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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Elvis Blue is a young adult coming of age/mystery novel written by Lee Roberts. Sixteen-year-old Elvis and his best friend, Monk, were poised on the brink of success and fame as paranormal investigators. They could just imagine having their own show during which they would share their adventures and insights into the ghost-hunting trade. Elvis was able to get some of the electromagnetic field detectors, video cameras and other tools of the trade through his dad’s work, and he had also gotten some new devices for his birthday. They even had a haunted house right there in their home town of Hillsborough, North Carolina. Josiah Simmons had been a wealthy recluse who had returned home from Vietnam irreparably damaged. The mansion he had inherited from his parents could not protect him from the ire and thirst for vengeance which consumed the townspeople gathered outside his door one evening. Simmons was a murderer, and while Sheriff Parker had been determined to bring him in for trial back in 1970, justice came at the hands of a grief-stricken woman and a group of veterans who acted on behalf of the town. His estate had been held up in the courts for decades now, and the moldering old mansion was reputed to be haunted. What better place for Elvis and Monk to start their paranormal investigations?
Elvis Blue is an engaging blend of police procedural and paranormal investigations as Elvis, Monk and Maria’s investigations into the Simmons' house parallel those of Maria’s father, Detective Manny Palmero, as he tries to solve the sudden deaths that have stirred up the small town of Hillsborough. Roberts’ plot manages to handle both of these story lines with ease and agility, while also chronicling Elvis and Monk’s coming of age. Mystery lovers will appreciate the red herrings sprinkled throughout the story as they try to assist Detective Palmero, and lovers of the paranormal are apt to discover some genuinely spooky encounters. Roberts also weaves in the theme of war and its lingering effects on those who survive and come home again, and the challenges they face in reentering civilian life. Elvis Blue is most highly recommended.