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This book was spectacular. Great plot, creepy villains, again with a really awesome main character and his really sexy lovah! Holmes and Moriarity are a perfect match.

Wendy for Badass Book Reviews
There goes the neighborhood…
It’s moving day Chez Holmes. Somehow, against Kit’s better instincts, he and J.X. are setting up house together. But while J.X. is off at a mystery fiction convention, Kit unpacks a crate that should contain old china.
It doesn’t…

“She’s not my ex.”

“Yeah, actually she is. And if she can’t spell out what the problem is for you, it’s a good bet I can’t solve it for her. Even if I had the time—or inclination—which I don’t.”

There was a pause before J.X. said grimly, “That’s pretty blunt.”

“Not really. Blunt would be to point out that we’re not family. We’re living together. And it may or may not work out.”

I’m not sure what his response was—I’m sure he had one. I’d never known him to let me have the last word. But I got it through tactical superiority that time. I hung up.

Then I tottered over to the nearest stool—J.X.’s contribution to our kitchen furnishings were tall, bachelor pad bar stools of leather and steel—before my knees gave out. I was shaking with a crazy rush of anger and adrenaline and alarm.

Also shame. I was too old to be hanging up on people like an angry and inarticulate teenager.

Not my finest hour. Or even my finest one and a half minutes. But this was what I had been afraid of from the first. That we were going to commit to this madness and it wasn’t going to work out.

Of course it wasn’t going to work out! How could it possibly work out? We barely knew each other. And we didn’t always like the us we did know.

But it had to work out. There was already an offer on my former home. It was too late to turn back now.

I waited for J.X. to phone back. When he didn’t, I told myself I was relieved. I wasn’t sure. I hated arguing. I hated confrontation. But I hated cold silence worse. One thing about David, he had not been the strong, silent type. Far from it. He had been the yelling and shouting and punching and breaking things—inanimate things—type. Which had generally led to my yelling and shouting too. But I still preferred explosions to cold silence.

To keep from thinking, I began emptying the boxes in the kitchen. What was the alternative? No, J.X. and I were both tired. Short on sleep and stressed. We had committed to this course, and there wasn’t any retreat. That I could think of.

I dumped silverware in drawers, placed glasses on shelves, located J.X.’s toaster, and opened a box of little jars of spices I had never heard of. What was Tajin? What was Egyptian dukkah? Did we even eat the same food?

On the bright side, the mountain of boxes eventually dwindled to a molehill, speeded by my decision not to wash anything because it had all been packed in bubble wrap for less than 48 hours. The less-than-48-hours-in-bubble-wrap rule was well known in Southern California. And if it wasn’t equally well known in Northern California, J.X. could wash any mug he liked.

I came across the gin and tonic and the day looked a little less grim. And, to give J.X. his due, his refrigerator was much better at making ice than mine. The cubes in my glass crackled musically as the tonic fizzed over them.

Refreshed, I got my second wind and started stacking dishes on shelves. Plain white plates. Plain white saucers. Plain white cups, plain white bowls. I opened another box. Plain white square plates. Okay. That was a relief. I was beginning to think my true love was stuck in a rut. I put all the square white plates and bowls away. I opened another box.

Plain white plates.

All the dishes seemed to be J.X.’s. Where were my dishes? Down in the basement with my fridge?

Irritated all over again, I opened the door to the basement and started down the steps. I’d never lived in a house that had a basement before. This one was supposed to function as storage and laundry room. And we were certainly getting our money’s worth of storage. There were a ton of boxes down here—not to mention my sofa. And who had decided that?

Now thoroughly pissed off, I began to explore. On the bright side, the basement was immaculate. Not a cobweb in sight. Not even much in the way of dust. A couple of throw rugs and it could probably double as an additional room. Or a hideout. My TV was probably already down here. Possibly my stereo system.

Except…that smell. What was that? Whatever it was, it had to go. Backed-up plumbing? Overflowing garbage bins? Ye gods. I started looking for the source, and tracked it to a large wooden crate marked CHINA. My crate.

What the hell? Had the moving company helpfully decided to move my rotting garbage?

The lid had been hastily and none too securely hammered down, but it was anchored enough to resist my half-hearted efforts to raise it. I went back upstairs, located the fireplace hardware in the parlor, and returned to the basement with the poker. J.X.’s poker, for the record.

I levered the poker beneath the wooden lid and pried until it gave with a cracking sound.

I covered my mouth and nose with the crook of my arm as white bits of biodegradable popcorn floated up along with that ghastly odor. Sure enough I spotted a black trash bag. Instead of Oma’s vintage pale green china with gold trim, those lunatics had packed my garbage bags.

That’s what I was trying to tell myself. But I knew. Of course I knew. I was a mystery writer. No moving crew was that crazy. This could only be one thing. One terrible thing.

Carefully, gingerly, I reached out and pulled back the corner of the trash bag. A lifeless, dull eye gazed up at me.