Gone Gull | Chapter 15 of 42 - Part: 1 of 3

Author: Donna Andrews | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1889 Views | Add a Review

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Chapter 10

We followed her back to Prine’s studio, and she lifted up the yellow crime scene tape for us to enter.

“Horace and Lesley Keech have gone over this room pretty thoroughly,” she said as she led us through the studio. “We want to keep it more or less intact for a little longer, to see if we can get some additional forensic muscle on it—there’s a blood spatter expert down in Richmond that Horace is hoping we can get in here, though I’m not entirely sure if he thinks she can learn more than he has or if he just wants to commune with a kindred spirit about viscosity, angle of impact, and points of convergence. But in the meantime—have you seen some of the paintings Mr. Prine keeps locked up in here?” She stopped beside one of the large built-in storage cabinets along the side wall and reached into her pocket to pull out a key ring that I recognized as Cordelia’s spare set.

“If it’s the paintings I’m thinking of, I’m probably the one who made him lock them up,” Cordelia said as the chief unlocked the cabinet doors. “I have nothing against nudes as a general rule, but something about that man’s nudes made me want to run away and take a long, hot, soaking bath. Is there some reason you want us to look at them?”

“It wasn’t the nudes I wanted to ask you about.” She surveyed the contents of the cabinet, which was six feet tall, three feet deep and nearly as wide, fitted inside with four sections in which you could store paintings on their sides, so all we could see was the end where the canvas wrapped around the frames. The chief flipped through the paintings and pulled out one.

“Recognize this?” she asked.

It was a buxom blond woman wearing the leopard-print and marabou corset, along with fishnet stockings and six-inch Plexiglas heels. The corset covered a lot less skin than I’d have expected, and to call the expression on the woman’s face suggestive was like calling King Kong tall.

“I recognize the garment,” Cordelia said. “As for the model, I haven’t had the pleasure.”

“What about this one?” The chief pulled out another painting, this one featuring a brunette woman wearing several small wisps of red lace.

“Fascinating,” Cordelia said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a grown woman wearing a Barbie outfit before.”

“And this?” The chief pulled out a painting of a redhead wearing a complicated tangle of leather straps and silver buckles that somehow failed to cover any areas that even bikinis were usually designed to protect.

“If you’re asking if these appear to be the same garments with which our vandal decorated the children’s work room, then yes.” Cordelia’s face wore a disapproving look. “I can definitely recognize them.”

“Not just the garments.” I pointed to the face of the woman wearing the bondage gear. “Look—that’s Misty.”

Cordelia peered more closely at the painting.

“You could be right,” she said. “I don’t think I ever saw her with quite that expression on her face.”

“You didn’t see her drooling over Michael last week.” I tried to keep my tone calm, but my annoyance at Misty’s blatant flirtation with my husband probably leaked through. “Fortunately, he’s very good at fending off unwanted advances from fans, thanks to his years on Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle.”

“His years on what?”

Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle,” I said. “A syndicated TV show on which Michael had a part for a couple of years. A while ago—pre-kids—but it’s still quite a cult favorite in some circles. You must not watch much late-night cable TV.”

“Only the cooking channels. Who is this Misty person?”

“A student from last week’s interpretive dance class,” Cordelia said. “Not enrolled in anything this week, thank goodness.”

“I wondered what she found to do with herself after Michael succeeded in discouraging her,” I said. “Maybe now we know.”

“Let’s see if you recognize any of the other women in these paintings.” The chief turned back to the cabinet.

“I am definitely going to need that bath,” Cordelia said.

We looked at twenty-three paintings, all either nudes or women clad in lingerie or fetish gear, but Cordelia didn’t recognize any more of the models and I only knew one—a slender blond potter who hadn’t been here last week and wasn’t here this week.

“Although come to think of it, she used to be quite an item with Phil,” I said. “Phil Santiago, a jewelry-maker who taught here last week.”

“His contact information will be on that list you’re going to forward me?” Chief Heedles asked.

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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