Read heads you lose by Lisa Lutz DavidHayward Online

heads-you-lose

Dave, I just finished the first chapter of a new novel-a real crime novel with a dead body and all-and I thought of you...Paul and Lacey Hansen are pot-growing, twentysomething siblings sharing a modest rambler of a home in rural Northern California. When they find a headless corpse on their property they can't exactly call 911, so they simply move the body to another locaDave, I just finished the first chapter of a new novel-a real crime novel with a dead body and all-and I thought of you...Paul and Lacey Hansen are pot-growing, twentysomething siblings sharing a modest rambler of a home in rural Northern California. When they find a headless corpse on their property they can't exactly call 911, so they simply move the body to another location. Let somebody else find it. Instead, the corpse reappears on their land. Clearly, someone is sending them a message, and it's getting riper by the day. But that's only half of the story...Enter authors Lisa Lutz and David Hayward-former real-life partners (professionally and personally) who have agreed to reunite for a tag- team mystery novel written in alternating chapters. One little problem: they disagree on pretty much every detail of how their novel should unfold. While the body count rises in Paul and Lacey's wildly unpredictable fictional world, so too does the intensity of Lisa and David's rivalry. The result is a literary brawl like no other, and a murder mystery every bit as unanticipated (and bloody)....

Title : heads you lose
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9556239
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 301 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

heads you lose Reviews

  • Susie
    2018-12-03 13:54

    I love Lisa Lutz, and whenever she writes anything, I'll always be the first in line to get my hands on the new material. And I respect her going out on a limb and trying her "writing experiment," in which she and David Hayward wrote alternating chapters to piece together a contemporary mystery. Neither author could collaborate on plot, but had to write blindly, ......nor could they change the others work, and had to move forward no matter what the other author threw their way. Meaning Lisa and David were constantly killing off the other's favorite character or throwing in "wrenches" to trip the other up....intentional or not, hard to say. It gives a whole new meaning to "murder and mayhem."Between each chapter, there is email correspondence in which Lisa lays out what she hopes will be achieved in David's chapter, or what plot disappointments she feels necessary to address. The reader is privy to the paring of words which shows the remaining animosity after their relationship soured seven years previous. (I think there is many years that they didn't even talk.) I'll be honest, the novel's best material is in these few, sparse lines. I think there could be a novel written just about their relationship alone, and the hijinks that they only refer to in passing.So, two stars???? Yes, getting to that. Although Lisa and David sharing barbs between chapters is entertaining, it's not worth the long effort it takes to get through each alternating chapter where characters change personalities, plot lines skew all over the place and bland story writing makes reading the novel tedious. There's a reason that authors edit, revise and work over and over again to make material perfect for a reader. It makes a story shine and align properly. For me, the experiment is interesting, but a failure as a whole piece. As an aspiring author that can't get an agent to even return my emails on a novel that I've toiled for years on, and someone that paid sixteen dollars for this on Amazon, I think this whole enterprise would have been more appropriate for free download or as clickable piece on NPR.org. Sorry Lisa.....keep writing. I'll keep purchasing.

  • Phloe
    2018-12-09 18:50

    Okay, so I really wanted to hate this book, but it's just too hilarious. I won't rehash what everyone else say, but I will say the "story" itself isn't that fantastic. However, when you wonder-twin activate it with the fact the two (ex-lover) authors writing the alternate chapters effing can't stand each other, it makes for one exquisite corpse of a book - I sped through every chapter just so I could read how catty they would be towards each other at the end. Fun!

  • K
    2018-11-20 12:59

    When I told my husband about the idea of this book he said, "You know, it only has to work a little for it to be good." I actually agree. I'm giving it three stars because it worked a little, not a lot, but the concept was very cute and I did laugh out loud at moments.Lisa Lutz and an ex-boyfriend collaborated to write alternating chapters of a murder mystery, so that what you have here is a mystery novel serving as a springboard for Lisa and David to work out their various issues. As we can see from the notes following each chapter, the tension between the two co-authors gradually escalates when one refuses to abandon a character disliked by the other author and the other author responds by killing the character, only to have the first author to write in the subsequent chapter that the character was not really dead. One author introduces a ditzy former stripper girlfriend, only to have the other author decide that the girlfriend is a closet genius who wants people to think she's just a ditzy stripper. One author complains of the other's vocabulary, stating that it's too high for the genre; the criticized author responds by serving up a chapter entirely in "Dick and Jane" style while further advancing the plot. This could have been too gimmicky and over the top, but surprisingly it didn't get on my nerves and actually cracked me up occasionally.Usually when two people co-author a novel, the resulting quality is judged at least in part by its seamlessness. Well, this wasn't seamless. Characters change personalities and drop dead all over the place as the two authors battle it out. One author leads you on a trail, the other turns it into a red herring. Again and again. You could look at this as an inferior hodgepodge of a mystery novel; you could also look at it as a creative way to breathe new life into a tired genre.My final verdict is a solid three stars. This means, don't drop everything and run out to buy this book, but if there's nothing else on your to-read list it will give you an amusing afternoon or two.

  • Lisa Vegan
    2018-12-18 15:08

    I laughed out loud more than I have with a book in ages!Comic genius! Very clever! It’s a gimmick and I absolutely love it and admire the result, book title included.Hilarious! Absolutely the funniest collaboration imaginable, funny ha ha, not funny peculiar, although it’s delightfully peculiar too.I thought I’d miss the Spellmans but I need not have worried; Lacey & Paul, and especially Lisa & David/Dave are equally entertaining in their own ways.I wasn’t sure these two collaborating authors would pull off a mystery story that made any sense, but I need not have worried about that either; they did. Lisa writes the odd numbered chapters and David writes the even numbered chapters, and we find out why and who gets to write the last chapter. I was always eager to get to the end of each chapter, just so I could read the notes the authors exchange. I loved the story but the between chapter notes and footnotes were at least as enjoyable as the mystery story.Chapter 14 was hilarious; it took me a fraction of several seconds to figure out why the font was so much bigger and that it wasn’t a printing error. I was going to warn lovers of cat mysteries and cat lovers that they might want to skip this one, but I need not have worried about this either. I love and appreciate how everything turned out.Why, when I read these authors names do I keep thinking of Jordi/Lisa & David (the Lisa and David part), a favorite book and movie of mine, and definitely not in the mystery or humor genre?!This is a terrific book for anyone thinking of penning a mystery novel too. Because of the tag team writing and communication between authors, the reader is privy to some of the techniques used. I could never be a writer: If I were to create a story, I’d want to know where it was going from the very beginning.3 3/4 stars for the mystery story (impressive!) and a full 5 stars for everything else = 5 starsAll these words in some way describe the book, and they all appear in spell check (except for Yin and Yang; What’s up with that?!): Ambitious. Brilliant. Clever. Deft. Excellent. Funny. Good. Hilarious. Inspired. Jocose. Killer. LOL. Mystery. Notable. One-liners. Phenomenal. Quirky. Repartee. Sidesplitting. Tongue-in-cheek. Uproarious. Visionary. Witty. Yin and Yang. Zingers. And, because I left out X, some extra words: Humorous. Comic. Amusing. Droll. Footnotes. Hoot. Bantering. Fun! And there are many more. I had the most fun reading than I’ve had in a while, and this is not the only humorous book I’ve read recently.I adore the Spellmans books but it does help to have my warped sense of humor. Though everyone I know loves the Spellmans, I think this book will have even wider appeal because even more people will be able to identify with this story and these relationships.I’m already eagerly awaiting Lisa Lutz's next book and I’ll happily also pick up any further books by David Hayward.

  • Wendy Pearl's Picks
    2018-11-24 17:07

    I'm the lucky Penguin (Putnam) sales rep that gets to sell in this new novel to booksellers in the Bay area, early next year. I had never read Lisa Lutz before (and her Spellman series). Happy to finally discover such a funny, snarky, readable author. This non-Spellman book is about two orphan siblings--pot growers--in Northern Calif. who discover a headless body in their front yard one night. Told in alternating chapters between Lisa and her co-author (ex boyfriend?), this is one of the most clever, unique, hilarious, and enjoyable who-dunnits I've ever read!!

  • Jami
    2018-12-13 14:00

    As much as it pains me to give anything Lisa Lutz wrote less than 4 stars, I just couldn't give this book any more. In fact, if it were any other author, I probably would have given it only 2 stars. After Lutz's fabulous and witty The Spellman Files series, I was just downright disappointed in this latest book. The idea seemed funny and appealing to me: the book is written by authors Lisa Lutz and David Hayward, each writing alternating chapters. There are footnotes in each chapter written by the other author, and notes to each other at the end of each chapter. The authors used to be romantically involved, and it's unclear how much of their professed animosity is real or for humorous effect. Either way, the novel just didn't work for me.Here's why:1. I didn't think it would be, but it was too distracting having the authors so right in my face during the story. I couldn't make the characters or plot be real at all because at the end of each chapter, there they were -- talking about what they did or didn't do with their characters. It took me too much out the story and faced with the reality that it was all just a made-up story, after all.2. The back and forth between the authors wasn't funny enough . . . or there just wasn't enough of it . . . or something. If I'm forced to accept that the real story is the one between the authors (since I can't make the story they've written be real), then I want there to be more of it! The foonotes in Lutz's other novels make up some of the funniest parts of each chapter. I really expected there to be more of that, especially considering that each author was commenting with footnotes on the other's writing during each chapter. It seemed like there were so many lost opportunities for humor there. Even the give and take between the authors at the end of each chapter seemed more antagonistic than humorous -- whether it was real or feigned for entertainment value. They should have created more of a story-behind-a-story than the sparse footnotes and comments given.I'm hopeful that Lutz will quickly write something else (on her own this time), so I can forget all about this latest venture.

  • Charles
    2018-11-19 10:44

    B-o-r-i-n-g. The book initially offered what I thought would be an interesting experiment as well as an entertaining plot. The book was a collaborative effort between Lisa Lutz (mystery write) and former romantic partner David Hayward (poet). Each would write every other chapter building off the elements that had been put in play by the other author. Between chapters the exchange between the two authors were shared with the reader.After the first few chapters I found the exchange and footnotes between the two writers became distracting, tedious and petty. As for the writing, Ms. Lutz writing seemed to be lacking the skill one would expect from a supposed successful author. Her prose was very basic and at times sounded more like something produced by a high school student. As for Mr. Haywood, his propensity for using fancy words not easily relatable to the reader was as much a distraction.As for the plot, I had hopes of something with tinge of the Big Lebowski. What we get instead is a very disjointed mishmash, shallow characters, very little humor and a convoluted mystery that lost its way early on. After 200 pages I starting skipping entire paragraphs and tried to ignore the footnotes and the comments between chapters. I just wanted the painful boredom to end. Trying to ignore the exchange of comments was like driving by an accident and telling yourself you’re not going to be one of the rubberneckers – try as you might you still find yourself taking a quick glance – and in this case just prolonging the end.The book cover should be changed to that of a policeman waving you on with the warning “There’s nothing to see here. Just move along”. Wrapping it in that yellow crime scene tape might be advisable as well. After all that, if you still decide to read it – well, you were warned.

  • Jonathan
    2018-12-06 17:04

    In concept the idea of Head You Lose was a good one, but in the end expecting this book to be as good or witty as any of Lisa Lutz's Spellman series means that we lose. Lutz's chapters seemed to hold there own, but Hayward seemed to significantly miss out on her sartorial wit. Perhaps the best parts of the book were the notes between the ex-es. Hopefully this will teach other great writers who have a strong style not to dilute their work by splitting the writing with others.BTW- James Patterson doesn't count*. Even if he wrote on his own, his books would still be awful.*Disclaimer- I have never read a Patterson book, but based on his commercials in which he uses the word "unputdownable", I am confident in my assessment and if presented with one of his books as a present I will use it to club the gift giver senseless.****Disclaimer 2- I wouldn't club anyone with a book, it just wouldn't work. Likely I'd return the book to Amazon and exchange it for a real club or other such beating device, drive to the gift giver's home, and then proceed as above.

  • Nikki
    2018-11-28 13:54

    Imagine writing a novel with your ex. You are a professional, award-winning author, and he is a minor poet. You write the odd-numbered chapters, and he writes the even ones. Between chapters, you give him passive-aggressive and then aggressive-aggressive notes about his questionable plot planning and ill-conceived characters. That part of the novel was fun. I wanted more conflict, more notes on each chapter, maybe even bloodshed. But that’s just me. I’m vile.The actual novel (about brother-sister pot dealers who discover a dead body on their property) was pretty entertaining in the beginning and then became a little repetitive. The writing itself is mediocre as hell, but what we’re reading is supposed to be a first draft, so maybe that’s intentional. How convenient for them.Overall, I think the behind-the-scenes stuff should have been more involved. I wanted more insight into the writing process. More snark on each other’s chapters. More inside jokes. It could have been much funnier, with more bite. But still, it was an easy, often surprising read.

  • Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
    2018-11-24 13:58

    Lacey Hansen is trapped in a dead end life with her brother Paul. Making a living supplying the local colleges and nursing homes with pot is not a way to live. Even Mythmatch, where legendary gods and monsters battle each other on the small screen, is no cure for boredom. But even a dull and inert life can be pushed into action by the arrival of a headless corpse on your doorstep. Due to the proximity of so much pot near a recently deceased body, the siblings decide to dump the body off a hiking trail where it will be found and investigated, far from their home. Because they know this corpse. It's Darryl, Paul's friend and pot irrigation expert. The next day, Lacey views it as her right to investigate a little, it is kind of "their corpse"... but when that investigation turns up Darryl alive and well... well then, who's the corpse? And where did it go? It's not where they left it. But a missing corpse is nowhere near as interesting as a plane exploding at the local airport and the new Doc Egan moving into town with his cute Wilson brothers looks to replace the old Doc Holland, who did leave town awful fast. It's not long before Lacey and Paul wonder when the body will finally be discovered, only to find it back on their front porch... except this time Lacey takes a closer look and realizes it's her ex-fiance Hart. Knowing that if they hide the crime again someone will most likely return the body, Lacey makes the call to inform the police, giving her brother a few minutes to clear out the marijuana plants and stash them with his pot mentor, Terry Jakes.Now with a police investigation finally underway, Lacey decides that it's time to ramp up her own investigation. Solve the crime, leave the town, it's as easy as that. Only, solving this crime is not going to be easy when everyone has a motive for killing Hart, who, if Lacey is being honest, was quite the lowlife. Throw in a shady bar owner, an even shadier nursing home run by the Babalatos, an endearing or perhaps lethal old man, Sook, land deals, long cons, blackmail, and a stripper with an IQ higher than most members of MENSA, and Lacey doesn't know which suspect is the guilty party. At times it seems even the authors are unsure. With the authors one upping each other and making the stakes higher and the death rate escalate, we are not only waiting to see if Lacey and Paul get out of this crappy little town, but if Lisa and David will be able to get the book finished without killing each other or the entire populace of Mercer California.Many authors when collaborating have decided to divide the work with alternating chapters. Rachel Cohn and David Levithan come to mind, as well as Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. But, one assumes, that they at least get along. Lisa and David, while disagreeing on almost every aspect of the book, except the title, have been able to create the funniest collaboration I have yet to read. Openly displaying hostility and willing to eek out a little retribution through calamity and downfall to the other author's favorite characters. With Lisa favoring Lacey and the doddering old Sook and David being Paul and Terry's biggest fan, it's fun reading and anticipating the ways the other author tries to change and manipulate the plot to their characters advantage. From Lisa having to kill a character twice and then his doppelganger as well, to David writing as if for a primary school reader, the banter back and forth is what drives this novel, almost more so than the plot. I was impressed that they were able to come up with a cohesive and plausible ending, because they made no effort to tailor their own styles to fit together. David has a tendency to overwrite, to use stupidly named made up tv show titles and big words, I had to keep a dictionary handy in his chapters, and even then, sometimes, I was at a lose. As Lisa stated in one of her letters between the chapters, "Why in God's name would you use the words 'subfusc,' 'asperous,' and 'caliginious' in a freaking crime novel? Here's a rule worth following: If the spell-check doesn't recognize the word, don't use it!" To which I have to heartily agree. Because if I have to drag out the dictionary, it pulls me out of the story, no matter how fractured and funny it is. Whereas Lisa is a spare writer with sharp, refined wit, even if David got the biggest laugh out of me with his slur against David Caruso, letting me forgive the superfluous oleaginous. Also, Lisa is wrong, cats do need back stories. In the end, at the close of the day you will be left with a smile, a strong hope that they will be on book tour together, bickering across America, and the desperate need to hear more about their abandoned previous collaboration The Fop.

  • Evie
    2018-11-22 15:11

    Originally posted to:Evie - Bookish Dangerously witty and deliciously captivating, Heads You Lose is a true must-read for anyone who enjoys reading well written and witty crime novels. Let me start off by explaining how this book came to existence. Sometime in Spring of 2009, Lisa Lutz --the bestselling author of crime series, the Spellman Files-- decided to try something different. She thought it would be fun to collaborate on her next novel with another writer. But then it turned out that all the writers she asked were either truly busy or claiming to be busy, so she ended up working together with David Hayward, a freelance editor and poet, who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend.They agreed to write alternating chapters - Lisa got the first one and all the odd numbered chapters, and David got the rest. They were not to outline or discuss the plot, but to go with the flow and construct the plot chapter by chapter, as it goes.Are you intrigued yet? Well, it gets even better! Not only we get a brilliant plot filled with twists and turns, but we also get a great insight into the whole writing/creating the storyline process. In between the chapters we get the back and forth notes between the writers, containing snarky comments and mean (but hilarious!) jokes. All that often on a very personal note. There are also the footnotes in which the authors comment on each other's work. These, too, will crack you up! And then there's the craziness of the plot...It's undeniably a big part of what makes it so fun to read this novel.Imagine detective Poirot from Agata Christie's novels trying to solve a murder mystery. Got it? Now instead of the dignified, elderly detective imagine two siblings, Paul and Lacey, whose main income comes from growing pot in their basement. Yup, these are our protagonists! The story kicks off with Lacey discovering a beheaded corpse in their front yard while taking out the trash. Not wanting the police poking around their pot-growing haven, Lacey and Paul decide to dispose of the body on their own. They pick a good spot to drop off the headless corpse - far enough from their house not to be connected to the murder, but at the same time frequently visited by hikers, to ensure the body will eventually be found by someone. Imagine their shock when the corpse shows up on their property again few days later! And like that wasn't enough, having a "second look", Lacey recognizes it as her former fiance! It soon becomes clear to Paul and Lacey that there's no easy way out of this. With people dropping dead all around them and the number of suspects growing every hour, Paul and Lacey will have a hard time solving the murder case and staying alive.* Phew! What a crazy ride that was! I didn't really know what to expect from this book, as I haven't read any of Lisa's previous novels and wasn't at all familiar with her writing style. Neither did I know the collaborator, David Hayward. Needless to say, I wasn't in the least prepared for what I was about to be served! Brilliant in so many ways, Heads You Lose is a witty, snarky, unpredictable and absolutely fascinating novel. The plot turned out to be fantastic, full of twists and turns, gripping from the very first pages. Both authors are phenomenal at building up the tension. The conclusion of the story will leave you totally dumb-founded. I didn't see it coming at all, and trust me when I say, neither will you! As much as I loved the plot, I think what I enjoyed the most was the insight into the writing process that Lisa and David's correspondence provided. I loved the back and forth between them. A lot. Even though, at times, it seemed a little bit overdone or perhaps staged, nevertheless they had great negative chemistry (is there even such a thing as negative chemistry? oh well, now there is!). Their comments where hilarious, I was laughing out loud many times (much to my husband's bafflement!). In conclusion, Heads You Lose is no doubt a prodigious and highly entertaining read. And a memorable one, too. I do hope Lisa and David will decide to collaborate again. Would love to see it turned into a series of books!

  • Melliane
    2018-12-13 12:02

    Mon avis en FrançaisMy English reviewI love the Lisa Lutz series, so when I found this novel I wanted to try it too. It must be said that this was something very intriguing. This book is written by two different authors and each writes a chapter without touching anything in the chapter the other did and not knowing what the other would write in advance. So at the beginning of the book we have an exchange between the two writers who agree on how they will write this book. Because it must be said that they had tried to write one together before and it had all turned to disaster!Lacey and Paul are two siblings who live together and who possess marijuana plants in their basement, selling them to who can afford it. But Lacey wants more, she wants to leave, leave this life behind and to travel as she has always wanted to. And when one day a headless corpse is found on their field, our two heroes only see one solution, to move away it from home for the police to find him. But nothing goes as planned, and the body reappears a few days later. Finally determined to understand the events, they call the police so they investigate the strange murder.I loved the Lacey’s character, she has a real desire to change her life and decides against all odds to find out who that body in her garden is and to find the murderer. It’s something that is ultimately still more complicated than expected, especially when everyone hides many secrets. I admit that I was looking forward to see who the culprit would be, and I really did not expect that. The revelations appear in the latest chapter in surprise.Each chapter ends up with the correspondence of the authors about their chapter and the others. We can thus read arguments, opinions, advices, and discussions. Also included there, some annotations of each in their writings. It was very funny to see what they thought, and how they were trying to destabilize the other. It must be said that they have no idea at all about the future of each character and each of their decisions changes, complicating the events. Problem? The history between the two authors is ultimately more interesting than the book itself, and this eclipses what they are trying to do. Both we also have a completely different writing style, although it feels that they adapt to each other. But when the Lisa’s writing is simple and light, David is more dense and complex, which is always a bit difficult when changing over a chapter. It was interesting to follow the history of our two writers but it’s true that I was expecting something different, even if the story is fun to read I had a little trouble with this new novel. But I think if you are looking for something a little crazy and fun, this is perfect.

  • Luanne Ollivier
    2018-12-17 19:07

    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 wait....it works much better for us if they don't get along!

  • Cheryl
    2018-11-18 15:52

    Paul and Lacey Hansen are brother and sister. They live in Mercer. Population 1, 280. Paul and Lacey were flipping a coin to see who would be taking out the trash. Lacey lost. While taking out the trash, Lacey stumbles upon a headless body. Usually in this type of situation, someone would call the police but there is just one problem…Lacey and Paul are the main marijuana suppliers in town. So this leaves only one other option…dump the body. Things are fine until the body reappears. Paul and Lacey are on the case.Heads You Lose is a rip-roaring, hilarious collaboration by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward. I am a huge mystery fan. I am a huge mystery fan. I am always looking for how an author is going to try to do something different or put a new twist on these types of books. There is only so much you can do like revealing the identity of the killer or how to kill someone off. So when I read Heads You Lose, I was pleased to see that this book was not in the traditional format of a mystery novel. This book was unique, in the sense that you got to read the author’s thoughts about each other’s chapters. This book got funnier and funnier as I was reading it. The jabs that the authors took at each other were flipping comical. Heads You Lose will have you looking at crime, mystery novels in a whole new way.

  • Sally Ember
    2018-12-04 12:44

    I really enjoy Lisa Lutz's Spellman Files series, so I picked this audiobook up when I saw it. I highly recommend that you get the audiobook because I can't imagine this book without the narration interspersed with the "NOTES" section between the two authors. The various voices of the characters are also key, and without any spoilers I can just tell you that you really shouldn't try to read this to yourself. You'll miss the entire point of two of the characters.I listen while I drive. Parts of this book are so funny that I had to pull over to laugh a few times. Luckily, I was on side streets at the time.I don't give it 5 stars because the plot and characters, while funny, aren't really that great. The main attraction, for me, was the interplay between the two co-authors, which is its own subplot that I wish the authors had developed more than the "real" plot, which I found silly and unimportant. I never cared much about any of the secondary characters and barely cared about the brother-sister protagonists. Their main appeal is the mirroring of their relationship to the authors' (kind of creepy, though, since the authors are former lovers, but I'll leave that to Lutz and Hayward's therapists...).Unique (as far as I know) concept and enjoyable to listen to, I do recommend this as an audiobook. Have fun!

  • Michele
    2018-12-14 10:49

    This little mystery novel is easily going to make my top ten favorite books of the year. Written by Lisa Lutz and her ex-boyfriend, poet David Hayward, this unique novel has a fun premise. You see, Lisa and David decided to write this together: each writing alternating chapters of the book. The idea was that neither of them knew where the story was going. When one of them finished their chapter, they would forward it on to the other who would then write their own chapter based on that.Ultimately, when all was said and done, the publisher decided to release the novel including the notes the two authors exchanged with each other during the writing process. The result is absolutely hysterical. Footnotes are included in the text of the novel where one author would critic the other's work. (example: "Really, Mr. Thesaurus?")The plot of the mystery is really irrelevant because the sniping of the authors is so funny. The whole novel is really a fantastic insight into what goes into creating a mystery novel....plotting, character development, dialog, etc. Oh, and did I mention it was funny?Highly, highly recommended for anyone who loves mysteries or has ever wanted to write a novel themselves....you won't want to miss it.

  • Scott Freeman
    2018-11-29 13:43

    A highly inventive book. If I was to rate the story alone it would probably max out at 3.5 stars. It is a passable mystery at best. What makes this book stand out is the concept. Author Lutz approached coauthor Hayward about collaborating on a book together. The rules were that each would write a chapter and submit it to the other. That person would write the following chapter and so on. There would be no revisions or discussions about the work other than footnotes and notes between chapters. All of those notes are included in the book.It is important to note that the authors, at one time, dated and that history is apparent throughout. What results is a hilarious game of one-upmanship by two people who seem to be barely able to stand one another. I found myself hurrying through the chapters to see the interplay between the authors and where they would take the two characters, a brother and a sister, next.Highly entertaining.

  • Melki
    2018-12-16 13:59

    I enjoyed the heck out of this book. The plot is a little flimsy - sibling pot-growers discover a headless body on their land - chaos ensues. Lutz and Hayward write alternating chapters, and at the end of each chapter leave increasingly smarmy notes to one another. This is where the real fun begins. She chides him for overuse of "big words" - he creates characters to deliberately annoy her. The sniping is truly the best part of the book. If you liked the Spellmans, you're sure to love this asLacey Hansen is really just Izzy Spellman, including a "crush" on a medical professional and an adorable little old man for her to have lunch with. Entertaining with a capital "E."I hope more authors decide to adopt this format. Are you listening Jasper Fforde and Christopher Moore?

  • sj
    2018-11-25 12:43

    Kat bought this for me for my birthday and it's the last of those books I have left to read. I was nervous, as I've never read Lisa Lutz before, and was pleasantly surprised. The best bits were the semi-contrived emails between the two authors (no, I don't buy that this was their real correspondence), and had it not been about a pot growing pair of siblings trying to solve a murder, even that wouldn't have held my attention for the whole book. BUT. I'm a sucker for snark and weed stories, so this worked for me. And now I feel bad that Morgan Freeman won't plug her books.

  • Lisa
    2018-11-24 17:11

    Heads You Losestarts with a very clever idea: crime novelist Lisa Lutz asks ex-boyfriend David Hayward, a published poet, to collaborate on a mystery novel with her. Lisa writes the first chapter and sends it to David; he writes the second chapter and sends it back. They alternate, odd and even chapters, and manage to write a funny, interesting crime novel with some great twists and turns. The story is good, but the interaction between the two co-authors (their footnotes on each other’s chapters and their emails between chapters) is better.They had a few simple rules:“Lutz would write the first chapter and all odd-numbered chapters thereafter. Hayward would write the even ones. They would not outline or discuss what they were working on. Each author would read the other’s chapter ‘blind.’ Neither author was allowed to undo a plot development established by the other.”I think Lisa cheated on that one a little.Paul and Lacey Hansen are siblings sharing a home in rural Northern California. Their parents were killed in a freak accident and currently they make their living growing and selling pot. So when a headless corpse is dumped on their property, they can’t really risk calling the sheriff. They move the body, they wait for someone to find it, and someone does — Lacey, a few days later, dumped in their driveway. And she may know who it is.It’s a great beginning! It’s got all kinds of possibilities. You could really plot a terrific mystery from a lead-in like this. Of course, our collaborators aren’t plotting much of anything — they write a bit, hope the other follows their lead (they don’t) and then the fireworks start.Our authors bicker like siblings. By the beginning of chapter eight, they are sniping about a road trip to Reno a decade earlier and when they should have stopped for gas on the drive into the desert. They fight about vocabulary, they fight about plot points, they fight about who is the more accomplished writer and they are not above threatening each other’s favorite characters to make a point. If David wants to hang onto Paul’s stripper girlfriend and Irving, the cat, he had better stop threatening Doctor Dreamy! The bodies are starting to pile up.The mystery is fun (I think Lutz and Hayward are both good writers, even if they bash each other a little), but it is interesting to read it knowing they are truly making it up as they go along. They obviously identify with the siblings and are living vicariously through them — sometimes to great comic effect. A clever, original idea and very well executed.

  • Dani
    2018-11-20 11:56

    Yes, I'm writing this review even as I'm reading this book, because I just couldn't wait to share my thoughts. For the right kind of audience (namely, people who write or people who know people who write) this book will have you in stitches. If you don't write or know anything about the writing process, well - you are left with a nearly incomprehensible (and getting worse by the chapter) novel. Me? I am enjoying every zany moment.It's a very common writing exercise to pass a work-in-progress back and forth between two or more writers. It forces you to think on your toes and take the story in a direction that you might not go otherwise. But there are any multitude of things that can go horribly wrong, especially when you get more than one creative ego involved. My most recent experience, with a friend whom I love dearly, involved me writing a chapter and her just ignoring the plot threads that she didn't like. As a result, our story read like it was written by the world's most amnesiac author(s). It is not an exercise for the faint of heart, nor the weak of friendship.All that being said, this novel was written by two authors who used to have a romantic relationship. Their correspondence as they shuttle the chapters back and forth is, as many have said, the best part of the book. Lisa is a control freak and lays out what she wants David to write in the e-mails, making me wonder over and over why she didn't just write the damn novel herself? David, of course, takes great delight in doing the exact opposite of her requests (is it any wonder these two are exes?) The story deteriorates as they both become obsessed with demolishing everything the other builds up, but to hilarious effect. I actually have sympathy for these fictional people in their fictional world as, Truman-style, they wonder, "You want me to do/ say what now?!?!"I can't wait for the dramatic and surely nonsensical ending, but I will be sad when it's done. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much while reading a murder mystery.Edit: So, I did finish the book and the ending made more sense than I expected. Of course, I was too mentally weary to go back and fact check what will all the dead bodies lying around, but I was satisfied.

  • MJ
    2018-12-10 14:04

    Paul and Lacey are your average small town, twentysomethings, that live together, grow pot and find a headless corpse in the back yard. Yup that's right they find a headless corpse in the back yard and since they don't want the authorities to be snooping around they do what any siblings would do...dump the body somewhere else. But when the body reappears they realize they are in way over there heads and as they try to unravel the mystery of who what where and why they uncover a small town full of secrets and shady characters.The plot of the mystery is only a part of this bizarre book. the rest of the story is about the colobration between Lisa Lutz and David Hayward. They got together to write this book after Lisa extended an invitation to her former business and romantic partner to co-write a book. They each take turns writing a chapter and in between each chapter are the notes they write to each other about character/plot/content. At first his highly annoyed me, I wanted them to get on with the story. Soon I found it amusing because its obvious these two people have highly different opinions on EVERYTHING!!!!! Most especially how the story line of the book should progress. Then I was back to being annoyed because the in fighting was getting annoying and was hindering the story.Now I am finished with the book and I found the whole thing thoroughly entertaining. Not a book for everyone but if you can hang in there you might just end up enjoying the ride.

  • Amy Keyishian
    2018-12-01 13:54

    Meh. This book tried to be clever, but more often it was just annoying. First problem: the structure involved two exes writing the book together, alternating chapters, and the idea was that each was somehow trying to screw the other one by messing up the plot as they searched for the ending together. First of all, that's not how you write a friggin book. Second of all, the assumption was that they would, I guess, merrily send the rough draft off to a publisher with no revisions. That made the whole thing so annoying that it was hard to take seriously. Even if, as it seems, it really was written by two people -- well, for crap's sake, especially then, they KNOW that's not how it works and it's disingenuous at best to pretend it is for the sake of annoying, gimmicky storytelling.Second, I thoroughly detested both female characters -- the writer and her counterpart in the story-within-a-story. I guess I was supposed to feel pulled in two directions, but as written, the guy/guy character was relatable and charming while she/she was just a shrew, which made me feel unfeminist and disgusted with myself and with her simultaneously. I had no idea why she did any of what she did. Him, I got. Then there's the third problem: I listened to this in audio form, and the actress didn't know how to pronounce anything and needed line-readings, while the actor sounded exactly like Nick from The New Girl, which only made me like him MORE, and I finally just failed to give a flying flerb who did what to whom and why.

  • Jennifer Rayment
    2018-12-12 12:13

    The Good StuffOne of the most truly unique ideas for a bookUnusual and quirky storyline Love the notes from each of the author's after each chapterTons of twists and turns, you really have no idea what is going to happen nextHilarious dialogueThe Not so Good StuffOverly quirky at times and it was like they were trying to hard for this At times I thought the gimmicky idea for the authors letters back and forth saved a less than stellar and convoluted story - smart really Honestly I just expected a better story or at least more byplay between the authors A little too mean spirited byplay between the authors at timesFavorite Quotes/Passages"A quick note for your next chapter: Sometimes your vocabulary feels a little high-end for this kind of book. It would be great if I didn't have to Google as I read.""You forget where you left your keys, that cup of coffee you were drinking earlier, but you remember things like where you dumped a headless body in the middle of the night.""I bought you into this endeavor to improve it, not sabotage it. I just know James Patterson doesn't have to put up with this shit."What I LearnedI'm intrigued enough to want to read The Spellman FilesWho should/shouldn't readThose who like things a little bit different3 Dewey'sI received this from Penguin in exchange for an honest review

  • Chad Meadows
    2018-12-12 12:59

    The best parts of this book were not a result of the characters or the plot twists. The best parts were watching the authors try and out-do one another. This book was written by Lisa Lutz and was co-authored by David Hayward. The two have some sort of past working relationship and also, what I am assuming is, a tumultuous romantic relationship. Why they would decide to work together on a novel,I have no idea. Regardless, I am glad that they did.The chapters in this"whodunnit" murder mystery alternate between authors. One does the even and one does the odd. The story really starts to come alive when you are able to read the communication between the two that occurred while writing. These exchanges reveal that although this novel will come to a logical conclusion, there will be unexpected and completely unnecessary twits along the way as it is clear that there is still a tiny twinge of animosity and good ol' fashioned professional one-ups-manship at play here. The two authors undo what the other laid out in the previous chapter. They kill off each other's characters. They bring dead characters back from the grave and all the while the story is moving along to its miraculous conclusion. If you want something fun for the cold of winter or the heat of summer. Pick this up. It was great fun on multiple levels.

  • Norm
    2018-11-19 13:50

    Hah, I just saw this in my 'currently reading' file at Goodreads, though I finished it months ago. So here's a belated rating (based entirely on faulty, balky, demented memory).Here's the thing. I loved all of Lisa Lutz's Spellman books, which were as fun and wacky as anything Evanovich put out (I recommend both authors whole-heartedly and even whole-kidneyly).But this book falls a bit short, mostly due to her partner, David Hayward, who is also Lutz's ex-boyfriend, emphasis on the 'ex.' The story was a bit lackluster, with chunks of 'why did they say that?' (mostly from him)... but that said, I really, really recommend this book. And here's why.Capitalizing on their 'ex' status, they alternated writing chapters, never telling the other where they were going, what they intended, and at the end of each chapter as they lobbed the WIP at the other, they would defy, demand, reparte, accost and insult the other to do a better job, or stop killing off their favorite not-yet-developed characters.In other words, the emails back and forth at the end of each chapter were a hoot, and made the book not just worthwhile, but fun (two of the stars on my rating are entirely accountable to this).So if you're looking for a great book, don't get this one. But if you like insults and snark, get it.Normhttp://www.normcowie.com

  • Penny
    2018-11-29 11:06

    Brilliant farce! I really liked this. There is so much going on -- not only in the so-called crime book/mystery Lisa and David are writing, but also in the behind-the-scenes exchanges between the "authors" at the end of each chapter. The set-up for this aspect of the book is that the authors would each write a chapter and turn it over to the partner for the next chapter. That much-parodied English class assignment is written to perfection showing the "authors" (who are fictionalized versions of themselves behind the scenes in the book) escalating from polite to snarky to passive aggressive to hostile. They include plenty of references to their alleged, disastrous earlier collaboration, The Fop, scenes and plot elements from which become increasingly outrageous as the novel writing slogs on. They then use their chapters to irritate the other writer or sabotage what he/she has set up. Heads You Lose reminds me in many ways of the play "Noises Off," a play-within-a-play which focuses on behind-the-scenes drama and shenanigans of a repertoire company that is presenting an over-the-top, pretty bad play. It's loud, unruly, and ridiculous. And very, very funny.

  • Randee
    2018-12-15 17:45

    I love Lisa Lutz's Spellman family series, a family of detectives who are great fun to read. The family dynamics are more interesting than whatever case they happen to be investigating. I had hoped that this would be in the same wacky, snarky vein since a brother and sister were the main characters. The premise of the book was that Lisa and an ex-boyfriend would alternate writing chapters. After each chapter, Lisa and her ex-boyfriend, David Hayward, write a note to each other snarking and bitching about the complaints they each have with what the other has written. I think their notes to each other are the funniest part of the book. I'm sot sure it was a good idea to have two people write alternating chapters. I found the story a bit flat and think if Lisa had written the story alone, the relationship between the pot growing siblings would have more oomph. Nonetheless, I can recommend the book. I hope the Spellman series continues. It's one of my all time favorite series, so my expectations might have been a bit high for this one.

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-29 15:55

    I liked this book more for the stuff in between the chapters, rather than the actual mystery itself. I'm a big fan of Lisa Lutz's Spellman novels, they are so fun and quirky. The premise of this book is that she and an ex boyfriend took turns writing each chapter. At the end of each chapter they left notes to each other. It was fun to see the twists they did to each other, killing off each other's prime suspects, and particularly one character's girlfriend who Lisa had as a dumb blonde stripper, and David changed to be a secretive Mensa genius.Set in Northern CA, two siblings, pot growers, find a headless corpse in their front yard, and rather than bringing the cops into their enterprise, try to dispose of the body and solve the crime themselves. Its' funny and weird and lots of red herrings are left lying around. Totally different and original. I'm not sure that they should collaborate again, but this was a fun aside. Now hoping Lisa Lutz gets back to writing another Spellman novel.

  • treva
    2018-12-08 15:11

    Reminded me a bit of Noises Off!, and, like The Wasteland, it's really about the footnotes. I have often wondered how two writers collaborate on something without killing each other. It turns out maybe they don't, actually. I understand Lutz is a fairly successful crime/mystery writer and I'm sure she's a nice person once you get to know her, but I have to say, her chapters were a bit lame and boring -- hackneyed, even -- and in her notes, she comes off as a controlling, petty bitch. Dude, you can't INVITE a POET to write a murder mystery with you and then get huffy when he does something interesting. Also, she has really annoying and archaic things to say about women. Speak for yourself, Lutz; I've brought more than one guy to the floor in whimpers, and I'm only 5'3". It doesn't take much, my brother's wimpiness notwithstanding. Anyway. I was really entertained by this. My favorite chapters were the even-numbered ones, written by Hayward, and Chapter 14 made me snort and giggle uncontrollably out loud, to the point where Curtis turned around to stare at me TWICE.