Susan Isaacs has been writing bestsellers since the late 1970s, and she’s hilarious! I’ve been a fan since then. During that earlier time, a period of third wave feminism, her tales often featured rotten husbands and ex-husbands reaping what they’d sown. Her creativity and trademark snark have always kept me running back for more. Her new novel, Bad, Bad Seymour Brown is the second in the Corie Geller detective series, and it’s deeply satisfying. My thanks go to Net Galley and Grove Atlantic for the review copy. This book is for sale now.
Seymour Brown was an accountant for the Russian mob. “I’ve never heard of a violent accountant before,” my mom observed. “At worst, they’re a little pissy.” But by all accounts, Seymour was a rotten guy. “He made regular bad look good.” Bad to everyone, that is, except his five year old daughter April, his only child, for whom the sun rose and fell. But Seymour’s family was tucked away for the night when an unknown assailant came and burned the house to the ground with the Browns inside it. Happily, April made it out the window alive. The case was never solved.
Now April is an adult, a professor in film studies. She’s put her past behind her, and now, all of a sudden—someone is trying to kill her! She contacts the detective that was assigned to the murder investigation; he’s retired now, and he is Corie Geller’s father.
All of the things that I love about Isaacs’s work are here in abundance. The story is full of feminist moxie—Geller isn’t an assistant to her father, but rather retired from the FBI in order to raise her stepdaughter—she is his partner in this new investigation, and as it happens, in the new detective agency they’ve begun. But another thing I’ve always loved about Isaacs’s prose is her trademark snark, and I snickered and chortled all the way through this engaging novel. The pages flew by, and I found myself looking for extra reading time when I could sneak off to plunge in once more. Susan Isaacs writes the most creative figurative language I’ve seen anywhere. She’s funny as hell.
You can read this book as a stand-alone, but I’ll tell you right now, once you read the second, you’ll want to read the first one, Takes One to Know One also.
Highly recommended, particularly to feminist boomers.