Spellman Six / The Last Word: Reviews

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. . . . 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, Booklist (starred review)


Lutz delivers another rollicking good time in her sixth novel featuring the wacky San Francisco family of PIs (after 2012’s Trail of the Spellmans). Everyone in the Spellman clan is in an uproar because of Isabel’s hostile takeover of the firm. Izzy’s parents, Albert and Olivia, have taken up a passive-aggressive retaliation involving boxer shorts and plastic curlers, while her sister, Rae, has devised a new revenge-based income stream. Meanwhile, Izzy is helping client Edward Slayter . . . but it’s clear someone is determined to get him kicked out as CEO of a very profitable venture capital firm, and that someone is willing to sic the FBI on Izzy for embezzlement as part of the scheme. Former boyfriend Henry Stone keeps showing up at peculiar times, and Izzy’s battles with her tyrannical three-year-old niece, Sydney (aka Princess Banana), are escalating. The hilarious office memos and footnotes add to the fun.

—Publishers Weekly


The Last Word is a book that warrants and rewards careful reading, even though the light-hearted dialogue and prose makes you want to turn the pages ever faster. Lutz is at the height of her considerable prose and storytelling powers here, unleashing memos, dialogue, transcriptions, and even appendices to keep the reader engaged at every level. This book is simply lots of fun to read, so much so that it's easy to miss just how sophisticated it all is. Pay attention; there will be a test. For all the great jokes and funny lines, subtleties matter a great deal in The Last Word.

—Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column