Susan Sussman
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Books by
Susan Sussman

Mystery, female sleuths, humor
The latest Sussman mystery filled with Miami mayhem, miscreants and murder.
Theater-world Mysteries
A sharp and sassy crime debut in the tradition of Janet Evanovich and Lauren Henderson.
(Also available in Audiobook!)
Sussman and Avidon deliver an amazingly fresh and entertaining puzzle sure to have mystery fans crying "encore!" once again.
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
The Best No-Calorie Treat of the Decade!
Here, with wit, warmth and penetrating insight, is a love story for the new millennium.
A powerful and compelling novel about a woman's discovery of her true identity.
Children's Fiction
A charming ecumenical story promoting brotherhood and understanding.
(Also available on video!)
Each of the eight lights of Hanukkah are described from various corners of the world.
What do you do when you’re a little scared of the thunder and a storm hits? Why, you count hippos!
Children's Nonfiction
Full-color photographs illustrate fourteen of the most fascinating symbiotic relationships that have developed between pairs of living creatures.
An essential book for the budding grade-school scientist.

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Books by Susan Sussman

Mayham in Miami with a thoroughly modern maven. An ice-encrusted body, quirky courtroom characters, sisters and friends and cowboys - oh my! Hang on to your sunblock, Sussman's done it again!

Miami Iced
Laura Marks, a a forty-something widow stuck in Florida with a condo she hates and a boat she can’t sell wallows in a depression of torpid TV, anything alcohol and a heaping helping of “I-don’t-care”.

But, when she answers a Summons for Jury Duty she stumbles upon a gruesome trial that plunges her into a world of greed, jealousy and murder. An odd-ball group of Court regulars guides her through the maze. Meanwhile her newly divorced big sister moves in, a mysterious cowboy shows interest in buying her boat and someone slips threatening notes under her door.
Laura grabs hold of them all -- the good, the bad and the quirky – clutching them like lifelines back to the world of the living.

Audition for Murder

When Morgan Taylor runs into Lily London backstage at an audition, the ageing ham actress is playing her final—and arguably her most convincing—role…as a corpse.

Finding herself suspect number one in the murder investigation is bad enough, Morgan has also inherited a half-share of Lily's dog Hamlet—a rat with attitude. Still, at least her mother's pleased that she's finally met an eligible guy—even if he is the cop in charge of the murder case.

Only, as the body count rises, Morgan finds herself playing detective. After all, she's an actress. She's seen NYPD Blue. How hard could it be to catch the murderer and grab herself a man?

"a sparkling, first mystery…will have readers applauding for an encore"
—Publishers Weekly


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Books for Adults

Cruising for Murder

Dancer/singer Morgan Taylor finds out that all’s not love aboard this boat. If she’s lucky, she’ll find a shipboard killer before she is sent sailing into her own personal sunset.

Sick of Chicago winter, Morgan flies to Florid to work on a cruise ship where she discovers she is replacing a dead woman. And it isn’t clear if the accidental death was truly an accident.

"Morgan Taylor's unique, compelling voice makes her one of the most engaging heroines I've met in a long time.... Encore!"
—D. C. Brod, Author of Brothers in Blood


The Dieter

Sizzling tacos…peanut butter…bagels with cream cheese. The enemy pursued Barbara Avers everywhere, invading her nostrils, seducing her taste buds, disguising itself in toffee-colored clouds, raspberry mousse roses and designer dresses just the shade of crème caramel.

It began the night her best friend died from lung cancer, when a grief-stricken Barbara flung her last carton of cigarettes into Lake Michigan. That was in February, when she weighted 105 pounds.

Now day by day her appetite grows bigger and so does Barbara. Her husband Franklin, an ambitious lawyer running for political office, is spending more time with his blonde, slim campaign manager.

Her children are ashamed of her. Barbara crams another jelly doughnut into her mouth as her world begins to crumble.

Moving through the terrifying world of Weight Watchers, Nutrisystems and Nautilus, Barbara watches her problems expand with her waistline. “If only I were thin again,” she thinks, “my life would be perfect once more.”

But perfect it never was—or the chance to resume her newspaper career wouldn’t be quite so tempting. Nor would she be quite so unsettled and pleased at the amorous attentions of Mac, the paper’s virile, irreverent crime reporter. Suddenly, Barbara’s world is expanding too.

So maybe thin isn’t perfect…maybe a Size 8 doesn’t mean happiness…and after all, life does have riches to be savored…delicious, mouth watering, spicy, sweet delectable life…

In this endearing, memorable, and sharp-witted novel, Susan Sussman reveals a fresh, original voice, guaranteed to make you laugh, weep, and cheer for one of the most remarkable and appealing heroines ever to appear in contemporary fiction.

"The Dieter is about gaining and losing: pounds, husbands, habits and friends. It is a delightful novel, intelligent, witty, and very moving"
—Susan Isaacs


Time Off From Good Behavior

“After so many years of good behavior, a little time off isn’t going to kill our marriage.”

Sarah and Asher Rose have shared a Chicago childhood, twenty-five years of marriage, and are still very much in love. Their kids are grown, and the time has come to enjoy some of life’s luxuries.

Asher sells Rosie’s Soup Company—the business he began on a kitchen stove—for twenty million dollars. He’s ready for a full-time partner for champagne breakfasts and long afternoons of love.

Then Sarah lands the movie job she’s dreamed of ever since she designed wardrobes for her Margaret O’Brien dolls. For Sarah, the chance to go from costuming TV ads with dancing Krispy Korn to creating a forties look for a feature film is the opportunity of a lifetime. How can Asher, a man who’s worked twenty-five hours a day since childhood, object? Suddenly the changes rippling through their lives become waves threatening to set them each adrift.

Ashers not the only one with a phone on auto-dial to Sarah. Her mother, Fanny Feldman, is an actress and a coquette who hasn’t lost her love of the limelight; a seventy-eight-year-old whose health Is fading faster than her blonde hair or her timing. She needs her daughter more than she’ll admit as she trades her latest role—the Grande Dame of the Broken Hip—for more bewildering, frightening ones.

Fanny is too ill to be left alone; and Sarah cant leave her new job. Asher, descended from a long line of men who dropped dead at fifty, is eager to begin the world travels they’ve planned for years. Confused, Asher begins to fear he’s lost his place in the world—and in Sarah’s life.

Desperate to help him, but unable to neglect her other dreams and responsibilities, Sarah carries a small light Into the blackness Asher’s depression. “After so many years of good behavior,” she tells him, “a little time off isn’t going to kill our marriage, but staying together might.” So saying. she sends him off into the world on his own.

From Asher’s bemused view of his travels to Sarah’s solo attempt to juggle her burgeoning career and her indomitable mother, Time Off From Good Behavior is a vibrant novel that resonates with tears, laughter and choices of the heart. Susan Sussman has forged a funny, warm and daring exploration of a delightful couple’s most challenging journey—to discover a new horizon for their love and happiness.

“Full of wry wisecracks and savvy shtick…. If you’re in the market for nonstop one-liners and a view of life that’s as homey and reassuring as chicken soup, you don’t have to stand in line for a comic like Jackie Mason. Susan Sussman does it even better. A thoroughly good time…”
—The New York Times Book Review


Young Wives' Tales

Molly’s love of storytelling — catapulting audiences through worlds of wonder and terror, mysticism and magic — has helped her survive some difficult times. At the moment she is a student with two things on her mind: to finish her dissertation on “Cautionary Tales of Chicago Immigrants” and to succeed in carrying a baby full-term. Centering her chaotic world is her stable marriage to Matthew, counselor at the town’s community centre.

Then Molly’s sister comes to stay. Rich and devious, spoiled and selfish, Judith is a dilettante author desperate for material For a new book. She thinks nothing of destroying everything Molly has worked so hard to build.

Amidst the turmoil caused by Judith’s visit, Molly has to contend with the arrival of two aunts. Wanda and Lucy are a mysterious duo: enigmatic and mystical with strange magnetic powers to which Molly is constantly drawn. As her relationship with these women develops, Molly learns how to fight for what is rightfully hers — and to confront the existence of her own mystical powers which she’s repressed for so long.

Extraordinary and haunting, YOUNG WIVES’ TALES is a powerful and compelling novel about a woman’s discovery of her true identity.


Books for Children

There’s No Such Thing as a Chanukah Bush,
Sandy Goldstein

Christmas is the worst time of year for Robin. That’s because she has to face the same question again: Does her being Jewish really man she can’t have a Christmas tree and be a part of all the excitement around her? It doesn’t help at all that her classmate, Sandy Goldstein, has a Chanukah bush; it only makes her non-Jewish friends ask Robin more questions. But help does come—from unexpected sources: Robin’s grandfather and a Christmas party!

“Sussman's small narrator Robin relates a tender story about ecumenical fellowship, depicted attractively in Robinson's drawings…. With his wisdom and love, the grandfather widens the child's understanding, as Sussman does for the reader of her endearing story.”
—Publishers Weekly


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Hanukkah: Eight Lights Around the World

Each of the eight lights of Hanukkah are described from various corners of the world—from the U.S., Russia, Israel, Morocco, Argentina, France, Mexico and India.

“With beguilingly simple prose, Sussman transports readers around the globe…this is a vibrant choice for holiday collections.”


Big Friend, Little Friend: A Book About Symbiosis

Full-color photographs illustrate fourteen of the most fascinating symbiotic relationships that have developed between pairs of living creatures. Included are the red-billed oxpecker bird which lives on the ticks and leeches that infest the African buffalo; the boxing crab, which defends itself by wearing small, poisonous anemones on its pincers—while providing transportation to new food areas for the anemone: and red ants that move the caterpillar of the large blue butterfly into their nest and feed it in return for a constant supply of honeydew. The striking photographs faithfully illustrate these amazing, but true, curiosities of nature.

“An introduction to the fascinating concept of coexistence in nature…. The author simply and sparingly relates how two seemingly different creatures help each other survive…this book will whet children’s appetites.”
—School Library Journal


Lies (people believe) About Animals

Sue Sussman, author of numerous children's books, teams up with noted zoologist Robert James and photographer Fred Leavitt to present a clear, concise book for fourth through sixth graders which includes lie/truth statements about animals followed by intriguing, easy to understand facts. An essential book for the budding grade-school scientist.

“The book will fascinate and inform any young animal enthusiast.”
—School Library Journal


Hippo Thunder

Crashes coming from the sky in the middle of the night aren't exactly reassuring. It seems best for a child to get out of bed and check on the other members of the family. Maybe someone will know what this thunder business is all about. Brother, sister, and grandmother try to help, but Daddy offers the best suggestion. After the lightning flashes, you count hippopotamuses until you hear the thunder. The more hippopotamuses you count, the farther away the storm.

“Sussman’s story is a joy for beginners, and it also delivers advice on how to handle fear of storms. Wallner’s strong line drawings and paintings in eye-catching colors illustrate an adventure related by a small boy.”
—Publisher’s Weekly