“Do we have a positive ID on the victim?” Detective Tess Chase asked her partner as they stood in the empty ballroom of the newest Las Vegas sensation, the Transylvania. Moments ago, chattering guests filled the opulent ballroom, enjoying the opening night festivities. Now, it was deserted, save for Tess and Barry. And the body.
“Sarah-Jane Robertson," Barry answered. "Worked here as a dancer.” They both turned to survey what was left of Sarah-Jane. At the front of the room, a velvet curtain the color of dying roses framed a small stage. In the center, a perfectly still body lay draped over a gleaming mirrored staircase. Her elbows were braced on the top stair; her back arched so that her bare breasts pointed at the ceiling. Her legs were splayed, revealing that she was completely nude, except for a glittering pair of silver high heels.
“No obvious cause of death.” Tess mused.
"I beg to differ," Barry said. "Did you get a look at those shoes? Payless is my guess. She died of shame."
"For God's sake, Barry, have some respect. The woman is dead." Tess let her gaze linger on the stillettoes, then said, "J.C. Penney."