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92 Monday, 12:10 p.m. Monique wanted to visit Tony’s wife before interviewing the rest of the individual faculty members. She thought it odd that Perri Smoke Rise was not aware that her husband didn’t come to their bed the night before. “Maybe she really is feeling puny,” said Clarke as they made their way through traffic. “The flu wipes me out so bad I can’t tell if it’s day or night. I lose weight and have to spend a month drinking milkshakes and beer to gain it back.” “You poor baby,” Monique said. “One milkshake shows up around my gut.” They headed towards the south side of town to Elk Springs, a small community of fourteen homes between 2,000 and 2,500 square feet built twenty years ago. The houses surrounded a lake that stayed dry most of the year. During the summer monsoons the lake filled and elk came to drink every evening and early morning. Each resident owned an eight-­ acre parcel that could not be subdivided. On a map, their little piece of the world was one of the white squares bounded by green squares of national forest. This meant that if the Forest Service didn’t cut some kind of deal with real estate developers, no one could build within five miles of Elk Springs. The community had electricity, propane delivery and garbage pickup, but residents had to haul water or dig a well. Tony’s house was not a trailer, but it looked like one. Long and rectangular , it sat on blocks to avoid the one-­ hundred-­ year flood that hadn’t occurred in seventy-­ five years. There were no pine trees in the lake basin so Tony had planted dozens of fruit and Russian olive trees for shade and windbreaks. He had also planted a small plot of grass on the side of the house so that he and Perri could lie on soft ground and watch the stars. Monique stopped in front of the house behind three vans with “All the News at Two!” “World News Three,” and “Live at Five,” respectively, painted on their sides. The newspeople leaned against their vehicles, smoking or drinking pop. Monique saw that up the rock driveway sat a taupe Expedition, and a mountain bike leaned on the steps. Pigeons cooed from the shelter of the fruit trees. “News is here,” Monique said. 93 “Careful. Gettin’ around those news people is like herdin’ chickens,” said Clarke. “Watch me.” “Hey Monique,” yelled a tall brunette woman wearing a quarter-­ inch of television makeup. She looked hopeful as she held out her microphone. “How about some information?” “Don’t have any yet.” “Pleeese?” “Can’t help you, Diane.” “Maybe later?” Her voice rose in pitch, as if she were a little girl and wanted something from her mommy. “Maybe.” Diane’s smile dropped as she stomped back to her van. The detectives climbed the locked gate and walked to the porch.Monique knocked, and a middle-­ aged white woman answered, wearing navy Nike pants with a white stripe down the legs, a Hilo T-­ shirt, and granny glasses. Two golden retrievers came to the door as well, one standing on either side of her. They had been excited to get to the door, but their bodies drooped when they realized their master was not the one who had knocked. “Detectives Blue Hawk and Clarke,” Monique said holding up her badge. “We’re looking for Perri Smoke Rise.” “You’re not reporters?” “No, ma’am,” Clarke answered in a deep voice. “Are you sure?” “Pretty darn sure. My badge.” Monique held hers up higher. The stocky woman looked closely at the badge, then said, “I’m Anne Jacobs. I live next door. Come in.” She unlocked the screen door and held it open. “I heard about the murder over the scanner early this morning and came right over to see Perri. I knew she was sick.” She motioned with her chin to a back room. “I brought some soup. I make good minestrone. I put in carrots , tomatoes, onions, a little cauliflower, those shell pastas, then I . . .” “That sounds just great,” Monique interjected gently. “Ah, well, she has a sore throat and congestion. And she’s been sick to her stomach. Maybe it’s strep or the flu. Anyway, I made a call to the university this morning to find out who died and came back here and woke Perri. She 94 broke...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781609172251
Print ISBN
9781611860115
MARC Record
OCLC
778433444
Pages
202
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-11
Language
English
Open Access
N
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