Kissing Arizona (Sarah Burke)

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In one weekend, the bodies of two young men and three dogs are found in a stash house and there’s an apparent murder/suicide of a pair of prominent local store owners. The Tucson homicide squad is already hopping when Sarah Burke gets a call about a box of bones. Probably just dog bones, the crime lab steno says, but Mendoza asks, “When’s the last time you saw dog bones set in cement?”

“Gunn’s third (Tucson) police procedural…is totally engaging.”  J.C. Martin, Arizona Daily Star

Excerpt

“Calvin, Calvin, what were you thinking?” Sarah said.  “I had you all set up to prosper with the DEA, and now you’ve got yourself on Cruz’s shit list and he says he never wants to see you again.”

“He’s an awful snob, Sarah,” Calvin said.  “Is he a failed priest or something?  Nobody’s pure enough to satisfy him.”

“He’s responsible for that money he’s been giving you.  You can never seem to understand how enraged people get when you tap into their pocketbooks.”

“Oh, please.  You know perfectly well that was Fed money and if they want more they just print it.”  He really didn’t seem to take seriously how angry he made people.  Calvin, Sarah began to realize, saw life as a game.  If he won a round, why couldn’t people be good sports about it?

“I bet Cruz could get over himself pretty fast, though,” Calvin propped his  elbows on the table, getting ready to play his next card, “if you told him I know how he can find out where the head is.”

Sometimes, Sarah thought, watching the pulse beat over Calvin’s eye, I feel like  he’s making it up as he goes along. “You talking about Chuy Maldonado’s head?”

“Would I call you about the Easter Bunny’s head?  Of course Chuy’s.”

“Why would Special Agent Cruz care about the head?  He’s DEA, he’s not tasked with proving homicide cases.”

“Ah, but if he’s got the Solteros for murder one,” Calvin said, “they’ll gladly cop to the coke shipments instead.”

“Maybe.”  So damn clever. She was afraid her amusement might be showing.  “How would having the head make it any easier to hang the murder on the Solteros?”

“The way I heard it,” Calvin said, “They did the nutcase savage thing with the end of his nose.”

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