Long Time No See

Long Time No See

3.4 5
by Susan Isaacs

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It's been twenty years, and Judith's life has definitely changed. Now a history professor and a widow, she hasn't seen Nelson Sharpe of the Nassau County Police Department in all that time. But she still can't get her one-time lover out of her head. Her life takes an unexpected turn, however, when former investment banker turned suburban mommy extraordinaire

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It's been twenty years, and Judith's life has definitely changed. Now a history professor and a widow, she hasn't seen Nelson Sharpe of the Nassau County Police Department in all that time. But she still can't get her one-time lover out of her head. Her life takes an unexpected turn, however, when former investment banker turned suburban mommy extraordinaire Courtney Logan vanishes from Long Island into thin air.

Everyone suspects husband, Greg, the darkly handsome son of flashy Long Island mobster Fancy Phil Lowenstein. Ever the good neighbor, Judith offers her services to Greg, but he shows her the door, thinking she's just a nut. His father, however, isn't so sure — he just may have other plans for the wily Judith...

Editorial Reviews

People Magazine
"Hilarious satire of suburbia"
New York Times Book Review on RED WHITE AND BLUE
“A big, fat, happy feast of a book…[Isaacs’] most confident and appealing.”
Entertainment Weekly on Isaac's previous work
“Isaacs delivers witty, wicked satire from begining to end.”
People on Isaac's previous work
“Murder, sex, and humor make for a wickedly entertaining combination.”
Rocky Mountain News
“It’s nice to take refuge in a mystery that entertains rather than chills you to the bone.”
New York Times Book Review
“Isaacs’ pitch is perfect.”
Sun-Sentinel [South Florida]
“Isaacs is a shrewd and witty observer of contemporary life.”
New York Time Book Review
“A big, fat, happy feast of a book…[She] is both funny and piercing, a highly satisfying combination.”
People magazine
"Hilarious satire of suburbia"
The Boston Globe
"Jam-packed with wry observations and Judith's entertaining foibles, [LONG TIME NO SEE] is good fun."
A gripping plot and plenty of tart humor make this sequel every bit as entertaining as its predecessor.
Washington Post Book World
Intimate, irreverent and revealing. Girl talk at its best.
Boston Globe
Jam-packed with wry observations and Judith's entertaining foibles, [LONG TIME NO SEE] is good fun.
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 wittyripostes on talk shows should whip up interest. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Slim, blond, and missing since Halloween, Courtney Logan had been a Wall Street whiz until she married Greg and became the stay-at-home mom of two adorable children. Now the daffodils are up and the pool man has just found her floating corpse. As Judith Singer, Isaacs's irresistible heroine (Compromising Positions), might say: what gives? The obvious suspect: Courtney's husband Greg, the son of a beefy, belligerent Jewish gangster, Fancy Phil Lowenstein, who knows all about getting rid of "problems." Or was it Steffi, the mousy au pair? Recently widowed Judith has plenty of time on her hands and delves in. She decides to investigate on her own, posing (improbably) as an amateur historian, but is soon hired by Fancy Phil to dig up information for him too. (He don't want to talk to no cops, but he knows his son didn't kill no wife.) There was some funny business about money: Courtney took thousands out of a joint account to put into her business, StarBaby, a videotaping service for affluent tykes with busy parents who want to cherish every childhood moment even if they aren't around to witness it firsthand. But Greg coulda used that dough for his business, Phil points out. Judith listens to it all and proceeds to interview everyone who knew Courtney, finding that no one seemed to really know her at all. Judith's ex-lover, Nelson, formerly a cop and now a detective, warns her to stay away from Phil and leave the sleuthing to the pros, but does Judith listen? Of course not. They rekindle their romance in awkward, very amusing fits and starts, as Judith tracks down evidence of insider trading scams, offshore bank accounts, and switched identities . . . and finds the killerat last. Isaacs does it again: skewering the pretensions of upscale suburbanites and in a tender, funny romance. The mystery? On the light side and none too plausible-but, really, who cares?
“Murder, sex, and humor make for a wickedly entertaining combination.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Isaacs delivers witty, wicked satire from begining to end.”

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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6.78(w) x 4.24(h) x 1.11(d)

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Chapter One

On an unseasonably warm Halloween night, while I was reading a snappy treatise on Wendell Willkie'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 Morgan and eighteen-month-old Travis, canner of peach salsa, collector of vintage petit point, and ex-president of Citizens for a More Beautiful Shorehaven vanished from Long Island into thin air.

Odd. Upper-middle-class suburban women with Rolexes and biweekly lip-waxing appointments tend not to disappear. Though I had never met her, Courtney sounded especially solid. Less than a year before, there had been a page one feature in the local paper about her new business. StarBaby produced videos of baby's first year. "I thought it would succeed because I knew in my heart of hearts there were thousands just like me!" Courtney was quoted as saying. "It all started when Greg and I were watching a video we'd made of Morgan, our oldest. Fifteen minutes of Morgan staring at the mobile in her crib! A beautiful, intelligent stare, but still...After that, another fifteen of her sucking her thumb! Not much else. Suddenly it hit me that we'd never taken out the videocam for Travis, our second, until he was six months old!" (I've never been able to understand this generation's infatuation for using last names as first names. Admittedly it's a certain kind of name: you don't see little Greenberg Johnsons gadding about in sailor suits.) Anyhow, Courtney went on: "I was so sad. And guilty! Look what we'd missed! That's when I thought, it would be so great if a professional filmmaker could have shown up once a month and made a movie starring my son!"

Though not unmindful of the Shorehaven Beacon's aggressively perky style, I sensed Courtney Bryce Logan was responsible for at least half those exclamation points. Clearly, she was one of those incorrigibly upbeat women I have never been able to comprehend, much less be. She'd left a thrilling, high-powered job in Manhattan. She'd traded in her brainy and hip investment-banking colleagues for two tiny people bent on exploring the wonders inside their nostrils. And? Did even a single tear of regret slide down her cheek as she watched her children watching Sesame Street? Was there the slightest lump in her throat as the 8:11, packed with her Dana Buchman-suited contemporaries, chugged off to the city? Nope. Apparently, for can-do dames like Courtney, being a full-time mom was full-time bliss. Ambivalence? Please! Retirement was merely a segue into a new career, motherhood, another chance to strut their stuff.

However, what I liked about her was that she spoke about Shorehaven not just with affection but with appreciation, with familiarity with its history. Well, all right, with its myths. She mentioned to the reporter that one of the scenic backgrounds StarBaby used was our town dock. She said: "Walt Whitman actually wrote his two-line poem 'To You' right there!" In truth, Courtney was just perpetuating a particularly dopey local folktale, but I felt grateful to her for having considered our town (and our Island-born poet) important.

I think I even said to myself, Gee, I should get to know her. Well, I'm a historian. I have inordinate warmth for anyone who invokes the past in public. My working hours are spent at St. Elizabeth's College, mostly squandered in history department shriek-fests. I am an adjunct professor at this alleged institution of higher learning, a formerly all-female, formerly nun-run, formerly first-rate school across the county border in the New York City borough of Queens. Anyhow, for two and a half seconds I considered giving Courtney a call and saying hi. Or even Hi! My name is Judith Singer and let's have lunch. But like most of those assertive notions, it was gone by the end of the next heartbeat.

Speaking of heartbeats...Before I get into Courtney Logan's stunning disappearance and the criminal doings surrounding it, I suppose a few words about my situation wouldn't hurt. I am what the French call une femme d'un certain âge. In my case, the âge is fifty-four, a fact that usually fills me with disbelief, to say nothing of outrage. Nonetheless, although I still have the smooth olive skin, dark hair, and almond-shaped eyes of a mature extra in a Fellini movie, my dewy days are over. My children are in their twenties. Kate is a lawyer, an associate in the corporate department of Johnson, Bonadies and Eagle, a Wall Street firm whose founding partners drafted the boilerplate of the restrictive covenants designed to keep my grandparents out of their neighborhoods. Joey works in the kitchen of an upscale Italian deli in Greenwich Village making overpriced mozzarella cheese; he is also film critic for a surprisingly intelligent, near-insolvent Web 'zine called night.

As for me, I have been a widow for two years. My husband, Bob, the king of crudites, flat of belly and firm of thigh, a man given to barely suppressed sighs of disappointment whenever he saw me accepting a dessert menu from a waiter (which, okay, I admit I never declined), died at age fifty-five, one-half day after triumphantly finishing the New York Marathon in four hours and twelve minutes. One minute he was squeezing my hand in the emergency room, a reassuring pressure, but I could see the fear in his eyes. As I squeezed back, he slipped away. Just like that. Gone, before I could say, Don't worry, Bob, you'll be fine. Or, I love you, Bob.

Except when the love of...

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