"Dirty Scottsdale" (in the PHOENIX NOIR anthology, editor Patrick Millikin)
Copyright 2008 Diana Gabaldon
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"What. The. F***. Is. Going. On. Here?" said a voice behind me. Whoever it was had a pretty good Voice of Doom, too; it cut through the argument like a hot wire through ice-cream.
I turned around to see a tall blond woman in a sunhat, a Hawaiian shirt flapping open over a white bikini. Chloe and Tyrone's mother; the breast implants must be hereditary.
"Cooney!" she barked. "What are you doing? What's--" She caught sight of the guy in the pool and stopped dead, her mouth hanging open far enough for me to see that one of her molars was gold. I wondered if she had a diamond in it.
Cooney, hearing his master's voice, came trundling over, sweating and apologetic.
"It's OK, Pammy--"
"Don't call me Pammy! Who are you?" she demanded, swiveling a laser eye on me. "Are you in charge here? Who's that in my swimming pool?"
"Tom Kolodzi, Ma'am," I said, offering her a hand. "Do you know the man in the pool?"
"Of course not!" she snapped, taking my hand by reflex. Hers was cold and damp and covered by a transparent latex glove. She let go fast, peeling the glove off with a snap. "Oh, sorry. I was drowning squirrels in the garage."
"Squirrels?" I tried to keep a pleasant tone of inquiry, but it seemed to dawn on her that a mention of drowning things might not be the best thing she could have started off with.
"Ground squirrels," she said through her teeth. "They eat the g*dd*mn plantings. Are they going to get that—him—out of the pool?" Her eyes kept sliding toward the water, where the body had resumed its peaceful dead-man's float. Another siren coming down the street--police, this time.
Slamming car-doors and the crackle of a radio, and the brass was with us. I heard the word, "Lieutenant..." and froze for a millisecond. But of course it wasn't my lieutenant--she was Phoenix PD, and we were on the Scottsdale side of Shea. That was luck; Lieutenant Griego would have had me locked in a squad car in three seconds, and if I died of heatstroke before she came back…well, accidents happen, especially in the summertime.