Sniffing Out a Crime - Dog Fosterer Museum Mysteries, p.1Vincent Cleaver / Science Fiction
Sniffing Out a Crime
An Art Detective Dog Lover’s
Copyright © 2015 by Lisa Shea / Minerva Webworks LLC
All rights reserved.
Cover design by Lisa Shea
Book design by Lisa Shea
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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I smiled down at Duke the Bloodhound as we strolled along the Millbury bike path through the golden summer sunshine. Chickadees flitted through the trees and I breathed in the promise of the afternoon. Serenity nearly – but not wholly – eased the shadow in my soul from my recent breakup with Diana. Although Diana was just my age, mid-thirties, she had decided to trade me in for a new, younger model.
The interloper had the same short, blonde Meg Ryan hair. Same sparkling blue eyes. Same thin, athletic build. Just a few less miles.
I shook off the darkness and gave a playful tug to Duke’s dark blue leash. Becoming a foster dog mommy was exactly what I needed to rise above the gloom. Duke didn’t mind if his sagging jowls and drooping ears weren’t as movie-star photogenic as the elegant golden retriever we’d just passed. He was gleefully content to sniff along the cluster of purple flowers, attentively checking them out from every angle.
Thorough. He was definitely thorough.
I could learn a lot from Duke. I’d always been a bit scatter-brained, but since the breakup it seemed I could not hold a single thought in focus. My mind drifted and cavorted like that delightful pair of Chihuahuas we had passed in the parking lot.
My cell phone rang. I grabbed it out of my back pocket and checked the display.
My shoulders slumped.
I didn’t recognize the number. Was this going to be yet another telemarketer asking me if I needed my roof repaired? I hit the button. “Hello?”
“Cindy? Cindy Lange, who looks into artwork loss issues?”
Joy lifted me. When I’d parted ways with the Hartford police force and moved north, following Diana, I’d dreamt of going it on my own and merging my investigative skills with my passion for artwork. But despite all the flyers, ads, and joining of every museum within driving distance, the phone had been quiet.
“Yes,” I replied, nearly skipping along the quiet path. “How can I help you?”
“This is Jocelyn over at the Worcester Art Museum. Your mother spoke highly of you. I thought you might help us out quietly with a little issue.”
I made a mental note to thank my mom for putting in a good word for me. Sometimes having a parent who was well known in the art world was a good thing. My mother adored the arts and supported quite a number of museums in the region. It looked like my network was finally getting me launched.
“Absolutely, I am free,” I assured Jocelyn. “When would you like me to come in?”
“When are you available?”
I looked down into Duke’s soulful eyes. His snuffling nose was moving more slowly now as he sought out an elusive slug beneath a bed of daisies. He had a great heart, but his aging body would just not keep up with his desire to explore. He looked ready to head home to his cozy black-and-white striped doggie bed and take a long nap.
A well deserved nap.
I smiled. “How about five? That gives me forty-five minutes.”
“Perfect. The museum will be closed, so we can have some privacy. See you then. At the main entrance.”
As simple as that, and I was on my way.
I knelt at Duke’s side, drew him into my arms, and gave him a fond kiss on his large, black nose.
Take that, Diana!