Louisa’s life is in chaos, and she’s just been fired from her third job in seventh months. She thinks she’s found the perfect position when an elderly author hires her as a secretary. But something in the author’s house is not quite right, and Louisa soon fears for her employer’s–and her own–life.
I had to change the subject before I lost my nerve. “About the elevator…”
I’d thought about it long and hard before deciding hiding things from Marguerite, as though I were dealing with a small child, was pointless. I’d spent enough time around elders to know the one thing they hated above all was being treated like children. “I think someone broke the elevator on purpose.”
She just looked at me.
I looked back. It wasn’t easy to hold eye contact.
“Okay,” Marguerite said slowly. “And…”
“The cable was deliberately jammed. And, well, I’m sorry to put it this way, but it’s got to be one of your family members.”
“Deliberately jammed how?” Her voice sharpened into a whip.
“They put a pair of pliers on the third-floor cable. It’s out of my reach, but anyone taller than I am could do it easily with a step-stool or small ladder.”
“Not Tamara,” she said promptly. “As I believe I told you before, she’s afraid of heights. She won’t climb even the smallest ladder. So that leaves Jenna and Joel.”
I wasn’t so quick to let Tamara off the hook. She was the only one of the family who seemed unbalanced. “When did the elevator stop working? Was Tamara in the hospital, or could she have done it? Or paid someone to do it for her?”
Marguerite’s eyes narrowed to pencil slashes. “That implies one of the household employees.”
I’d known she wasn’t going to like what I had to say, but I still had to swallow hard and take a slow breath before continuing. “I’m sorry if that sounds disrespectful. But I have to look at any possibility. When did you first notice you couldn’t use it?”
She paused. “This is Labor Day weekend? Early August. Not long before I hired you.”
“When did Tamara come home?”
“About the same time.”
DON’T FEAR, MY DARLING is available from Black Opal Books
And at Spine Bookstore and Café in St. Louis