Sue Grafton Kinsey Millhone Mysteries (G-L) by Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton Kinsey Millhone Mysteries (G-L) by Sue Grafton

Author:Sue Grafton [Grafton, Sue]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Hard-Boiled, Thriller & Suspense, Women Sleuths, Private Investigators, Mystery, United States, Literature & Fiction, Fiction, Mystery & Detective
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00

6

At noon, feeling punk, I walked up to the corner minimarket, where I bought a tuna salad sandwich, a bag of potato chips, and a diet Pepsi. I figured this was no time to obsess about being nutritionally correct. I went back to my office and ate sitting at my desk. For dessert I sucked on some cherry cough drops.

Lieutenant Whiteside finally called me at 2:35 with apologies for the delay. “Lieutenant Robb tells me you may have a line on our old friend Wendell Jaffe. What’s the story?”

For the second time that day, I went through an abbreviated version of my encounter. From the nature of the silence on his end, I had to guess Lieutenant White-side was taking notes.

He said, “You have any idea if he’s using an alias?”

“If you don’t press for details, I’ll confess I did get a wee tiny glimpse at his passport, which was issued in the name Dean DeWitt Huff. He’s traveling in the company of a woman named Renata Huff, who must be his common-law wife.”

“Why common-law?”

“He’s not divorced, as far as I’ve heard. His first wife had him declared dead a couple of months ago. Oh, wait a minute now, can dead men remarry? I hadn’t thought about that. It’s possible he isn’t really a bigamist. Anyway, according to the data I saw, the passports came out of Los Angeles. He may well be in the country by now. Is there any way to track the names through the passport office down there?”

Lieutenant Whiteside eased in. “Not a bad idea. Spell the last name for me, if you would. Is it H-o-u-g-h?”

“H-u-f-f.”

“I’m making myself a memo,” he said. “What I’ll do is check with Los Angeles and see what passport records show. We can also notify customs officials at LAX and San Diego so they can keep an eye out in case he comes through either port of entry. I can also notify San Francisco just to cover that base.”

“You want the passport numbers?”

“Might as well, though my guess is the passports are forged or counterfeit. If he skipped—which is what it looks like—Jaffe may have ID in half a dozen names. He’s been gone a long time, and he may have set up more than one set of documents in the event things get tight. That’s what I’d do if I was him.”

“Makes sense,” I said. “I keep thinking if Wendell contacted anyone, it’d be his old partner, Carl Eckert.”

“Well, it’s possible, I guess, but I’m not really sure what kind of reception he’d get. They used to be close, but when Wendell pulled his little vanishing act, Eckert was the one left holding the bag.”

“I heard he went to jail.”

“Yes, ma’am, he did. Convicted on half a dozen counts of fraud and grand theft. Then the investors went after him in a class action suit, claiming fraud, breach of contract, and who knows what else. Not that it did any good. By then he’d filed for bankruptcy, so there wasn’t much to collect.



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