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Long Time No See Mass Market Paperback – Print, July 2, 2002

3.7 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Judith Singer Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

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 Singer again. Agent, Owen Laster. (Sept.)Forecast: The major book clubs see big sales for this title: it's a main selection for BOMC and Mystery Guild, and an alternate for Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club. A 10-city author tour and Isaac's witty ripostes on talk shows should whip up interest.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 482 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; First Edition edition (July 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061030430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061030437
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Judith Singer, housewife/detective is now twenty years older. Her husband, the egocentric Bob has been dead for two years, a half day after running the NY marathon in just over 4 hrs. She is teaching history at a small catholic college and seems depressed bored and lonely. Then, just like twenty years ago, a headline catches her eye. A woman in her community of Shorehaven has disappeared without a trace. She finds it interesting, but does nothing until a body is found in the woman's swimming pool months later. Presumably, the body is that of Courtney Logan. Judith rather impulsively offers her services as a researcher to the grieving husband, and is rebuffed at the door. Shortly thereafter, his father, organized crime figure, Fancy Phil Lowenstein, shows up in her garage and asks for her help in solving the crime. This brings Nelson Sharpe, now in Special Investigations, back into her life and her investigation.
All of the old characters from Compromising Positions are back, twenty years older. I was interested to find out how they all changed. The mystery in this book was much better than the last, and that one was very good. It was an excellent Long Island suburban mystery.
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Format: Hardcover
First, let me say that After All These Years and Shining Through, two books by this author, are two of my favorite books in life... very high praise from an English teacher and natural lifelong voracious reader.
While this sequel to Compromising Positions does somewhat satiate my desire for witty and vibrant Isaacs writing, it leaves me wistful. With this book, Isaccs does her ribald, creative, liberal thing... but like heroine Judith Singer, she's now somewhat predictably paced, a little too readily familiar, and -- dare I say it? -- just a touch YAWN.
Is this author running out of ideas? Must she resort to the vague glimmers of already-told anecdotes and slightly faded allusions? I could almost say Judith's lines with her in this reprise of Compromising Positions... and I figured out the who-done-it well before the end (read After All These Years if you want an amazingly witty murder mystery by this woman... it's a much better illustration of what she can do!).
Don't get me wrong, the mystery itself is terrific, with a powerful punch at the end, when the evil villain emerges. So why does it fail to totally satisfy? I wish the author had saved this idea for a stimulating NEW heroine... someone not quite so liberal, not quite so Semitic, not quite so like all her other heroines. Someone like... Cass, in After All These Years. She's highly intelligent, she's well educated, she's affluent, she's conservative, she's black, she's DIFFERENT.
Oh, and with Nelson, the heroine's adulterous partner in days gone by, expect little of their initial forbidden lustful thrill... Nelson is older, too.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Overwritten, the story gets lost in the irritating machine gun
jokey-ness that passes as "wit." Don't they edit these
so-called "best-selling" writers? I really wanted to get into
a juicy story...stuck it out for a few chapters...but was utterly defeated by the neverending "shtick." Sometimes it works.
Here it does not. The author is carried away with her
"style," which is, basically, just a smartass stand-up
routine which, unfortunately, does not stand up. Yawn.
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Format: Hardcover
I've got a soft spot for Susan Isaacs and her writing: Since reading "Compromising positions" & "Almost paradise", years ago, I've become a fan, & have ordered everything coming out by her, months before it's actually in the bookstores. Some of her books I've loved, others I've merely liked. Never was there a book by Susan Isaacs that I've hated or been bored with. Even "Red white & blue", her weakest work to date, was finished in a matter of hours.
"Long time no see" could be called a sequel, if we were to stretch the meaning of the word "sequel". In it, Judith Singer, housewife & recent widow, is slowly getting bored by single life & work at the local college. 20 years ago, she had helped solve a murder, by getting the detective itch. She gets the urge again, when learning about Courtney Logan's mysterious disappearance. She even, fearlessly, volunteers to help solve the mystery, working together with Courtney's father in law, gangster Phil Lowenstein.
Part of the fun of S.Isaac's books is the terrific humour & the one-liners. Most of her heroines (and Judith more so than others) are wittier, more brave versions of everyday women. The actual mystery in this book is solved piece by piece, conversation by conversation, & we watch as, incredibly, Judith gets to the end of it. While she does this, she manages to have a reunion with her flame from long ago, Nelson Sharpe, who we last met in "Compromising Positions". 20 years may have passed, but (& this is part of Ms.Isaac's talent) it somehow seems natural for Judith & Nelson to get back together. Maybe, in the end, that's why I love Susan Isaacs: she takes everyday people, puts them into not-everyday situtations, and lets things happen.
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