In chapter 5 of, The Woman in the Yellow Dress, author Robert Forte introduces the reader to a death of an accountant. On the surface, it’s an open and shut case, however, it would not be that by a long shot. In this excerpt, LAPD partners, Detective Blaine and Detective Munoz determine three details that signify a murder. A FREE Kindle version is available on Please add a review after reading this excerpt, and enjoy the community of the Forte Fan Club.

Excerpt, Chapter 5 – The Woman in the Yellow Dress

Copyright 2016


“What are you thinking, partner? Open and shut?” Detective Munoz asked,

although already knowing the answer.


This one wasn’t going to be open and shut, not by a long shot.

Detective Blaine looked up at his partner. Detective Munoz had seen that look and

heard that familiar sigh many times before on numerous past cases. They had been partners

with LAPD for over ten years and were a good team. An honest team. And both men had

the uncanny ability to sniff out the truth when a suspicious death like this masquerades as

something it’s not.


“Come on. Give. What do you see?” he asked again.


“I see three things. What we have here, partner, on the surface is an open and shut

case,” replied Detective Blaine. “Our number cruncher was sitting here, hard at work,

having himself a quick belt when he suddenly has some type of seizure or maybe his heart

gave out. And? Then? He and his drink wind up there on the floor.”


“I can see that and I agree. Now give me the explanation for why you are about to

say the word but.”


Detective Blaine nods yes and both men smile.


“But. I have to ask myself? Why did this guy, a working stiff accountant, suddenly

rate a penthouse suite here at the Beverly just to go over some ledgers? It’s not tax time.

That’s my number one.”


“Good point, partner. He must have been looking for something very special?



“I would say so. It had to be something very specific because he was being treated

much too well for the process. We should check with the desk and see how long he had

this room rented.”


“Definitely,” said Detective Munoz and jotted a note down on his pad. “What’s

your number two?”


“Number two. I looked through every one of these files. These are all numbered

files. And? They are all numbered in order. But right here?”


Using his pen, Detective Blaine holds up a corner of one of the ledgers.


“File number 318 is missing. Two uniforms are searching for it, but I think

whoever killed Hollowell? Also took the file.”


“Killed Hollowell?” questioned Detective Munoz. “Definitely killed is your

number three?”


“Most certainly,” answered Detective Blaine. “It wasn’t any heart attack.

Somebody killed this guy.”


“And we know this how?”


“There is a smell of almonds coming from his opened mouth. Bend your ass down

there and take a whiff. I did.”


“Seriously? You’re asking me to smell a dead man’s mouth?”


“Just do it.”


Detective Munoz knelt down and sniffed at Hollowell’s dead opened mouth.

“You’re right. It smells like almonds to me too,” Detective Munoz said, standing

back up. “Cyanide? Right?”



“But not suicide?”


“No. If this was a suicide he would have finished his drink. He would have also left

a note somewhere. And when he bought it, his glass would have some residue of the

poison in it.”


“The glass is clean?” asked Detective Munoz.


“Yes. Pure cyanide burns. People ingest it by mixing it with something. Makes it

go down easier. Hence there should be some trace of it on his glass. But there is not even a

slight hint of it there. My gut tells me cyanide is what killed him. I’m sure of it.”