Mysterious, Jul 2003, 24.95, 292 pp.
In 1988 Minnesota, Matthew Lindstrom receives the call from a Wyoming sheriff that the car of his estranged wife Gwen has been found in Sweetwater County. Apparently, bloodstains are on the vehicle. No body is found and the case goes cold, but Matthew's neighbors, family, friends, and peers at the college he teaches at believe he killed Gwen rather than accept a divorce. He is treated as a social pariah and eventually he loses his job. His once serene life in Minnesota is over.
Fourteen years later, Matthew lives somewhat like a hermit but is relatively contented in Port Regis, British Columbia, where he owns the charter boat Queen Charlotte. Last night he receives an anonymous phone call that an Ardis Coleman, living in Cyanide Wells, California, is Gwen. Still needing closure by obtaining answers to why she left, especially since the caller insisted she knew what she did to him. Motivated by revenge, Matthew decides to travel south to confront her. Instead of the confrontation, Matt finds his ex vanishes again leaving blood in the home she resided in with her lesbian lover newspaper editor Carly McGuire. She has taken her daughter with her. Matt and Carly join forces seeking the missing Gwen-Ardis.
CYANIDE WELLS is an exciting character driven mystery that the fans of Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone tales will enjoy. The story line is loaded with action though things seem to come too easily to Matt, who along with Carly seem real as they struggle with the duplicity of the woman they loved. However, what hooks the audience is trying to understand Gwen-Ardis, which means reading the novel in one delightful sitting.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner