The old man was wheeled out before the large crowd and they greeted him with a thunderous cheer when he clasped his hands together and raised them above his head, in a sign of victory. The majority of the crowd didn’t really know Franklin Pearce personally—they had never met him—they only knew what they had read in the local papers and television stations, which were now expanding to not only national but international media outlets for Franklin Frederick Pearce was now reported as being not only America’s oldest living veteran—of three wars—but also it’s oldest man as well as just becoming the world’s oldest living man—as the previous holder of that record had just died, at age 116, and Pearce, at age 115, now inherited that role. As he was being rolled towards the numerous cameras and microphones, by his only living son—an 81-year old ex-Marine himself—John Brown, a spectator who had known Franklin Pearce for ten years, but hadn’t seen him for longer than that, did a veritable double-take when he caught sight of him. “Good Gawd,” he said, “Frank is in terrible shape.” Several other spectators gave Brown dirty looks and an elderly woman stared at him for several seconds before muttering: “He’s the oldest man inna world Kripes Sakes, wha’dayah ‘spect?” Brown shook his head and then smiled slightly. He sighed and muttered to himself, “Yeah, yeah I suppose so … shhh … a hundred-fifteen … man.” But neither Brown nor anyone else in the crowd could really know what kind of shape Franklin Pearce was in, for he was in worse shape, than even his friend John Brown could ever have imagined—much worse shape—for Franklin Frederick Pearce, indeed, was dead. And so begins a mystery/thriller that will puzzle the reader as well as any crossword puzzle ever has as you attempt to put together the pieces which seem to fit just in the right places, that is, until you turn to the next page.