Death as a Last Resort

Death as a Last Resort by Gwendolyn Southin Read Free Book Online

Book: Death as a Last Resort by Gwendolyn Southin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gwendolyn Southin
Tags: Fiction, General, Mystery & Detective, Women Sleuths
don’t know why she doesn’t sell some of that stuff that Maurice collected—there’s a whole bunch of these old Egyptian cats and statues and bowls and old jewellery and stuff like that.”
    â€œHave you seen this stuff, as you call it?”
    â€œYeah. When I was over at her house a few weeks back.”
    â€œHow did you meet her, anyway?”
    â€œIt was at that presentation lunch for Secret Valley—that’s the ski resort . She was acting hostess for her husband and his partner.”
    â€œPartner? Who’s the partner?”
    â€œCan’t remember his name. Anyway, he didn’t turn up. But I guess Jacquelyn gets half the ski resort, too.”
    â€œShe didn’t do so badly for a six-month marriage,” Nat commented, grinning.
    â€œYeah!” Nancy answered as she pulled her fur coat on. “She’s done okay for herself.” Then she added venomously, “Considering she was some kinda dancer when Maurice met her.”
    â€œOh?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
    â€œYeah. Anyhow, she won’t get much out of it if his two ex-wives have their way. They’re going to contest the will on behalf of his son and daughter.” And she sailed out the door.
    â€œHow about that?” Maggie exclaimed later when Nat had filled her in on Nancy’s visit. “That means that we found Dubois’s body right next to his own clear-cut.”
    â€œThat’s something we’ve got to look into. And we need to know how he found his prospective investors.” He paused for a moment. “When are you going to see Jerrell Bakhash?”
    â€œTomorrow. I’ve got a ten o’clock appointment. Isn’t that the same time you’re seeing Robert Edgeworthy?”
    â€œTen-thirty, and then I’ll drive back to town for my interview with the Grossos.”
    â€¢ • •
    MAGGIE CLIMBED OUT OF her car and approached the front entrance of Jerrell Bakhash and Son. The business was located in the dingiest part of Powell Street. The scarred wooden building with its filthy iron-grilled windows sent a shudder down her spine. She couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to work in such an environment. The faded wooden sign nailed to the scuffed front door stated that they manufactured garments for the whole family.
    There was no one attending the reception desk. After calling out several times, she realized that no one would hear her anyway over the volume of noise coming from behind two swinging doors. Pushing them open, she found herself in an enormous room, and the noise, she realized, was coming from the row upon row of industrial sewing machines manned by women of all nationalities. A sea of faces glanced up momentarily at her before bending again over their machines. She stood there for quite a few minutes before a woman in the front row yelled at her over the noise.
    â€œThere’s no work. All machines taken.”
    â€œI’m here to see Mr. Bakhash.”
    â€œUpstairs in his office. Outside.” She turned her attention back to her machine.
    Feeling suitably dismissed, Maggie went back into the deserted reception area. Outside! Did she mean outside the building? Then she saw a narrow uncarpeted staircase to the right of the entranceway and a small sign pointing upward. Office and Cutting Rooms.
    The door at the top of the stairs opened onto a narrow walkway, offices and rooms on one side and a waist-high partition on the other that gave a full view of the dusty sewing room down below. Looking over the railing, Maggie could see that there was hardly any room to move between the sewing machine tables, and she wondered how the women could possibly breathe in the lint-filled air. Mr. Bakhash’s office, a large glass-fronted room, was halfway down the walkway. She tapped on the door and pushed it open.
    â€œCan I help you?” asked the secretary, a smartly dressed blonde, probably in her early

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