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The Last Word: A Spellman Novel (Spellman Novels) Hardcover – July 9, 2013
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*Starred Review* Trouble always has a way of finding Isabel Spellman, the snarky, whip-smart sleuth at the heart of Lutz’s best-selling series. Although Izzy has plenty of clients to keep her busy, much of her time is devoted to dealing with the mischievous staff at Spellman Investigations, aka her own family. Her mother and father lack any semblance of professionalism, opting to hide out in their bedroom sipping coffee rather than attending firm meetings (or do much work, for that matter). And Izzy’s sassy younger sister, Rae, has proved herself a master (mistress?) of blackmail and bribes. This time around, however, Izzy’s woes stem not from next of kin but from an uberwealthy former client named Edward Slayter, who’s accused Izzy of embezzlement. Slayter, it turns out, has early-stage Alzheimer’s and is desperate to hide his diagnosis from colleagues and friends. Izzy is doing her best to keep Slayter’s secret—and save her own neck. Many of Lutz’s quirky characters make appearances here, from Izzy’s charming ex-boyfriend (and San Francisco cop) Henry Stone to her brother, David, who’s traded the buttoned-up world of high finance for the demanding—and disheveled—life of a stay-at-home dad. Edgar-nominated Lutz is in fine form, delivering another killer whodunit packed with plot twists and wit. --Allison Block
"The Last Word is Raymond Chandler meets Arrested Development. Zany, witty and full of dark surprises, Lisa Lutz's novel is pure fun-and Izzy Spellman, PI, tops the list of 'Fictional Characters I'd Like to Meet for a Bourbon.'" (Gillian Flynn, New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl)
“The sly trick of Lisa Lutz’s Spellman novels is that they’re so funny and so smart that you’re taken by surprise by all the insights they offer---about loneliness, about the tumult of love and most of all about the tender chaos of families. Like Raymond Chandler-meets-Salinger’s Glass family, with The Last Word, Lutz offers her richest, funniest and most bittersweet Spellman tale to date.” (Megan Abbott, author of THE END OF EVERYTHING and DARE ME)
Top customer reviews
That SHOULD have cured me of wanting to read "The Last Word," but like those about to witness a train wreck, I just couldn't turn my eyes away. TLW appears to close the Isabel Spellman saga once and for all. It continues some of the themes and personal story lines from TotS, introduces new professional and personal challenges to Isabel (all of which seem to overwhelm her), and serves as a bridge to the next series, evidently featuring Rae. (I see another Evanovich-type trap looming. Sigh).
TLW doesn't have the fun, snarky, and light touch of the first four Spellman novels, but (to its credit) it doesn't seem to aspire to that either. Characters are consistent with TotS, most of the plot lines are neatly tied, and if you want to keep up with the author's next series, you will probably need to read Documents* (*finger quotes -- sorry, couldn't resist) 5 and 6. If, (like me), you're not particularly interested in Rae Spellman, you might want to stop at book #4.
All that being said, I also have to admit I'm kind of puzzled by a number of reviewers' comments about this book being (to paraphrase) depressing. I didn't find that at all. Yes, Izzy is trying to be - or forced to be - more mature or serious. Are some of the themes and story lines less lighthearted and madcap,..yes. For a final book in the series are there satisfying uplifting endings for our characters - not exactly for all, BUT I don't see that as a negative in the least. The characters are quirky and flawed and have made a lot of mistakes throughout the series so why should they suddenly all have an epiphany and get it right? Did some characters meet a less than cheerful ending, yes. But why is that a negative - I enjoyed the unexpected outcome for some characters. Finally, I still found myself smiling and chuckling out loud and was sad when I turned the last page and realized I probably won't see any new stories with all of these characters. And - PS - if Lisa Lutz does decide to write one or more stories from Rae's journal......count me in!!
If you've enjoyed the Spellmans up to this book I don't see why you wouldn't enjoy this seemingly last chapter and still be hoping for more!
Most recent customer reviews
But still so very human