They were in Howard Grossman’s office, which was understated—no expensive furniture, just a long wooden table as a desk, shelves filled with books and scripts. There were no pictures on the wall with himself and celebrities, only a few family portraits with his wife and two teenage sons. Rosemaria liked that. He was a successful producer, but not self-aggrandizing. Howard was the one person she had eliminated as Levy’s killer. As her mother used to say about solid, upstanding men—this guy was a mensch.
Rosemaria and Coleman were seated in front of his desk when Howard walked in and sank heavily into his chair facing them, a little harried and distracted. “Sorry I’m a few minutes late. We just broke for lunch. I’ve had so much to deal with—too many people to talk to about this show, the feature, backers wanting to know when and if production is starting, and I’m still reeling over Stan’s murder.” He stopped talking and sighed. “I’m sorry. You’re Sargant Baker and Detective Coleman and I’m happy to do anything I can to help you find Stan’s killer. I saw you at the funeral, but Lila insisted I come with her to the wake, which seemed more like a typical Hollywood party to me. Most of those people didn’t even know Stan but Lila insisted on inviting them, and, of course they came.”
“We know how busy you are, Mr. Grossman.” Rosemaria assured him. “We’ll just take a few minutes of your time.”
“Ask me anything.”
“We know from Detective Osborne that you and Stan had been friends for years, best friends even.”
“I hired him as assistant director right out of USC film school on Night Games, a show about undercover agents that had a lot of action. When my second unit director had an accident with a crane, Stan stepped in, took over, and the rest is history. Unfortunately, there was a lot of cocaine flowing on that show—cast and crew. Lots of night shoots, people had to stay awake—at least that was their excuse, mine too, if you must know. Stan and I had some high times together, literally. Fortunately, my wife stuck with me and helped me get clean. Stan kept right on going.”
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