In Susan Isaac's Long Time No See, Courtney Logan, former
investment analyst, devoted mother, and Long Island
housewife, leaves her home on Halloween night for a
quick trip to the grocery store. Five months later,
her badly decomposed body is found floating in the backyard
pool, concealed by the pool cover.
Enter Judith Singer, who helped find a
murderer in Isaac's 1978 bestseller, Compromising Positions.
Something about the Logan case doesn't make sense to
Judith, and she becomes so engrossed in the mystery
that she actually knocks on the grieving husband's door
and offers to help exonerate him. Long Time No See draws
on the best of the light, character-driven mysteries,
like those by Janet Evanovich and Mary Daheim. Isaac's
first- person heroine is impulsive enough to get herself
into trouble, yet thoughtful enough to invite confidences.
And her voice is appealingly funny and honest. "Since
becoming a widow," she reflects, when faced with
a twist in her investigation, I'd tried hard not to
indulge in the lonely person's Happy Hour: talking to
oneself. About a year earlier, in the drugstore, I found
myself befuddled, dithering between a condom rack and
a display of batteries, and was startled when I heard
my own loud voice demanding: 'Why am I here?' But now
I gave in and had a chat with me.
Although clever and well-written, the
novel's real strength lies in its characterization and
in Isaac's leisurely unfolding of the implausible dark
side of the perky blonde murder victim. This is a welcome
outing from a deservedly popular writer. --Regina Marler
The 20 years between Isaac's bestselling Compromising
Positions and this second book to feature amateur sleuth
Judith Singer have not affected the author's talent
for snappy dialogue and astringent assessments of cant
and pretension. In those two decades, Judith has raised
two children, lost her husband, achieved a doctorate
in history and is teaching (without much satisfaction)
at a local college. When her Long Island neighbor, ex-investment
banker and perfect mom Courtney Logan, goes missing,
Judith become curious; and when Courtney turns up dead,
and the husband is accused, she becomes downright obsessed.
Greg Logan, it turns out, is the son of notorious gangster
Fancy Phil Lowenstein, who arrives on Judith's doorstep
with an offer to hire her to help his son. Naturally,
her former lover, Lt. Nelson Sharp of the Nassau County
Police Department, admonishes Judith to mind her own
business, but she pursues her hunch that brilliant and
beautiful Courtney seemed to be missing a certain "something"
that no one could put a finger on. Judith suspects the
key to the crime lies in the victim's character. How
right she is! However, the real trouble with Courtney
is that she's not very interesting, even at her worst,
and Judith's investigation, despite several clever twists,
goes on too long, as does the murderer's bizarre confession.
But an upbeat ending will satisfy readers, and it suggests
that it won't be 20 years before we encounter Judith
This long-awaited sequel to the best-selling comic mystery
Compromising Positions (1978) reintroduces feisty Long
Islander Judith Singer. In the more-than-20 years since
we've seen her, she's acquired a doctorate in history
and lost her husband to a heart attack, but she's held
on to the zeal for investigating murders that landed
her in so much trouble in her first adventure. Judith
has been minding her own business for a long time, but
when ostensibly perfect soccer mom Courtney Logan turns
up dead in a backyard swimming pool, Judith can't resist
getting involved. Courtney's husband, Greg, is the prime
suspect, but Judith doesn't believe he did it, and neither
does Greg's father, the Tony Sopranoesque gangster Fancy
Phil Lowenstein. He hires Judith to clear Greg's name,
and she goes about the job armed with female intuition,
charm, and an amazing ability to lie through her teeth.
She also gets to spar with Nelson Sharpe, a local police
detective and former lover whom Judith hasn't seen in
20 years. A gripping plot with skillfully rendered secondary
characters and plenty of tart humor make this sequel
every bit as entertaining as its predecessor. Recommend
it to Evanovich fans: Judith Singer is a 20-year-older
version of Stephanie Plum. Carrie Bissey
"Isaacs does it again: skewering the pretensions
of upscale suburbanites and in a tender, funny romance."
New York Time Book
A big, fat, happy feast of a book
both funny and piercing, a highly satisfying combination.
"LONG TIME NO SEE will delight her many readers."
The Boston Globe
"Jam-packed with wry observations and Judith's
entertaining foibles, [LONG TIME NO SEE] is good fun."
"Hilarious satire of suburbia"
A gripping plot and plenty of tart humor make this sequel
every bit as entertaining as its predecessor.
Rocky Mountain News
Its nice to take refuge in a mystery that
entertains rather than chills you to the bone.