|The First Kate Martinelli Mystery
The unthinkable has happened in a small community outside of San Francisco. A string of shocking murders has occurred, each victim an innocent child. For Detective Kate Martinelli, just promoted to Homicide and paired with a seasoned cop who's less than thrilled to be handed a green partner, it's going to be a difficult case. Then the detectives receive what appears to be a case-breaking lead: it seems that one of the residents of this odd, close-knit colony is Vaun Adams, arguably the century's greatest painter of women, a man, as it turns out, with a sinister secret. For behind the brushes and canvases also stands a notorious felon once convicted of strangling a little girl. What really happened on that day of savage violence eighteen years ago? To bring a murderer to justice, Kate must delve into the artist's dark past -- even if she knows it means losing everything she holds dear...
The multicolored crowd that whirled in and out of the rooms in Tyler's house was like something from another world, or perhaps several worlds-part Amish, part Woodstock, part pioneer. Children ran yelling and shrieking among the knees and the furniture, dogs wandered in and were thrown out into the rain, the smells of bread and spaghetti sauce and wood smoke mingled with wet clothing, underwashed bodies, and the occasional aura of stale marijuana. Tyler had given the police three rooms downstairs, furnished with a motley collection of tables and desks, where they prepared to take statements. Kate stood in the main room-the hall-with its fifteen-foot ceilings and the floor space of an average house, and wondered how Hawkin intended to proceed with a murder investigation in this chaos. For the first time she was very grateful that he, not she, was in charge.