The Fancy Coat Man continued in a straight line for a while, walking swiftly and purposefully toward downtown before abruptly turning down a side street and vanishing from view. Ivy made a frustrated sound, taking a rather savage bite of her third donut.

“You know where things in Tharoux are,” Flynn said, wiping powdered sugar on the lid of the box. Normally he’d probably just swipe it off on his shirt; which was faded to off-white now anyway; but it felt like too barbaric a gesture to do in front of Ivy. Even if she had jumped onto someone’s roof without a second thought. Flynn shifted uncomfortably, worried that whoever owned the house was going to catch them. He’d be pretty thoroughly screwed if they did.

“Where could he be headed going that way?” he asked. Ivy considered for a moment.

“That’s toward the business district,” she said finally. “A lot of places like law, patent, and insurance offices are out there. If you go out further and turn a bit more north, there’s a lot of houses out there too. Maybe he works or lives that way. Or both.”

“Or neither,” Flynn pointed out. “Maybe he’s doing business there. Visiting an insurance salesman or a lawyer.” He paused. “Or just taking a long way around to wherever he’s going to make sure he’s not being followed.”

Ivy shot him a startled look, eyebrows arching. “So you think he might be up to something too?”

“Anything is possible,” Flynn said, shrugging. “Maybe he knows something about the murder; maybe he’s just an odd guy. Who can really say?”

“But you don’t mind entertaining the idea that he’s some sort of shady character?” Ivy was looking at him very intently, like his answer was very important. Flynn cleared his throat awkwardly, feeling a little nervous under her scrutiny.

“We’d never figure anything out if we didn’t entertain ideas,” he said. “You seem to have a passion for sleuthing; sleuths would never get anywhere without considering every possibility.”

Her intense gaze eased as she smiled at him. Flynn supposed be must have passed the test. He picked up a danish.

“Maybe we should get off the roof now?” he suggested. “I’ll admit the view is pretty great up here but someone might see us.”

“Yeah,” Ivy sighed. “I suppose you’re right.”

She seemed a little glum that they’d lost track of the man in the dark coat, and for some reason stupid things seemed to come tumbling out of Flynn’s mouth when she looked disappointed.

“If you’d like, we can find a place to get some proper dinner and continue discussing your theories on the murder.”

Her eyes widened to a comical size and Flynn thought she and Harvey would probably get along. They both liked nosing into things and giving Flynn astonished looks.

“Really?” she asked.


“You don’t have anything better you have to do?”


“You’re sure?”

“Ivy.” Flynn gave her a look of amused exasperation. “You’ve got to stop asking me if I’m sure.”

“Sorry. It’s just that no one else ever likes to talk about this kind of stuff.”

“I like talking to you,” Flynn said sincerely. “I’m not that particular about what subject we talk about.”

Ivy’s face turned red as a fresh beet and she ducked her head, gathering up the pastry box.

“So what would you like to eat?” she asked, talking a little fast. “There’s a place down past the market; my mom used to take me sometimes, when it was just the two of us out running errands. Ginny doesn’t like seafood that much but I do so Mother would take me there. It’s not very fancy, but the food is really fresh and good and you liked the crab puffs at the party so I thought you’d like this place and-“

“It sounds great,” Flynn interrupted. “You can take a moment to breathe between words. I’m sorry if I embarrassed you. My mom has always said I can be too direct.”

“No, it’s okay.”

Flynn swung back onto the bridge, holding out a hand to help Ivy hop off the roof.

“What’s your mother like?” she asked.

“Am I being interrogated, Inspector?” Flynn flashed her a teasing look and she shoved a strand of hair behind her ear.

“No. Maybe. You’re just so different from the men I usually meet at parties; your mother must be an interesting woman.”

“That she is.” Flynn nodded. “She’s great.”

“Is she here visiting with you?”

“No, she stayed home. We...don’t get along so well with the extended family. Long story.”

They moved past the market crowds and made their way to the little place Ivy had suggested. The owner glanced between them; at Ivy in her expensive dress and Flynn in his faded, worn clothes; and arched one eyebrow slightly, but merely asked for their order. Flynn hadn’t brought much money with him; he never had much money and he saved most of that for his impossible dream; but he paid for the lunch anyway and they found a table beside the window.

“It wasn’t just a bar brawl,” Ivy said after they sat down. “I saw the body before that man ran me off.”

“And? What was so special about it?”

Ivy lowered her voice so Flynn had to lean forward to hear her. “His eyes were gouged out. And someone wrote ‘don’t look,’ in blood, on the wall above him.”

Flynn made a face. “Gruesome. Okay, you’re probably right about that not being a drunken fight. Could be a warning; maybe there’s someone the killer knew would see the message.”

“They must have wanted someone to see it. Sort of ironic, leaving it in such an obvious place and telling people not to look. It must be a warning, but to who? The police? The public?”

“Maybe the killer is trying to make a point about society’s morbid obsession with death and murder. There were a lot of reporters gathered around there.”

Ivy raised an eyebrow. “How very philosophical.”

“Killers get that way sometimes, don’t they? Fancy themselves on a mission or something?”

She nodded slowly, brow furrowing in concentration. The food was dropped off at their table and Ivy mused aloud between bites.

“We could probably get a better idea on a possible motive if we knew who the victim was.”

“His name should be in the papers tomorrow,” Flynn said. He gave Ivy a wary look. “Are you really going to try and track down more information about him? Are you genuinely hoping to solve this murder?”

She got a look of steely determination in her eyes. “Yes,” she said, a little too excitedly. “I want to try and solve this murder.”

“To get the attention of J.G. Bogey?”

“J.R. Bogues,” Ivy corrected, giving him a mildly annoyed look.

“Right, right.”

“Well he’d have to acknowledge me as a detective if I solved it.” Her face was flushed with enthusiasm.

“Yeah, but I’m not sure-“

She rapped her fork against her plate before pointing it at Flynn, cutting him off. “And you give some surprisingly good insights, so you’re going to be my assistant. We’re going to crack this case together.”