If you missed the first chapter, start here!
“Daisy Smith.” Jake sat down on the bench next to Penelope, reaching over to scratch Brutus behind the ears. A breeze carried the scent of heirloom roses from the library garden.
Penelope frowned. “I’m gone one night and you’ve already forgotten my name? This doesn’t bode well for thirty years from now. How will I know when your dementia has set in?”
“We finally got a hit on Jezza’s prints. From Interpol of all places. Daisy Smith was accused of extortion in the south of France seven years ago, but fled the country before she went to trial. Did she ever mention anything about France or old friends to you? And why would it matter when my dementia sets in?”
“Because that’s when I’m planning on getting power of attorney and stealing all your money. And no. I don’t think she ever said anything at all about her past.” Penelope handed him Brutus’ leash. “I have a present for you,” she said as she unzipped her bag.
“If it’s more dog crap, can you give it to Brian yourself? I’ve just repaired our friendship and I’m worried that giving him a bag of poop might lead to a setback.”
“I’d never be that predictable. This is lemons and oranges. You need to eat more fruit during the day.” She handed him a plastic bag, the fruit making lumps against the sides. “Brian’s working the case again?”
“Investigating Jezza’s murder didn’t seem like a conflict. If it had been her husband… Brian would recuse himself, and I would, too, since I’d hate to arrest you myself. We’d probably have to call in an outside agency.”
“I think your suspect pool is about to get wider.” She told him what she’d learned about the couple’s dinner, drinks, and blackmail scheme.
Jake sighed. “Did I ever tell you why I haven’t applied for the permanent chief position?”
“Because you don’t want to deal with the politics,” Penelope responded promptly.
“Because I don’t want to deal with the politics. So now we have to go interview every past and present member of the city council and ask if there are incriminating pictures of them floating around.” He shook his head. “I might kill the mayor myself when he gets back.”
“It’s probably good that he already approved your budget.”
Jake brightened. “There’s that.”
“Anything interesting in the reverend’s disaster room?” Penelope closed her bag and took Brutus’ leash back.
“You know I can’t talk about the case but I’m sure the next time you run into CJ he’ll tell you that there was an empty box with the lock cut off.” He stood up and held out a hand to help her up. “Dinner tonight? Brian offered to grill something.”
“Do you promise not to let the dog eat it?”
“Of course. This is going to be good food, not the kind that would accidentally fall on the floor.” Jake smiled at her and walked away.
(Comments, requests, and suggestions all welcome!)