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Part one.

There was an international package left on my doorstep, but it was addressed to my sister.

Strange, I thought as I picked up the package and carried it inside. My sister had died seven years earlier. Stephanie worked for an American company at its German office, and during a weekend excursion with her boyfriend had died in a one-car accident on a snowy road outside of Hamburg. After the funeral services I travelled to Germany and her apartment to collect her items and finalize accounts. I had thought this was all behind us.

The box was a standard 12x12x12 size, secured with brown packing tape, and the shipping address only listed a Berlin street address. I set the box on the table. My husband, Bill, an avid James Patterson and Richard Castle fan, had on several occasions stated his speculation that Stephanie’s boyfriend had been involved in some kind of espionage or spy ring. He had never met Herman but he didn’t like him either. Bill’s Hungarian father was interned at a concentration camp during WWII, and Bill still harbored bad feelings toward the Germans.

I decided to wait to open the box until Bill came home. He would like that. The biggest thrills he had these days were Casino outings with his friends. Opening an international package for my dead sister – whom he suspected was murdered in a sort of Jason Bourne event – would make his day. Heck, it would probably make his whole year.

As I started the meatloaf for dinner, curiosity enveloped me and I began to guess at the contents. Old files from her office? The contents of an unknown safe deposit box? It could be anything.

To be continued . . .

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