Heads You Lose

A Novel

By Lisa Lutz + David Hayward


"Two heads are better than one, it turns out, when solving the mystery of a headless corpse. Lisa Lutz, San Francisco author of the best-selling comedic crime novel series that started with "The Spellman Files," teamed up with former boyfriend David Hayward, a poet and editor, to create "Heads You Lose," a collaborative effort that ostensibly reveals as much about the co-authors as the characters."
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Regan McMahon, San Francisco Chronicle


"This could be the start of a beautiful fictional friendship—if the plotting pair don’t try to whack each other first."
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Cheryl Solimini, Mystery Scene


"Heads You Lose provides two captivating tales. On one side, it's a crime story featuring two off-beat detectives as they meet a fascinatingly diverse cast of characters with quirks to boot. And on the flip side, it's a discerning glimpse into the story of two authors, with a plethora of baggage and biting remarks for the other, as they come together for the common good of a great book."
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Katelyn Schmidt, The Tampa Tribune


"A complete delight! Sure, Heads You Lose is a snappy, stylish crime novel, but it's much more: a clever, often hilarious and insightful look at how these wonderful things we call books actually get created. It's a toss-up (sorry, I couldn't resist) to say which of the main characters are my favorites: fictional protagonists Lacey and Paul, or authors Lisa and David."

Jeffery Deaver, bestselling author of The Bone Collector and The Burning Wire


"Heads You Lose is a rare beast: a clever, funny, engrossing read that manages to be dark yet marvelously witty, a book that is both a thriller itself and a book about the writing of a thriller. Ex-partners Lutz and Hayward have come up with a mystery that's genuinely different. You'll be happy that you read it, and happier still that you've never had to date either one of them. It's a blast."

John Connolly, New York Times-bestselling author of The Whisperers and Every Dead Thing


"Mustache bleaching, death by wood chipper, murder by tree house, sibling pot farmers, huckster doctors, vampire weasels, gimp Ph.D. strippers and the redneck boneheads who love them—plus dueling plot twists and a jaw-dropping ending—look no further than Heads You Lose for all of same and more. (Okay, I lied about the weasels. Sue me.) This is one deliciously wicked, funny book."

David Corbett, author of Do They Know I'm Running?


"Working the lunatic fringe of collaboration, the duet of Lutz and Hayward make beautiful music. Sick and twisted, but beautiful."

John Vorhaus, author of The California Roll and The Albuquerque Turkey


"An intriguing comic invention. Full of narrative game-play and rapid-fire dialogue—with a headless corpse to boot. Lutz and her erstwhile collaborator [David Hayward] are crime fiction's wiliest matchup since Hammett's Nick and Nora."

Domenic Stansberry, two-time Edgar Award-winning author of The Confession and The Last Days of Il Duce


"While the multiple murders and other suspicious activity are the components of a typical crime novel, typical is, of course, not Lutz's M.O. This collaborative effort with her ex-boyfriend, the poet Hayward, is no exception. They write alternate chapters, exposing each other's foibles as well as their shared history in notes between the chapters. The result is hilarious, despite a looming conviction that they will never write the solution to the mystery before coming to actual blows off the page. Another fun and genre-bending experience from Lutz."

Terry Gilman, Mysterious Galaxy Books

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