scan the deserted streets, looking for a pay phone. I passed a service station that was shut down for the night. At the near edge of the parking lot, I spotted what must have been one of the last real telephone booths, a regular stand-up model with a bifold door. I pulled in and left the car engine running while I flipped through my notes, looking for the phone number I'd been given for Frankie's Coffee Shop. I dropped a quarter in the slot and dialed.
When a woman at Frankie's Coffee Shop finally answered the phone, I asked for Janice Kepler. The receiver was clunked down on the counter, and I could hear her name being bellowed. In the background there was a low-level buzz of activity, probably late night pie-and-coffee types, tanking up on stimulants. Janice must have appeared because I heard her make a remark to someone in passing, the two of them exchanging brief comments before she picked up. She identified herself somewhat warily, I thought. Maybe she was worried she was getting bad news.
"Hello, Janice? Kinsey Millhone. I hope this is all right. I need some information, and it seemed simpler to call than drive all the way up there."
"Well, my goodness. What are you doing up at this hour? You looked exhausted when I left you in the parking lot. I thought you'd be sound asleep by now."
"That was my intention, but I never got that far. I was too stoked on coffee, so I thought I might as well get some work done.
I had a chat with one of the homicide detectives who worked on Lorna's case. I'm still out and about and thought I might as well cover more ground while I'm at it. Didn't you mention that Lorna used to hang out with a DJ on one of the local FM stations?"
"Is there any way you can find out who it was?"
"I can try. Hang on." Without covering the receiver, she consulted with one of the other waitresses. "Perry, what's the name of that all-night jazz show, what station?"
"K-SPELL, I think."
I knew that much. Thinking to save time, I said, "Janice?"
"What about the disc jockey? You know his name?"
In the background, somewhat muffled, Perry said, "Which one? There's a couple." Dishes were clattering, and the speaker system was pumping out a version of "Up, Up, and Away" with stringed instruments.
"The one Lorna hung out with. 'Member I told you about him?"
I cut in on Janice. "Hey, Janice?"
"Perry, hold on. What, hon?"
"Could it be Hector Moreno?"
She let out a little bark of recognition. "That's right. That's him. I'm almost sure he's the one. Why don't you call him up and ask if he knew her?"
"I'll do that," I said.
"You be sure and let me know. And if you're still out running around town after that, come on up and have a cup of coffee on the house."
I could feel my stomach lurch at the thought of more coffee. The cups I'd consumed were already making my brain vibrate like an out-of-balance washing machine. As soon as she hung up, I depressed the lever and released it, letting the dial tone whine on while I hauled up the phone book on its chain and flipped through. All the radio stations were listed at the front end of the K's. As it turned out, K-SPL was only six or eight blocks away. Behind me, from the car, I could hear the opening bars of the next jazz selection. I found another quarter in the bottom of my handbag and dialed the studio.
The phone rang twice. "K-SPELL. This is Hector Moreno." The tone was businesslike, but it was certainly the man I'd been listening to.
"Hello," I said. "My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'd like to talk to you about Lorna Kepler."
Moreno had left the heavy door to the station ajar. I let myself in and the door closed behind me, the lock sliding home. I found myself standing in a dimly lit foyer. To the right of a set of elevator doors, a sign indicated K-SPL with an arrow pointing down toward some metal stairs on the right. I went down, my rubber-soled shoes making hollow sounds on the metal treads. Below, the reception area was