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  • Writer's pictureRobert P. Fitton

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



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.”


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.


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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