The Last Word

The Last Word

The latest installment of the New York Times bestselling Spellman mysteries, finds private investigator Izzy Spellman on the verge of losing everything.Isabel Spellman is used to being followed, extorted, and questioned—all occupational hazards of working at her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Her little sister, Rae, once tailed Izzy for weeks on end to discover th...

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Title:The Last Word
Author:Lisa Lutz
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Last Word Reviews

  • Lisa Vegan

    Lisa Lutz is becoming like Sue Grafton to me, as each new book feels like settling into a comfortable and familiar place, and in Lutz’s case, a really amusing one.

    Unfortunately, Lisa no longer lives in San Francisco, but thankfully the Spellmans still do.

    I wasn’t expecting that, on the 2nd to last page (do NOT look ahead!) but it makes 100% sense to me. By the way, speaking of not looking ahead: About 1/3 the way through the book I did read the appendix. After all, us readers keep getting invite

    Lisa Lutz is becoming like Sue Grafton to me, as each new book feels like settling into a comfortable and familiar place, and in Lutz’s case, a really amusing one.

    Unfortunately, Lisa no longer lives in San Francisco, but thankfully the Spellmans still do.

    I wasn’t expecting that, on the 2nd to last page (do NOT look ahead!) but it makes 100% sense to me. By the way, speaking of not looking ahead: About 1/3 the way through the book I did read the appendix. After all, us readers keep getting invited to do that, so I usually do it sometime as I'm still reading, and this time I saw something I might rather not have seen (a spoiler.) I was fine with what's was coming though. But, my advice is (for this book) to not accept the frequent invitations to read the appendix before you finish reading the book.

    I think this might be my favorite Spellman book, though they all have their charms. It’s wonderful to read a series where the books actually improve rather than deteriorate. What was so unique remains so clever and still feels fresh and just as funny and heartfelt as ever. I love the characters, both the old and some of the new.

    I love that I was taken by surprise at times, which was really fun. And, even more than most series, readers HAVE to read these books in order in order to get the characters and fully appreciate them. Well, maybe not every reader does, but it’s imperative for me.

    I love this author and this series. I found this book so satisfying. It was a perfect comfort read for me. I laughed and smiled a lot, and felt deeply too. I can’t wait for the next one. There had better be a next one.

    If you’re a reader who enjoys reading about unique dysfunctional families, and you like really quirky, very humorous novels, I highly recommend these books.

    ETA but not to feed again so as to not annoy those who've already read this review:

    I appreciate how this author respects the reader and trusts them to remember her characters and their names. Once she introduces them, she doesn't overuse/repeat the full name, and gleefully uses nicknames. I love it!

    I don't feel like editing/adding, but it's important to note that each book has serious things in it too, and this one in particular had a couple very serious (one could say sad) plot points. So, while I laughed and smiled a lot, I got kicked in the gut a bit too.

    I just read that Lisa Lutz doesn't want to write more books in this series. I hope she changes her mind. She's brought me so much pleasure that I certainly want her happy, not unhappy. But I'd sure miss the Spellmans if this book is the last. At some point I'd have to do a 1-6 reread!

  • Melki

    Running your own business is hard work. It can be made even more difficult if you have disgruntled employees. And it can be super, super difficult if those disgruntled employees are your parents...and one of them refuses to put on pants.

    Izzy's "hostile" takeover of Spellman Investigations has not been going well. Besides the aforementioned barely clad parents, her other employees are all involved in "top secret" cases, and Izzy is clearly out of the loop.

    Her sister, Rae, is now some sort of medi

    Running your own business is hard work. It can be made even more difficult if you have disgruntled employees. And it can be super, super difficult if those disgruntled employees are your parents...and one of them refuses to put on pants.

    Izzy's "hostile" takeover of Spellman Investigations has not been going well. Besides the aforementioned barely clad parents, her other employees are all involved in "top secret" cases, and Izzy is clearly out of the loop.

    Her sister, Rae, is now some sort of mediator, or possibly a hitwoman.

    Someone seems to be threatening her sister-in-law, Maggie.

    Her niece, Sydney - aka Princess Banana, is driving everyone nuts with her republic of extreme good manners.

    It's going to take something mighty big to get those Spellmans working together as a team again.

    While this go-round was not as hilarious as some previous episodes, I was intrigued by the all of the cases, plus, I really enjoyed the, dare I say, touching moments between Izzy and her boss, Edward, who is suffering frequent memory lapses due to Alzheimer's disease.

    This may or may not be the last we hear from the Spellman clan. If it is, well, it's been a good run and I have no complaints if Ms. Lutz has decided to move on. I'll be delighted to meet any new characters she cares to introduce.

    On the other hand, young Sydney has proven she's got the personality and stubbornness required of a Spellman female.

    And,

    does have a certain ring to it....

  • Jay

    I have been lying to all of you for years. Actually, I have been repeating that same lie to family, friends, even strangers on the street. I have even been lying to myself (though that's really easy to do because it turns out I'm pretty gullible when it comes to things that I say in my own head). The lie: Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" book is my current favorite of all the series that I try to keep up with. The thing is, it was true at one point, but the truth is a transitory thing and I did not

    I have been lying to all of you for years. Actually, I have been repeating that same lie to family, friends, even strangers on the street. I have even been lying to myself (though that's really easy to do because it turns out I'm pretty gullible when it comes to things that I say in my own head). The lie: Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" book is my current favorite of all the series that I try to keep up with. The thing is, it was true at one point, but the truth is a transitory thing and I did not keep up with current events well enough to realize that the truth of that had faded. I apologize for misleading you all these years.

    The Spellman Files books are my actual favorite continuing book series, and that has been true for quite a while. Full to bursting (like a cheap water balloon) with unusual characters, sarcastic wit, hilarious situations, depth of feeling, loneliness, mistrust, confusion, problem solving, family issues, and reality, these books are nowhere near as light as they can appear.

    I hope my revelation and confession have not come too late, for the title "The Last Word" does sound rather final. Six books is a good size for a series, but if this is the end, then I will be mourning... mourning for a series that I didn't realize how much I was underappreciating it until it sounded like it might be gone. If this is the last book, though, I do want to say that I am so glad that this series crossed my path one day. My life is better for it.

  • Melliane

    I was looking forward to the release of this new volume! I must say that this is always the case for each of the volumes in this series. Indeed Lisa Lutz is a wonderful Mystery Thriller / Comedy writer. In this type of books I have two authors that I love, and Lisa Lutz is definitely one of them. Izzy and his crazy family are always a delight to follow and I love each second!

    I admit that the first thing that came to my mind when starting this book is my grea

    I was looking forward to the release of this new volume! I must say that this is always the case for each of the volumes in this series. Indeed Lisa Lutz is a wonderful Mystery Thriller / Comedy writer. In this type of books I have two authors that I love, and Lisa Lutz is definitely one of them. Izzy and his crazy family are always a delight to follow and I love each second!

    I admit that the first thing that came to my mind when starting this book is my great hope to go back to a relationship between Henry and Izzy. Well I must say that after a few pages it is clear that our hope is doomed to failure. Completely and permanently. I was really sad by this, for me these two characters were really meant to be together and I think it will take me some time for me to accept the fact that someone else is here for our heroine. But let’s leave that aside for a moment.

    Our heroine took over the family business and intends to operate as she wishes. Yes, isn’t she the owner? Doesn’t she have the right to demand what she wants? The power quickly goes to her head and as her parents were not very happy with this change, they will go on strike altogether. Coming to work at odd hours? Done. Coming dressed in pajamas? Done! Doing everything to make Izzy’s life and work difficult? Done and redone! It was really fun to see how they could make her suffer so she capitulates and understands that what she did was not a good thing. But again, she must really understand it. In addition to that, I was pleasantly surprised to see Slayter throughout the novel, the new Izzy’s boss. He will manage to do what most people were never able to do, like make her jog. Yes and I can say that she doesn’t like that, but not at all. She became very close to this man who sees her as his confidante, but with his onset condition, it is increasingly difficult to keep the secret. Especially when someone is trying to sabotage everything they have done so far, discrediting this great leader while accusing Izzy to steal funds. Yes of course, she has already committed minor offenses but this time it is much bigger and she could lose everything, especially with her employees who do their best to ignore her. Our young detective must find the culprit before getting charged for something she did not do. And without the need to think more, Rae is back, wanting to rework in business with a very special position. David and Maggie try their best to deprogram Sidney, after a big brainwashing done by her grandmother. Finally you can see, not a dull moment and a lot of things in perspective that keep us interested throughout the novel.

    I was really curious to see where Lisa Lutz wanted to take us this time and I must say I am not disappointed with the trip. This is again a very good novel and I hope there will be many more. If you do not know the series, I can only recommend it to you, you will surely not be disappointed. Crazy family, explosive business and many disasters await you. Of course, all this is not rosy and there will be pretty emotional moments that are very well written and that surprised me. Finally you can see, a nice sixth great volume even if I did not have exactly what I wanted, but is not this always in real life? A series to discover!

  • Becky

    Oh, Izzy. I just want to give her a big hug, despite the fact that I know she'd feel awkward and stiff and try to pull away.

    In

    we find Isabel Spellman at her most vulnerable, confused, and messy. I always remember and recommend the Spellman books as being funny, which obviously they are, so I am surprised every time when they also make me cry. Isabel, who never tells us how she feels, tells us early on that news from Henry feels like "that time I stole my brother's LSAT prep book a

    Oh, Izzy. I just want to give her a big hug, despite the fact that I know she'd feel awkward and stiff and try to pull away.

    In

    we find Isabel Spellman at her most vulnerable, confused, and messy. I always remember and recommend the Spellman books as being funny, which obviously they are, so I am surprised every time when they also make me cry. Isabel, who never tells us how she feels, tells us early on that news from Henry feels like "that time I stole my brother's LSAT prep book and he sat on my chest until I gave it back. Actually, it felt worse than that." I always feel for Izzy and her Avoidance Method, which is, of course, why I love these books so much. And I really relate to her constant efforts to grow up, even though she doesn't exactly know what that means.

    I think in

    , she does actually get there, as much as any Spellman can. Which is why, as far as I can tell, this book really is the last word (I've thought other Spellman books were the last ones though, so maybe I'm not the best judge of this).

    Lisa Lutz ends her acknowledgments, which I read even though she recommended I didn't, with this, which I love:

    "Finally, I'd like to thank my reader for staying with me all these years. I especially want to thank the ones who understand that the world isn't made up of happy endings, but messy, complicated, and untidy ones."

  • carol.

    As usual, Isabel Spellman is having a rough time. After staging a hostile takeover of the family business (previously described in book document #5), she’s discovering being the boss is harder than she thought. Her parents are protesting the new management (she’s lucky if her dad comes to work in pants); her newest employee is spending all her time on a personal vendetta; Rae refuses to report in on her cases; D., her employee of the month twelve months running seems to be lying about his resear

    As usual, Isabel Spellman is having a rough time. After staging a hostile takeover of the family business (previously described in book document #5), she’s discovering being the boss is harder than she thought. Her parents are protesting the new management (she’s lucky if her dad comes to work in pants); her newest employee is spending all her time on a personal vendetta; Rae refuses to report in on her cases; D., her employee of the month twelve months running seems to be lying about his research to Maggie, his former lawyer and Isabel’s sister-in-law; and the accounting software is so confusing that Isabel has taken to hand-writing out company checks. Then there’s the investigations for the firm’s major client and Isabel’s benefactor, Edward Slayter. To add insult to injury, he wants to hold his business meetings while jogging. Finally, there’s her chaotic personal life: her parents are hiding something, she’s worried that Slayter’s Alzheimer’s disease is worsening, Henry seems to be stalking her, and her brother keeps trying to trick her into babysitting.

    Light on the detective element, the ‘mysteries’ largely surround the people Isabel knows and loves acting in unusual ways. Unfortunately, she’s spread too thin to resort to her usual stalking investigative techniques, and tends to bounce from issue to issue as she tries to understand what’s going on. At heart, this is a story about relationships with people we love but don’t always understand. What I enjoyed most was the humanity and the reality threading through the book. Lutz manages to balance the frustration and worry with moments of comedy, achieving a great narrative that is as prone to making me say, “oh, Isabel” with sympathy, as it is to making me laugh out loud.

    *************************************

    continued at

    and

    -

    Why? Because Goodreads' Customer service is a major fail, and they threatened to boot me for re-posting my banned reviews--which they forgot to take down in the first place. So everything needs to be permanently located elsewhere. Take that as a word of advice, folks.

  • Dan Schwent

    When the parental unit goes on strike, Izzy finds that she's bitten off more than she can chew running Spellman Investigations but that is far from her only problem. Her friend and former client, Edward Slayter, has Alzheimers. Henry Stone wants to talk to her. Her brother keeps tricking her into spending time with her niece. And exactly what is a Conflict Resolution Specialist. Oh, and there's a little matter of embezzlement...

    The Last Word is the sixth Spellman book published and the last to d

    When the parental unit goes on strike, Izzy finds that she's bitten off more than she can chew running Spellman Investigations but that is far from her only problem. Her friend and former client, Edward Slayter, has Alzheimers. Henry Stone wants to talk to her. Her brother keeps tricking her into spending time with her niece. And exactly what is a Conflict Resolution Specialist. Oh, and there's a little matter of embezzlement...

    The Last Word is the sixth Spellman book published and the last to date. As the series goes on, I feel like a parrot and not the dead one from the infamous Monty Python sketch. How many different ways can I declare my love for this series?

    As per usual, the cases are secondary and the mysteries surrounding the various members of the Spellman family and their associates take center stage. What's with the parents? What's with Rae? What's with Demetrius? Who slipped Slayter the mickey? So many questions.

    One thing I love about the Spellman Files that I've likely mentioned before is that Lisa Lutz manages to craft a mystery with a lot of laughs without making it descend into ridiculousness. While there is hilarity, it's of the realistic sort and not cutesy unbelievable crap.

    I also like that the characters aren't static. They change with every book. I like where The Last Word left the Spellman clan but I'll be ready when the next book comes.

    Still no detective babies. Four out of five stars.

  • Shelley

    *Genre* Mystery and HiJinks

    *Rating* 3-3.5

    *Thoughts*

    35 year old Private Investigator Isabel Spellman has her hands completely and utterly full in The Last Word. If you haven't yet read Trail of the Spellman's (Episode 5), I would suggest you go back and read it so that you understand the fallout from Isabel's hostile take over of Spellman Investigations and the implications it brings to the entire family.

    As a summary, Isabel has been working for her parents (Albert & Olivia) Private Investiga

    *Genre* Mystery and HiJinks

    *Rating* 3-3.5

    *Thoughts*

    35 year old Private Investigator Isabel Spellman has her hands completely and utterly full in The Last Word. If you haven't yet read Trail of the Spellman's (Episode 5), I would suggest you go back and read it so that you understand the fallout from Isabel's hostile take over of Spellman Investigations and the implications it brings to the entire family.

    As a summary, Isabel has been working for her parents (Albert & Olivia) Private Investigation business since she was 12 years old. Without getting into it too much, Isabel has always been a party girl who enjoys drinking...a lot. She's had more than a few boyfriends including Detective Harry Stone. She's been arrested more than a handful of times because her antics usually backfire on her. Her own parent's are a wee bit eccentric as well and aren't afraid to let Izzy sink to the lowest lows before tossing her a lifeline.

    Yet, Izzy always seems to find the right angle to explore even when she's told to back off or she'll be terminated from her job. She's also the only Spellman offspring who is fully committed to her job as a Private Investigator. Her brother David quit being a full time lawyer to raise his daughter Sydney who is an absolute terror. Her younger sister Rae has just graduated from UC Berkeley and seems to have other ideas for her future which don't include long and insufferable stake-outs. The Spellman's also have two part time employees in Vivian, a college student, and Demetrius who was wrongfully convicted of something he didn't do and was exonerated by the Spellman's and David's wife Maggie.

    Once again, The Last Word isn't just about Izzy's struggles as the CEO of Spellman Investigations, or the fact that her new benefactor has Alzheimer's or that someone is out to ruin him and as well as Izzy and she needs to pull every resource together she has in order to lure the perpetrators out into the open. There are some tender moments as well as Izzy understands that her methods are a little far fetched and she can't treat family with disrespect and expect bygones.

    The Last Word is "apparently" the last book in The Spellman's series which I have been a faithful and loyal supporter and follower of since the release of The Spellman Files (2007). It's kind of sad to realize that there won't be any more hi-jinks from Isabel, Rae, David, Maggie, Demetrius, Albert or Olivia Spellman or even Henry trying to get Izzy to wake up before it's too late. It was nice of Ms Lutz to bring back Isabel's former best friend and co-conspirator Petra back to the series even for just a brief moment in time.

    The Last Word actually ends with Rae doing a wrap up which kind of surprised me since we've never really had her do any sort of story telling until now. Rae has always been a rather abrupt and one who doesn't care how far across the line she goes in order to get her way. I can only hope that Lutz doesn't spin off this series and have Rae as its star.

    The Series:

    1. The Spellman Files

    2. Curse of the Spellmans

    3. Revenge of the Spellmans

    4. The Spellmans Strike Again

    5. Trial of the Spellmans

    6. The Last Word

    *Recvd via Edelweiss 04/24/2013* Expected publication: July 9th 2013 by Simon & Schuster

  • Jill

    I love the Spellmans. I do. I love their dysfunction and their quirkiness and their snarky wit. I love the way they interact with people, especially each other. All of these things are predictable Spellman fare, and I like that I know exactly what I'm going to get when I pick up one of their installments.

    But I also

    like it. The first in the series,

    , was fresh, innovative, and downright hilarious at times, and the second and, to some extent, the third maintained this high

    I love the Spellmans. I do. I love their dysfunction and their quirkiness and their snarky wit. I love the way they interact with people, especially each other. All of these things are predictable Spellman fare, and I like that I know exactly what I'm going to get when I pick up one of their installments.

    But I also

    like it. The first in the series,

    , was fresh, innovative, and downright hilarious at times, and the second and, to some extent, the third maintained this high fairly easily. We're now six books into the Spellman Family saga, however, and what was once clever and exciting has become a bit

    predictable. I don't begrudge Lutz sticking with a formula that started off so brilliantly for her, but it would be nice to see

    character growth over the course of the series. This is a character-driven series, after all. I don't want to just see them make goofy mistakes, I want them to learn from those mistakes, or at least

    to learn from them. For the past several books, though, no one seems to be learning much of anything with the exceptions of Rae (who is, ironically, the youngest Spellman) and Henry (whose role in the series seems to be diminishing, which angers me). Isabel especially irks me as of late, which is troublesome considering these have always been her "files" (until Lutz decided to change it up a bit in

    , a "twist" I'm still not sure I like). Part of me wants to hang out with her, and part of me wants to tell her to grow the f*!k up. I refuse to believe that a more mature, grounded Isabel would lack all the spunk and sass of the Isabel we have come to love over the course of the series. Why does one have to mean the elimination of the other? Can't people change for the better without losing the essence of who they are?

    And so we are at an impasse. I love the Spellmans and will continue with the series should this in fact NOT be the last word, but I will do so more out of a sense of duty than love. And that makes me sad.

  • Nan

    I've been a solid fan of the Spellman series and was glad that there was a book to wrap up the saga. I was, however, disappointed. Let's just say that I wasn't as entertained as I'd hoped.

    Isabel, now 35 and now CEO of Spellman Investigations, seems to be loosing it. Everything is going downhill rapidly and throughout the book it just seems to get worse. Isabel's keen edge has been worn to a fuzzy nub and she just seems overwhelmed. Familiar characters drift in and out, things are happening in th

    I've been a solid fan of the Spellman series and was glad that there was a book to wrap up the saga.¹ I was, however, disappointed. Let's just say that I wasn't as entertained as I'd hoped.

    Isabel, now 35 and now CEO of Spellman Investigations, seems to be loosing it. Everything is going downhill rapidly and throughout the book it just seems to get worse. Isabel's keen edge has been worn to a fuzzy nub and she just seems overwhelmed. Familiar characters drift in and out, things are happening in the background and Isabel is just skatter-brained. Also, it is clear that the Spellman paranoia doesn't include the understanding that the FBI might not adhere to the law to gather information. The troubles keep adding up and I kept thinking "Where is the comic relief?" Well, I did stay up until early hours to finish reading as I've done with the rest of the series, but when I fell asleep it was with the question, What was that?

    ¹If the story continues from Rae's POV, I hope it gets better.

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