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The Next Generation
Table of Contents
About The Book
ISABEL SPELLMAN, PI, is used to being followed, extorted, and questioned—all occupational hazards of working at her fami-ly’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Her little sister, Rae, once tailed Izzy for weeks on end to discover the identity of Izzy’s boyfriend. Her mother, Olivia, once blackmailed Izzy with photographic evidence of Prom Night 1994. After years of power struggles, Izzy staged a hostile takeover of the company. She should have known better than to think she could put such shenanigans behind her.
When Izzy is accused of embezzling from a former client, her troubles are just beginning. If Izzy gets indicted, she could lose her PI license and the Spellman family’s livelihood—not to mention her own freedom. Is this the end of Izzy Spellman, PI?
Spellman Six: The Next Generation is, hands down, the most powerful book in the bestselling, award-nominated Spellman series.
Reading Group Guide
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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 LisaLutz.com to read her blogs, catch up on previous cases, and even have Lisa herself (possibly) call in to chat with your book club!
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.
- Publisher: S&S/Marysue Rucci Books (March 18, 2014)
- Length: 368 pages
- ISBN13: 9781451686678
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Raves and Reviews
"[Spellman Six] is Raymond Chandler meets Arrested Development. Zany, witty and full of dark surprises, Lisa Lutz's novel is pure fun-and Izzy Spellman, PI, tops the list of 'Fictional Characters I'd Like to Meet for a Bourbon.'"
– Gillian Flynn,#1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl
“The sly trick of Lisa Lutz’s Spellman novels is that they’re so funny and so smart that you’re taken by surprise by all the insights they offer---about loneliness, about the tumult of love and most of all about the tender chaos of families. Like Raymond Chandler-meets-Salinger’s Glass family, with [Spellman Six], Lutz offers her richest, funniest and most bittersweet Spellman tale to date.”
– Megan Abbott, author of THE END OF EVERYTHING and DARE ME
“Lutz delivers another rollicking good time in her sixth novel.”
– Publishers Weekly
"Edgar-nominated Lutz is in fine form...Another killer whodunit packed with plot twists and wit."
"Lisa Lutz has a delightful knack for being able to combine humor and drama without letting one minimize the impact of the other…If you like your mysteries served up with a generous helping of humor, both subtle and silly, then you are sure to enjoy Lutz's award-winning series.”
“In the end, good and quirky beats bad and twisted. For a sixth time, Lisa Lutz has made the finding out how so much marvelous fun.”
– Baton-Rouge Advocate
“[Spellman Six] will make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and it’ll make you feel wiser for having read it. It’s the kind of book you should play hooky to read so that you can savor it in solitude while drinking booze and/or eating ice cream in your pajamas. It’s the kind of book you fall in love with on page one and hope will never end, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll go out and buy yourself a copy right now.”
– Crimespree Magazine
“5 out of 5. I devoured this book in less than 24 hours – it’s hilarious, touching, and the strongest installment of the series to boot. “
“Along with its humor, this novel has its share of melancholy, with a surprising and bittersweet ending that nevertheless feels right. Izzy may find it hard to grow up, but Lutz's writing is maturing just fine.”
– Self Awareness for Readers
Praise for THE TRAIL OF THE SPELLMANS
“Private investigator Isabel ‘Izzy’ Spellman is not your typical gumshoe…irreverent… amusing…[Trail of the Spellmans is] a wise (and wise-cracking) choice for mystery readers.”
“Enormously humorous….Lisa Lutz has a distinct flair for comedy. She does an outstanding job introducing fresh and unforgettable characters while painting laugh-out-loud scenes.”
– Advocate Weekly
“Twisted, fun….you can't help but grin.”
– St. Louis Dispatch
“[Lutz] does an outstanding job introducing fresh and unforgettable characters while painting laugh-out-loud scenes…. fresh, lively and consistently humorous.”
“Lisa Lutz's Spellman books are always hilarious, but Trail of the Spellmans reminded me how serious funny books can be. As precocious as the Spellman kids have always been, they're only now really coming of age and the result is, yes, hilarious, but also tender and melancholy and full of hard-won wisdom. This one's going to stay with readers for a long time.”
– Laura Lippman, award-winning author of over 15 books including the recent novel I'd Know You Anywhere and the Tess Monaghan series
Praise for THE SPELLMANS STRIKE AGAIN
“Lie back and enjoy this tale of intergenerational gumshoe mayhem.”
“[Lutz] delivers another engaging blend of wisecracks and crime-solving.”
“Fans of comic mystery who haven’t already discovered the Spellman family series are going to want to read this book and then rush out for the other three. . . If you like Janet Evanovich, you are going to love the Spellmans.”
– The Globe and Mail
Praise for REVENGE OF THE SPELLMANS
“Izzy is off for another wild ride in Lisa Lutz's third madcap private-investigator novel. . . . Izzy's life . . . is so well documented—and she is such an endearing mess—that we want to find the evidence supporting her.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Amazingly, it all makes sense in the end, and Isabel and her quirky family are such good company that you won’t mind even when it doesn’t.”
—People Magazine (three stars out of four)
“The end of the Spellmans? Now that should have you on the edge of your seat.”
—New York Daily News
“Congratulations to Lisa Lutz, who has created the Spellmans, the most hilariously dysfunctional family since the Royal Tenenbaums. … Lutz’s style is refreshing and razor-sharp. . . . Revenge continues the good times in this wry, inimitable series.”
– Mystery Scene Magazine
Praise for CURSE OF THE SPELLMANS
“This is one of the best comic novels I've ever read, and that includes Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich. The Spellmans—a collection of misfits whose family business is a private detective agency —are hilarious, smart and irresistible.”
—The Globe and Mail
“Fans of The Spellman Files will laugh just as loudly at the comic antics chronicled in this sparkling sequel.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“The snappy, honest narration by Get Smart–obsessed Izzy keeps things popping, with its mix of trade talk and brutal honesty.”
Praise for THE SPELLMAN FILES
“Move over, Carl Hiaasen…. The Spellman Files starts out funny and does not let up… Simply put, this tale of the Spellman family is irresistible, and you hate to see the romp end.”
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Lutz is one smart-mouthed writer, but the genuine surprise of The Spellman Files is that it's almost as touching as it is funny.”
--New York Daily News
“[Isabel Spellman is] the love child of Dirty Harry and Harriet the Spy… It’s not the mystery of how these cases ultimately resolve that will pull readers through, but the whip-smart sass of the story’s heroine, ace detective of her own heart.”
"Hilarious. My enjoyment of The Spellman Files was only slightly undercut by my irritation that I hadn't written it myself. The funniest book I've read in years!"
– Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada and Chasing Harry Winston
Resources and Downloads
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- Book Cover Image (jpg): Spellman Six Trade Paperback 9781451686678
- Author Photo (jpg): Lisa Lutz Morgan Dox(0.1 MB)
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