She never got to finish her sentence.
From the front of the house, they heard the door bang open. A man's voice called out, "Inspector! Sorry to interrupt but I think you must come see this!"
Joe shot Smith-Jones a panicky look; in a practiced move she deftly snagged it in mid-air and tucked it into a bulging little evidence rucksack which Joe had not previously noticed on her back.
"That," she said, "that would be my assistant DI, Manders. Suppose I've got to save the rest of the story for later, eh?"
Joe followed her up the hall to the front door, out onto the porch. A portly parkaed figure -- the aforementioned Manders, no doubt -- stood some distance away in the snow at the foot of a utility pole. Something large and dark and at this distance not quite identifiable lay at his feet.
As they approached, Joe continued to stare at the thing on the ground. Now he could see that several power lines had collapsed under the weight of the snow and lay fizzing and popping all around--- No, could it be?
It was the body of a woman, her face hideously made up in some ghastly black-and-green mudpack. She was dressed only in an orange towel and -- how odd -- a purple shower cap. Sparks from the downed electrical lines formed a corona all around her head. Queen of the Dead.
Joe peered more closely at her. Lovely, she was. Something familiar, too. Could she be the woman in the painting...?
My God, he thought, I know this woman---
Manders was speaking. "...and I swear I didn't touch her, Inspector. Learned me lesson, I have, after that last one I mean."
"Thanks, M," said Smith-Jones, and Joe noticed that her feet were not breaking through the crust of the snow at all. Amazing. "But I need to remind you--"
"Inspector Smith-Jones," he interrupted. "There's something you need to know about this woman. You see not only do I know her, but she" -- he paused to emphasize the point -- "she is known to me. This is---"
Meanwhile, some distance away, a cell phone jingled a game show's theme song....