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Blog Tour and Book Excerpt for "Zig Zag Woman"

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Book Title: Zig Zag Woman Series:

Author: Roberta Tracy

Publication Date: April 16, 2024

Publisher: Historium Press

Pages: 248 pp.

Genre: Historical Mystery

Zig Zag Woman book cover

Zig Zag Woman

by Roberta Tracy




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 at 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.


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Author Bio:

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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.


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Book Excerpt:

The Morehouses' world turned upside down on a warm September day when Captain Hiram Clarke of the Los Angeles Police Department welcomed Margaret to the force with a book of rules and first aid kit. Had he included a crystal ball, she might have been able to predict the way murder and deception would riddle her life for the next twenty years.


On her first official day of work, Margaret tried to take advantage of a long-standing police department privilege, free trolley rides to Central Police Station on First Street. The pot-bellied conductor, who always tipped his hat to policemen and waved them aboard, eyed her up and down with suspicion. "Anyone not wearing a badge must pay!" he declared.


Assuming he had not had a chance to read the morning paper, she handed him the fare.


If she'd left home a few minutes later, Margaret would have ridden to work alongside Alice Stebbins Wells, Los Angeles's first female policewoman with arrest powers, who never, ever paid to board a trolley.


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1 Comment

5 days ago

Thank you very much for featuring Roberta Tracy today, with an excerpt from her intriguing mystery, Zig Zag Woman.

Take care,

Cathie xo

The Coffee Pot Book Club

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