Excellent. Ten o’clock tonight, The Mark hotel, suite 406.”


The Mark was one of New York City’s finer hotels, but Tessa barely took in her surroundings as she rode the elevator up and knocked on the door of suite 406. A grim-faced security officer opened the door, and Tessa decided to forego pleasantries. “Detective Tessa Donovan to see Her Royal Highness,” she said.

I was not informed.”

It’s all right.” Margaret’s voice wafted behind him. “I asked her to come.”

He let Tessa in and asked if she carried a gun. She said no, she left it at home. He raised a skeptical eyebrow and said that he would have to frisk her.

No,” Margaret said irritably. “Let her be.”

Tessa followed the princess to her bedroom.

My friend Adam,” Margaret said, indicating a baby-cheeked young man, handsome in his own way. He had to be at least ten years younger than Margaret.

Hi, Adam.”

This is Tessa,” Margaret said.

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