Faithless in Death (In Death #52) - J.D. Robb Page 0,1

East Side know somebody’s dead in the West Village?” Peabody pondered it while Eve made a heel-turn away from the elevator, already crowded with cops, techs, civilian support heading down.

They took the glides.

“Dispatch didn’t have that data.”

“You got in early today.”

“Paperwork. Done. Don’t want to talk about it.”

“McNab and I left early enough to walk in. You’ve got to take advantage of a day like this.”

“Because, like the DB on West Fourth found out, it could be your last.”

Hoping for the best, Eve jumped off the glides to try an elevator. Since she found it only about half as full as the one on Homicide’s level, she squeezed in.

“Mostly we thought it was a really nice morning for a walk.”

They squeezed off again on the garage level. Their footsteps echoed as they crossed to Eve’s car.

“We walk a lot when we’re in the field,” Peabody continued as they got in the car. “But it’s not the same as, you know, sort of strolling along. New York in the spring. I mean, it’s just mag.”

Eve pulled out into the insane traffic, the cacophony of angry horns, the bellowing ad blimps, and the farting maxibuses that was New York in the spring.

But what the hell; on Eve’s scale it was mag, any time of the year.

“And hey, Mavis, Bella, and I spent two amazing hours in the community gardens the other day. We’ve got a nice plot going.”

Eve thought of Mavis, her oldest friend—the performer, the mother, the crazed fashion plate, the pregnant-again Mavis. She could see Mavis doing a lot of things—strange things—but digging in the dirt didn’t make the list.

“She’s really doing that?”

“She’s good at it,” Peabody confirmed. “Good hands, good eye. I grew up farming, that’s the Free-Ager way, but she’s a natural. And Bella’s so cute in her little gardening outfits. Oh, and she has a boyfriend.”

“Mavis has a what? She’s married, knocked up again and married.”

“No, Bella has a boyfriend. His name’s Ned. He’s twenty-two—months. He’s got all this curly red hair, all these freckles. Mavis dubbed him Adorablicious, and she nailed it. They’re really cute together. His parents, Jem and Linc, are just learning how to garden. Jem’s a blogger, and Linc’s a biochemist.”

“Is this gardening or a social club?”

“It can be both, that’s the beauty.” She turned her head to grin at Eve. “You’d hate it.”

No question of that, Eve thought as she hunted for parking. But still.

“I planted a tree.”

“You did what?” Peabody’s dark eyes widened like inflated balloons. “What!”

“Roarke and I planted a tree. His idea, but we did it. Mostly. The landscaper guy dug the hole, but we put the tree in, and then dirt and whatever.”

“What kind of tree?”

“There!” Spotting a space, Eve hit the lights, hit vertical, and as Peabody slammed her goggling eyes shut, punched it across the street. She dropped down between a scarred mini and a burly all-terrain with maybe a half an inch to spare.


“I was going to say you should warn me, but it would probably be worse.” Happy to be unscathed, Peabody got out, waited for Eve to get their field kits from the trunk. “What kind of tree?”

Eve pointed south to the crosswalk. “A crying tree, a crying something. Peach, maybe.”

“A weeping peach?”

“Weeping, crying. Same thing, even though it doesn’t do either. It’s got little flowers all over it now, so we didn’t kill it.”

“That’s good, but why did you plant a tree? Why do a cop and a gazillionaire plant a tree?”

“Roarke gets …” Sentimental, she thought as they joined the river of people crossing the street. “Ideas. We did that pond thing, so—”

“You did it? It’s done? You said he was going to put one in.”

“Yeah, it’s done. It’s nice. It’s got those things that float on it.”

“Lily pads?” Peabody sighed.

“Those, and like a stone sort of skirt and plants and a bench, and he decided we should plant the tree ourselves.”


“Social club’s closed,” Eve announced, and paused in front of the four-story building to get a sense.

Street level consisted of a place called Poets and Painters and a shop called Herbalists. Both had wide windows facing the street, as did the upper stories.

No privacy screens, she noted, no security bars, just glass.

She walked to the wine-colored door, between the two businesses, that accessed the units.

No security camera, standard locks.

“You could break in with a toothpick,” she decided, and mastered in.

Iron steps led straight up to the second floor, where a door on the right had a decent alarm system and