Author(s): Robert Goolrick
Set in the American Midwest in 1907, A RELIABLE WIFE is the story of Ralph Truitt, a wealthy but lonely man in his fifties who places an ad in the paper for a reliable wife. Catherine Land, a beautiful thirty-four year old, responds that she is a 'simple, honest woman', but the photo that she sends of a plain woman - her cousin - is just the first of a series of lies Ralph uncovers. Catherine, it turns out, arrives with the intention of charming Ralph, marrying him and then slowly poisoning him to death with arsenic. But neither Catherine nor Ralph has counted on the secrets they are to uncover about each other, nor on the emotions that will be borne of their unusual arrangement.
Having grown up in the American South, Goolrick worked for many years as a senior vice president in an advertising corporation in New York.