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Monday, November 25, 2013

Compliments Of A Friend by Susan Isaacs

Compliments of a FriendCompliments of a Friend by Susan Isaacs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**Compliments Of A Friend** by *Susan Isaacs*

Reading Susan Isaacs for me has always been like reconnecting with an old friend. I read **Compromising Positions** when it was first published, and after that I made it a point to keep an eye out for any new Isaacs novels. Back in those days there were 3 authors I looked forward to reading with each new novel they published: Susan Isaacs, Stephen King, and Sidney Sheldon. I didn't care what the subject of the novel was; I could depend upon those authors to deliver, and I was never disappointed. I wanted to know someone like Judith Singer and be her new best friend. Judith was funny, smart, and she knew exactly what she was and what she was not. She was real in ways many people I knew were not.

So I was excited to see that Judith Singer was making another appearance in Susan Isaac's recent book **Compliments Of A Friend**. I couldn't wait to start reading, and as usual, Isaacs did not disappoint except for two minor details: I wanted more, and I wanted a more complete ending. In the afterward Isaacs does explain that this was her attempt at a short story to be an included in an anthology being put together by her writing group. With that explanation I understood why this was an abbreviated story rather than the usual much longer novel Isaacs does so well. She also included photographs of her and her family at various stages in their lives. I liked that additional touch.

Judith Singer, the main character in this current book, is an inquisitive person by nature, and when a woman she knows dies at Bloomingdale's in the shoe department, supposedly from an overdose of one of her drugs, Judith is curious about the circumstances. When the death is ruled a suicide, Judith doesn't buy that explanation for a second, so she does some sleuthing on her own to find out whether this was really a case of murder. In the course of her investigation, when she can fit it into her busy schedule, she is not satisfied that the facts point to suicide at all. The people she interviews are all interesting characters themselves, so the pages seemed to fly by with thought provoking questions as well as the wonderful Isaac humor. And then at the end there is a twist that made me want to personally beg Isaacs to continue what she began to explore. I can only hope we see more of Judith Singer in the future, because she by no means should be left where she ends this particular story.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It was such a pleasure to discover Isaacs is still entertaining fans like me with her writing wit and style.

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