Blackwood Farm (The Vampire Chronicles #9) Time to Murder and Create (Matthew Scudder #2)

Was he blaming me for this? Not sure what you mean by that, I replied, anger slowly building inside me. The accusation on his face was enough to tell me he was pointing at me instead of all of us. This is a team. Where is your head? I shot back.

Miss Charming turned the painting over. See the even texture? This was one of those spray-on jobs, mass-produced duplicates. Not even a good one. Tear it up, darlin’.Charlotte ripped open a corner of the brown paper. Out slid a parchment, folded in thirds.

They opened it up breathlessly. The page was blank.Is this a joke? Charlotte asked.Naw, it’s just Andrews, Miss Charming said with a fond smile. He loves prolonging the climax.

She examined the paper at arm’s length, squinting, then ran downstairs. Come on!Miss Gardenside and Charlotte followed.

They stood on the front steps, holding the paper up to the sun. Charlotte thought she could detect faint markings.

Lemon juice! she said. My son used lemon juice as ink for a school science project once. We need heat.When the initial awe wore off, numbers began swirling around in my head as I started considering how much it had to cost. Driver, fuel, maintenance, cleaning, and who knew what else. The tour projections in my files indicated profits, but I wondered how that was possible with such an expensive bus. The sight of the glittering behemoth left me with a nagging feeling that this assignment wasn’t going to be easy.

The next thing I knew, Chewie started moving the weird device up and down as if he was scanning me."Uh, what are you doing?" I said, instinctively holding up my hands behind my head. "This is all starting to feel a little like the TSA."

"You can leave your hands down," Chewie said nonchalantly. "I’m just checking you out for ghosts. This is the same detector Lady Dada uses when she goes on tour."I looked at him skeptically. "That has to be a joke, right?"