Molly ran to her patrol car, jerked open the door and jumped into the driver’s seat, knocking her knee against the steering wheel. “Ow! That hurt!” she said through gritted teeth while she rubbed her knee. The detective assigned to be her partner that day grinned as he climbed into the passenger seat. Detective Joe Jacobsen had been Molly’s mentor and teacher for a long time. He trusted her instincts and was constantly amused by her clumsiness. “You ok?” he asked. “Should I drive?”
“Not on your life!” Molly snapped back. “Fasten your seatbelt and hold on.”
“I found a current address for Kestrel,” Molly explained as she navigated the patrol car through traffic. “We have to move fast. I am not going to let her murder Maggie, and I know she’s the next victim.”
She pulled up to the curb in front of a run-down cottage at the edge of town. Paint was peeling on the siding and the roof was green with moss, but the lawn was a newly mown and flowers bloomed from neat beds. No weeds. The curtains were drawn tightly shut, but the windows were spotless. Today was garbage day, and the recycling and garbage cans stood in a near row near the curb. There was no car in the drive.
Molly looked around as she got out of the car. “Looks like she takes care of the place, but she likes her privacy. She strode briskly to the front door and knocked. And waited. And listened. “Doesn’t seem like she’s home,” she said to Joe. “Go around back and see what you can find.”
Molly knocked again. “Police!” she yelled. “Open the door.”
“Molly!” Joe called from the back of the house. “Come here and look at this.”
Molly ran back and saw Joe standing next to a fire pit holding a stick with a small piece of fabric on the end. “Looks like she burned some clothes. Hers?” Molly pulled on nitrile gloves, knelt and carefully put the fabric into an evidence bag.
“I think we have enough for a search warrant. Let’s go call the judge.”