Cover for Bad, Bad Seymour Brown
Cover for Takes One to Know One Cover for A Hint of Strangeness Cover for Goldberg Variations Cover for As Husbands Go Cover for Past Perfect Cover for Lily White Cover for Any Place I Hang My Hat Cover for Compromising Positions Cover for After All These Years Cover for Long Time No See Cover for Almost Paradise Cover for Shining Through Cover for Red, White and Blue Cover for Brave Dames and Wimpettes Cover for It Occurs to Me That I Am America Cover for Magic Hour Cover for Close Relations Cover for Compliments of a Friend
Cover for Bad, Bad Seymour Brown
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Published: May 2, 2023
ISBN: 9780802159069
Published: May 2, 2023

When Corie Geller asked her parents to move from their apartment into the suburban McMansion she shares with her husband and teenage daughter, she assumed they’d fit right in with the placid life she’d opted for when she left the Joint Anti-terrorism Task Force of the FBI.

But then her retired NYPD detective father gets a call from good-natured and slightly nerdy film professor April Brown—one of the victims of a case he was never able to solve. When April was a five-year-old, she’d emerged unscathed from the arson that killed her parents. Now, two decades later, April is asking for help. Someone has made an attempt on her life. It takes only a nanosecond for Corie and her dad to say yes, and they jump into a full-fledged investigation.

If they don’t move fast, whoever attacked the April is sure to strike again. But while her late father, Seymour Brown, was the go-to money launderer for the Russian mob – a mercurial and violent man with a penchant for Swiss watches and cheating on his wife – April Brown has no enemies. Well-liked by her students, admired by her colleagues, her only connection to crime is her passion for the noir movies of Hollywood’s golden age. Who would want her dead now? And who set that horrific fire, all those years ago?

The stakes have never been higher. Yet as Corie and her dad are realizing, they still live for the chase. Savvy and surprising, witty and gripping, Bad, Bad Seymour Brown is another standout hit from the beloved Susan Isaacs.

What is it that makes Susan Isaacs' books so delicious to read? She’s funny, for starters. And that humor combined with romance and old-fashioned murder mystery tickles every feel-good bone in our bodies. Her characters are whole and flawed and lovable, and you want only the best for them, even as you ardently wish to find them in danger repeatedly along the way.”
— Newsday
Cover for Takes One to Know One
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Published: Oct 1, 2019
ISBN: 9780802147554
Publisher: Grove Press
Published: Oct 1, 2019
ISBN: 9780802149411
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Published: Oct 1, 2019
ISBN: 9780802147554

Takes One to Know One is the first in the Corie Geller series.

Corie Geller has plunged into the happy suburban married existence she’d hoped for: whip-smart husband, adorable stepdaughter, loveable rescue dog, free-lance work for a literary agency. It’s all exceedingly pleasant but not exhilarating–especially for an ex-FBI agent who must keep her past job in counterterrorism secret.

Then one Wednesday, at her weekly restaurant lunch with other locals who work from home, Corie’s focus is drawn to one of the regulars. That’s when it hits her: Something’s off with this guy. Okay, just a hunch, but no way can he be what everyone thinks. As with Corie herself, he has a hidden life. Or at least that’s what her training and experience are whispering to her—as well as her gut feeling—maybe because it takes one to know one.

[Isaacs] has us chasing Corie all over the map, charmed by this motormouth sleuth’s snappy wit and awed by her courage.”
— Newsday
Cover for A Hint of Strangeness
Publisher: Audible Studios
Published: Jun 5, 2018
Published: Jun 5, 2018

The Washington Post said, ““Nobody does smart, gutsy, funny, sexy women better than Susan Isaacs.”

Add to that praise the adjective “strong,” and you’ve got Susan’s latest protagonist, Marianne Kent.  Her life may not seem thrilling – living with her widowed mother, majoring in economics, working in an elegant dress store after classes to put away money for graduate school – but she’s determined to make a better life for herself and her mom.

One night, she comes home.  Hmm, no light over the front door.  That old fuse box?  Again?  Except when Marianne gets inside, she stumbles and immediately

“I comprehended I had not tripped over a book…. I prayed.  I forgot for what, but it came down to Please let everything be okay.  Maybe that my mother (because I had no doubt it was she) had just fainted from a high fever or low blood pressure and she felt cold because she was so close to the front door.”

Her mother has been murdered.  The NYPD is stumped.  Marianne’s father, an army captain, was killed in battle when she was a year old, and whatever other family she has are so distant she’s never met them. Whom can she turn to?

Marianne does what strong women always do: She turns to herself.  With help from her Laurie Fishbein, her BFF since second grade, she becomes her own private detective to solve the case of her lifetime.

Cover for Goldberg Variations
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: Oct 2, 2012
ISBN: 9781451605921

Gloria Garrison nee Goldberg isn’t getting any younger. At seventy-nine, it’s time for her to plan for the future of Glory, Inc., the Santa Fe-based beauty makeover business that Gloria has grown from zilch into an eleven-million-a-year bonanza.

But now Gloria has alienated her former business partner and chosen successor. Who will take over Glory? Gloria’s never been big on family and wrote them all out of her will, but suddenly she must contemplate her three grandkids as possible candidates.

There’s twenty-nine-year-old Daisy, a New York story editor for a movie studio. Her brother, twenty-seven-year-old Matt, does sports PR. He can charm his way around ball players, the press, and a flurry of women. And there’s gutsy Raquel, who at age twenty-five is laboring away as a Legal Aid lawyer. She’s Catholic and a Goldberg and proud of it.

When Gloria sends business-class tickets to tempt the three grandkids for a visit, they couldn’t be more surprised. Stranger still is the revelation that one of them and only one, may be offered the chance to inherit Glory.

Always sassy, smart, and wickedly witty, Susan Isaacs is at her formidable best in a novel that is both hilariously funny and a deeply moving tale of family, faith, and reconciliation.

Isaacs is a master of witty fiction with an undercurrent of emotional truth.”
Cover for As Husbands Go
Publisher: Scribner
Published: Jul 1, 2010
ISBN: 9781416573081

As Husbands Go, the latest from critically acclaimed, bestselling author, Susan Isaacs, is rare mix of wit, social satire, ethical inquiry and suspense. Its beautifully-drawn characters leap from the page to speak directly to the reader. The author’s twelfth novel is moving story about a love that just won’t give up.

Call her superficial, but Susie B. Anthony Rabinowitz Gersten assumed her marriage was great – and why not? She was beautiful. Talented too, but not threateningly so. Her husband, Jonah Gersten, M.D., a handsome, successful Park Avenue plastic surgeon, clearly adored her, and they were doting parents to their four-year-old triplets Dashiell, Evan, and Mason. But when Jonah is found in the Upper East Side apartment of second-rate “escort” Dorinda Dillon, Susie is overwhelmed with questions left unanswered. It’s bad enough to know your husband’s been murdered, but even worse when you’re universally pitied (and quietly mocked) because of the sleaze factor.

None of it makes sense to Susie – not a sexual liaison with someone like Dorinda, not the “better not to discuss it” response from Jonah’s partners. With help from her tough-talking, high-style Grandma Ethel who flies in from Miami, she takes on her snooty in-laws, her husband’s partners as well as the NYPD, and the DA. She wants to know if the person arrested for the homicide is the actual perp, or just an easy mark for a prosecutor who hates the word “unsolved.” And for her own peace of mind, she hopes to prove her wonderful life with Jonah was no lie.

Susan Isaacs brilliantly turns the conventions of the mystery on end as Susie Gersten, suburban mom, floral designer, and fashion plate, goes from shallow to deep in her search for the truth about her husband’s life and death.

>> Susan’s inspiration for As Husbands Go.

Bestseller Isaacs draws on tony Long Island, gritty New York City, and a tabloid-friendly murder for this smart-alecky whodunit/surprisingly sweet love story. Susan is left alone with her three boys, big suburban house, and nagging questions when plastic surgeon hubby Jonah Gersten turns up dead in a hooker’s Upper East Side apartment. Though the police and prosecutors wind up their case against call girl Dorinda Dillon, it’s far from settled for Susan. It simply didn’t add up, in either my head or my heart, she confesses. And what better sidekick to track down the truth than Susan’s rogue granny, Ethel. What follows is an intricate and fascinating dissection of Susan’s marriage, family, husband’s medical practice and partners, and the unwitting call girl at the center of it all. Isaacs (Past Perfect) brings it all together in this fast and furious ride through wanton greed, fragile relationships, and love worth fighting for.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: Feb 13, 2007
ISBN: 9781416572084

In Past Perfect, Susan Isaacs gives us one of her most glorious characters ever: bright, buoyant, and borderline luscious Katie Schottland. Katie seems to have the ideal life: a great husband, a precocious and winning ten-year-old son, and a dream job-writer for the long-running TV series Spy Guys. But all is not as splendid as it should be because writing about the espionage business isn’t nearly as satisfying as working in it.

Fifteen years earlier, Katie was in the CIA. She loved her job (to say nothing of her boss, the mysterious Benton Mattingly). Yet just as she was sensing she was in line for a promotion, she was fired-escorted off the premises by two extremely hulking security types. Why? No one would tell her: when you’re expelled from the Agency, warm friends immediately become icy ex-colleagues who won’t risk their security clearances by talking to you.

Until that day, Katie was where she wanted to be. Coming from a family of Manhattan superachievers, she too had a job she not only adored but a job that made her, in the family tradition, a Someone. Fifteen years later, Katie is still stuck on her firing. Was she set up? Or did she make some terrible mistake that cost lives? She believes that if she could discover why they threw her out, she might be at peace.

On the day she’s rushing to get her son off to summer camp, Katie gets a surprise call from former Agency colleague Lisa Golding. “A matter of national importance,” says Lisa, who promises to reveal the truth about the firing-if Katie will help her. Lisa was never very good at truth-telling, though she swears she’s changed her ways. Katie agrees to speak with her, but before she can, Lisa vanishes.

Maturity and common sense should keep Katie in the bright, normal world of her present life, away from the dark intrigues of the past. But she needs to know. As she takes just a few steps to find out, one ex-spy who might have the answers dies under suspicious circumstances. Another former agent is murdered. Could it be there’s a list? If so, is Katie now on it? And who will be the next to go?

>> Susan’s inspiration for Past Perfect.

I love Susan Isaacs! Her books come straight from the heart, and her characters are smart, funny, and feisty enough to be your best girlfriend - not only for three hundred pages, but for life. Past Perfect introduces Katie Schottland - a terrific galpal who packs her kid off to summer camp and sleuths as a CIA analyst with equal style. Put simply, Past Perfect is perfect!”
— Lisa Scottoline, author of Dirty Blonde
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: Jul 1, 1996
ISBN: 9780061256233

Lee (née Lily) White is a defense lawyer practicing on Long Island. Into her life drifts Norman Torkelson, a career con man charged with strangling his latest mark. At first, the case seems open and shut. But just as Lee is resigning herself to a guilty verdict, she begins to have doubts. After all, what was Norman’s motive? Lee starts to wonder if her client is covering for the real killer, and in doing so, performing the first selfless act of his life. As the case unfolds, so does the story behind the story: Lee is a privileged child coming age on Long Island. Her parents are devoted to the pursuit of money and status. When Lee marries a scion of Long Island blue bloods, her life seems blessed. But is the sacrifice of her dreams worth the approval she garners from her parents?

>>Susan’s inspiration for Lily White.

On one level Isaacs has created a pitch-perfect social satire…on another…she has written a psychological thriller whose portraits of an amoral conman and his mate, of the dehumanizing effects of the prison system and of the state of criminal investigation are rendered with snappy authenticity.”
Publishers Weekly
Cover for Any Place I Hang My Hat
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: Oct 1, 2004
ISBN: 9780743463133

No matter which side of the nature/nurture debate you’re on, Amy Lincoln’s prospects do not look good. Her mother abandoned her when she was ten months old (just a couple of months after Amy’s father went off to serve his first prison term), leaving her in the care of Grandma Lil, who shoplifts dinner on the way home from her job as a leg waxer to the rich and refined.

When Amy is fourteen, she gets a scholarship to a New England boarding school - her exposure to the moneyed class. After Harvard and the Columbia School of Journalism, Amy becomes a political reporter for the prestigious weekly In Depth. While covering a political fund-raiser, Amy meets a college student who claims to be the son of one of the presidential candidates. It’s precisely the sort of story that In Depth wouldn’t deign to cover, but the idea of tracking down a lost parent and demanding recognition intrigues Amy. As she begins a search of her own past as well as the candidate’s, she discovers a new and unimpeachable grandmother and a mother who is much more than she bargained for. Most important, she finally comes to understand the stuff she’s made of and finds the perfect place to hang her hat in the world.

Bold, insightful, witty, and exhilarating, Any Place I Hang My Hat is a novel about one extraordinary young woman looking for a place to belong - by one of the most compelling and beloved voices in contemporary fiction.

>> Susan’s inspiration for Any Place I Hang My Hat.

“Women’s fiction with a tangy, contemporary bite.””
Publisher: Penguin
Published: Mar 24, 1978
ISBN: 9780515093025

Judith Singer, the protagonist of Compromising Positions, is intelligent, brash and witty. But she is trapped by her lifestyle in Shorehaven (“minutes from Fitzgerald’s East Egg”); a stuffy husband (“Judith, don’t tell me you haven’t gained weight. I can see it in your waist.") demanding children (“I hate her peanut butter. It’s the smooth kind.") and a stultifying suburban home (“two weeks of accumulated laundry”).

When Dr. Bruce Fleckstein, a local periodontist and notorious stud, is found murdered, Judith’s life takes an interesting turn- and is infused with a sense of purpose.

It turns out that besides being one of the flashiest of Long Island’s gum-probers, Fleckstein was also a camera buff, as several of Judith’s acquaintances weepily disclose- weepily because their portraits were taken in what were once described as “compromising positions.”

Poking into the murder case on a lark, Judith quickly discloses her own innate talents and keed perceptions, spiced with irrepressible humor and irreverent social commentary. And the discoveries include not only her blossoming femininity and a burgeoning sense of her potential as a woman – but also an attractive homicide lieutenant who, in attempting to arrest her for meddling with the case, finds himself instead arrested by her contagious warmth, wit and sexuality.

Judith Singer is the most endearing and engaging of heroines in current fiction in her pursuit of solutions to the case, her self, and a position in life that is in no way compromising.

Wonderfully funny, deliciously mean.”
The New York Times
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: Jul 1, 1993
ISBN: 9780060563738

Rosie Myers, high school English teacher, wife and mother, didn’t exactly object when her husband Richie changed from an easy-going math teacher into the hotshot president of a multi-million-dollar corporation in Manhattan. Well, she did worry how living on a grand waterfront estate in Long Island might affect the family, but what could be bad about the good life? She finds out when Richie leaves her the morning after their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary party - for a younger, prettier, and possibly smarter woman. Since then, Rosie’s been living alone in the big house, grieving over her loss… and eating more chocolate chocolate chip ice cream than is necessary to sustain life. Late one night, on her way to the refrigerator, she trips over - Richie! Dead on the kitchen floor, a carving knife in his chest. True, there is no evidence that anyone besides Rosie and Richie were in the house. Admittedly, Rosie does have a motive. And the murder weapon came from her kitchen. So naturally the police think she’s guilty. Rosie knows she has to save herself. Hours before she’s to be arrested, she gives the police the slip and heads for New York City to find the real killer. What she discovers is that Richie, the husband she thought she knew, had been living a secret, high-style life as he tried to charm his way into the jet-set.

On the lam in Manhattan, Rosie summons guts and savvy she never knew she had. In her daring and devious quest for the killer, she brilliantly pieces together the clues to her freedom and meets some old friends along the way who show her how to live again after all these years with the wrong man. After All These Years is an irresistible mystery, replete with Isaac’s razor-sharp wit, splendidly drawn characters, and a brave, irreverent heroine readers will love.

>> Susan’s inspiration for After All These Years.

Susan Isaacs writes wonderful books. They’re loaded with wit, crammed with memorable characters, endlessly entertaining and beautifully written.”
Los Angeles Times
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: Sep 9, 2001
ISBN: 9780061030437

Judith Singer is back! After twenty years Susan Isaacs brings us back the heroine fromCompromising 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.

>> Susan’s inspiration for Long Time No See.

I can think of no other novelist - popular or highbrow - who consistently celebrates female gutsiness, brains and sexuality. She’s Jane Austen with a schmear.”
— Maureen Corrigan, “Fresh Air,” National Public Radio
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: Mar 1, 1994
ISBN: 9780061014659

A beautiful man. A brilliant woman. And a life together that is almost paradise.

Susan Isaacs, bestselling author of Compromising Positions and Close Relations, joins America’s first-rank novelists with this rich and complex story of Jane and Nicholas Cobleigh, of the generations that sired them, and of the wide cast of family and friends with whom their lives are intertwined. Nicholas is the handsome, elusive, awesomely aristocratic scion of one of the East Coast’s oldest families. Jane – supremely intelligent, awkward, and deliciously funny – is the product of a disastrous union between a down-on-her-luck (but eternally optimistic) burleque queen and the dreary Cincinnati bank clerk she dupes into marriage.

But Almost Paradise is more than just the recounting of two lives. All of Susan Isaacs' characters are alive – colorful, human and beautifully textured: James, Nicholas' father, an embittered, hard-drinking, womanizing former OSS spy stuck in a Wall Street law firm; Dorothy, Jane’s vicious, avaricious stepmother; Murray, their savvy, good-hearted agent; their daughters, the chilly Victoria, the vulnerable Elizabeth.

Almost Paradise is the Colbleighs' story, together and apart, from the cold-water flat in Hell’s Kitchen to the rolling, verdant Connecticut farm to the Fifth Avenue duplex, from their vastly different backgrounds to their life together that transcends what either alone could achieve. It is a tale of great wealth and great celebrity in the midst of personal tragedy, of the ties that bind us all together, and the missed opportunities that tear us apart.

Susan Isaacs has written a profoundly moving drama with wit, warmth, irony, and compassion – a deep and gripping saga that penetrates to the heart of our modern culture.

>> Susan’s inspiration for Almost Paradise.

‘“One of those immensely readable stories that keeps the pages turning- never mind eating, sleeping or other unnecessary rudiments of daily routine…. Told with warmth, humor and a sure sense of drama, Shining Through is a thoroughly engaging book."’

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: Jul 1, 1988
ISBN: 9780061030154

“In 1940, when I was thirty-one and an old maid, while the world waited for war, I fell in love with John Berringer.” Every night Linda Voss covers her typewriter, says goodnight to the other secretaries and takes the subway from Wall Street to her home in Queens, where she has dreams about her boss, the extravagantly handsome, brilliant and altogether unattainable John Berringer. But she is a realist and knows that her reveries of bliss in Mr. Berringer’s arms are simply consoling fantasies. And yet four years later, Linda Voss Berringer no longer needs dreams to comfort her; this ordinary working girl emerges triumphant from the ruins of the second world war as a woman of valor, a genuine hero. Linda’s story involves passion, when a blazing affair with John Berringer leads to pregnancy and a gentlemanly offer of marriage; then betrayal, as their marriage is rocked by John’s faithlessness; and finally intrigue, both the polite variety of Wall Street wives and a more deadly kind when Linda joins the war effort as a spy. The master of her own fate in a world out of control, Linda penetrates the heart of Nazi terror and carries out one of the war’s most deadly missions. Like a blazing rocket, the novel ends in an explosion of danger, action and unexpected romance.

>> Susan’s inspiration for Shining Through.

‘“One of those immensely readable stories that keeps the pages turning- never mind eating, sleeping or other unnecessary rudiments of daily routine…. Told with warmth, humor and a sure sense of drama, Shining Through is a thoroughly engaging book."’

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: Mar 1, 1999
ISBN: 9780007652044

Compromising Positions to Lily White -- seven critically acclaimed novels, seven New York Times bestsellers. Now, with her eighth novel, Susan Isaacs has written her finest work yet. Red, White and Blue tells the story of two ordinary Americans who find it within themselves to become extraordinary heroes.

Charlie Blair of Wyoming and Lauren Miller of New York start out as strangers. They are drawn together by an appalling hate crime and by their mutual passion for justice. Yet they share more than a sense of fair play. They are not simply kindred spirits but actual kin, descendants of immigrants who met on a boat on their way to America, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.

Special Agent Blair of the FBI has the numbing job of a bureaucrat and the soul of a cowboy. A wry Westerner from his Stetson to his boots, he also happens to be the great-great-grandson of . . . Dora Blaustein? Dora what? True, although he is unaware of that particular ancestor. A nearly burned-out case at thirty-four, he is about to walk away from the safe world of paper-pushing to risk his life in Wyoming, infiltrating an armed, white supremacist, viciously anti-Semitic group called Wrath. Wyoming born and bred, Charlie seems the perfect choice for this undercover operation, because who in Wrath could question this whiter-than-white man, so clearly one of their own?

Also in Jackson Hole is Charlie’s apparent opposite. Gen-X Lauren Miller is articulate, ironic-and unwaveringly liberal. A journalist from Long Island, she has been hired by theJewish News to investigate a bombing that Wrath is suspected to be behind. Lauren’s job is to know who, what, where and when, of course. But most of all, she is compelled to discover why. Why are all these people who’ve never met a Jew in their lives obsessed with Jews-and why do they want them dead? Just who is it who gets to define who is an American?

With narrative grace, insight and her trademark exuberant wit, Isaacs not only chronicles Lauren’s and Charlie’s investigations, but explores their American heritage as well: How did their forebears-how did all of our forebears-get from there to here? And what can this mountain man and this suburban woman possibly share-except a few random genes?

Intelligent, exhilarating and intensely moving, Red, White and Blue is a novel about what makes Americans American.

>> Susan’s inspiration for Red, White and Blue.

The jauntiness and frothy exuberance of Susan Isaac’s style in her eighth novel carries you along as if on a wonderful joy ride. She is superb at quick character sketches, the deadly battles between fathers and sons, family frictions and generational antagonisms. Her effervescence convinces you that everything will turn out all right in the end. Which it does. But just barely.”
The Providence Sunday Journal
Cover for Brave Dames and Wimpettes
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: Jan 19, 1999
ISBN: 9780345422811

In this thoroughly witty, incisive look at the role of women on screen and page, Susan Isaacs argues that assertive, ethical women characters are losing ground to wounded, shallow sisters who are driven by what she calls the articles of wimpette philosophy. (Article Eight: A wimpette looks to a man to give her an identity.) Although female roles today include lawyers like Ally McBeal and CEOs like Ronnie of Veronica’s Closet, they are wimpettes nonetheless. A brave dame, on the other hand, is a dignified, three-dimensional hero who may care about men, home, and hearth, but also cares–and acts–passionately about something in the world beyond. Brave dames' stories range from mundane (Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show) to romantic (Francesca in The Horse Whisperer) to fantastic (Xena: Warrior Princess), but whatever they do, they care about justice and carry themselves with self-respect and decency. For a Really Brave Dame, think Frances McDormand as the tenacious, pregnant police chief in Fargo.

Isaacs’s unmistakable love of fiction and film shines through even her most scathing wimpette assessments. In the end, she urges us to become “more thoughtful critics.” The artist, she says, has the right to create whatever he or she pleases–and we have the right “to applaud or to yell, ‘Hey, this stinks!’ " If we do so, not only will fiction be improved, but so too might real life.

Cover for It Occurs to Me That I Am America
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: Jan 19, 1999
ISBN: 9781501179600

In time for the one-year anniversary of the Trump Inauguration and the Women’s March, this provocative, unprecedented anthology features original short stories from thirty bestselling and award-winning authors—including Alice Walker, Richard Russo, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Neil Gaiman, Michael Cunningham, Mary Higgins Clark, and Lee Child—with an introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen.

When Donald Trump claimed victory last November, the US literary world erupted in indignation. Many of America’s leading writers and artists openly resist the current administration’s dogma and earliest policy moves, and they’re not about to go gently into that good night. In It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art, more than thirty of the most acclaimed modern writers consider the fundamental ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democracy—through fiction.

Featuring artwork by some of today’s best known artists, cartoonists, and graphic novelists—including Art Spiegelman, Roz Chast, Marilyn Minter, and Eric Fischl—who cover political, social, and cultural issues, this anthology is a beautiful, enduring collection that will resonate with anyone concerned with the contest for our American soul.

Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: Jan 1, 1991
ISBN: 9780061870613

Susan Isaacs brings her wicked wit and keen understanding of what really goes on between men and women to a very different slice of Long Island- the Hamptons.

Magic Hour. That perfect time, that fleeting hour of enchanted light near dusk and dawn that is perfect for moviemaking, perfect for making love. Perfect for murder.

And into the magic hour steps Stephen Brady, wise guy, tough guy, local farm boy turned homicide cop, and a good man with a very bad life. But just as his luck is about to change, the rich, gifted, and urbane filmmaker Sy Spencer is murdered, and Brady discovers that his prime suspect is a woman he and the victim shared.

A spellbinding mystery, a scathing social satire and a poignant love story, Magic Hour looks beyond the trendy magazine-cover Hamptons' world of the summer set’s high-cheekboned elegance and the locals' down-on-the-farm authenticity into the hearts of real people.

This is the story of the treacherous murder that rocks them all and of the police detective who is too cold-hearted, too world-weary to ever fall in love- until he does.

>> Susan’s inspiration for Magic Hour.

Snappy plot.”
Entertainment Weekly
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: Aug 1, 1980
ISBN: 9780061735318

Marcia Green is a sophisticated, witty, successful New Yorker, a whiz of a political speech writer, a woman who finds a smoke-filled room more intoxicating than a magnum of champagne. Her private life is a little less bubbly. She has a passionate but not very promising live-in relationship with her boss’s dashing chief of staff, Jerry Morrissey. He offers her only a good time – but what a time!

Can Marcia resist when a new man arrives on the scene, a man who is exactly the sort her family wants her to marry – bright, kind, attractive, wealthy, and charming- in short, too good to be real?

Marcia’s determination to find the right kind of man, as well as the right kind of life, makes Close Relations a compelling novel. It is a book that says something very important about the things that are vital to all of us, about men and women, about sex, money, work, family values and about what we need most in today’s world – close relations.

>> Susan’s inspiration for Close Relations.

A risible romp throughout…Delightful…witty…astringent and candid — the snappy dialogue yielding up laughs on every page, the love story tender and satisfying, the plot pulsing with adrenalin.”
Publishers Weekly
Cover for Compliments of a Friend
Publisher: Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller
Published: Nov 12, 2013
ISBN: 9781480454972
ASIN: B00G2V621C

Chic Vanessa Giddings, founder and CEO of Panache, the largest employment agency on Long Island, falls into a coma in the designer shoe department of Bloomingdale’s . . . and dies. It’s not long before Judith Singer, former housewife, current widow, and local history professor, decides to investigate. She cannot believe the official ruling: that her wildly successful, confident, and iron-willed neighbor committed suicide with a drug overdose. Vanessa was buying shoes, and Judith knows accessorizing is a life-affirming act. So was it foul play?

Tracking the gossip about the late Vanessa and trusting her own acute instincts about human nature, Judith encounters more than a few surprises (including a big romantic one) as she investigates the death—and the life—of the misjudged mogul who turned out to have been more vulnerable than anyone guessed.

This ebook features an afterword by Susan Isaacs, as well as an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from her personal collection.