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Scratch the Surface

Scratch the Surface

Titel: Scratch the Surface
Autoren: Susan Conant
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    This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
     
    SCRATCH THE SURFACE
     
    A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
     
    PRINTING HISTORY
    Berkley Prime Crime hardcover edition / June 2005
    Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / July 2006
     
    Copyright © 2005 by Susan Conant.
    Cover art by Tim Jessell.
    Cover design by Judith Lagerman.
    Interior text design by Stacy Irwin.
     
    All rights reserved.
    No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
    For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
    375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
     
    ISBN: 0-425-20611-4
     
    BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME
    Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
    375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
    The name BERKLEY PRIME CRIME and the BERKLEY PRIME CRIME design are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
     
    PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
     
    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
     
    If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”
     

 
     
    To Carter, in loving memory of Clementine,
    who gave us seventeen years of feline perfection.
     

 
    My profuse thanks to Dru Milligan and Jolie Stratton, Ajolie Chartreux, who introduced me to the Chartreux cat; and to GRP Janvier Pandora Spocks of Ajolie (K.C.) and Ajolie’s Shadow Dancer (Shadow Celeste), known herein as Edith and Brigitte. For support and advice, I am grateful to Jessica Park, who is my beloved daughter, my dear friend, and, as Jessica Conant-Park, my sometime coauthor. Jean Berman, Annette Champion, Laury Huessler, Renee Knilans, Phyllis Stein, Pat Sullivan, Margherita Walker, and Corinne Zipps generously helped with the manuscript and the proofs.
    For answering technical questions, my thanks to Tina Paar, Jamie Wiley, and Bonnie Walker. Special thanks to my agent, Deborah Schneider, and my editor, Natalee Rosenstein, for trusting a dog writer with cats.
     

 
    According to the newsletter of Newbright Books, Felicity Pride would visit the store on Monday, November 3, from six to seven to read from her latest mystery, Felines in Felony. In promoting the event, the store’s proprietor, Ronald Gershwin, had described his friend Felicity in her own words: “The prizewinning author of the bestselling Prissy LaChatte series of cat lover’s mysteries, Felicity Pride is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the National Writers Union, and Sisters in Crime. She serves on the board of the New England Chapter of Witness for the Publication. One of our favorite local authors, Felicity lives near Boston.”
    As Ronald knew, Felicity had last won an award at her high school

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