the smuggler’s bible

Pontchartrain

”A lot of guys make their trade in Tinsel Town.”

“Somebody you’d pick for knife work?” Pontchartrain asks. “This girl looked like a plate of strawberry pizzelle.”

“Most fellas stick to the basics.” Skullduggery’s laugh is the rumble of a loaded coal chute with a wheeze at the end like wind through a cold chimney. “It’s more fun.”

Pontchartrain slaps him across the face and leaves, bolting the door behind her. Barraclough is waiting in the hallway.

“The coroner just called,” he says. “Asked if there was any good reason for our victim to have a belly full of cyanide.”