Title: Moving Violation
Author: Melanie Jackson
Series: Chloe Boston #1
Date Published: August 4th 2010
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Hope Fall's greatest detective is stuck in parking enforcement because at 98 pounds, 5 foot nothing, she will never be able to pass the department's physical exam. But with the aid of her dog, and her writer's group, Chloe may just be able to solve Hope Fall's first homicide and impress the new chief of police.
~Try an Excerpt!~
Walking through the busy offices I came to an awkward halt when I stepped into a back room and came face to face of Officer Bill. Had his head always been this large?
The Officer Bill outfit consists of two parts. The most obvious is a large, bulbous, smiling head wearing a policeman’s hat. The other part is a felt uniform that you step into and have Velcro’ed across your back. This part of the uniform included bulging felt shoes that belonged on a clown. I thought the whole outfit looked rather scruffy and gave Officer Bill a seedy appearance. It had obviously never been cleaned.
“Let’s go, Boston. It’s time to climb into the suit, chickie,” Gordon said with a sneer. Mrs. Smith was right; he was a sexist as well as a bully.
“Forget the suit,” I countered firmly. “I’m already wearing a real uniform. Let’s just get this head thing on.” Gordon didn’t argue with me. He seemed happy, even eager, to assist in my embarrassment any way he could.
Slipping the head on over my ears, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t that difficult to see out of the grill front and that the head was not so heavy that I couldn’t hold it up without staggering. In fact, the papier-mâché cranium stayed in place with only periodic need for hand adjustments when I actually walked.
Although I could hear Gordon laughing at me, I was beginning to feel good about the assignment. After all, what could be more important than giving young, formative minds a positive view of law enforcement? I was actually eager to see the reaction of the kids to this goofy outfit.
“Let’s go, Boston. The door’s this way.”
My peripheral vision was nonexistent so I allowed Gordon to guide me to the door, which may have been my first mistake. When we were positioned to leave, the principle slipped through the door ahead of me to hold it open. I was somewhat shocked to see what must have been close to one hundred children standing politely on the playground outside, eagerly awaiting my arrival.
Fully prepared to do the deed, I walked toward the door, propelled by an unnecessary shove from Gordon that made me stumble. Then I stopped cold. I don’t mean I stopped walking, I mean that something stopped me and abruptly enough that my feet almost slid out from under me. It didn’t take long to recognize the fact that Officer Bill’s head was stuck in the door.
“Turn it sideways, Boston,” Gordon demanded.
“Too late,” I explained in a low voice. “I’m stuck. Better pull me back.”
And sure enough, I was stuck. My head was jammed snuggly between the door frames which prevented me from going forward, backward, or even turning my head. Before I could come up with another idea as to what to do I felt Gordon beating on the back of my head in an unhelpful manner. The loud concussions were giving me a headache.
“Gordon, what are you doing? That hurts!”
“Trying to get your fat head through the door.”
That’s when I heard it. The sound of the youngest children standing in the front beginning to cry.
“He’s trying to kill Officer Bill,” one of the children exclaimed.
“Officer Bill is having a fit,” an older kid called to amused laughter. “Call 911.”
“No kids— Officer Bill is fine!” I shouted, in a very un-Bill like voice, but the crying continued and actually began to spread, the kindergarten equivalent of mass hysteria.
I could only imagine what it must have looked like. Officer Bill jerking left and right with his head stuck in the door while Officer Gordon attacked him from behind. Gripping the frame and pulling as hard as I could I tried to put and end to the horrid scene. And I succeeded, in a way.
With little warning my head became unwedged and I flew forward onto the playground almost on top of the children. Hands out, I tried not to fall but couldn’t help myself. I hit the pavement with a resounding “umph”. Officer Bill’s right ear was laying on the ground beside me and I feared for his nose. I reached for the strap holding me in and dislodged the left ear. That’s when the children started to run and screech.
“He killed Officer Bill,” a little girl in yellow dress screamed. I hoped she was pointing at Gordon.
I tried to get up but found that the head was too heavy when I was prone. Never mind making an officer lift a sandbag, how about trying to get up while wearing an Officer Bill head?
I reached again for the velcro fastener but couldn’t find it. The best I could do was crawl across the pavement toward a bench, pushing my massive head before me. The head made a loud grating noise as it scraped across the asphalt. An eye screen popped out, leaving a hole. I scooped up the eye and put it in my pocket. Of course, the children regarded this as an additional act of aggression. Zombie Bill was rising from the dead and collecting body parts. There was more screaming.
Finally I dragged myself upright, found the strap and managed to pop my head out of the Officer Bill costume. I put the damaged Bill head on the bench.
Looking around the playground I saw that almost all of the children were gone. They were running behind buildings and for the bushes at the far end of the playground looking for places to hide.
School. I had always hated being there.
Melanie has been writing her entire life. In fact, one of her earliest fond memories is receiving an IBM Selectric typewriter for her birthday. After publishing romance novels (Scottish historical and paranormal) for New York based publisher Dorchester Publishing from 1999 to 2010, Melanie chose to begin self-publishing cozy mysteries. Since then she has released the Chloe Boston, Butterscotch Jones, Miss Henry, Wendover House, Kenneth Mayhew and Jane Blackthorn Mystery series.
Melanie Jackson is the award-winning author of more than one hundred novels and novellas published in various languages. She lives with her writer husband and her bossy cat in the Sonoma wine country. Besides gardening, she is involved with animal charities.
Get “Moving Violation”, the first book in Melanie’s Chloe Boston Cozy Mystery Series, absolutely free by visiting your favorite online bookstore or by selecting from these links:
Amazon (Kindle) http://www.amazon.com/Moving-Violation-Chloe-Boston-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B003YH9JKI
Smashwords (All Formats) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/20686
This book is on sale for only $0.99, as are the first books of Melanie's most popular other series:
Moving Violation (Chloe Boston Cozy Mysteries 1) http://www.amazon.com/Moving-Violation-Chloe-Boston-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B003YH9JKI
Due North (Butterscotch Jones Cozy Mysteries 1) http://www.amazon.com/North-Butterscotch-Jones-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B004VMOANQ
Portrait of a Gossip (Miss Henry Cozy Mysteries 1) http://www.amazon.com/Portrait-Gossip-Miss-Henry-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B007X6IL5A
The Secret Staircase (Wendover House Gothic Mysteries 1) http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Staircase-Wendover-House-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B005V0K81AMelanie will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.