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, 1978), 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 killer at 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?