THE DEADLIEST THIEF is here!
I stood there as if I’d been punched in the chest. The knocking was so frantic that I bolted out of my study, tore across the atrium to the entrance of our townhouse, and opened the door.
It was my Phoebe, a fresh mouse blooming on her left cheek, a flame of red encircling her mouth, and an eggplant bruise planted on the right side of her neck. Clutching the door jamb to recover her balance, gasping for air, she staggered in on rubbery legs until she reached the planters of white chamomiles and yellow field marigolds that edge the skirt of the sunken marble pool.
That’s when, with her back swaying and her arms pinwheeling, her knees gave way, and she plummeted to the floor, a hoarse cry escaping with her shallow exhale.
She tried to sit up but could only jiggle her legs.
I dropped my ear to her lips.
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