Gary Richardson
 
            

THE LEGISLATIVE BODY

Author of the Bill Parker
Mystery Series
 
GARY RICHARDSON       
Bill Parker likes to help his friends when they ask. These requests seem very innocent in the beginning and then he finds that things are not as straightforward as he thought. With the aid of his bright and determined wife, Addie, Parker provides this assistance gladly but discovers that danger has become his constant companion. He is not brilliant, but he is honorable, stubborn, practical, and brave. That's Bill Parker.
 

The Legislative Body
The first in the Bill Parker series, it introduces a look at what's happening to Vermont. A reviewer said she 'couldn't put it down." Mystery and intrigue and real legislation make this book a page-turner, and introduce some interesting Vermont characters, too.

LEGISLATIVE BODY SNEAK PEEK:
It was completely still as he stood in the doorway to a short passage that led to the House Chamber.  This was the area known as the “Card” room, where legislators played cards during slow times.  “Slow times” had evaded Parker, and everybody else, completely for all the years he’d been in the House.
  

Parker could see that the lights were at a minimum in the Chamber, and as he walked along the short passage to the darkened interior of the huge room, he heard a sound that abruptly broke the stillness up into pieces and shards. It was a muffled, but still loud, sound as if an enormous wet sand bag had been dropped from a height, followed almost instantly by the smashing sound of something destroyed by that sodden weight Bill Parker never considered himself a coward, but then again, he knew that in Vietnam he had some control over what might startle him.

He knew that something would always be groping upward at him on every mission, and he learned how to deal with it.  He knew it was controlled fear. But this sound was totally unexpected and the loud noise was even more intrusive because of the environment of complete stillness which surrounded it.

He froze in the passageway, unable to come to grips with this sudden disruption of the total quiet.  He didn’t know what had caused it, but he instinctively knew that this sound was in the wrong place and at the wrong time.  He also knew that some form of terrible trouble had decided to come out of its cave – and that feeling instantaneously flooded over him, taking him back to Southeast Asia.  Parker had created this trouble-and-cave thing as a protection when friends did not come back from missions.  He never thought he’d feel it again.

After a few seconds, Parker moved forward to the door into the House Chamber, propped open for the night. The side door where Parker entered the Chamber was at the corner of the open north end. Parker knew that the sound had come from the direction of the south end, and turned to the right and headed that way.  At first he didn’t see anything different and out of place.  The lights were at their minimum illumination, which was customary at night in the State
 House.  But they were enough to show the contrast of the white ends of broken wood where they shouldn’t be.  It was at that same moment that Parker saw, on the floor at the edge of the main passage dividing the House, a body.  It was lying on its face, the head at an unnatural angle, with what looked like a grooved skull.  There was surprisingly little blood, based on Parker’s previous experiences. Next to it were the remains of a desk that had apparently taken the brunt of the fall.  Parker ran out into the entrance area of the House and hollered for the security guard.  He returned to the injured man and looked at him more closely. Parker would never again debate Representative Kermit Mayes and then have a beer with him afterwards.