Category: Uncategorized

Mary Ellen and her kids: Stalked at the Beach House

Mary Ellen and her kids: Stalked at the Beach House

“Sir, is this your home?”

No, no I’m a retired cop from Philly. Name’s Kel. I’m watchin’ this home on the Chesapeake.“‘

“Problems here, Kel?”

“Possibly… Close friend of mine, Mary Ellen and her kids. The husband Tony. Still works in the summer but comes by every few weekends.

“Is there another woman involved her Kel?”

“Damn right. Su Lee. I just don’t know who did what and who’s upset. I just think Mary Ellen and the kids are at risk.”

“That Mustang. Orange Mustang. It was parked in front of the beach house.”

“I don’t feel comfortable addressing that right now. I’ll find out what’s going on. May take some time but I’ll figure it out.”

“Be careful, Kel. Sounds like you’re dealing with someone who’s very crafty and deadly.”

“Got a job to do. Maybe I’m just working on ‘the big one.’ “

Beach House- CH-1
Popcorn Awaits

Why is it that we would plop down hard-earned money to watch someone being stalked? I’m serious. Haven’t we enough God-awful problems in the world without paying to track the ultimate problem: being trapped by someone out to injure, harm or even kill. The good part is we aren’t really there, but we can experience all the horror and fear and then casually  head for the concession for some more popcorn. But we hurry back in for more- horror and fear.

And there is another element. Hitchcock sums this up a lot better than I can:

Drama is life with the dull bits left out. There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it. I believe in putting the horror in the minds of the audience, and not necessarily on the screen. The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”

Anticipation is a funny thing. The anticipation of something wonderful is markedly at odds with the anticipation of doom. Anticipation is like a carrot, luring and drawing one closer to the ultimate- the ultimate what? That’s the point.

I know of dozens of stalking movies and there maybe hundreds because people will never tire of being a voyeur to the unthinkable.

The Fan

Okay we’re in 1981. Lauren Bacall is Sally Ross, actress of stage and film. Bacall links up with her ex-husband James Garner aka Jake Berman. But Garner isn’t the obsessed stalker. Michael Biehn (Douglas Breen) becomes infatuated with Bacall. Breen begins writing to Bacall (Sally Ross) The letter is filled with wandering nonsense. This and subsequent letters are screened by Maureen Stapleton (Belle Goldman) as Douglas Breen becomes consumed by his love for Sally Ross. Sally scoffs at a hand delivered letter from Breen. Breen later attacks Belle, and then kills Sally’s maid.

Michael Biehn and Lauren Bacall
1981

Sally, distraught, flees New York and retreats to a secluded house in the country, where she is visited by Jake. After a third murder Breen shows up in the audience at a Sally Ross performance. Breen kills a costume designer and night watchman before he reaches Ross in her dressing room. Ross whips his face with a riding crop. As he tries to make love to her, she confronts Breen and in his rage he attempts to embrace her-only to get a knife plugged in his neck. So long Breen.

The formula: Obsessed stalker: Kills along the way: Final confrontation.

Cape Fear: 1991

Martin Scorsese produced Cape Fear. A second time for the film, original in 1962, based on the John D. MacDonald’s novel, The Executioners. In this film we have revenge as a major factor. Cady (Robert De Niro)  is a former client of Sam Bowden, (Nick Nolte) a lawyer from North Carolina. Cady learns over the years that evidence was hidden in his rape trial. He is a sophisticated psychopath who now knows the law from his time in prison. Without reason the family dog is killed. Bowden cannot get Cady arrested. Cady then rapes and almost murders a courthouse clerk, Lori in love with Bowden. Lori refuses to press charges. Bowden employs Kersek a PI (Joe Don Baker ) to follow Cady. The clever Cady pretends to be Bowden’s daughter’s new drama teacher and makes a clear effort to seduce the daughter. Bowden now activated his PI’s plan to beat up Cady. But Cady overwhelms his attackers.

As the story unfolds Cady enters the house killing the PI and the housekeeper. Bowden and his family  race to their houseboat once they find the bodies.  Cady, lighting a cigar, is engulfed in flames and leaps off the boat. As a thunderstorm commences Cady returns and sets up a mock trial for Bowden. Cady is swept off his feet in the storm. Bowden uses Cady’s handcuffs to secure him to the boat. The boat hits a rock, Cady is washed overboard and drowns. But the terror lives on.

One can almost feel the unlimited rage brewing in DiNiro. You have to be angry and want Cady taken out.

When the Bough Breaks 2016

When the Bough Breaks

A stunning woman Anna is hired to become surrogate mother for John and Laura Taylor. Anna’s boyfriend Mike beats her up and Anna is taken in by the Taylors. But Anna is whacky and is enamored with John Taylor. Mike and Anna had planned to extort money from the Taylors. When Mike returns and wants money from the Taylors through Anna, she kills him. That’s right. He’s gone. What kind of a woman is this?

Anna puts a full court seduction press on John, wanting him to go out to lunch. When he declines she nixes the call. John now refuses to answer any call from Anna. Anna ratchets it up and tries to seduce John in his office but the performance is stopped, and Anna departs the office when John’s supervisor arrives.

John and Anna: When the Bough Breaks 2016

In the guest house Anna laments her longing for John, but John is emphatic he doesn’t feel the same way. Anna goes into a highly animated temper tantrum. John stabilizes the outburst. So how to solve this dilemma? Anna gets a knife from the main house! Cops arrive and Anna confabulates a story about having sex with John every night. But she still possesses the surrogate baby.

Now it’s John’s turn to make up stories. He claims he cares about Anna. Even when he slaps the make on Anna and asks her to come to the house by the lake, Anna is suspicious. The next day Anna, snooping  sees John and Laura holding each other. Whoops! Anna drops a message on the phone voicemail informing the couple the baby is about to be born. John hurries to the hospital leaving Laura behind…. Not good.

The demonic Anna makes a beeline to the Taylor House. She whacks the cat and then bops Laura’s skull with a lamp. Laura is down for the count. But surprise-surprise Laura goes into labor. She does have the baby and exits the hospital to of all places- the house by the lake. The Taylors find this out. John grabs the baby but when Anna awakens, she attacks John in a vicious fight. John hurls her body against a cabinet-Good for you John. John and Laura place the baby in their car. Laura flips on the lights, but Anna is ready to blow her away with a shotgun. Anna fires at the vehicle, smashing the window. Laura flattens  Anna with her car, and the ignominious Anna is dead.

When the Bough Breaks absolutely brings about the unexpected, the evil, demonic, and the ever-present threat of a painful death. When something good (the surrogate) is about to brighten up the Taylor’s life down comes the Sword of Damocles.

Sunset on the Chesapeake

Being alone was not a problem in itself for Mary Ellen in the Beach House. Leaving her suburban Pennsylvania home for an endless summer on the Chesapeake with her family is a wonderful experience. This is just the set-up for the summer that could have been. Kel is an integral character, because he carries the baggage of unjustly been accused of incompetence. When things are closing in around Mary Ellen, Kel has a chance to redeem himself. The little man scrounger Su Lee is exceedingly clever, able to murder with impunity, and willing to torment those affected. Added to those despicable qualities is her charm mixed with an irresistible sexuality. In her Mustang or in her bikini short shorts as a bartender she maneuvers Mary Ellen’s husband Tony into a checkmated reality. In the end it is Mary Ellen who must suffer the monstrous demons that lurk inside Sun Lee’s soul.

The anticipation is there, the demented killer weaves in and out of the story, the murders are real, and the over the hill cop does his job. And in the end there is no way to know what will happen next.

Beach House CH-7


Robert P. Fitton

BUY FROM AMAZON

And a P.S. From Alfred Hitchcock….

P.S. From Alfred Hitchcock

Cocoa tells Jones that Bill Jones was murdered.

Bill Jones

Belch Cosgrove Presents:”Sorry Wrong Number.”

BELCH COSGROVE: “Mr. Stefani, Belch Cosgrove FLEX News. Sorry wrong number. Ha. Ha. Ha.”

COCOA STEFANI: “Whaddya want, Pal?”

BELCH COSGROVE: “Are you the one who signed Matthias Jones to coach at Hamilton College in New Hampshire, a rag tag college with no visible athletic prominence?”

COCOA STEFANI: “Hey Cosgrove that mouth of yours is gonna take you down.”

BELCH COSGROVE: “Sorry wrong number. Get it, Ha. Ha. Ha.”

COCOA STEFANI: ” You’re a laugh a minute.”

BELCH COSGROVE: Word has it you were hired by channel Z, a gambling channel and that money changed hands to lure Jones into his present position.”

COCOA STEFANI: “I have no idea what you’re talkin’ about. Who the hell let you inta the club?”

BELCH COSGROVE: “We ‘re prepared to go to air on this money laundering scheme.”

COCOA STEFANI: “That right? I gut Jonesy back here in conjunction with the old man because Jonesy’s the best. Jonesy doesn’t take cheap shots and flap his big trap. You Mr. tough guy are goin’ for a little ride.”

BELCH COSGROVE: “Great I like people who cooperate.”

COCOA STEFANI: “Uncle Dullio. Never mind where I am, Dullio. I have a passenger for you and Earl.”

BELCH COSGROVE: “Sorry wrong number! Ha. Ha. Ha.”

COCOA STEFANI: Enjoy the ride Cosgrove. Nice knowing ya.”

BELCH COSGROVE: “Good, we can talk about Jones’s old man.”

COCOA STEFANI: “Au Revoir, Mr. Wrong number.

BRUNO DONOVAN: “That guy is a loser.”

COCOA STEFANI:Ya gut that right, Bruno. Jonesy’s old man was an ace. Just like Jonesy. He went right after the low-lifes.”

BRUNO DONOVAN: “And they murdered him.”

COCOA STEFANI: “Right in his own pickup. Jonesy was too bummed out to see it. When I went out there that stuck out like a sore thumb. Wasn’t no heart attack, Bruno.”

BRUNO DONOVAN: “If I know Jonesy he wouldn’t back off at the point.”

COCOA STEFANI: “We both went after ’em Bruno. We’re not dealin’ with dummys like Dewars and Driscoll. They can’t wait ta take people down. We had to figure out what Bill Jones had figured out.”

BRUNO DONOVAN: “The FBI was impressed enough to give Jonesy some kinda clearance.”

Captain Midnight Decoder Ring

COCOA STEFANI: “Right like collectin’ Captain Midnight decoder rings.

BRUNO DONOVAN:Didn’t that moron Lester Larsen show up?”

COCOA STEFANI: “Yeah, he showed up. Almost gut us killed. He was tryin’ to stop Jonesy from takin’ the coachin’ job so his old man could continue to lose games. Lester is all done Bruno.”

BRUNO DONOVAN: “What about Cosgrove?”

COCOA STEFANI:Sorry wrong number!

Bill Jones-CH-2

Crazy Characters:

Marty Feldman as Egor

When I first introduced Lester Larsen into the Jones series, I began to question whether I had gone too far. Not only are Lester’s spastic machinations bordering on absurd, but his physical stature or lack thereof is like a character out of a sci-fi novel. Now why would I put this numbskull in a Matthias Jones Mystery? Remember Jones stories have: ‘Murder, Mayhem, and Monkey Business.’ Because all of Hamilton and its zany population were back east in this story. Since Jones and Cocoa are in a very precarious situation, I wanted the usual unusual character brought in to muck up the investigation as well as ratchet up the danger.

Cole Salo, a blog writer and aspiring novelist came up with a list of crazy characters. Let’s talk about a few.

Alice in Wonderland, never been out of print since 1865, by Lewis Carrol is filled with insane characters.

“We’re all mad here.”― Cheshire Cat

The Shining-Jack Torrance by Stephen King-Something about that hotel brings out the best in Jack.

How about Frankenstein by Mary Shelly? Slightly over the top? Monster extraordinaire. And I do mean monster!

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Doesn’t get so markedly different these aspects the psyche. Bizzaro!

Live from the lab: Human-animal creatures on Dr. Moreau’s Island-H.G. Wells.

Bill Jones-CH-3

The Union Corruption that Bill Jones was Investigating:

Not all unions are corrupt, but corruption does exist. Corruption is a myth you say. Bill Jones found something, and it cost him his life. Study some of these stats from Union Facts.com:

  • During fiscal years 2000–2019, OLMS investigations led to over $156.3 million dollars of restitution in over 2,100 criminal cases;
  • OLMS investigations also led to 2,297 indictments and 2166 convictions;
  • The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act’s (LMRDA) reliance on self-government, public disclosure, and ultimately deterrence has failed.
  • The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) has investigated and prosecuted union leaders for embezzling more than $100 million in union dues since 2001.
  • Investigations by the DOL’s Office of Inspector General, which investigates labor racketeering and organized crime’s influence within the labor movement, has resulted in more than $1 billion in fines, restitution, and forfeitures.
  • Fewer than 5 percent of unions audited by the DOL received unqualified passes.

Bill Jones was dealing with the big boys and now Cocoa and Jones are in the center of that same great power that threatens their very lives.

At the end of this first Jones novel, Jones is welcomed back to Hamilton and at Club Max in Prince William. The solidification of Cocoa and Jones’s relationship is critical and an excellent way to bring the series forward. That’s no side road theory- it’s life in the wacky town of Hamilton, New Hampshire.

Bill Jones-CH-4

Robert P. Fitton

RIP BILL JONES

BUY AT AMAZON

The Patriarch Hamilton Fletcher is murdered!

Hamilton Murdered!
WHO DUN IT?

Live from Hamilton with Arlo Wombatt

WOFI brings you to the Hamilton town Common and that roving reporter Arlo Wombatt.

ARLO WOMBATT:This is Arlo Wombatt! We’re here live in downtown Hamilton, New Hampshire a mere few hours after the death of town patriarch Hamilton Fletcher. I have with me Hamilton Police Chief George Strickland. Chief what can you tell us?

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “I can only say right now that Hamilton Fletcher was shot from behind in his first-floor study at the Fletcher mansion on Fletcher Hill.”

ARLO WOMBATT:I’m going to cut to the chase, Chief. Who shot Hamilton Fletcher?

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “I’m not going to comment on that Arlo.”

ARLO WOMBATT: But you do have suspects?

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “Yes.”

ARLO WOMBATT:Hamilton had a lot of enemies.”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “Arlo, that is the understatement of the year.”

ARLO WOMBATT: “Doesn’t make your job any easier, Chief.”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “It’s not the number of people who wanted to get at Hamilton. Better to focus on who had the means, the motive and the opportunity.”

Hamilton Fletcher’s death makes sense. The list of people whose lives have been squelched, stomped, and squished by Hamilton Fletcher is boundless.

JC Gatlin tells us of his ten motives for murder. With Hamilton Fletcher’s death there had to be a motive.

To hide a secret, greed, revenge, obsession, frustration and hate, love, sex and jealousy, crime of passion, psychosis and mental disorders, to protect personal status, to protect a loved one, and empathy or sympathy.

Alex Harmon: Groundskeeper who was not paid and is fired by Hamilton. Seen leaving the scene of the murder on his motorcycle.

Malcolm Hayes : Company Controller: Made the Fletcher economic machine run smoothly for years-no thanks from Hamilton or extra monetary compensation. How upset was dear Malcolm Hayes?

Anna Fletcher: Flirty daughter of Hamilton Fletcher. Shafted by her father concerning funding a restaurant on the West Coast. Anna never got along with dear old dad.

We definitely have greed, frustration and hate. Even a crime of passion.

CH-1 Before the murder.

What real and unreal characters have specific motives for murder?

(From Nancy Bowers’s Iowa Unsolved Murders and Historic cases.)

-A US Cavalry man struck with an axe in 1866 because of an argument.

-Silas McCart (1860) stabbed because of a political disagreement.

A coal miner in 1894 surprise surprise shot to death because of jealousy over a woman.

Allan F. Shoemaker (1925) Gunshot as he tried to avoid arrest.

-George Diggle in 1888 killed by alcohol and morphine OD. His wife wanted him out of the way.

-1869 Jesse Wilkerson. Motive for death: Bullying by kicking.

-Oliver Pierson pushed from a great height. And what was the motive? Business quarrel.

-A con woman was strangled because she was hiding illegal activities.

-Dr. Swisher had a secret from the past. So, in 1898 he was shot dead.

This man Nathaniel Carnagy bludgeoned to death. Motive: None. It was in a drunken rage.

-Let’s get rid of the husband. (Edwin F. Hodges) Motive: To get a wife! Method was poison and the year was 1869.

“Fred” Quade- Gunshot-1897- Family Quarrel.
Jeremiah Rummell Zollinger was bludgeoned
to death in 1897 because someone bore Zollinger a grudge from the time he served as Deputy and then Sheriff of Jasper County.

Jones and Strickland begin accumulating clues but they have no killer. Then the larger picture comes into view when the killer directly confronts Jones. In the end the question arises as to who gets Hamilton Fletcher’s estate. With everyone champing at the bit a shocking conclusion where everything changes. The motive for Hamilton Fletcher’s death was quite simple.

CH-3-Hamilton is dead

Robert P. Fitton

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Murder at the bowling alley with the long lost Johnny Stefani in the shadows.

Chief Strickland were you on duty at the Bowl-a-rama in Prince William when Chet McLaughlin was shot.

GEORGE STRICKLAND: No, I was not on duty and was bowling with the crew from Hamilton. We were playing against a Prince William team.

I understand that you tended Lark Larsen when he was shot to the ground, Chief.”

GEORGE STRICKLAND:That’s not what happened. Lark was loaded… Not the first time either.”

“You heard the shots, Chief?”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “One of them may have been from a silencer. The other was the usual crack you might associate with a gunshot.”

“You know McLaughlin?”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “Yeah, Chet was an OK kind of guy.”

“Then why would someone or more than one person gun him down?”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “His daughter had a guy Mark Pierra who was stalking her. Guy carried a knife. And word has it that Johnny Stefani a known gangster was on site here at the bowling alley.”

“What about you Bucky? You were on the Hamilton team.”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “I don’t know nothin.’ I was having trouble with my balls.”

“Excuse me?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “My balls kept gettin’ stuck.”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “Bowling ball in the return.”

“Arnie?”

ARNIE DEWARS: “Chet was a pro-Bowler!”

“I don’t care about his biography. What did you see?”

COCOA STEFANI: ” Dewars and the rest of them didn’t see nothin.’ They were boozin’ it up with those blue cups. I told ya no drinkin’ at the Bowl-a-rama.”

ARNIE DEWARS: ” A little lubrication never hurt nobody.”

COCOA STEFANI: “That right? You’re gonna take a little ride with my Uncle Dullio, Dewars.”

ARNIE DEWARS: “Hey Cocoa. I didn’t mean it. I was just kiddin.'”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: ” I ain’t afraid of you guys. You’re all paper tigers.”

COCOA STEFANI: “Is that right, Rodent? Dullio, take Mr. Tough Guy here with Dewars to meet Earl”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “Who’s Earl?”

COCOA STEFANI: Somebody who’s gonna teach you the meaning of life.”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: ” Oh, what a relief. Thanks Cocoa.”

COCOA STEFANI: ” Don’t mention it.”

“So Cocoa, your father was in the coat room with somebody from Vegas.”

COCOA STEFANI:”I can’t speak for the old man. He’s been gone for years. But if he was back here he had a good reason.”

Johnny Stefani did have a good reason to be back in the Prince William area. His presence back in the area and the subsequent plot with Cocoa brings Cocoa’s life full circle since his brother Anthony’s death in NYC and Johnny’s abandonment over twenty years ago. And whoever was after Chet McLaughlin is trying to finish the job.

Las Vegas Weekly last year in conjunction with the Mob Museum published a list of people, not necessarily mob leaders, who were gunned down for reasons-some known, some unknown. In light with what happens to Chet McLaughlin in the Jones book, let’s look at someone these wipe outs.

Johnny-CH-2

Gus Greenbaum and his wife:

Did they skim money to keep a high roller lifestyle? Probably. Throats slit…

Bill Coulthard

Former FBI agent bombed in broad daylight inside a Downtown Vegas parking garage. Coulthard was Mr. Law and order in Las Vegas. Headed the FBI’s local office and became well known attorney.

Elmer “Al” Bramlet

Elmer “Al” Bramlet- flashy dresser and traditional labor leader. Refused to pay his firebombing thugs for a job not done. Unfortunately for Elmer they completed another job-his demise.

Charles ‘Sonny’ Liston

Heart failure and lung congestion–owed money to the mob–a forced overdose?

The Murder of Sonny Liston

Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel

Dead at age 41

Bugsy Siegel: The Life and Legacy of the Notorious Gangster Who Helped Develop Murder, Inc. and the Las Vegas Strip

Who knows why he was hit? Jack Dragna from LA might have wanted him dead. Moe Dalitz’s ex-girlfriend was abused by Siegal. The big boys wanted him gone because he was skimming money from the Flamingo.

The Old Man in the Mountain
Johnny-CH-9

So, what the heck did Chet McLaughlin do? This is where Jones and Cocoa have to look through the people around Chet at the college. That leads them to northern New Hampshire followed by the Hamilton crazies) and the beginning of the showdown. We learn why the old man in the mountain collapsed, ruining great landmark.

PW Incinerator

Everything leads back to Prince William and a bizarre death chamber. Remember the past is always present. Chet McLaughlin knew something, and it got him killed.

Robert P. Fitton

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The Maestro Murdered in his Beloved Conservatory: Matthias Jones Series

Funeral March for the Maestro
Funeral March for the Maestro

TOM McGILL: “Bucky I’d like a few words with you about the murder at the Conservatory.”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “As far as I’m concerned as a Class A Certified Security Expert Lark Larsen, the big dummy is guilty as the day is long.

TOM McGILL:McGill from the Enterprise. How do you know this Driscoll?

BUCKY DRISCOLL: ” HUH?

TOM McGILL:Did you see Larsen kill Professor Neusbaum?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: ” Oh, I didn’t have to. I was on duty at Hamilton College. I saw the Big Dummy pull into the Conservatory. Shots were fired.”

TOM McGILL: “You’re saying that Lark Larsen was in proximity of the deceased and his movements synchronized with the chronological events?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “Yeah whatever you say.

TOM McGILL:And no one else was around the building.

TOM McGILL:And no one else was around the building.

The Conservatory

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “Sure lots of people.”

TOM McGILL:Then how the hell do you know it was Larsen who killed the Maestro?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “Well, Mayor Picata’s wife was peeking in the Conservatory windows. She’s built like a brick-“

TOM McGILL: “So she could have gotten in there?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “Maybe the old man was … ha-ha-ha– you know making whoopee with Mrs. Picata.”

TOM McGILL: “You don’t know that, Bucky.”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “I cordoned off the area but didn’t see the broad. Guess they wanted privacy. Ha-Ha-Ha-“

TOM McGILL: That’s not funny, Bucky.”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “I thought it was… Hey, what about the other guy who taught here.”

TOM McGILL: “Who’s that?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: ” He plays at Club Max. Mick Dumas… The Mick Dumas Trio.”

TOM McGILL: “Why would he kill Neusbaum?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “Bad blood Boogaloo…”

ARNIE DEWARS: “What about Steve Corbett? That guy with the head injury. He was right in the next building supposed to be shinin’ the floors!”

TOM McGILL: “Arnie, you’re not in this interview.”

ARNIE DEWARS: “What’s the matter? Afraid of the truth?”

TOM McGILL: ” Arnie, you wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you in the ass.”

TOM McGILL: “Testy, Tommy. Testy.”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “I’d like a few words with you, Bucky. You had that whole area locked down. You may have allowed the killer to get out.”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “I know my rights, Coppa.”

ARNIE DEWARS: “Georgie, you’re missin’ the obvious.”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “What’s that, Arnie?”

Rex: the Maestro’s Dog

ARNIE DEWARS: “The dog. The dog was the only guy there. The dog shot the Maestro.”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “Arnie do you know how dumb you are?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: Yeah, Arnie, do ya?”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: “Perhaps I should call in Pinky Harris from the State Police.”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: ” I gutta go. Come on Arnie!”

ARNIE DEWARS: “I’m outta here!”

TOM McGILL: ” Who do you think did it, George?”

GEORGE STRICKLAND: In this town? If it wasn’t the dog it was one of Woozie Williams’ horses.”

Maestro-CH-1

Real-life Weirdo People Arrested For Crimes:

There once was a man who lived in Pennsylvania

A man with a strange mania

He wasn’t very difficult to please

For all he wanted sex mixed with Swiss cheese

Or the dude who thought life was such a bore

So, he would break into a department store

And it was all needles and pins

Until the dude- ran off with the mannequins

A British soliloquy will make you ask why

Victims would watch a man cunningly drive by

As he gripped his manure-filled sock

And let it fly to a resounding plop!

Worse- a not so honorable a man from Japan

Who wasn’t happy to use the proverbial can

As he roamed the countryside tourin’

When he pitched a full cup of urine

Another hero from the Island of Japan

Behind the steering wheel a sticky little man

Loaded with a gun that he fired in this craze

Globs and globs of soupy Mayonnaise

Now I don’t feel too bad about writing about the bizarre town of Hamilton New Hampshire. In Funeral March for the Maestro four suspects are investigated by Jones, who heard the shots inside the conservatory as he ran his baseball camp in the adjoining field. Each of these characters have defining characteristics and a proximity to the murdered Maestro.

Calling all weird killers? Calling all weird killers?

Ah here we go: ( From Katherine Ramsland, PhD in Psychology today.)

A guy who on the surface was charming— chose his victims by their VOICE! Because he missed his mother and wanted to take his mother’s voice with him-” Ah, as Johnny Carson used to say, “Well be right back.”

In the early 1930’s a guy caused accidents and death so he could pretend to be one of the victims and sue for damages. And he had an odd sexual component to his problem. Found guilty but escaped.

Several murders around Maryland where a Jazz guy blames his former housemate. He said the murders were an existential experience.

This investigation by Jones brings him into a maze of contradictions. But the part I like the most is the finale when Jones confronts the killer in a very dangerous situation.

Jones might be aware from working with his investigator father of the following:

People try to get rid of the evidence… In Funeral March for the Maestro the evidence is on display rather than hidden. Then the question is why kill the Maestro? Lark is upset because Neusbaum owed the cheap former coach money for the Steinway piano. Corbett is mentally compromised and has long standing grudges with his father-in-law. Dumas lost a position due to the Maestro’s bad recommendation. How about the classy Mrs. Picata, so close to Neusbaum with her association to the Prince William Symphony?

I will only tell you that justice comes swiftly for the murderer.

Maestro-Ch-19

Robert P. Fitton

Buy Back At Amazon

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Body Found in a Cement Foundation: Matthias Jones Series

Bonner Homes
APPLEGATE-INTRO

This is WOFI in Prince William New Hampshire. We now switch to a live report from Hamilton concerning the strange murder in that tiny town this morning.

ARNIE DEWARS: “Yeah, I wuz in here early droppin’ off some stock from Dewars Lumber, Hamilton New Hampshire. We deliver anywhere in the continental US.”

   “What exactly did you see, Mr. Dewars?”

        ARNIE DEWARS: “Well, I wuz doin’ some trash pickup.”

        ” Isn’t it true you were illegally dumping trash on the project so he wouldn’t have to pay the landfill fees.

ARNIE DEWARS: “Ugly rumors.”

“What happened, Mr. Dewars?”

        ARNIE DEWARS: “So I see this work boot stickin’ out of the concrete.”

“I find that hard to believe.

ARNIE DEWARS: “Believe it Baby.”

        “When did you realize there was an actual body in the concrete?”

        ARNIE DEWARS: “I could tell by the contours.”

        “Come on, Dewars.”

        ARNIE DEWARS: “I have an eagle eye. It was a work boot, attached to a leg, honey.”

“I’m not you’re honey, slime-ball.”

“Whoa… Feisty!”

“Who was the victim Dewars?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “I can answer that question.”

“Get Lost, Dweeb”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “I’m not dweeb-I’m Driscoll. Bucky Driscoll. I’m a class A certified security specialist.”

” Perhaps you can tell us who’s buried in the cement.”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: ” Classified. We have legal issues here madam-moyzell.”

“Then, you don’t know.”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “Huh?”

Who’s buried the the damned foundation, Driscoll?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “Oh, tough one? You don’t scare me cream puff. I can take you down with my eyes closed.”

“Do you you or do you not know who’s buried in that foundation, Driscoll?”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “I ain’t tellin’ you Goober.”

“You are an irascible degenerate who exacerbates a lack of basic civility.”

BUCKY DRISCOLL: “Oh why didn’t you say so? It’s Leo Crowley. Coach Jones’s good friend and team manager.”

“Thank God we can edit this piece.”

        So, you think it’s weird that Leo Crowley’s body in a cement foundation? It probably is and the perpetrators of this crime that Jones will track down made one fatal mistake in not securing the boot within the concrete form. I thought it might be interesting to show a slew of idiotic crimes, not necessarily murder.

How about the lady in South Carolina who was bagged for drunk driving. Only one problem kiddies- She was driving he children’s toy car.  NO, it’s really true! Chugging along in the little electric vehicle down the road-three sheets to the wind!

 

   Okay this guy in Harlem, I still don’t believe this one myself. As the the story goes the guy simply wanted a tiger cub in his apartment. But Tiger cubs grow into full-fledged, carnivorous adulthood. Yes, it’s true. The African jungle tiger right there in Harlem, in the apartment, living with the guy. PS- he had an alligator too. The alligator refused to have his photo taken.

       

Listen to this. Two guys fighting over– a woman? Nope. A car? no. The TV. Wrong again… A bag of Cheetos. So what Happened? Murder! Murder over a bag of Cheetos. Give me a break… or at least a Cheeto.

Rapid list of weird locations for the deceased:

Guy drops a cell phone into a papier-mâché Dinosaur leg-then he fell into until found-dead.

Disney Paris employee stuck under It’s a small world ride boat when it accidentally started. Round and round we go- where he stops nobody knows.

Guy on a rabbit hunt falls into a rabbit hole while leaving his dog tied to a tree. The dog survived.

Lady in South Africa, in for a broken leg, found dead in hospital ceiling and no one knows how she got there.

Murder at the Applegate-CH-2
In sales- back in the day

And now back to our story.

When I was on the road in outside sales many times, I called on home builders. I also met a slew of other customers which inspired may of the characters in my books. Jones enters the world of Bobby Bonner Homes, which includes Bonner himself as well as Scott Gleason the job superintendent. There is the sub–Red Kroch who will fight at the drop of a hat. No, I didn’t copy exact characters, but I did exaggerate character traits. And all the Hamilton crazies such as Lark Larsen, Bucky Driscoll, Wendell Harris, Courtney Jefferson and his mother along with the Hamilton regulars Frannie McShane, George Strickland and Father Gallagher are in this book.

Murder at the Applegate- CH-24

And then the murder conspiracy in Murder at the Applegate expands well beyond Hamilton and Prince William which is cool but dangerous for Cocoa and Jones. Distant locale and wider conspiracy.

Robert P. Fitton

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Missing: Anthony Stefani… last seen NYC… presumed dead.

Anthony-1
Anthony went missing in NYC

COCOA STEFANI: “Hey, my name is Stefani. I’m lookin’ for my brother.”

CARMEN CATALINA: “Carmen Catalina-You like to take chances.”

COCOA STEFANI: ” No that’s not it, Carmen. I don’t wanna be here. My brother … I think he was workin’ deals in the city.

CARMEN CATALINA: “For shipments.”

COCOA STEFANI: “Yeah.”

CARMEN CATALINA: “Where?”

COCOA STEFANI: “New Hampshire. Prince William. I think they were flyin’ stuff back. Lots of stuff.”

CARMEN CATALINA:Give me a name.”

COCOA STEFANI: I have no idea. And neither do the cops. Anthony was slick. That was his nickname.”

CARMEN CATALINA: “Slick and Cocoa.

COCOA STEFANI:”Yeah… Somehow he had a plane leave New Hampshire. Word on the streets somebody was flyin’ down here.”

Cocoa searches around Queens

CARMEN CATALINA: “There are hundreds of connections, amigo. You have two futures. Wastin’ ya time trying to track down what happened to your brother. The other outcome is: someone will kill you.”

COCOA STEFANI: “I understand. Thanks.”

CARMEN CATALINA: “Piensa en ti hermano. Piensa en cuando estaba contigo.”

COCOA STEFANI:”Gracias.”

DULLIO STEFANI: “Hey.”

COCOA STEFANI:Dullio, I just left my contact in Queens.”

DULLIO STEFANI: “I told ya to wait until I get back.”

COCOA STEFANI: “I ain’t waitin’ no more, for you stallin’ Duillo.

DULLIO STEFANI: “Cocoa, you have to accept that we haven’t heard from Anthony for two months. Even Rita accepts it.”

COCOA STEFANI: I don’t accept nothin’ Dullio.

DULLIO STEFANI: “I have to do business in Oregon. Then I’ll fly back.”

COCOA STEFANI: “Great, then you can buy me a drink at Estévez‘s on 86th Street.”

DULLIO STEFANI: “Check in with me tomorrow.”

COCOA STEFANI: “Oh sure. You take care Dullio.”

Anthony’s Story (portion 1-2)

What would you do? What would you do if someone extremely close to you vanished? And what’s more what if that person or persons is presumed dead? I have a hunch that you’d search and search until you couldn’t search anymore. You’d put yourself at risk until you were worn down. But even then, you would have never given up. That’s the situation Cocoa initially encountered and years later he tried again. Only this time Matthias Jones gets involved. What transpires solidifies their relationship forever.

Let’s take a look at people who have mysteriously disappeared. Incredibly there are hundreds of people gone missing never to return.

Missing: Barbara Bolick

We’re in 2007 and in the mountains of Montana. . A woman named Barbara Bolick goes for a hike with a family friend Jim Bitterroot. The lady is in good shape and not the first time she’s hiked. They stop for a snack. So, she goes down the trail for one last look. Bye. Bye. Here we are decades later with no answers. She left her belongings behind and was afraid of heights…

Tax Day: April 15, 2005, Centre County, Pennsylvania: Ray Gricar homicide prosecutor. Told girlfriend he was taking the day off to travel to Lewisburg to shop and stroll. Bye. Bye. Car found next day. Laptop : Found: Six months later under a bridge. Hard drive gone. The damaged unusable drive was found months later. But Gricar never was found. Details here: Or in depth here.

June 27, 1995, at 4:10 a.m: Jodi Huisentruit, Iowa news anchor- disappeared from apartment complex parking lot. Signs of a struggle, belongings -two shoes, two earrings, and her car key outside of her car… Bye. Bye. Fate unknown but there are many clues. In Depth Video on YouTube : The Case of Jodi Huisentruit: Disturbing Details Revealed | True Crime Story & Missing Persons Case.

If you want to see a whole project dedicated to missing people with updates then click here. Or go to the Charley Project.org.

With Anthony Stefani Cocoa never suggests his brother is alive. Although he may hope Anthony is alive Cocoa wants closure. For the first time Cocoa shows Jones a black and white framed photo of Cocoa and Anthony at Club Max, both remarkably similar in appearance.

Anthony’s Story is full of action down in New York City. And it is in this story that the real story concerning Bucky Driscoll is revealed. Uncle Dullio is on full display against the bad guys. And Jones, a coach from Hamilton College is dead center of the action.

At the same time there’s a strange murder in Hamilton, which involves Hamilton Fletcher. It is this murder and how Jones solves it, that leads him in the direction of Anthony Stefani. Bucky Driscoll manages to almost get Jones killed, but in the end, it is Jones and Uncle Dullio who follow the lead toward Anthony.

Anthony’Story-CH-16
Jimmy Hoffa

So if we’re talking cold case I have to mention Hoffa. Not that I have even a theory about what happened to Jimmy Hoffa’s body. Those who performed his execution have saturated the press and cronies with garbage information designed to have everyone bouncing from state to state with excavation teams. What I will present is a very good assessment of what is know about Hoffa’s disappearance. It’s called Jimmy Hoffa: A closer look at the labor leader’s life, work and disappearance— on YouTube.

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The Mob Connection to Crime Boss Albert Fiore in Boston… Matthias Jones Series

JERRY ST. CLAIR: “Jerry St. Clair… You a witness, Bub?”

No, I’m here to see if a professor at Hamilton College is linked to Albert Fiore.”

JERRY ST. CLAIR: I don’t tolerate so called cub reporters such as yourself trying to hack in on my exclusive story.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, old man.”

JERRY ST. CLAIR: “Oh so you think the old duffer can’t pound the pavement for the scoop of the century?”

“What?”

JERRY ST. CLAIR: ” It was a deadbeat night in a deadbeat town. I wuz cranking out special reports and exclusives before you were even thought of flatfoot.”

“Get lost pal.”

JERRY ST. CLAIR: “You’d like that, wouldn’t you, Cubby? I think you’re a Hamilton Fletcher plant.”

“Fiore is linked to that professor and you don’t have the goods, Jerry.”

JERRY ST. CLAIR:Listen to me Cubby. Brad Davis is a low life perverted scum bag joined at the hip to that double dealing piece of rat crud Boston garbage called Albert Fiore. Davis was transplanted into the tiny hamlet of Hamilton… state of New Hampshire right under Hamilton Fletcher’s patrician nose. And you know why?”

“Why?”

JERRY ST. CLAIR: Dr. Bradford Davis was a genius, and he was supposed to make Fletcher an even richer and more conniving bastard than he already is. Genetic patterns, Cubby. Genetic patterns. And Fiore is snoopin’ around trying to get a cut of the operation. Got it?”

“You don’t know that”

JERRY ST. CLAIR: You think I’m some demented screwball with no verifiable accomplishments. My career blasted off the ground with a gruesome murder in ’47. I learned how to dig for the details, Cubby. And dig deep.

“And you just walked in and took on Fiore and Davis.”

JERRY ST. CLAIR: It’s all in the book, Cubby. Murder at Tolby Lake, the demise of Davis at the lake house with Fletcher himself as a suspect. And let’s not leave Fiore at the starting gate. And the innocent little girl Pollard- she had the gun. What do you think of that? Leave it to the professionals, Cubby.”

“I’ll make a note of it, Jerry.”

JERRY ST. CLAIR: “I have a late-night date with my typewriter- Selectric. An exclusive byline on page one. Put your shoulder to the wheel Buffalo and go get ’em!”

“You’re a legend., Jerry”

Murder at Tobey Lake-Prologue

If Hamilton Fletcher had Professor Brad Davis develop a patent on a particular gene sequence he could generate new income into his financial portfolio. As the patent-holder Fletcher would have the right to undertake research and development involving that gene for 20 years.

Brad Davis has a girlfriend on campus, a student named Amy Pollard, who after his murder just happens to be a possession of the murder weapon. But Davis as the old Jim Croce song about Rapid Roy the stock car boy says: ‘He’s got honeys all along the way.’ And one of those honeys, Desiree, works at a Fiore a strip joint off the Expressway in Boston.

When Murder at Tobey Lake was first written and sold for palm pilots the blurb summed up the plot.

Brad Davis loves women. Brad Davis uses women. Hamilton Police Chief George Strickland thinks a woman, a student at the college, killed Davis. Matthias Jones completes the school year and plans a summer of relaxation away from his coaching duties. Jones is at a party at Nigel Kent’s, the Dean of students, house.In the beginning of this Palm Pilot novel, Jones has words with a snooty, attractive English professor, Maggie McKay. When George Strickland calls on the phone and informs Jones of the murder at the lake house, Jones finds himself at odds with Maggie as he tries to find Davis’ killer.

And what is not said is how McCay, now Wilmont in the paperback tries to protect her student and friend Amy Pollard. Wilmont like Jerry St. Clair is one of those characters who drops into the series creating turmoil with Jones.

Davis is getting death threats, Even the night before he got into a drag-down fight at Club Max.

What’s the Boston Connection?
Murder at Tobey Lake-Ch-3

Jones, Cocoa and Jerry St. Clair follow the leads for Brad Davis’s killer to Boston.

Stevenson
YIKES!

So Davis has a character flaw. For a writer a character flaw is a gift from the gods. Look what Robert Lewis Stevenson did with Jekyll and Hyde. Dr. Henry Jekyll attempts to physically divide his good and evil sides. And this is such a great metaphor for human character. Nice going Jekyll you drank too much evil. And so does Brad Davis.

Depiction of Faustus during Christopher Marlowe’s time

Davis is like Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus as the good angel attempts to halt his taking the evil path. But the bad angel is powerful. Faustus becomes a disciple of magic. The metaphors, demons and players are numerous, It is only in the end when all is lost that Faustus admits he had sold his soul. Davis never gets to admit anything because he is murdered.

Perpetual Bad Boy Charley Sheen

Where do we begin to tell the story? So much success and so much nosediving behavior. 1990: Might have accidentally shot his fiancée Kelly Preston. He was later involved in a prostitution scandal. 1996: arrested for assaulting then girlfriend Brittany Ashland, 1998: suffered a stroke due to cocaine overdose, 2009: arrested for assaulting his then-wife Brooke Mueller, 2010: found naked and intoxicated in his room, later hospitalized, 2014: sued by a dental technician for assault and battery, 2015: HIV Positive, second ex-wife Denise Richards claimed abuse and attempted murder!

Murder at Tobey lake-CH-13

On the lighter side is the above mentioned ‘smokin’ Jerry St. Clair‘ as well as cottage dwellers Gus and Irene who follow all of Brad Davis’s arrivals and departures at the lake house. Jones, trailed and pestered all the way to Boston by Jerry St. Clair, realizes that because Davis bloodied Hamilton Fletcher’s nose, the Fletcher patriarch may have had a connection to the murder. But he’s baffled by Pollard and the gun. And what about the Boston connection and Desiree?

Lauren Bacall Murder on the Orient Express

Ah, but remember what Agatha Christi said in Murder on the Orient Express : “The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”

Hamilton Fletcher overlooked Brad Davis’s shortcomings because the financial rewards. Brad Davis what a cad. And you can take that to the bank, Hamilton Fletcher.

Robert P. Fitton

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There’s a Bad Moon Risin’ at Club Max

“Can you tell me how to get to Club Max?”

“You need ta show me some form of I.D. Duck face. Do you know who I am?”

“Yeah, a slob who’s trying to eat two donuts at once.”

“I’m Kip Bosco.”

“Oh, yeah that crooked vice cop.”

“Don’t make me have to beat you up.”

“I heard that one of Matthias Jones players fell in love with a wild woman right here at Club Max.”

” Maybe yes… Maybe no.”

“Anyone ever tell you you’re very aggravating?”

“That’s enough, Duck Face.”

” Put away the handcuffs!”

“Hey Bosco! What the hell are ya doin’? You don’t treat my customers like your shit-bum friends and dirty cops.”

This clown is causin’ trouble, Cocoa.”

“That right?”

“He wants to know how one of your girls set up the kid from Hamilton College.”

” I had nothin’ ta do with it, Fat Boy. Woman was a hooker. Hey Bruno. Get Bosco the hell out of here. No. I’m out back.”

“I’m packin’ heat, Cocoa.”

“The only thing you’re packin’ Kip is a forty-six waist.”

“Excuse me the name is Daniels.”

“So what?”

“I’m helping Coach Jones solve the Club Max Murder, Watson.”

“Get lost, stiff and you Bosco you’re all done.”

“I say, that is rather rude.”

“Rude is my middle name. Scram. You know what ta do with Fat boy, Bruno.”

“Hands off the blazer, Bruno. This was the last one left at the thrift store.”

The Club Max Murder has a hooker, a Sherlock Holmes buff, and a crooked cop. The stage is set for a naive football player to fall head over heels for the proverbial hooker who was hanging out at Club Max. To keep your attention, we’ll talk about actress who have played hookers in the pre-code era on big screen

Joan Crawford in Rain a 1932, a pre-code film drama. Crawford plays prostitute Sadie Thompson. Also, in 1932 Marlene Dietrich scintillates in the film The Blonde Venus. Same year Harlow with Gable in Red Dust with the infamous bath scene now colorized.

Harlow and Gable

Okay, I could continue this angle ad infinitum. The point is that Jones’s star player Joe Svoboda links up with the antithesis is his girlfriend, Marlena Peterson. But then the hooker is dead, and Svoboda was seen running from a upper level apartment, Jones’s star player is in huge trouble.

CLUB MAX-CH-1

The crooked cop who’s always on the take is Kip Bosco of the Prince William Police Department. Bosco is all too happy to accuse Cocoa of being a pimp and Svoboda of murdering the lady. The stereotypical cop on the take is an eye opener like the prostitute. Bosco isn’t dangerous, just a self aggrandizing incompetent fool who thinks he can beat everybody up. On TV and in movies the corrupt law officer can be much more dangerous.

While Kip Bosco packed away Big Mama’s donuts, Carson Wolf (Punisher) could easily pack a Glock 17.

Carson Wolf

“Tonight’s the night you’re gonna die, Frank. The third time’s the charm. The fricking Punisher? You’re pathetic. I almost feel sorry for you. We knew exactly where you’d be. Exactly where to go to get you. You bored your squad shitless talking about your homecoming tradition. Picnic in the park, Frank? You really were your mama’s little apple pie, weren’t you?”

Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in NYC: Tammy Hattley. (Not in original Daredevil Comic) Blackmailed into working for Kingpin. Later leads entire FBI sub-division of handpicked and blackmailed agents.

The late Bill Paxton played Detective Frank Rourke a dirty cop who simply took what he wanted because he deserved it!

Paxton as O’Rourke
CLUB MAX-CH-10

In the Club Max Murder, we can’t trust Kip Bosco unless of course we slip him a couple of Ben Franklins. And how does Svoboda talk his way out of fleeing the scene of the woman’s murder. And add a knife being found in the alley below. Enter the Sherlock Holmes buff. Mr. Daniels is in this book for several reasons. Everyone knows Sherlock Holmes. Daniels is a nudge which messes up what Jones is investigating to save his star player. Yet Daniels does have an extensive data base of Sherlock Holmes quotes and stories locked inside his head. And he drives this 1957 Edsel.

Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed at this writing 254 times in movies and TV. (Guinness Book of Records)

Disney: The Great Mouse Detective

The Great Mouse Detective link

Brett as Holmes

The Granada Series: Jeremy Brett as Holmes, maybe the best adaptation of Holmes.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes Link

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
Enola Holmes: Sherlock’s teenage sister Enola.

Holmes from different angles.

Enola Holmes Link

With so many versions of Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Daniels is probably the nudge version. But he astounds Jones at Club Max with one little idiosyncrasy: this nudge is a ladies’ man which makes no sense and with his mild manners it’s incredible how he puts away the hard liquor. And Jones is stuck with him. But alas what Cocoa has in store for Daniels is a case of ‘he got what was coming to him!’

Why the fascination with Holmes? Because most of us don’t take in the detail and process it like Holmes. That is a magical quality. And with magic comes invincibility and power. I can picture Mr. Daniels over the years reading and watching Holmes. And now right in his very apartment building he gets to take up the gauntlet.

And let’s not forget all the other characters who react to Holmes and Daniels in the Club Max Murder. Great way to drive a story. But little old Jones is snooping around while Daniel’s performs his theatrics. While everyone can respect Jones and his side road theories, they also are off on the adventure with him against those who don’t want to be caught.

Wow. I almost left without mentioning the suspects. Which I won’t. I’ll only say they are very convincing and the last showdown on the Hamilton College campus is a doozy! It’s The Club Max Murder by R.P. Fitton.

I’m Robert P. Fitton and I’m out of here!

CLUB MAX-CH-34

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The Handyman held the secret: to DEATH!

The Handyman Held the Secret-to DEATH!

Matthias Jones Series

The Handyman’s Secret

Chief George Strickland, I understand the former coach at Hamilton College Lark Larsen smashed into a boat off the Hamilton shore.

Chief George Strickland: “Yes, incredibly that’s true.”

“Why Incredibly?”

Chief George Strickland: “Because the harbor was free of any vessel except Lark’s new boat.

Wendell Harris: “And there was nobody there either.”

Chief George Strickland: “Wendell, nobody asked you.”

“How is that possible?”

Chief George Strickland: “Because Lark never bother to learn how to operate the boat.”

Wendell Harris:” George called him a damned jackass.”

Chief George Strickland: “He is a jackass.

“I believe a murder investigation commenced after the collision.”

Chief George Strickland: Not at first.

Wendell Harris: “Matthias didn’t think it was murder until he snooped around. Lots of suspects. Lark thought he had killed the only one onboard the other boat.”

Chief George Strickland: “Well, that’s true and it did become complicated.”

Wendell Harris: ” Matthias knows more than the police.”

Chief George Strickland: ” Wendell go cruise the beach road, will you?”

“You say complicated, Chief. How so?”

Chief George Strickland: “Whenever Bucky Driscoll gets involved there’s trouble. Matthias and Cocoa Stefani traced down some evidence that brought them out of the area and as usual to some dangerous people.”

Bucky Driscoll: ” Said murder victim had a BIG SECRET.”

Chief George Strickland ” That’s astounding, Bucky-coming from someone who can’t keep his mouth shut!”

Bucky Driscoll: “Takes one to know one. I know somethin’ you don’t know.-ha-ha-ha.- Read the book the Handyman’s Secret. Hey, who are you Daddy-O?

I’m someone whose stepping out of this conversation. Thank you Chief Strickland.”

Chief George Strickland: “Anytime.”

Bucky Driscoll: “Hey, what about me?”

Chief George Strickland:Why don’t you take a boat out of Hansen’s Marina and look for icebergs, Bucky?”

Bucky Driscoll: “You must think I’m pretty damned stupid.”

Chief George Strickland: “We took a vote. It was unanimous.”

Bucky Driscoll: ” See I’m not as dumb as I look.”

The Handyman’s Secret-Prologue
SECRETS

Secrets

There are people who die at sea, sometimes by ill-begotten plans and there are secrets. Why do people keep secrets anyway? And worse why do they take them to the grave? And there is a mighty big secret that will impact Father Gallagher, Reverend Bricker and Webster Howard’s father.

Secrets can mess up family relationships for sure. Families can be divided into taking sides. And any chance for individual growth and relationships can be stymied by secrets. And the particular secret as in the Handyman’s Secret can affect a lot of people. Yet it may just amount to protection. The release of the secret would be a game changer.

Lover of the Immortal Beloved

Take Beethoven. Who was the bewitching woman he called his Immortal Beloved? There are letters and clues. The apparent relationship was not direct. I know there were no aircraft back then but Beethoven seems to be circling the airport. Listen to the great composer’s passionate words:

“Can you alter the fact that you are not entirely mine, and I am not entirely yours?”

Already in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved. I can either live wholly with you or not at all.”

WHOA!

Regardless of what he did or wanted to do, the letters remained secret until after his death.

And the Handyman held the secret: to DEATH!

And speaking of icebergs: The Titanic. Did you know that Second Officer Charles Lightoller survived? He later died with a family secret. Lightoller was aware that First Officer William Murdoch saw the iceberg and ordered steersman Robert Hitchins the “hard to starboard“order. Hitchins messed up his instructions and brought the Titanic toward the iceberg instead of away from it. It soon became too late to avoid the iceberg. Over fifteen hundred human beings died.

Compounding the error the chairman of owners of the Titanic, pushed the captain to go full speed ahead thus taking on water into the crunched hull-more than likely making a bad situation worse.

And the Handyman held the secret: to DEATH!

Wood and Wagner

When I lived in California Natalie Wood died in a drowning off Santa Catalina. Secrets? Oh yeah and the truth is eking out some forty years later. Protection of important people– lies-and murder. Secrets.

Beurling

Arne Beurling broke the German code used for strategic military communications. Beurling created a device that enabled Sweden to decipher German teleprinter traffic passing through Sweden from Norway on a cable. The Beurling code breaking allowed Swedish authorities to know about Operation Barbarossa (Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union) before it happened.

He never revealed his accomplishment. It was top secret.

Ben and William

Franklin’s son William was illegitimate. The mother was never known. Evidence suggests the mother was a prostitute. No doubt Franklin knew the mother but we will never know. Because it’s secret!

And the Handyman held the secret: to DEATH!

The Handyman’s Secret has Cocoa and Jones collaborating in a location away from Hamilton and Prince William. This is a common theme in the Jones books and their comradery solidifies the relationship and is an important element in the books. Sticking Bucky Driscoll into the plot soon sets the investigation into a tailspin. But it is Jones’s attention to detail that slowly begin to yield results. And with the results Jones begins to understand the reasons for murder. Sometimes the motive for murder is just the outer facade for deep-seeded secrets.

And the Handyman held the secret: to DEATH!

Robert P. Fitton

The Handyman’s Secret-CH-2

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