Died to Match

Died to Match by DEBORAH DONNELLY Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Died to Match by DEBORAH DONNELLY Read Free Book Online
“We’d very much like to know that ourselves. Unfortunately, after leaving the crime scene, Mr. Barry drove his car into a concrete abutment under the Alaskan Way Viaduct. He’s currently in intensive care at Harborview In a coma.”

Chapter Six
    M Y MOUTH AND THE OFFICE DOOR SWUNG OPEN SIMULTANEOUSLY . Nothing emerged from me—I was too stunned—but what emerged through the door was a large rosy-cheeked man, his medium-sized rosy-cheeked daughter, and his diminutive but equally rosy-cheeked wife. You could have fit one inside the other inside the other, like those painted Russian dolls. All three were dressed in jeans, cowboy boots, and “I Love Seattle” sweatshirts, and laden with damp Nordstrom’s bags, Starbucks cups, bridal magazines, and paper cartons of what smelled like rain-soaked kung-pao chicken.
    “Carnegie!” hollered the man. He managed to laugh and holler simultaneously. “I know we don’t have an appointment, but we brought you lunch to make up for it! You need to eat more, girl, you’re thin as a fence rail, isn’t she, Mother?”
    He rotated like a benevolent lighthouse to beam at my other visitors, shedding parcels on the table as he seized Graham’s hand with both oversized paws and pumped it fervently.
    “Bruce Buckmeister! Call me Buck! My wife Betty, my daughter Bonnie! Hey, congratulations! Is this your blushing bride?” He leered roguishly at Officer Lee, who stood frozen at the window trying to keep a straight face. “The bride wore a nightstick, how ’bout that! Better not leave her at the altar or she’ll bust you!”
    “Buck, please, can you come back later? Or wait in your car?” I hardly knew what I was saying; all I could think of was Tommy. “I have to talk with Lieutenant Graham—”
    “We’re done,” said Graham, nodding at Officer Lee, who gathered up their jackets and went to the door. “If we could just pick up that one item?”
    “Sure. Um, folks, I’ll be right back. You go ahead with your lunch.”
    Lee hurried down to my front door, but I halted Graham on the covered landing at the head of the stairs. The rain formed a hissing silver curtain around us.
    “Tommy drove away from the Aquarium?” I demanded. “In his condition?”
    “Apparently,” said Graham. “He only got a few blocks. Fortunately, no other vehicles were involved.”
    “Will he be all right? Is he going to live?”
    “Unknown.” The detective was watching me closely, and his expression softened. “You’re a friend of his?”
    I recalled the old sportswriter beaming at Zack by the dance floor, and kissing my hand in the Sentinel newsroom back when Aaron first introduced us, and his pleased and proud surprise when Paul asked him to be best man. A charming, exasperating fellow, Tommy Barry.
    “Yes, we’re friends.”
    “I’m sorry to bring you the bad news, then. Look, Ms. Kincaid, a murder scene can be pretty traumatic. We have a Victim Assistance section; they can help you with counseling and so forth. Let me have someone call you—”
    “No, thank you, I’ll be OK. My best therapy will be getting back to work.”
    “All right, then. Let’s get that money.”
    Graham and Lee waited in the kitchen while I retrievedthe little bundle of bills from my witch’s gown, which was still on the bathroom floor. As he counted out the money on the kitchen table, and Officer Lee prepared a receipt, I began to get goose bumps. There were tens and twenties, all right, but several fifties, not just one, and the inside of the roll was all hundred-dollar bills.
    “Two thousand, nine hundred and fifty dollars,” said Graham. “Not exactly pocket change, is it?”
    “That’s bizarre! Why was she carrying so much cash at a party?”
    Graham was really very good at not answering questions. He signed the receipt and handed it to me along with his card. “Call me if you change your mind about Victim Assistance. Meanwhile, we’ll get a statement typed up for you to sign. And Ms. Kincaid,

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