In the hospital, one of the nurses came over as soon as we entered the lobby.
"Ms. Sleet, you're here to examine the body?" he asked.
My employer laughed. "I do leave that to the experts. But I would like to ask a few questions."
He nodded. "Of course. Come this way."
We followed him down a corridor and into a small office. We all sat down on folding chairs, and he held out his hand, "I'm Vic."
She shook his hand and introduced herself, though he had already addressed her by name.
"Did you examine the body?" she asked, lighting a cigarette.
Vic nodded. "I went to the apartment when we got the call. A runner came and told us somebody had died. We rushed over there, in case there was a chance of saving her, but it was much too late. Then the body was brought here and I examined it. Do you want to see the report?"
She shook her head. "No, it will be better if you tell me. What did you find?"
"One deep puncture killed her. Right into her back, deep, between the ribs."
"Did she die instantly?"
He shook his head. "Almost certainly not. The heart and lungs weren't touched. She hemorrhaged and died of internal bleeding."
"Would there have been a lot of blood on her clothes?"
"Probably not. The edges of the wound adhered, and there may not have been much external bleeding at all."
"Evidence of sexual intercourse?"
I think he and I were both surprised at the question, but he just shook his head. "No evidence of it."
"Did you do an autopsy?"
He shook his head. "We don't, usually, unless there's a request or a reason. Should we have?"
She shrugged, puffing meditatively. "Not that I know of. Any other wounds?"
He nodded, and I could see her attention becoming focused. "A couple of small cuts on her right hand. Nothing major, and possibly not related at all."
"Was she cut before or after death?"