(Simon & Schuster, 2013)
Format: advance ebook via Net Galley
From Goodreads: "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 the identity of her boyfriend. Her mother, Olivia, once blackmailed Izzy with photographic evidence of Prom Night 1994. It seemed that the Spellmans would lay off after Izzy was fired for breaching client confidentiality, but then Izzy avenged her dismissal by staging a hostile takeover of the company. She should have known better than to think she could put such shenanigans behind her.
In The Last Word, Izzy’s troubles are just beginning. After her hostile takeover of Spellman Investigations, Izzy’s parents simply go on strike. Her sister, Rae, comes back into the family business with questionable motivations. Her other employees seem to be coping with anxiety disorders, and she has no idea how to pay the bills. However, her worst threat comes from someone who is no relation. Is this the end of Izzy Spellman, PI?"
Lutz is a playful author. I wonder if she just pulls random items out of the ether and challenges herself to incorporate them plausibly in her book. Izzy's challenges include twelve cans of tear gas, hideous Christmas sweaters, her ex-boyfriend's mother, the FBI, and a windowless file room inconveniently positioned for her attempts to eavesdrop on Bible Study. And somehow it all makes sense. As with the other books in the series, the investigative work takes a back seat to the delights of the Spellman family and their associates. And because the characters are all so real, well - I won't spoil it, but I will say that I cried.