Susan Isaacs, a detective novelist from Brooklyn

Writing is a craft that not everyone has mastered perfectly. Some people think that there is nothing complicated about it. All of us in our childhood wrote compositions at school and even our own short stories, so writing a book is not that difficult. Although this is not true. Time and perseverance are the two components without which no book can be written. Susan Isaacs understood this rule pretty well and became one of the most famous writers from Brooklyn. Find out more at

With a pen through life

The future writer was born on December 7, 1943, in one of the most densely populated boroughs of New York, Brooklyn. In an article on her website, Susan mentioned that she was born in a thatched-roof cottage. A simple and inconspicuous house and the same childhood of hundreds of children. 

Susan was educated at Queens College. After graduating, she started looking for a job, like all alumni. One day, she came across an advertisement offering to become a programmer. It was far from what she dreamed of. But there was no choice. Then, Miss Isaacs decided to pass a test to identify her ability for computer programming. However, she failed. She had no natural talent for this science. Which is even better. 

After failing in programming, Susan went to an employment center where she was offered her first job at the magazine Seventeen. During her student days, she wrote articles for the university newspaper. From that moment, she began to consider herself a writer.

From love advice to political speeches

Susan liked her first job. She enjoyed working in the editorial office and writing. Still, she felt it was not enough for her. Articles about love advice for teenagers and insecure girls did not fully satisfy her.

To fill this inexplicable void inside, Susan began writing speeches for politicians. At first, it was like a hobby, but then it became actual earnings. At the same time, Susan met her future husband, federal prosecutor Elkan Abramovitz. He shared her interest in politics. They got married in 1968.

Then the life of Mrs. Isaacs changed. First, a son Andrew was born and later a daughter Elizabeth. Caring about two babies made her leave the magazine and devote herself entirely to raising and nurturing children. But not completely. Susan continued to write speeches for different political figures and sometimes publish articles in magazines. The rest of her free time she spent reading the detectives. Susan jokes that she read too many crime stories. So many that it was even harmful. 

Harmful in the sense that it is dozens of read detective novels gave her the idea to write her own. Having household chores, raising children and writing articles as a part-time job, Susan risked fitting into her busy schedule working on a book. Something made her think she could do it. So she did.

The housewife detective

Her first detective novel was Compromising Positions. After marriage, Susan and her husband moved to the suburbs of Long Island. It is not surprising that the action of the book will also take place on Long Island. The main character is a housewife detective. 

Everyone has probably heard stories about how aspiring authors go from one publisher to another and their first books do not bring them tremendous triumph. However, this is not about Susan Isaacs and her debut. The novel Compromising Positions was translated into thirty languages, became a bestseller and was included in the main selection of the Book of the Month Club. It was also bought for a film adaptation. This is an inspiring success. Although at first, Susan could not even believe her first drafts would become popular. She just did what gave her joy.

Susan did not stop there. Recalling that time, Susan did not think of herself as a particularly great writer. That is, it was hard to match this image. A family, children, suburbs, a station wagon and two dogs are not the representation of a cool party girl. Yet, Susan loved her slow-paced life on the coast and she just kept writing. She continued after the second book and after the third one.

Even though all of Susan’s books are regular detective stories, all of her novels were New York Times bestsellers. 

Scholarly work and cinema

In addition to writing detective stories, Susan was actively engaged in writing nonfiction works and articles on a variety of topics. Her opinion was valued. In 2000, she had a unique opportunity to write about the presidential campaign. The Newsday newspaper sent Susan to cover the main political event of the year for all Americans. It was one of the brightest moments in the life of Mrs. Isaacs. She managed to interview George W. Bush and attend the conventions of candidates. Besides surveying the country’s political life, Susan has reviewed books for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Newsday.

Around the same time, Susan started writing screenplays. The first screenplay she worked on was based on her first book, Compromising Positions. It was back in 1980. The movie was shot by the Paramount company and the incredible Susan Sarandon and Raul Julia played the main roles. Apart from her debut work, she wrote a script for the film Hello Again. Although, she did not adapt her fourth novel, Shining Through. The 20th Century Fox company did not allow her to work. Susan keeps silent about the reasons for such a decision by the film producers.

Her writing skill in all fields has brought her real recognition among the fans of detective stories and also among her colleagues. Susan Isaacs is the recipient of the Writers for Writers Award, the John Steinbeck Award and the Manhattan Writing Center Award (at Marymount Manhattan College). 

Moreover, Susan has become a person who evaluates other people’s creations. At the time she reviewed other books for various newspapers, was on the board of Poets & Writers and a president of the Mystery Writers of America. Membership in such organizations as the International Association of Crime Writers, the Creative Coalition and others allows her to communicate with similar authors, share her experience and mentor.  

It is considered honorable to engage in philanthropy in American society. Through her influence and, obviously, her financial status, Susan Isaacs serves as a trustee of the Queens College Foundation, which she graduated from and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

In addition to the above-mentioned foundations, the writer supports the North Shore Child and Family Guidance Association and the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The problems of those whose capacities are limited due to different circumstances have always worried Susan. Especially after her grandson was born with cri du chat syndrome. This is a chromosomal mutation caused by the absence of chromosome 5. Facing this life’s lottery personally, Susan understood how difficult it can be for families who do not have even half of the resources and finances she owns. 

Susan always talked about the importance of speech freedom. She was even part of the anti-censorship campaign. Authors must have freedom.

The life of Susan Isaacs cannot be called boring. Although, she says otherwise. Even after her children grew up, she continued to live a calm and peaceful life with her husband in the suburbs.