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LET THE DEAD SLEEP
by Heather Graham

Genre: Paranormal, Romantic Suspense

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The officer cleared his throat. “What does the bust look like?” he asked. “The house is filled with antiques and bric-a-brac.”

“It’s carved marble. Head, neck and shoulders. Curly hair, classic features. It’s been described as portraying the face of an angel—or a demon. Some say the eyes are demonic, that they seem to be watching you. It was sculpted with a mantle over the shoulders and at a certain angle the mantle can appear to be angel wings,” Quinn told him. “It looks like it belongs in a dé Medici tomb.”

“A dé Medici tomb? Would that be a tomb in one of the St. Louis cemeteries, Lafayette up in the Garden District or out in Metairie?” the officer asked.

“There are no dé Medici tombs around here. No, what I’m saying is that it looks Roman—like something you’d see in a Renaissance church or tomb,” Quinn said.

The officer made a slightly derisive sound. He quieted as Quinn scowled at him. “Sorry, Detective Quinn.”

“I’m not on the force anymore. I’m just Quinn. I’m simply telling you how it’s been described,” Quinn added.

“Head, neck and shoulders—it didn’t get up and walk out, then,” Larue said sardonically.

“No, I don’t think it’s supposed to be able to walk,” Quinn said with equal sarcasm.

Danni wanted to go home. She wanted the day to rewind; she wished she’d never met—and failed—Gladys Simon, and that Michael Quinn had never darkened her door.

“You going to help in the search?” Quinn asked her.

No!

But the way he looked at her…

What was she going to do? Go home and wallow in guilt?

Not fair! She really had no idea what was going on.

She didn’t want to agree. She opened her mouth to say no.

What came out was, “Sure. You don’t think you’re going to find it, though, do you?”

“Nope,” he said. “But what the hell—we can’t be certain it’s missing until we do a thorough search.”

“What about…Gladys? I don’t know how to investigate. I’ll leave fingerprints all over. The crime scene people won’t want us messing things up.”

He grinned and reached into his pocket, producing a wad of balled-up plastic. It proved to be several pairs of gloves. “Not to mention the fact that our fingerprints are already all over the place because we were trying to find her.”

She snatched gloves from him and put them on. As they re­turned to the house, Larue said to Quinn, “I’m assuming you have some idea of where to look for this bust or statue or what­ever if it’s not here?”

“No, not really,” Quinn replied. “But I’ll try to get a lead on it.”

“And if not?”

“If not…” He paused for a minute. His eyes slipped over Danni but she wasn’t sure he was really seeing her.

“If not?” Larue asked.

“If not, I’m afraid we’ll be following a trail of bodies… .”