Skip Case (David Dean Mysteries) (Chapter I, page 2 of 20)

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Rita Angeltoni, the token skirt, as she referred to herself, was usually there banging on her keyboard or answering the phone while keeping the quartet in line. Today she was absent, home nursing child number five, down with a spring fever, or just plain Spring Fever.

"It's a skip case," DeLeo said with a know-it-all air that defied anyone to doubt him. "A skip case, pure and simple. The guy got sick of looking at the old lady and took a hike."

Sackler shook his head. "DeLeo, you have an opinion about everything, whether you know a damn thing about it or not. And you sure don't know a damn thing about this case." Sackler, easily baited by DeLeo, was quick to show his temper.

"I know you don't go for a midnight swim on a dark beach by yourself, especially in the Chesapeake Bay." Then he added for emphasis, "That's where Philadelphia flushes its toilets."

"Your geography isn't even right," Sackler answered. "Besides, the Norfolk cops said the guy had a snoot-full of booze."

DeLeo tilted his head back, finishing the last of his coffee. "I'll believe it when they fish his body out of the drink, which they won't, 'cause it ain't there."

Sackler and DeLeo, partners for nearly 12 years, had more in common than their constant arguing would suggest. Both were in their late 30's, losing their hair, gaining a mid-section and happily married. Each was a father to three kids, aged between tot and teenager. Dean, who'd been on the force for their entire tenure, was used to their early morning bickering and paid no attention.

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