ZIG ZAG WOMAN
EARLY SUMMER OF 2024!
Early experience as a staff greeting card writer introduced Roberta Tracy to witty people who shared the writer’s dream. Marriage, motherhood, and career intervened, but she maintained that creative desire. A degree in nonprofit management led her to work situations where newsletters, grant proposals, and business correspondence took precedence. Still, she wrote poetry, some of which won prizes and publication, and children’s books set in worldwide locations. Recently, she co-authored Come Dream With Me, a part travelogue, part hippie nostalgia work of creative nonfiction, detailing the adventures of colleague Inese Civkulis. No matter what writing projects unfold in the future, she'll never find enough words to thank family and friends for their inspiration and encouragement.
The last thing LAPD Detectives McManus and Tyson expect to find behind Pantages Theatre is a body rolled up in a blanket. The last thing Margaret Morehouse, one of the city's first policewoman with arrest powers, expects to do is join the investigation. When a deadly explosion at the L. A. Times derails their efforts, Margaret finds herself at a crossroads and strikes out on her own, a path leading to delusion and self-discovery on a vaudeville stage. Her husband's nephew Leland further complicates the situation by sharing a ransom note and confiding his failure to report his wife's disappearance the Dominguez Air Meet.
A brief stint as a magician's assistant takes Margaret to Chicago, where she almost signs on as a zig zag girl, the term used for ladies performing in the "cutting-a-woman-in-two" illusion. Instead, Margaret returns to the tumultuous world of early twentieth century Los Angeles. Reunited with McManus and Tyson, she confronts prejudices and societal norms in efforts to identify a body, clear Leland's name, and topple the stranglehold one powerful, amoral person has over many lives. Their efforts lead to dead ends and misconceptions before truth comes to light. Love is rekindled and danger uncovered in unlikely places. Margaret goes from Zig Zag Girl to Zig Zag Woman, no longer cut in two but headed on a clearer path.