Professor Daphne Ouverture knew her job was killing her dating life—she never thought it could kill her, too. But when her colleague is found murdered, Daphne realizes she might be next. With the begrudging help of two local cops—including one intriguingly well-read detective—Daphne must race to solve the murder before the killer strikes again, even if it means confronting the one past she’s vowed never to study: her own. STEPHANIE PLUM meets INSECURE.
Seven. She counted seven of them. Different sizes, shapes, colors. If Detective Asma Ahmed cared about dogs, maybe she’d be able to tell them apart. But she saw only short and fat ones, long and skinny ones, floppy ears, squat muzzles, long snouts.
“God, this is a strange painting,” she muttered.
“A Friend in Need,” came the barely audible mumble from the corner of the living room.
Asma glanced over at her partner. He was inspecting a set of Hemingways on the bottom row of a bookcase, his long, gangly frame folded in on itself.
“What?” she asked.
“The painting,” he murmured. “A Friend in Need. It’s by Coolidge.”
Asma raised an eyebrow. “You say that as if I have any idea what the fuck you’re talking about, Rowan.”
He pulled himself away from a copy of The Sun Also Rises and peered at Asma through thin metal frames, his soft grey eyes curious, amused.
“Cassius Marcellus Coolidge,” he explained in his quiet baritone, “was one of the first American artists to produce mass advertisements. This one was his most popular. It’s from the early twentieth century.”
“Thanks, Encyclopedia Brown.”
“Anytime.” He stood up. “Captain Hamilton should be here any moment. Should we discuss the pressing matter lying before us?”
“Oh—you mean the dead body on the floor?”