovered that PIs have to tell lies and fibs when they are calling around trying to confirm their information. I decided that I couldn't do that. I hate telling fibs.
In fact I once left a good job in New Zealand (with NZ Telecoms) because I hated being forced to tell lies to the clients. The clients used to ring up and ask How long is my phone going to be out of order? I was required to tell them, I apologise for the delay sir, but the cable is broken and its going to be out for about 2 days. Most of the time the cable technicians were telling us that it would be closer to five days before the cable was repaired. Eventually the constant lying got to me, so I left.