Long Time No See by Susan Isaacs (Harper Collins, $39.95) is a murder mystery, told in the first person. The “detective,” Judith (not Judy) Singer, is a middle-aged history professor at a small Long Island university. Recently widowed, this Jewish heroine still dreams of the non-Jewish policeman with whom she’d had an affair some twenty years earlier.
The victim is Courtney Logan, found murdered in the swimming pool of her spacious Long Island home. Her husband, Gregory Logan, is a decent sort, very uptight about being as straight as an arrow because his father, Fancy Phil Lowen stein—who had his son change his name—is a mobster who spent time in the jug.
Isaacs portrays a friendless woman in Courtney Logan, and we meet a few acquaintances who prove the point. Solving the murder mystery is not very complicated, and in the well-spun plot (which would have been more entertaining if the novel had been 20 or 30 pages shorter) the reader gets to know the town wives and their habitats (It’s nice to know that there are libidos left in women over 50!). The mystery itself is largely a vehicle for Isaacs’ observations on sex and friendship in the lives of midlife women, including the romance between the heroine and her former lover.
Edgar M. Bronfman is President of the World Jewish Congress and Chair of the Board of Governors of Hillel