It's springtime in Saskatchewan, and trouble blooms everywhere for university professor Joanne Kilbourne (A Colder Kind of Death). It starts when she agrees to help her lover, Ojibway police inspector Alex Kequahtooway, tell Julie Gallagher that her husband, Reed, is an apparent suicide. Since Reed's death seems to be from autoerotic asphyxiation, Joanne is stunned--the new head of the college's Journalism department never struck her as the kinky type. As she tries to make sense of her colleague's death, she must cope with the apparent sexual harassment of one of her students and with the sudden obsession of her best friend for a self-aggrandizing fellow teacher. When the student goes missing after telling Joanne that she has the scoop of a lifetime, and when her friend, a TV producer, removes Joanne from her longtime spot on a talk-show panel, she feels as if her life has turned topsy-turvy. When the student who had complained of sexual harassment turns up dead and her friend's new lover proves to be a batterer, Joanne is pressed into sleuthing action. Bowen has a hard eye for the way human ambition can take advantage of human gullibility, insight which makes this a compelling novel as well as a gripping mystery. (May) FYI: A Colder Kind of Death won Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel.