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Review: Heads You Lose

November 29, 2011

When siblings Paul and Lacey discover a headless body on their property they figure they can’t go to the cops since they have a basement full of marijuana plants, so they decide to move the body and hope someone else will find it.  When the body reappears on their property, Lacey thinks she knows who it is and decides to call the police.  Things get even crazier as the police, and Lacey, try to identify the body and the murderer.

Heads You Lose, by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward is a fun book!  When Lutz and Hayward decided to collaborate on the book they set up a few guidelines – they would alternate chapters and weren’t allowed to undo plot developments started by the other.  They would write each other notes after reading each chapter, and those notes are presented in the book between chapters.  The banter between the two was just as much, if not more, fun than the actual story.

Since each author wrote their chapters independently, the mystery was kind of all over the place, and a little contrived at times, but I still thought it was a lot of fun.  Each author’s chapters had their own feel and it was fun to see what they would come up with and how they would continue with the other author’s storyline.  After some crazy developments, the mystery came around to an ending that I found satisfying enough.  It wasn’t particularly deep, but it wasn’t meant to be.

If you’re looking for a well-crafted, serious mystery, Heads You Lose probably isn’t for you, but if you want a fun-filled, action-packed, crazy mystery, you need to pick this one up.  This trailer gives you an idea of the banter between the authors:

Review copy provided by Penguin. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
40 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2011 4:31 am

    Wow that sounds like a really difficult book to write, tbh, but fun as well.

  2. November 29, 2011 4:53 am

    I love the sounds of this book. I was just laughing at the first paragraph you wrote.

  3. November 29, 2011 5:52 am

    This does sound like a lot of fun! I’d imagine that a mystery would be particularly difficult to write like that.

  4. November 29, 2011 6:04 am

    I have a feeling I’d enjoy this mystery. Great review 🙂

  5. November 29, 2011 6:20 am

    I can’t wait to read this one! Is it true that the authors were once a couple?

    • November 29, 2011 6:58 am

      Yes, they were and they bring that fact up several times in their notes to each other.

  6. November 29, 2011 6:33 am

    This one sounds like I would really enjoy it. Great review!

  7. November 29, 2011 7:10 am

    This book gets five stars just for the creativity! I remember Jenners talking about this one. I must read it. I love this kind of humor.

  8. November 29, 2011 7:13 am

    I’m glad u enjoyed this Kathy.

    If this is the same author, I think I read her first book, The Spellmans and I wasn’t particularly impressed. I’m one of the readers who when that happens will rarely give the author a second chance (too many books).

  9. November 29, 2011 7:14 am

    Sounds like a fun book. I love the concept.

  10. November 29, 2011 7:15 am

    Despite sounding like a bit of fun the cover is slightly creepy, lol.

  11. November 29, 2011 7:46 am

    Fun and funny (can I say that about a murder mystery?). I’ve seen this book, but had no idea how the collaboration worked — sounds like a good single read (but the formula might tire after a while)

  12. November 29, 2011 8:05 am

    I’ve always loved this trailer.

  13. kaye permalink
    November 29, 2011 8:41 am

    I’m with Diane, I read a couple of the Spellman books and thought, “meh”. I don’t even know why I read the second one. Glad you got some giggles out of this one, though.

  14. November 29, 2011 9:02 am

    This sounds fun but I think I prefer the more serious mysteries!

  15. November 29, 2011 9:29 am

    Oh this sounds quirky in a brilliant way. I totally got the feeling these two dated before they said it, lol. That clip was funny. Great find Kathy, I wouldn’t have looked at this one. Adding to Wishlist.

  16. November 29, 2011 9:43 am

    I read a review of this book over at Jenner’s site, and went out and bought it right away. It’s such an interesting concept for a book, and I love that it was written by a couple that had formerly dated. I can’t wait to read this! Great review, and great video!

  17. November 29, 2011 9:50 am

    I love the idea behind this book!

  18. November 29, 2011 10:14 am

    What a fun premise. It’s neat that they actually pulled off a book worth reading!

  19. November 29, 2011 11:13 am

    This book sounds like a fun read! I think it’s really interesting how the authors went back and forth with the story.

  20. November 29, 2011 11:22 am

    I couldn’t finish this book. Probably because I WAS looking for a good who dunnit mystery… this book started out fun, but got annoying for me with the two authors bantering all the time… here’s my review:

  21. November 29, 2011 11:50 am

    gosh, this reminds me I read this and never reviewed it. I like a well crafted mystery…but till I liked this…lol

  22. November 29, 2011 11:53 am

    This has been one of my favorite reads all year!!

  23. November 29, 2011 2:28 pm

    Kathy, this does sound like a really fun book. I will look for this one!

  24. November 29, 2011 2:32 pm

    Luv it. Nothing like a corpse that reappears again. Hahahah~

  25. November 29, 2011 4:11 pm

    Lol, I would be interested in this one just to see how it works out 🙂

  26. November 29, 2011 5:06 pm

    What an interesting way to write a book. Sounds like a fun read and certainly a different one from anything I have read before!

  27. November 29, 2011 5:46 pm

    I’m looking forward to this.

  28. November 29, 2011 8:23 pm

    I agree with you … the mystery was a mess. It was the interaction between the authors that made this book. I just enjoyed it so much. I hope they do it again!

  29. November 29, 2011 8:33 pm

    I love this author…so glad you had fun reading her…

  30. November 29, 2011 9:24 pm

    I want to read just for their notes alone! 😀

  31. November 29, 2011 9:31 pm

    I met the two of them at an author event in September. I’d never read any of either of their books and have gone back to the first of the Spellman books. The two were very fun and funny. Some of that humor comes out on the video here. I’m glad you liked this book.

  32. November 29, 2011 9:35 pm

    I’ve thought this one sounds fun, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  33. November 29, 2011 10:21 pm

    What an interesting way to write a book!! Sounds like a fun read, I need a lighter mystery once in a while!

  34. November 29, 2011 11:53 pm

    I bought the first of the Spellman files. I love the chemistry between the two.

  35. November 30, 2011 1:55 pm

    It sounds like a different kind of read, thanks! for your review.

  36. November 30, 2011 2:43 pm

    Sounds fun, but I don’t know if I actually like the idea of reading the notes the authors wrote for each other. I imagine it kind of breaks up the story line.

  37. December 1, 2011 8:18 am

    This sounds like a fun read! I am really curious about the notes they wrote to each other. The trailer is hilarious. If the book reads like the trailer, it should be an entertaining read. Another book for my wish list!

  38. December 5, 2011 5:04 pm

    i hope i can get my hands on this book soon. i’m quickly becoming a huge fan of lutz.

  39. December 27, 2011 2:53 pm

    This sounds like a really fun book, def. going on my wish list.

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