Books by Susan Sussman

Released: July 1, 2000

"A bouncy, self-deprecating heroine holds the plot together with wisecracks. Not quite up to Stephanie Plum's high jinks but still, like Audition for Murder (1999), very cute. "
Why would hoofer/singer Morgan Taylor agree to a grueling few weeks' work filling in for a missing entertainer on the Island Star as it cruises the Caribbean? Well, Chicago's freezing; her touring company of Rent has just closed; her chum Kathy Bloch, the production director, has promised her lots of free time lolling in a deck chair; and—the most compelling reason of all—Morgan's tiptoeing around a commitment to hunky homicide cop J. Roblings and could use the breathing space. But Kathy forgot to tell her that the gal she's replacing, the talented Angela, was hiding a pregnancy and was probably murdered; that she'd be bunking with Jackie, the bitchy magician's assistant; and that Morgan's Uncle Leo would be on board without her Aunt Bertha, clinging to a young lovely's well-manicured hand. Snorkeling on the Nassau stopover, Morgan finds Jackie stuffed into a seabag, as dead as Angela. Their cabin is trashed, ominous notes are slid under the door, and Morgan keeps getting lost in the bowels of the liner and bumping into the supply chief and Mr. Garlic Breath. Still, the show must go on. Before Roblings flies in for a soothing cuddle, Morgan will sing, dance, and uncover blackmail, stowaways, and a cleaver-wielding nutcase. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 8, 1999

A foray into Chicago's theater world introduces Morgan Taylor (nÇe Miriam Tiersky), daughter of a loving Jewish family, who scratches out a living with part-time work at the Junque and Stuffe antique shop between all-too-rare acting jobs and auditions. A current tryout is for producer Martin Wexler, who's reviving a 40-year-old play. Longtime actress Lily London is to audition for the role of Mother, to Morgan's Daughter, but Lily doesn't show for the early morning call. She's found hours later in a theater bathroom stall, seemingly the victim of a fatal heart attack. An anonymous call to the police, though, says Lily was poisoned—and so it proves to be. Detective Roblings, in charge of the case, is suspicious of Lily's much younger best friend Beth, recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and the sole heir to Lily's surprisingly substantial estate. At the Actor's Equity office, where Rosie the Secretary reigns, Morgan, ecstatic after a callback from Wexler, runs into little-liked Diana Tuttle, who's to audition for the Mother role. Next day, at the theater, Diana is another poison victim—this time the weapon's a foil-wrapped piece of kugel made by Morgan's mother and filched from Morgan's audition bag. Morgan's actress friend Annie and Lily's dog Hamlet are next on the perp's list but manage to survive. Meanwhile, Morgan's budding romance with Roblings is no help when she's forced into a life-threatening showdown with the unconvincing killer. Morgan's ch Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 3, 1991

Midlife crises strike two marriage partners simultaneously, resulting in a more-amusing-than-average romantic comedy by the author of The Dieter (1988). Asher Rose's kids are grown and off on their own; his Chicago- based soup business has been sold for $20 million; and now, after 40 years of supporting a family by selling soup, the long-awaited leisure life can begin—except that wife Sarah has just thrown herself into her first full-time career, designing costumes for movies, and refuses to quit. While Asher chafes at the bit, longing to spend his fortune by visiting all the exotic locales he's dreamed of, Sarah works 18-hour days to clothe gaggles of self- obsessed movie actors, care for her flamboyant but ailing mother, and worry about Asher, whose workaholic character begins to crumble when he finds himself at home with nothing to do. To get Asher away from daytime TV and out of her hair, Sarah, who did her own traveling after high school, insists Asher go off to see the world on his own. Promising to catch up with him as soon as her work permits, she bravely urges Asher to sow his wild oats in the meantime—this will be a separate vacation with no marital strings attached. Dazed but fascinated, Asher obeys, taking his first faltering steps into the jet-set life while Sarah braves midnight shoots, emergency fittings, and the unexpected allure of a younger man. Soon enough, both partners find that their fantasy lives are sorely lacking without each other's company—and, to the delight of all those who have mooched off the Roses for decades past, forget about their long-cherished dreams in their rush to be together again. Generous, madcap—and heartwarming. Read full book review >