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.
SOurce: Regina Marler, Amazon.com.