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Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite
Operation Varsity Blues is Timothy R. Baldwin’s third book in his Kahale and Claude Mysteries. After amateur detectives Marcus, Alissa, Nate, and Janice come to Marcus’s father's aid in Shadows of Doubt, he commissions their help again. They have accepted a high percentage of Lenape High students to the prestigious college, Penamore, for sports scholarships they don’t even play. Fellow students and school staff know what is going on, but everyone is tightlipped and refuses to explain. Meanwhile, the four are accused of crashing an exclusive party, framed for stealing, cheating on their girlfriends, and used as bait. Pressure threatens their relationships and academics. Can they crack this case without jeopardizing their standards and credibility?
Timothy R. Baldwin has a vision to inspire students to be creative in their writing, and he sets an amazing example. Operation Varsity Blues applies the issues teenagers face in school and incorporates them into this mystery thriller. Teenagers will appreciate the close friendships that overcome the pressure of a cyberbully, adding new friends, and trying new sports. The author uses his experience working with young people to develop characters that are well-rounded and captivating. Illustrated scenes make you feel each event, the thrill of every clue gathered, and experience the entire dangerous escapade. The four junior detectives become more skilled and endearing with each book, generating a devoted bond with this series. I look forward to the next thrilling novel from this author.