The Last Word by Lisa Lutz

the last word

4 out of 5 stars

This is completely and utterly hilarious. Getting me to read mysteries is usually a chore and a half but this series is written with so much good humour that the books are impossible to resist.

The stories centre around a family that runs a private investigation business. Isabel, one of the two daughters, is the main protagonist. It is mainly her voice driving the stories and her narration has me giggling out loud quite a bit. It isn’t the detective work that makes me love these stories, though that is well written and clever, but the interactions between Isabel and her family. They are all dysfunctional but loving. Since they are Private Eyes, they have the ability to get involved with each others’ business more than is normal.

I read this more as a comedy novel than a mystery. What I don’t like about mysteries is blood and gore, so this series is fabulous. It is a funny and light and engaging intro to mysteries for those that are transitioning into the genre. The characters are wacky and weird, but oddly realistic for, at times, seeming like caricatures. These books really illustrate well how frustrating, maddening, and annoying families and relationships can be. Isabel is a fantastic protagonist because she is strong, but still screws up a hell of a lot. She is a person I can imagine meeting. I wish this series didn’t end, but I think the author was right to end on a strong note. It would have been a shame to see such an enjoyable series jump the shark. I will definitely be rereading all of these anytime I need a guaranteed laugh.

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