I love everything about this story.
The Flapper, The Scientist, And The Saboteur by Charlene Bell Dietz released a few years back in the Mystery genre.
A workaholic bio-medical scientist, Beth Armstrong, is torn between saving her sabotaged ground-breaking multiple sclerosis research or honoring an obligation to care for her chain-smoking, Cuba Libre drinking, ex-flapper aunt. Nursemaid ranks just above catching the plague on Beth’s scale, yet her ex-flapper aunt would prefer anything deadly to losing her independence under the hands of her obsessive compulsive niece. While a murderous culprit runs loose in the science institute, the raucous aunt entertains Beth’s neglected husband with nightly cocktails and stories form the Roaring twenties. The Flapper, the Scientist, and the Saboteur intertwines a corporate espionage mystery with a generational battle-of-wills story between a dedicated professional intent on fighting chaos to restore order and a free-spirited aunt who needs her niece to live in the moment.
Beth lunged to the bed, snatched the cigarettes out of Kathleen’s hands, crushed them, then flung the pack into the waste basket. She bent close to her aunt and inhaled deeply.
“Beth, what in the world—”
“I don’t know you, but I know people like you. You seriously need help.”
“What on earth are you fretting about?”
“Fretting? Not me, I’m happy as a loon.” Beth’s lungs needed more air.
“Beth, I didn’t start that fire.”
“Now you’re going to say it was Mrs. Harrison?” Beth’s words filled the room. Until today, she never yelled.
“It wasn’t her.” Kathleen said.
The room felt small, dark, smoky—no air. She heard her breath coming in short little bursts.
“Dear, you didn’t mean to, but you started the fire.”
Something snapped in Beth’s brain. She shook her head. But Kathleen, with innocence etched in her wrinkled face, kept looking at her.
Charlene Bell Dietz writes science and historical-suspense, award-winning mystery novels and short stories. Her award-winning short stories have been published in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers 2016 Anthology and SouthWest Writers 2019 Anthology. The Flapper, the Scientist, and the Saboteur combines family saga with corporate espionage. The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker propels readers back into 1923 frenetic Chicago during the Roaring Twenties. Both these novels were named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2018, and each won the coveted Kirkus Starred Review. Her latest novel, The Scientist, the Psychic, and the Nut, gives readers a frightening Caribbean vacation. Her current work in progress, a biographical historical novel, starts in England in 1638 and ends in precolonial Maryland. Charlene, a retired educator, traveled the United States as a consultant for Houghton Mifflin Publishers after a career of teaching little ones, older ones, and college graduates. Surrounded by forests and meadows, she currently lives in the foothills of the mountains in central NM several miles from the small village of Torreon. Charlene is the current president of Croak & Dagger, New Mexico Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She belongs to Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and SouthWest Writers. Connect with Charlene on Facebook
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