Undercover in High Heels
request. Instead, I could almost hear him giggling at his own private joke as I walked through the door of the wardrobe room to find two uniformed officers going through the racks as a guy in a rumpled suit with a gun bulge at his hip looked on.
    And, in the corner, arms crossed over his chest, Bad Cop face firmly in place, Ramirez.
    I made a mental note to go to Mass more often.
    Taking a deep breath, I did a little one-finger wave in his direction.
    No reaction. Oh boy.
    “Miss Springer, would you please have a seat?” The guy with the gun bulge indicated a folding chair beside him. He had graying hair and a face that looked like it had been left out on the Venice boardwalk during a heat wave—tan, wrinkled, and in serious need of some moisturizer.
    I sat down, giving a tentative glance to Ramirez. Still no reaction.
    “I’m Detective Rodgers, ” Prune Face said. “I’d like to ask you some questions about the events of the last few days.”
    I nodded, gulping down a dry lump.
    “Where were you between midnight and 3:00 A.M. the night of the thirteenth?”
    The night Veronika had been killed. That lump grew, and I nervously cleared my throat.
    “We have to ask all the cast and crew, ” Rodgers reassured me, a fatherly smile parting his wrinkles. Though I watched enough Law & Order to wonder whether it was sincere.
    “So, you think the killer was someone on the set?” I asked.
    Ramirez narrowed his eyes at me, his jaw doing that jutting, granite thing again.
    “Please, just answer the question, Miss Springer, ” Rodgers said.
    I gulped. “Right.”
    “Where were you on the night of the thirteenth?”
    “Sleeping.”
    “Alone?”
    I glanced at Ramirez. “Very alone.”
    He pretended not to notice.
    “Can anyone verify this?”
    Wait, what did he mean, verify ? “Am I a suspect here?”
    “Please just answer the question.”
    I turned to Ramirez. “You can’t possibly think I’m a suspect here.”
    “Maddie, ” he warned, his voice tightly restrained.
    “Like I said, we’re asking everyone, ” Rodgers repeated.
    “Then why are they going through the clothes?” I asked, gesturing to the uniforms.
    “The nylons came from the wardrobe room, ” Ramirez said.
    Rodgers shot him a look that clearly said, “Ix-nay on the info-ay to the uspect-say.”
    “Well, anyone could have walked in and taken them. The room’s not locked during the day.”
    “What about at night?” Rodgers asked, flipping open a notebook and jotting something down.
    “Yes, it’s locked. But I don’t even have a key!” I sputtered. “I’m just the assistant.”
    “Who does?”
    I paused. “Dusty.”
    The detective exchanged a glance with Ramirez.
    “But she wouldn’t do this!” I protested.
    “How well do you know Dusty?”
    “Semi-well, ” I hedged.
    Another glance exchange.
    “But I’m telling you, she wouldn’t do this. She’s my college roommate’s best friend’s cousin! Plus, her best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s mother plays canasta with the producer’s aunt!”
    Rodgers gave me a blank look. “Isn’t it true that she and Mia had an altercation yesterday? Over the color of her shirt?”
    I leaned forward. “So, you think Mia was the target?”
    “Just answer the question!” Rodgers had dropped the fatherly tone, doing a full-on exasperated-cop thing now—a routine that, thanks to Ramirez, I was all too familiar with.
    “Mia has altercations with lots of people. Just now she had one with Margo, Ricky, and Steinman.”
    “I’m only interested in the one she had with Dusty the day Veronika was killed. Did Mia threaten Dusty’s job?”
    I bit my lip. “Um, I’m not really…I mean…”
    “Well?”
    I looked to Ramirez for help. Nothing. It was starting to piss me off that he was just standing there, letting this guy grill his almost-girlfriend.
    Clearly I was on my own here.
    I crossed my arms and puffed out my chest as far as it would go (which, sadly, wasn’t very far). “I don’tthink

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