Frozen Stiff
here?” I ask him.
    “Wasn’t aware there was a crime,” Colbert says with a shrug. “They said the guy had a heart attack.”
    “They who?”
    He thinks a minute, scowling. “His daughter told us he had a cardiac history. And the EMTs said it looked like a heart attack.”
    “Looked like doesn’t mean it is. And in this case, it probably isn’t. The guy’s heart was given a clean bill of health recently. Don’t you guys typically preserve a scene until you know the cause of death?”
    Colbert looks abashed, but then he brightens. “Well, we did lock the place up after the ambulance left so no one could get inside.”
    “No one without a key,” I say, dangling the one Minniver’s daughter gave me in front of his face. “Plus he kept a spare one hidden.” I lead the way to the front porch, feeling my stomach knot when I see that the top to the porch light is open. Sure enough, there is no key there. “Interesting,” I say.
    “What?” Colbert asks.
    “His spare key is gone. His daughter said he kept it taped to the underside of this lid,” I explain, pointing at the light fixture. “We might need to dust that lid for fingerprints.”
    Colbert frowns again and asks, “Are you saying you think there’s something fishy with this guy’s death?”
    “I think he may have committed suicide,” I tell him, filling him in on what I’ve learned. “I want to take a look at his car to see if it was running. Your guys didn’t take the keys out of the ignition or anything like that, did you?”
    Colbert blushes and looks guilty as hell, making my hopes sink. “I don’t know, to be honest. Let’s go take a look.”
    I unlock the front door with the key Patricia gave me and step inside. It’s a tidy Cape Cod furnished with comfortable-looking, mismatched pieces. Several lamps that were left turned on lend the interior a warm glow. I see an ashtray on a table at one end of the couch and inside it is an intricately carved pipe. The air smells of apple-scented tobacco, a scent that triggers a vague memory in my mind of a tall, brown-haired, pipe-smoking, smiling man I think is my father. But since my father left my mother when I was five, I can’t be sure. My visual memories aren’t nearly as vivid as the olfactory ones and whenever I’ve asked my mother what my father looked like, her response has always been “Like the devil himself.”
    “Should we glove up?” Colbert says, trying I imagine, to make up for the lack of protocol earlier. I nod, set down my evidence case, open it, and remove two pairs of gloves: one pair for me and one pair for Colbert. I also take out two pairs of booties, which we stretch on over our shoes.
    I take my camera out and turn it on as Colbert leads the way. After taking a few shots of the living room, I follow Colbert toward the kitchen. There we find a plate of partially eaten food on the table bearing the remnants of Minniver’s last meal: baked macaroni and cheese, broccoli, ham, and a glass of what looks like iced tea. His fork, still holding a few bits of macaroni in its tines, is on the floor beneath the table. I snap pictures of all of it as well as a few shots of the room.
    From there Colbert heads to the garage, which is just off the kitchen. Parked inside is Harold Minniver’s car, a Toyota Rav4. I head around to the driver’s side door, which is still open, snapping pictures as I step over several ripped-open, empty packages: debris left from the EMT’s efforts. Harold’s keys are still in the ignition but it is not turned on. After taking a picture of it, I reach in and flip the ignition over. The car starts up without hesitation.
    “The gas tank is full,” I tell Colbert, watching as the needle rises to the top and then taking a picture of the gauge. I’m not sure if I’m overdoing it with the picture thing, but since this is the first scene I’ve been to without Izzy, I want to err on the side of caution. “It looks like he never started the car, that

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