Monday, April 11, 2011

Heads You Lose - Lisa Lutz & David Hayward

I often recommend Lisa Lutz's The Spellmans series to readers who have finished the Stephanie Plum books and are looking for another light hearted fun mystery series.

Heads You Lose is a stand alone book and is a collaboration with David Hayward....who just happens to be Lisa's ex-boyfriend. And it is this connection that makes this book so much fun to read.

So, in the novel, we meet brother and sister Lacey and Paul. They're twenty somethings living in a small town in California. They also grow pot for a living. When a headless corpse appears on their property, chances are it could be work related. But, the ideal thing seems to be to move the body elsewhere to be found given their profession. When the body appears yet again in the front yard, Lacey recognizes it this time as her ex-fiancee.  Lacey decides to give the sheriff a hand solving the case...with Paul's help of course.

Lisa writes the first chapter and subsequent odd numbered chapters; David does the even numbered. Emails between the co authors preface each chapter and barbed footnotes abound. The subtle sniping between the two is hilarious. Each chapter takes a new direction as characters are added and killed off. (and brought back!) Clues abound as each author tries to steer the direction the book should take by adding their own twists.
"Another idiotic duck reference was all Lacey had to show for her visit with Marybeth Monroe. It was if some outside element were at work, temporarily putting the brakes on her investigation."
The town is populated by wildly quirky characters, seemingly random clues and red herrings galore - a source of contention between Lisa and David as the outcome is not pre determined.

Heads You Lose was such an entertaining, laugh out loud read. I hope the two authors can put their differences aside and collaborate again. No works much better for us if they don't get along!

Read an excerpt of Heads You Lose.


Anonymous said...

I'm excited about reading this one. My mystery group read the first Spellman book a while back. This one sounds like a lot of fun!

bermudaonion said...

Everyone seems to love this book! I can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

Lutz and Hayward were interviewed by Weekend Edition's Scott Simon on 04-16-11 about their book. Hilarious.