Compromising Positions
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Compromising Positions (Judith Singer #1)

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,009 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Murder Mystery, suburban housewife tale of sleuthing. Fiction.
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published March 1st 1978 by Times Books
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Melissa Proffitt
The first time I read this (many years ago) I loved the mystery and all the little details of a murder complicated by emotional blackmail, adultery, and organized crime. This time I was surprised to discover that my life is now very similar to Judith Singer's, and what a difference it is to have that life in 2013 rather than 1978. I keep forgetting how hard it was for many women in the '70s, trying to be defined by something other than their relationship to a man. And yet in the differences betw...more
L.
It is rare when I proclaim a film adaptation better than the original book. This is one of those occasions. The dialogue is very 1980s yuppie, East Coast- dull, soulless, and self-centered. It sets the tone aptly for the story of the murder of a wealthy (and criminal) dentist with a habit of seducing married patients. Raul Julia, one of the best actors ever, was excellent as the harried detective trying the keep Susan Sarandon's Judith out of his case. The performances in the film make the book...more
Eva
Judith Singer is a bored housewife living in a very upscale neighborhood. Her only activities are carpooling and preparing nutritious dinners for her children. When a local dentist is murdered, she jumps at the chance to investigate. Unfortunately, she is no Miss Marple. Many pages later, she has only collected three clues.

In boredom, I put down the book and didn't finish it. She and her suspects are dull as ditch water and I don't care who did it.
Mary
If you read this book, or even if you do not, I highly recommend the movie version starring Susan Sarandon and Raul Julia. It's one of those that if I am flipping channels, if it's on, I will be late for whatever I thought I was going to do next----I HAVE to watch it!
Oh yeah, the book is fun to read, too.
Gabby
Dec 18, 2008 Gabby rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One
Shelves: mystery, 2008
I read this book in 1978 when it was first published, and I loved it. I thought it was clever and funny, and since I was just starting to read through the mystery genre, I thought the story was well done.

I don't agree with myself on any of this after my second read-through. I've read a whole lot more mysteries since 1978, and Compromising Positions is in no way on par with mysteries I now consider to be very good. Actually, Isaacs has written a cross between a mystery and chick lit, but back in...more
Sue
I nearly put this book down a few times. At around 1/3 of the way through, I did say "that's it!", and was going to put it down - the only thing that kept me reading was pure laziness. I don't like starting a new book before I go to bed, so I kept reading that night, and then I was almost finished, so I might as well find out what happened.

Here are some of the things that I didn't like:

1. I don't buy that she's really that curious about the murder of someone that she met once. All of a sudden, s...more
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
Written with a wicked sense of humour and wit as sharp as a mohel's knife, Compromising Positions, and its unforgettable protagonist, Judith Singer, offers an eye-opening look inside a Nassau county bedroom community and reminds us that what happens behind closed doors doesn't always stay behind closed doors.

I'd always considered dentists rather mild-mannered sorts, but Susan shatters that 'myth', and does it with such a wonderful narrative style, weaving completely believable characters (I have...more
Jocelyn
Almost done it. Part way through, I suddenly thought to check the publication date 1978! no wonder some little details seemed odd lol! like salary mentions and phones with cords attached to walls lol!
Picked it up randomly from a local library as is the norm for me with picking books.
I find it quite laugh out loud funny here and there, find the situation not believable at all but hey it's fiction, some of the dialogue odd but all in all I really like it. There are subtleties about presenting the...more
Jesus
A light, fun read. A murder mystery set in a Long Island community of bored women, where everyone is having affairs, no one is really happy and everyone is more concerned with their social standing than with the recently-murdered dentist. Funny and at times sexy, but I would have preferred it funnier ... or sexier ... or darker ... or just more meaningful. It had potential, but ultimately was happy enough to dance around the surface of the waters.
Sarah
This was recommended by Jennifer Weiner as not to be missed, so I gave it a try. It wasn't bad, but it took me forever to make my way through it. Somehow, neither the whodunnit suspense nor the will-they-won't-they chemistry was enough to inspire me to keep reading.
Lynda
3 1/2 - written in 1978 and dated in some ways but still with a feel good factor and some laugh out loud bits. Clearly the women's movement was just underway but there are good detective bits and a very attractive hero figure. I will read anothe Judith Singer detective book written by Isaacs many years later. Thoroughly enjoyed it as light reading.
Naomi
OK, I must say that I have been eyeing SI's works for a long time. When I saw this pop up on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to read it. I was really disappointed though. I am not sure if this is the author's writing style or if this book was a fluke, but I found this book to be Peyton Place meets Murder She Wrote. Distressed homemaker in a miserable marriage becomes a sleuth. These books are a dime a dozen and it kind of made me roll my eyes. If it wasn't for my committment to Netgalley to gi...more
Amanda
Judith is a smart, independent woman who got married, moved from Manhattan and had some kids. She decided to stay at home with her children, but after a couple of years she can no longer take the boredom. Luckily for her the town's dentist is found murdered and she can now spend her time investigating the case. She is not a cop, but out of pure curiosity she dives deep into the murder, which only upsets her husband and causes problems in their marriage. She starts to spend a lot of time with one...more
Mary
Spoiler alert*
I just have to say I thought the sudden fling Judith had seemed oddly placed in the story line. While maybe an affair fit her character being unhappy in her marriage, it didn't fit so much because of what she was investigating (murder rooted in infidelity) and especially because it was with a married detective who seemed too quick and prepared for an affair. The story line diversion seemed misplaced and not necesssary. I am not sure what it gave the story. Maybe to have left it as...more
Leslie Kempler
I really like Susan Isaacs- this one is a mystery
Charlene Gordon
Good book. Read it in 2002.
Sarai
This is the story of Judith Singer, housewife. Judith has a wonderful husband and wonderful kids, but she's terribly bored, so when a local dentist is found murdered, Judy starts investigating. Made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon.

This is a terribly wry, dry book with lots of humor and sarcasm, a fun heroine, intriguing mystery, and lots of depth and real-life drama. Very good read.
Ellen
I read this back in the 80s so the details are hazy but I do remember laughing out loud at some of the protagonist's utterances. A comic thriller with a smart-mouthed heroine who sets out to solve a murder in the area because she is bored with her so-called perfect life, it kept my interest throughout. I imagine it would be pretty dated now but I would still recommend it as a good read.
Leigh Ann Hunker
Oct 04, 2007 Leigh Ann Hunker rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you like who dunnits
This is an author that just recently came to my attention and if I like the way he/she writes I tend to stick with that author until I've read most everything. This one is crime solver, great sense of humor included. A little pushing boudaries of suburban housewife. Interesting, easy read... I don't know that I learned anything but it was entertaining.
Frank
Un classico giallo, non il mio genere preferito. Per questo ho dato solamente 2 stelline. Interessante il fatto che la protagonista sia una donna e questo evidenzia come alcuni aspetti della vicenda siano visti da una prospettiva diversa rispetto ai soliti gialli quali Maigret, Sherlock Holmes, ecc.
Pshorten
This was written nearly 40 years ago and it is still a fresh, fun read.
Peggy
It's been years since I read this one but I remember it as a fun light read. Susan Isaacs characters are always great.

Re-read. It's been a while. It was as I remembered it- funny & a great insomnia helper. Also see sequel Long Time No See. Read that one again too.
CLM
I had fun sitting with Susan Isaacs and her lawyer husband several years ago (it was the night before Martha Stewart was convicted) and told her this was my favorite of her books, although, upon reflection, it might actually be Shining Through.
ag Berg
I liked this book, it was fast and easy to read. Suspenseful with a little sexual suspense too. It was just a fun book. Nothing profound, no depth to the characters but fun. Finished during the last part of a Yankee game. (they lost)
Lynn Pribus
Really enjoyed this one. Wonderful, witty, snarky dialog and an endearing heroine.

Didn't especially like the movie they made from it. They changed some essential parts of the plot which changed the person she was.
Roberta
It's unusual for me to see the movie before I read the book but that's what happened. I loved the movie so I looked for the book. I shouldn't have been surprised that they were different but I enjoyed both.
Heather
This story was interesting, it was set in 1978, so the cultural references and dialogue were funny. I was irritated with the lack of personal responsibility the main character was unable to consider.
Ratforce
Jennifer Weiner has identified Susan Isaacs as one of her heroes and greatest influences. This particular novel, her first, also includes a mystery, which you named as one of your interests.
Sharon
I came across this one in the San Francisco public library. I'm not a fan of standard murder-mysteries, but this one was not at all to type. The plot was interesting, without being contrived.
Lisa Wakefield
turns out I had read the 'sequel' to this years ago and this one is not her best but i read it, i finished it and i will read more of Susan Isaacs stuff.....................
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Susan Isaacs is a recipient of the Writers for Writers Award and the John Steinbeck Award. She serves as chairman of the board of Poets & Writers and is a past president of Mystery Writers of America. She is also a member of the National Book Critics Circle, The Creative Coalition, PEN, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the International Association of Crime Writers, and the Ada...more
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