Dead on the Fourth of July (David Dean Mysteries) (Chapter III, page 2 of 8)


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The Dawkins group trooped to breakfast, snapping at one other. Paul, who appeared to be the elder brother, was a robust figure who never closed his mouth even while eating. He was tall, an athlete gone to seed, with thinning hair and a used car salesman's smile. While Paul was dressed in jeans and a golf shirt, brother Joseph-never "Joe"-sat stiffly in creased slacks and dress shirt. At least he was tie-less, a concession to "the sticks," as he called Ouray. He looked like a corporate chairman ready to give an annual report as he rolled his eyes with impatience at his brother who dominated the conversation with laughter and silly stories. Their wives, Paulette for Paul and Ginger for straitlaced Joseph, were a contrast in themselves.

Paulette Dawkins was a short but massive chunk of good living who didn't know how to dress. Her pink shorts were slung below a belly that topped her husband's in grandeur. She possessed an "outie" navel that looked like a cherry tomato had dropped down her too-tight tee shirt and landed on the top of the hill. Ginger, coiffed and styled by the best, was ready for a fashion photographer's lens while continually rolling her eyes with disdain toward her sister-in-law. Ginger wasn't as facially pretty as Paulette but her figure-stately and full-and her dress-expensive and tasteful- paled her sister-in-law like a queen visitor at a homeless shelter. As Dean served them, it was apparent any early attempts at public pleasantness were gone, replaced by growls and stares that announced how thoroughly they despised one another.

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