Authors: G. A. McKevett
ON THE TRAIL OF A KILLER
“My name is Savannah Reid,” she said, pulling her badge from inside her sweater where she kept it on a chain. “I’m the detective who’s investigating the murder of Jonathan Winston. I was hoping I could ask you a few questions ... about Jonathan ... about the fashion industry.”
Danielle’s hazy smile faded and her eyes instantly became alert and guarded. “About where I was the morning in question?”
Savannah nodded. “I’ll probably get around to that, too.” Savannah pulled her notebook from her purse. “Can you think of anyone who had a grudge against Jonathan, who might have wanted to kill him?”
“Yeah, me. He ripped off some of my best designs and made a fortune from them. Other than me... it could have been Beverly. Being his wife and all, I’m sure she had plenty of motives. Or it could have been the guy Beverly’s been seeing.”
“Can you think of anyone else?”
“Could have been Fiona, his ex. I took him away from her years ago and she never got over it. She divorced her second husband last year and I heard she was after Jonathan again.”
“Nobody I can think of right away. He gambled a lot. Drank. Chased women. He did all kinds of things that might have gotten him shot.”
Praise for G.A. McKevett and JUST DESSERTS: “ ... a pleasant read ... ”
“Look out for this ‘steel magnolia’ on the crime scene now!”
—Mystery Lovers Bookshop News
Books by G.A. McKevett
SUGAR AND SPITE
PEACHES AND SCREAMS
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE
MURDER A LA MODE
FAT FREE AND FATAL
A BODY TO DIE FOR
A DECADENT WAY TO DIE
BURIED IN BUTTERCREAM
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation
G. A. M
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
here’s just gotta be a better way to spend a Friday night.” Setting the bottle of “Flaming Desire” red nail polish on her partner’s dashboard, Savannah Reid spread her fingers and studied her manicure in the dim light of the yellow halogen streetlight. “Freezing my bee-hind off in an old Buick ...” she drawled, “... waiting for a fugitive pervert to show his ugly face isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.”
Dirk Coulter slid lower in his seat and propped his forearms on the top of the steering wheel. “Well, I have to tell you, I’m hurt,” he said. “I’ve done my best to entertain you for the last hour with my scintillating conversation, my dry but sophisticated wit, my—”
“Oh, can it, Coulter. Until five minutes ago, when I started doing my nails, you were snoring like a bulldog with a sinus infection.”
“And I would have gotten a nice nap if you hadn’t started that damned nail polish routine of yours. That shit stinks ... reminds me of ether ... of my operation ... makes me wanna barf.”
“Yeah, yeah, so I’ve heard, darlin’. The old war injury, right?” She paused to blow on each nail.
He rolled down his window several inches and waved his hands around to circulate the pungent acetone fumes. “When are you gonna find another way to occupy yourself on a stakeout? I’m telling you, breathing this stuff is killing me.”
“I’ll quit when you stop smoking.”
He said nothing, but glowered at her.
She continued to puff on her nails. “I’ve never heard of anyone getting cancer from secondhand ‘Flaming Desire’ fumes. Have you?”
He rolled the window back up and opened a thermos of coffee. The aroma mingled with the residual polish fumes and the stale odor of cigarette smoke. “You can be a real bitch sometimes, Reid.”
She chuckled. “Yeah, I know. But I’ve got great nails.”
“And your priorities in order,” he muttered.
Holding up her hands for his inspection, she sighed. “I can always tell how an investigation’s going by my manicure. If it’s going lousy, I’ve got perfect nails ... too much time on surveillance.”
“And when it’s going well?”
“I usually break off two or three during a bust.”
He gave her outspread hands a sideways glance and snorted as he took a sip of coffee. “Then I guess it’s time we nailed this bastard.”
“Yep, high time.” She turned away from him to look out the window and hide her satisfied smile. In the past five years of working with Dirk, that was the closest thing to a compliment on her physical appearance she had received. Even though she had grown a tad overweight in the past couple of years—okay, thirty pounds, give or take—and turned forty, she was still pretty good-looking, in her own estimation. Receiving attention and flattery from the opposite sex was something she had always taken for granted.
But Dirk was definitely not the mushy type. Other than an occasional “Good bust, kid,” he had kept his praise to himself. He was as thrifty with his compliments as with his cash.
Cheap, sarcastic, stingy and cynical, even by cop standards—Savannah loved him anyway. She didn’t always
him, but he had grown on her when she wasn’t looking. Spending several hundred nights together in tough areas like this one, watching, waiting, hoping for the best, trying not to fear the worst ... it either drove two people apart or drew them closer. Thankfully, their long, sleepless nights in Dirk’s old 1962 Buick Skylark had done the latter.
For the hundredth time in the past hour Savannah looked out the car window and studied their surroundings. To the far west, she could see that the nightly Southern California coastal fog had rolled in from the beach, drifting through the affluent waterfront areas of San Carmelita and up the equally exclusive hillsides. Finally it had worked its way into the valley on the east end of town where they sat, the not-so-affluent or exclusive section of the city, the area most of San Carmelita’s upper-crust citizenry would like to forget. And usually did.