people’s travel plans. I wish that I could get my hands on the hotel’s records showing when people checked in. But I guess the killer could have met with Will beforehand, so that wouldn’t really prove anything. Maybe I can pry out of Norman what that lunch with Jerry was about. Somehow I can’t see Norman conspiring with Jerry to kill Will. Jerry alone I could see.”
“I can pay a visit to my father’s partner from the force,” Luc volunteered. “Maybe I can pry loose some details about what Malone’s got.”
Hunched protectively over his rhubarb tart, Mack asked, “Should we tell Detective Malone about anything we’ve discovered?”
They looked at Luc, their new authority on all things police-related. He shrugged, rubbing a lemon rind around a delicate espresso cup. “It’s probably just Jerry’s coming up on Thursday and his having lunch with Norman today that they don’t know about already. I’ll bet they know about G.B. ditching his class. I’m sure they’re checking out the alibis of all of the classmates and G.B. You know, our edge isn’t just in your knowing the characters involved. It’s also the link that you’re making between Will’s death and Carey’s. That may bring up clues that the police aren’t focusing on. Once we get more information, that may lead us to motive for both murders. But the police aren’t going to believe our interpretation of events, especially if they consider Iris their prime suspect.”
Other diners began to stop by the table to compliment Luc on their way out. As the room started to empty, Ellie, Mack, and Iris rose and thanked him for a sublime meal. Before they left, Luc took Iris aside, leaned in to kiss her, and said quietly, “I’m sorry I have to stay to close up. I wish I could walk you home. I said that I’d give the new chef a lift.”
“May I take a rain check on that?”
He looked away but smiled, then raised his voice to address all three, “So what’s the verdict on the new chef’s try-out? Should I hire her?”
I ris sat curled up in her kitchen window seat, reading glasses perched on her nose. She read the clue for 23 across. “Okay, Sheba, four letters that mean ‘like some points.’ Hmm, ‘dots’?”
Sheba opened her mournful eyes to inspect her mistress, then rolled over onto her back— her default reaction when uncertain. But it was nine a.m. on Sunday morning, and that meant the New York Times crossword puzzle had Iris’ full attention.
Iris squinted at the matrix of letters already filled in and looked off into the distance. She checked her guess against 23 and 24 down, then penned it in.”Ah , ‘moot’. They think they’re so smart.”
She was on her second cappuccino, wondering if it was too early to give Norman a call when the phone rang.
“Sorry to call on a Sunday, Iris. Did everything get sorted out about poor Will?”
“Oh, Norman, I was just going to call you. The police wanted to get me to identify the body, but his wife ended up flying out.”
“Surely they don’t think that you had anything to do with it,” he fished.
“Oh, no. Of course not. Anyway, apart from the police showing up, the Friday night dinner seems to have gone well.” She knew this would be how Norman looked at things.
“Yes, I agree. The whole reunion seems to be a success, although we’ll still need to tally the funds we’ve manage to raise . Oh, and you missed it— C.C. was asking questions about the house. I think she may want to feature it in her magazine! But I’m actually calling about something else. I want to take out to Lincoln a few of my best cases of wine and some of the more valuable artwork that I don’t want the movers to touch. Can you meet me at the house to help me place some of the paintings? Let’s say 2 o’clock— does that work for you?”
“Okay. I guess I can make it. I’ll see you there at two.”
Iris would be starting a new renovation in Chestnut Hill later in the week and