Skip Case (David Dean Mysteries) (Chapter III, page 1 of 19)


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Thursday, May 6th 7:30 A.M.

Fred was still sleeping when Dean left the house the next morn­ing. The expense reports and the personnel file from World Wide were neatly stacked on the table, but not in the same posi­tion Dean had left them the night before and his tape recorder hadn't been re-wound. He felt little concern, however; let the old man read about a real mystery instead of his fictional sleuth sto­ries. Besides, it would give them meat for conversation. They were wearing out politics, baseball and the current status of the widows of Collingswood Avenue.

The late night storm had blown Wednesday's hazy whiteness east to New Jersey and the Atlantic beyond, leaving in its place a high pressure system, a sky painted deep blue and patched with just enough puffy clouds for contrast. It greatly improved Dean's frame of mind and he was in fine spirits when he reached his desk. DeLeo and Sackler were off to Philadelphia chasing down evi­dence on their check thieves. Rita had returned and Harrigan was knee-deep in paper work, smiling as usual, but looking as if his heart wasn't in it.

ita Angeltoni was the sloppiest woman Dean had ever known. She rarely combed her hair, owned no more than three or four shapeless dresses, which appeared in all seasons, most of which were stained and wrinkled. Her shoes were crunched down in the back and no one had ever seen her in stockings. Angie, her eighteen-wheeler husband, kept her in a constant state of preg­nancy. None of this was meant to say Rita was absent redeeming qualities. Just the opposite. Not only was Rita the fastest typist in Parkside, she was the neatest. The detectives kidded that the last time she had made an error, she wore stockings and her dress was new. Rita never forgot anything important-or anything, period. She was their diary, their calendar and their conscience, and they loved her like a sister.

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