The Last Word (Spellman Files Series #6)

The Last Word (Spellman Files Series #6)

by Lisa Lutz


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451686661
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 07/09/2013
Series: Spellman Files Series , #6
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Lisa Lutz is the author of the New York Times bestselling, Edgar Award– and Macavity Award–nominated, and Alex Award–winning Spellman Files series, as well as the novels How to Start a Fire, The Passenger, and The Swallows. She lives and works in upstate New York.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Gold includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Lisa Lutz. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


In this sixth (!) document of the Spellman series, Isabel is back and things are as normal as ever: she’s being framed for embezzlement, her boss is being sabotaged while losing his memory to Alzheimer’s, her sister is running an unethical side business, her parents won’t talk to her, and her ex-boyfriend is engaged and knocking at her door. Can Izzy put all the pieces back together before she loses everything? Who will have The Last Word? Find out in this continuation of Lisa Lutz’s charming, madcap, award-nominated sleuth series.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. As Isabel goes under for the bone marrow extraction, do you truly believe that her heaviest investigating days are behind her? (And considering Rae’s afterword, do you think Isabel will ever regain that classic Izzy energy?)

2. Discuss Izzy’s semi-romantic relationships in The Last Word (Henry, Damien, and Max.) With whom are there the most sparks? Do you trust her and Henry to honor their handshake? Do you think Max (and Claire) is a good match for Isabel?

3. Who was your prime suspect for the embezzling and drugging of Slayter? Were you surprised by the identity of the perp(s)?

4. Given Rae’s new stake in Spellman Investigations, do you believe the firm has a future? Can her new CRS branch of the business coexist with traditional Spellman work?

5. Do you think Isabel’s new living arrangements at the story’s end will force her to act more like an adult? Are her days of goldfish and cheap whiskey behind her?

6. What was your favorite case in The Last Word, and why? Possibilities include Lightning Fast Movers, Ethan’s mysterious trouble, Rae’s CRS business, the embezzling, Divine Strategies, Edward’s drugging, and the Washburn case. Do you think Izzy despises Princess Banana as much as she lets on? Is it possible she was secretly a little happy to be ambushed with babysitting Sydney and Claire? What kind of mom would Isabel make?

7. Did you think Isabel’s parents were overly harsh in their stonewalling of her, or did Isabel’s coup warrant the pajama-and-silence treatment?

8. Discuss Izzy’s relationship with Slayter. Has working with him been beneficial for her personal development? Do you think she’ll continue to jog?

9. Did you think Damien was somehow involved in the embezzling and corporate sabotage? Why do you think he lied to Isabel?

10. Would you have slashed Lorre’s tires, too?

11. Is Rae the next Izzy? Would you be interested in a Spellman case with her at the helm?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Izzy takes Damien on her perfect tour of the Bay Area—with stops at all the places notorious for crimes, murders, and scandal. Research and discuss similar spots in your neck of the woods. Are there any locations famed for their dark history?

2. What would be the three words you’d give Edward to remember?

3. List and discuss the sorts of situations (hypothetical or real) that might require a CRS. Has anything happened to you that called for Rae’s particular brand of justice?

4. Visit to read her blogs, catch up on previous cases, and even have Lisa herself (possibly) call in to chat with your book club!

The Interrogation:
Lisa Lutz, author of The Last Word

1. Are any of the cases in The Last Word based on real-world crimes?

I didn’t knowingly mine any specific real-life cases for the ones in the book. But I’m sure there are similar cases out there.

2. Along those same lines, how much research goes into creating Izzy’s investigative to-do list?

I’m not a huge fan of research, but sometimes you get an idea and then you realize you don’t know anything. Like I don’t know anything about acute myeloid leukemia. So research had to be done. I’m not saying I did it.

3. Is The Last Word really the last word? Has the Izzy we’ve known and loved really grown up?

I’ve said this before (I think in Document #2): I don’t think people really grow up. But she’s evolved some. Those are two separate questions. I don’t plan on writing another novel in Isabel Spellman’s voice. I feel like she’s said all she needs to say. But you’ll hear from her in other ways.

4. Would you consider starting a spinoff series about Rae’s CRS business?

I’ll say this much: there will be at least one book from Rae’s point of view. I, personally, think she has a solid business model. So expect more than one.

5. Which Spellman character do you relate to the most?

Cousin Francesca Spellman. She lives in a Tuscan villa and married well. She spends her days drinking wine and eating really good food and she has the awesomest metabolism. (Technically, we have nothing in common, but it would be nice if we did.)

6. Is there really a wrong way to eat a Mission burrito?

There are a million wrong ways. I don’t have room here to get into the finer points of burrito management, but in short, if you’re not in any danger of staining anything or looking like a pig, you’re doing it wrong.

7. If someone, hypothetically speaking, had a problem that required less-than-delicate handling of a less-than-decent landlord, would you be able to recommend a CRS? If not, how good are you with a whipped cream canister?

Yes, and pretty good. Actually, that’s a lie. My penmanship with a pen is awful; I can’t imagine it would be any better with a can of Reddi-wip. Then again, how hard is it to mess up FU?

8. Do you see a future for Max and Isabel? Rae doesn’t seem to think it’ll last.

Rae doesn’t know everything. I have a good feeling about Max and Isabel.

9. What are your feelings about jogging? Be honest.

I have a love/hate relationship with jogging. We’re currently broken up.

10. What lies in store for the Spellman clan? Do they have a future?

You do know they’re not real, right? But, yes, they have a future.

Customer Reviews

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The Last Word (Spellman Files Series #6) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Watts12 More than 1 year ago
I have read all the Spellman novels, this one was my least favorite. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy reading it, I just felt like it was missing something. Her footnotes weren't as funny as in previous books. Not much banter between Izzy and Rae, the case was not very interesting....but if you read the previous novels you have to read this one...we'll see what Lisa Lutz has in store for us in the future.
MTDIVA More than 1 year ago
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Quite "Get" It, February 6, 2014 By MOONBEAM - See all my reviews This review is from: The Last Word: A Spellman Novel (Spellman: Document) (Hardcover) I had heard so many great things about this author and her prior novels, that I was totally psyched to read this latest installment of "Isabel a.k.a Izzy Spellman, P.I. It started off for me with a bang, easy to get into, but after about 50 pages I found I was trudging through, and failing to catch the infamous humor with the writing style. Character development was slow and mediocre plot. I had invested time so decided to complete the read, and was happy to have finished it, but did not find it really an appealing novel nor one that I would consider as a read for my book club. In all fairness to the stellar reviews, I think perhaps had I read any/all of the prior novels leading up to this one, I may have enjoyed it more. For this reason, I've decided on an average rating, as it was, at least for me, an average read.
scottnl73 More than 1 year ago
Once again another solid story about the Spellman clan, as told through the whiskey/scotch/bourbon/wine/beer-colored glasses of Izzy, middle child and former-ish deliquent who staged a hostile takeover of the family business back in Document #5. While there were the hijinks that always occur during each document, The Last Word dealt with not one but two more serious subjects (cancer and Alzheimer's).  Not going to rehash the story, because then you wouldn't want to read it. Let's just say that this book reads like the end of the series (I hope it's not!), which leaves me a bit sad, but just like life there's not always going be to a HEA.
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
A few years ago, word spread that Lisa Lutz was retiring her Spellman clan after the fourth book and I was one of many who were horrified to hear that news. Then, lo and behold, a fifth book showed up and, now, number 6 in the series. I don’t know what changed the author’s mind but I couldn’t be happier. Izzy Spellman is a character I’ve come to love and I wish I could spend real-life time with her. Alas, that is not to be, so I have to get my fill of her company through her books and this latest is no disappointment. Her squirrelly family is just as much fun as they’ve always been—who else would carry on inter-family warfare with boxer shorts and fluffy slippers?—and, although the cases being investigated are not exactly earthshaking, going along for the ride is an adventure in itself. I especially appreciated baby sister Rae’s development of a new way to bring in much-needed income and and Izzy certainly needs to find out who’s taking advantage of a tycoon’s weakness but there really are two primary mysteries…will the family survive Izzy’s hostile takeover of the investigation business and what will it take to get a three-year-old despot named Princess Banana to approve of Izzy? Anyone who enjoys a good deal of humor in their mystery reading will love The Last Word and all the other Spellman books and I’m already eagerly awaiting #7.
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
I'm glad Lutz has continued with these character through an additional couple of works. The beleaguered Izzy Spellman is the boss of Spellman Investigations, after the events of document 5. Chaos reigns as those clever, passive aggressive family members choose to do as little as possible, whenever they want. Izzy finds some satisfaction by helping her wealthy employer Edward Slayter with both hiding a disease and figuring out who is out to get him. Small cameos by previous characters round out the story, as do a few new characters, including a playmate for Sydney, who is exhibiting a new generation of Spellman tendencies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She doesn't know what to do with Isabel so she is moving on to Raye. Still funny, but now it's getting sad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one was my favorite of all the spellman documents. Loved it....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is just plain fun! Great characters, funny storylines...the footnotes are a little hard to navigate on my Nook while blowdrying my hair, but I managed to read all of them. Start with "The Spellman Files" and read the entire series! Can't wait for the next document.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laugh out loud funny! Characters are well developed! Love this series!!
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Isabel's hostile take over of the family's PI firm has not gone well. As her parents rebel, she tries to juggle the cases and the paperwork side of the business. All this is served with multiple storylines and plenty of laughs. The characters are as rich as always, and the ending is great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do yourself a favor and stop with. Book 4.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has been one of my favorite series. I'm disappointed in this book; it left me feeling sad rather than amused. I wish she had ended the series sfter the fourth book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another good read in the Spellman series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always a pleasure to read this series!! This was the best one by far!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all the books in the Spellman series and loved them all. This book was no exception. Funny and enteraining. I hope it's not the end.
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utdelilah More than 1 year ago
My favorite book of the series I love the Spellman chronicles and Lisa Lutz definitely hit a home run with this, her 6th book. This book was clever, engaging, funny and quite touching. I would highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story! Stop reading now if you don't want a spoiler........................................................................................................................................................My heart broke over the Henry thing, but at the same time it was SO real. I'd give it 5 stars if the story had ended with Izzy's point of view.