Trent Marshall and Darcey Anderson returned to Anchorage a week after the third hospital murder. The fourth patient was killed the following week.
Trent was having lunch with his friend Pete Kott at Fromagio’s, a deli that specializes in cheese. While Trent would take a few samples of Fromatio’s excellent cheese home with him, he and Pete both ordered Coppa Cubano Melt sandwiches.
“You say four people have died in the same hospital, killed by an overdose of the same painkiller?” Pete repeated. “It does seem like more than a coincidence.”
Trent looked at him.
“Yeah, I know,” Pete said quickly. “You don’t believe in coincidence. Who were the victims?”
Trent went through the list. There was the woman who was a potential witness in an upcoming trial who was first thought might have been killed by the defendant; the terminally ill man who might possibly have been suicidal; a woman who had minor but painful surgery; and, finally, just a guy who had suffered a painful injury and had nothing in his life that would indicate a reason for him to be murdered.
“Sounds like a serial killer, all right,” Pete said. “Do you have their names?”
Trent had committed the names to memory. He reeled them off. Pete looked up quickly when he heard the third name.
“Did you say Lacey Lansbury?” he asked.
Trent doubled-checked the names before answering.
“Yes, Lacey Lansbury. Do you know her?”
“I know of her,” Pete replied. “Her husband is Kevin Lansbury. He’s a doctor. A fairly well known guy in town.”
“A doctor? Really?” Trent said, thoughtfully. “A well known doctor?”
“Well, better known for other things,” Pete chuckled. “A friend of mine who belongs to a private wine connoisseur club told me Lansbury’s application for membership was rejected because he’s such a well known philanderer. I mean, someone has an affair and can be forgiven, but apparently old Doc Lansbury chases every woman he meets. I heard he has a newyoung beauty on the line now. I also heard his wife was tired of his carrying on and planned to divorce him.”
“Interesting,” Trent said. He thought Pete had just supplied the answer to the serial killer puzzle. They didn’t have a serial killer. They had someone wanting to make people believe there was a serial killer. What they really had was a guy who wanted to get rid of his wife. He would have to give some thought to best way to take care of this guy. Anyone as heartless as the murdering doctor deserved nothing in the way of mercy.
“I think you just helped me solve this puzzle, Pete,” Trent said. “Now we’re in Fromagio’s. Let’s have lunch.”
They both ordered Coppa Cubano Melts from Fromagio’s limited but delicious lunch menu. The sandwiches contained both coppa and prosciutto, thin slices of pork, similar but coming from different parts of the pig. There were chopped cornichons, the small, sour French pickles that Trent especially loved, and the Swiss-like Emmental cheese. It was all held together with dijonaise, the delightful mixture of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard.
They ate in silence for a couple of minutes.
“Would you put this sandwich in the good category,” Trent asked, “or great?”
“I’d say it’s great,” Pete replied.
“Yeah, so would I,” Trent said. “Darcey will love the cheese I’m going to take home but I think she’ll enjoy lunch at Fromagio’s even more.”