By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Updated April 26, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Aud, the protagonist of this novel, is an intuitive, old-fashioned sleuth who would do Elmore Leonard proud. She also happens to be a lesbian, deeply grieving the murder of her beloved partner—a character detail that makes Stay more layered than most thrillers. When a friend asks Aud to leave the woods, where she’s retreated to live alone, to track down his missing fiancee, she begins a journey that deftly combines a murder mystery with an exploration of loss. The plot could stand to move at a faster clip, but Griffith’s heroine has earned the right to many more adventures and books. B+