Claire Washburn: Chief medical examiner at the San Francisco coroner's office. She is Lindsay's best friend. Friend of Lindsay, Cindy, and Jill. Brilliant and totally accomplished.. For six years, she had been the city's chief medical examiner. Black. Nickname is Butterfly. 50 pounds overweight. Bright, confident demeanor. She had the body of a Brahman, the mind of a hawk, and the gentle soul of a butterfly. Has 2 teenagers. Married to Edmund. She was not beautiful, at least not in the way society taught us to admire. She was large and soft and round, her shapeless waist merging with her hips. Even her hands- her well-trained, efficient hands that controlled delicate instruments all day- were pudgy and full. The only thing light about her, her husband always said, was when she was on the dance floor. Yet in her own eyes she had always felt blessed and radiant. Because she had made it up from a tough, mostly black neighborhood in San Francisco to become a doctor. Because she was loved. Because she was taught to give love. Because she had everything in her life that she ever wanted.
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