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Eliza May Brown

A Sample of Skeletons in the Closet, a new Talbot Family Mystery

“You know what happened with Jeff.” Of course he knew. My brother could tease, but the press was having a field day with the story.

He nodded.

“I blame myself, in part, for his actions. I don’t know why or how he snapped, or what pushed him to that point. But I don’t want anyone in my employ to break the law.”

Armando’s eyes darted toward the Senator.

“Yes,” I said dryly. “I know that you work for him. But nothing is worth prison—or worse. If you get caught doing something illegal, you will take the fall alone.”

“I know how this works.”

“Good.” I leaned back. “I don’t want anyone else to get hurt. Keep in mind, Armando, that I shot Jeff so he wouldn’t hurt more people.”

“I won’t forget, Miss Talbot,” he assured me wryly.

“Miss Talbot, Armando?” My driver was back. “It’s time to go.”

I said good-bye to the Senator and stood. “Armando,” I said as we walked toward the door, “I would appreciate it if you would be as honest as you can with me at all times.”

He gave me a nod. “As honest as I can be,” he repeated. Yes, he understood what I wasn’t saying: I knew he was another stooge for the Senator. “I will, Miss Talbot.”

We almost made it to the door before the bell rang.

“I’ll get it, Maria,” I called to the housekeeper, and I opened the door to one of the banes of my existence.

“Hello, Detective Adams.” My voice didn’t waver but my heart fell into my boots. Was he here to arrest me? “How can I help you?”

“Ahh, Ms. Talbot.” He looked smugly glad to see me. “Just the person I was hoping to see.”

“Excuse us,” Armando said, twitching violently, “but Miss Talbot has to leave for an appointment.” Adams pinned him with a gimlet eye. “Is this your new assistant, Diane? Glad to see he’s still upright. For now, at least.” He made a pistol with his hand and mimed shooting Armando.

The first rule in politics: it is always better to stay silent than to say something stupid. I stayed silent.