Long Time No See: A Novel

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9780060195700: Long Time No See: A Novel

"On an unseasonably warm Halloween night, while I was reading a snappy treatise on Wendell Wilkie's support of FDR's war policies and handing out the occasional bag of M&M's to a trick-or-treater, the fair-haired and dimpled Courtney Logan, age thirty-four, magna cum laude graduate of Princeton, erstwhile investment banker at Patton Giddings, wife of darkly handsome Greg, mother of five-year-old Travis, canner of spiced pears, collector of vintage petit point, and ex-president of citizens for a more beautiful Shorehaven vanished from long island into thin air."

Judith Singer is back! After twenty years Susan Isaacs brings us back the heroine from Compromising Positions, her first and most beloved novel and returns to a great suspense story set in suburbia. Judith's life has changed. She now has her doctorate in history. Her workaday hours are spent at St. Elizabeth's College, mostly squandered in history department shriek-fests. She is also a widow. Her husband Bob died one half-day after triumphantly finishing the New York City Marathon in four hours and twelve minutes. And although twenty years have passed without seeing him, she still cannot get her former lover, Nelson Sharpe of the Nassau County Police Department, out of her system.

With Courtney Logan's dramatic disappearance, all eyes turn instantly toward her husband, Greg Logan, son of Long Island mobster Philip "Fancy Phil" Lowenstein. But since there is no body, there is no arrest. Then, in the less-than-merry month of May, Judith comes home from work, turns on the radio, and hears the Logans' pool man telling a reporter that he opened the pool and found . . . a raccoon? Not quite. "I see, you know, it's a body! Jeez. Believe it or not, I'm still shaking." The woman in the pool turns out to be Courtney, and now it's officially homicide. And Judith comes alive! She offers her services to the police's chief suspect, Greg Logan, but he shows her the door, thinking her just another neighborhood nut. But his father isn't so sure: Fancy Phil may have other plans for her.

Long Time No See is Susan Isaacs at her wickedly observant best. With razor-sharp wit and an irresistible mystery, she brings us back in touch with an engaging, endearing and irreverent heroine we haven't seen in far too long.

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Review:

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

About the Author:

Susan Isaacs is the bestselling author of eleven novels, two screenplays, and one work of nonfiction. She lives on Long Island.

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