In book 2 of the Partners series, The Other Woman has Private Investigators Johanna Obrien and Frankie Barker planning a vacation with Johanna's visiting mother, Gracelyn, when a former lover of Johanna's, Gretchen Wyler, shows up demanding that Johanna take her case. They soon learn that Gretchen is heavily involved in an investment scam which implicates Johanna. Johanna must come to terms with the demons from her past and the secret she has kept from Frankie for all these years. The women hatch a plan to trap Gretchen and in the process dig up some disturbing facts which could destroy Johanna's life.
Frankie shivered as she hurried into the office carrying a cardboard tray containing two cups of coffee. She walked over to Johanna's desk, which faced her own, took one of the cups from the tray and set it on the desk. "It's getting nasty out there. It feels cold enough to snow. What time's your mother's plane getting in?"
Johanna smiled. "Thanks for the coffee, babe. Her flight gets in at two if it's on time. I figure I'll take off at twelve thirty just in case we do get bad weather, and barring any traffic snafus. I checked with the Philadelphia airport and so far there are no flight delays so I'm keeping my fingers crossed."
Frankie patted Johanna's shoulder then moved to her own desk, set down the tray holding her cup of coffee, then strode to the storage room at the back of the office. She removed her coat and hung it on the coat tree. "Just be careful driving. I wouldn't be surprised if we get snow before the day's over," she said as she walked back into the room across the dark beige carpeting and over to her desk.
Johanna nodded. "I'm always careful. That advice goes for you, too."
"I'm not as worried about the snow as I am about black ice." She sat down. "I'll hold down the fort while you're picking up your mother." She sighed happily. "I'm thankful we don't have anything urgent going on right now so it should be an easy afternoon. After our last case I'm ready for a little break." She leaned back in her large comfortable chair.
"I'll pick up the summonses from George and serve them this afternoon before I come home. I don't think it should take too long. Anything else you need or want me to do?"
Johanna shook her head. "Nothing I can think of. I'll call if I remember anything. Tell George I said hello," she said, closing a folder. She stood and walked to one of the six filing cabinets.
"Should I also tell your favorite deputy, Arlan, hello, too?" Frankie asked with a wry smile.
Johanna laughed. "I don't know how George puts up with him." She located the filing cabinet she sought and opened a drawer and deposited the file, then closed the drawer.
"Well being sheriff does give George the advantage." Frankie shrugged as she pushed a strand of brunette hair away from her brow. "He can put Arlan in his place and there's not a damned thing Arlan can do about it. I think that secretly George loves picking at him." She watched Johanna move back to her desk.
"Do you think Kate Allen will put Arlan in his place?" Johanna raised her eyebrows.
"She's only been working with him for a few months and it's obvious when we've seen them together that he's putting on the charm where she's concerned."
Frankie wrinkled her nose. "Yeah, I think she's smitten with him from the way she looks at him and hangs on every word he says. I like her, though, and I don't want to see her get hurt. I'd sure like to fill her in on the real Arlan Paton."
"She'll find out soon enough, I'm sure." She peered at Frankie as she swept a hand through her long auburn hair. "Do you think they're fucking?"
Frankie choked with laughter. "I don't know, but from the way she acts around him my guess would be probably. They'd just better not let George find out or they both might get canned."
"I don't think George would fire them. He'd probably just warn them to keep a low profile and look the other way himself." She paused. "Kate is likeable and isn't afraid of hard work. Every time I've been to the office she's working her ass off."
"She definitely isn't afraid to tell it like it is, either. She's all spitfire."