Dead on the Fourth of July (David Dean Mysteries) (Chapter IV, page 2 of 12)

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"He did. Ed Murphy. But Murf's wife dragged him back to California. I don't know where Jake picked up Larkin, but he can send her back as far as I'm concerned." Dean then detailed the balance of his afternoon. The search for appropriate luggage was tedious. Martha showed little interest and had said hardly a word. Then, returning home, he blew a tire in Ridgway.

Cynthia let her husband harangue a bit longer. When he stopped for a breath, she asked if Larkin was good-looking. Dean didn't dare say he hadn't noticed and described the tall red head in general terms.

"Just keeping tabs on your co-workers," Cynthia said.

Dean changed the subject by holding up the shopping bag from his lap. "This is the only good part of the afternoon," he muttered, pulling out a pair of wrinkled slacks and holding them up. "I spotted these on the half-price table while Martha was finding fault with suitcases. I figured I owed myself a present after getting busted." Cynthia raised her eyebrows as he asked, "Guess how much they cost me?"

"I wouldn't even take a stab at it."

He fingered the tag. "They started out at forty-something but I only paid seven dollars, if you can believe it!"

"I can believe it. They look as if someone slept in them." She stepped gently into her skirt and with a slight shimmy of her narrow hips adjusted it. "It would cost more than seven dollars to have them dry cleaned and pressed."

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