Sabotage yes or no Part Three by author of the Tracy Gayle Mystery Series and Gayle’s Tales Trish Hubschman

Sabotage yes or no Part Three by author of the Tracy Gayle Mystery Series and Gayle’s Tales Trish Hubschman

Sabotage yes or no Part Three

By Trish Hubschman

January 2024


Tracy Gayle

“Dean’s car was found abandoned on interstate 77 near Baltimore,” Jared told us. The three of us were on the phone. Danny and I were in bed at home. “MD Sheriff’s Department was at Julie Sollars house this morning, giving her the report and hoping to ask some questions.””

”Were they able to do that,” Danny asked. “And get some solid answers?” He smirked and I swatted him.

“Mrs. Sollars was pretty hysterical the other day when we spoke to her,”: I explained to Jared.

“Still is, but that’s Julie,” Jared said. “This is not something she expected, none of us did.”

I glanced at Danny, then back at the phone lying on the bed. “We all agree on that, Jared,” I said. “How did you come by this info?”

“Her sister, Sarah, called me to fill me in. The sheriff’s department impounded Dean’s car and are searching it thoroughly for possible clues to his whereabouts.”

That made sense. “Are they considering foul play here,” I asked. “or something else, such as car trouble or whatever?”

“Could be anything,” he replied. “The keys were still in the ignition. He may have had car trouble and got out and started walking to the nearest service station.”

That was possible.

“Or someone could have picked him up to give him a lift,” Danny added.

“That too,” Jared said. “They’re searching the area. Oh, by the way, they popped the trunk first thing. It was empty.”

I released a breath I hadn’t known I was holding.

“Where do we go from here?” Danny asked. He was looking at me.

“I’m afraid I have to do business as usual,” Jared said. “I have to look for an immediate fill-in for Dean. Oh Danny, I had to give the workers at least today off so I could try and find someone. I don’t like to do that. Time is money. But I didn’t have a choice.”

“Yeah, I understand,” Danny replied. He disconnected the call and pulled the sheet back. I jumped out of bed faster and grabbed the phone from his hand, heading toward the master bathroom. “Where do you think you’re going, lady, and with my phone?”

“To call Johnson to fill him in on the latest. The bathroom is the most private room in the house to do it.”

Danny followed me into the bathroom. “No way, lady. I have to take a shower. Either you make your call before we take a shower together or you wait till after we take a shower to make it. But whichever, we’re taking a shower together.” He smiled and I know he won.


I decided to wait to call Johnson after Danny and I took a shower together. It seemed the most logical approach. The King left the bathroom feeling happy, refreshed and clean. We both had big smiles on our faces. He went into the bedroom, got dressed, then called out to me that he had some stuff to do. The next thing I heard was the bedroom door close. I hated to admit this, but I felt a little relieved. Now, I could do what I started out doing half an hour ago. A towel wrapped around me, I sat on the closed toilet seat and called my sleuthing partner. I updated him on the sabotage case, Sollars disappearance and finding his abandoned vehicle.

“Could this Sollars guy be behind the sabotage scheme and his own disappearance?” Johnson asked.

That brought me up short. I took my time in responding. In many cases, the person closest to the scene was often involved. But in this situation, I didn’t think that was the case. ‘Danny and Jared think very highly of Dean Sollars and he’s paid a lot of money. There’s no reason he would want to jeopardize his job or his good standing.”

“Got it, Gayle,” he replied, but he didn’t sound totally convinced. “I’ll take your word on that. Anyway, I’ll get in touch with a buddy of mine with the Baltimore Sheriff’s Department, find out where the investigation is, then I’ll share it with you.”

Sounded fair. “When are you coming up?” I asked.

He chuckled. “Next weekend, if I’m needed. Tiffany will stay on the island with Andrew until school’s out, then bring him up to see his other Dad.””

I heard a very light, loving note in his voice. Tiffany was five months pregnant, so that probably had something to do with it. “You’re a wonderful father to the boy,” I said.

Johnson corrected me on that. “Dusty is too. Andrew tells people he has two Dads.” He chuckled. ”Not a real dad and adopted dad.”

I smiled. “That’s very sweet,” I said.

He chuckled. “And Tiff and Beverly are his two moms.”

“He says that?” I asked. Andrew Johnson was a very mature nine-year-old.

“No,” he said, “but Tiff is a great real Mom and Bev a great stepmom.”

We both laughed, then I did a finger-snapping in my head. I wanted to touch base with Beverly Heartland. I’d call her and see if we could get together. I signed off with Johnson and darted out of the bathroom, letting the towel fall. I raced into the bedroom. As I pulled dresser drawers open and yanked clothes out, I instructed Siri to call Beverly Heartland. The cell phone rang twice and she answered. “Are you busy this morning?” I asked. “I was hoping I could stop by and chat.”

She weas thrilled about that and invited me to lunch. “Dusty’s at the bank today,” she said, “not working from home, so I’m free as a bird today. I was thinking of going over to the assistive living facility to see his mother this afternoon. Grace will be ninety-six on Saturday. The center is giving her a party. I want to bring a few things over.”

“Scout’s honor. I’ll be gone by the time you’re ready to leave,” I said and we both laughed. After disconnecting with her, I stepped into flat shoes, put on a sports coat, shoved my phone in the pocket and raced from the room. I needed a cup of coffee and fast.

. .

Trish Hubschman is the author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series: Tidalwave, Stiff Competition, Ratings Game, Uneasy Tides, and Gayle’s Tales.

Trish is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a Bachelor’s degree in English. She is deaf-blind and lives in South Carolina with her husband, Author Kevin Hubschman, and their dog, Henry.

Visit Trish on her Author Website here.

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Bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled


  1. Trish Hubschman Reply
    May 15, 2024

    Can you believe I just finished writing Partr 16 of Sabotage and he story isn’t done yet?

  2. You must follow your muse.

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