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Blue Suede Clues: A Murder Mystery Featuring Elvis Presley Hardcover – March, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What intrigues most about Klein's treatment of the rock-and-roll icon in this appealing follow-up to Kill Me Tender (2000) is the King's moral center. Belying his image as a jaded, drugged-out corrupter of traditional American values, Klein's Elvis is a man drawn to criminal investigation and the dark side of the human psyche by his abiding purity of heart. This Elvis understands that the pursuit of justice may require confronting perversity, brutality and the gross abuse of power especially in Hollywood. As the shoot for Presley's 1963 film Kissin' Cousins winds down, Elvis hears from a fellow G.I., now serving a life sentence for murder in a California pen. Drawn into the case, Elvis teams with the has-been lawyer, now full-time alcoholic, who defended the accused in the original trial. Not incidentally, this diversion enables Elvis to slip the clutches of the suffocating Colonel Parker his longtime, anything-for-a-buck manager and rid his mouth of the profound distaste he feels for another in an unending series of slapdash movies and their treacly soundtracks. While Hollywood's fetid underside has been done countless times, accompanying Elvis on his own journey into the abyss affords new pleasures along with the tried-and-true (e.g., ruthless moguls exploiting would-be starlets). Klein unobtrusively renders Elvis's early foray into painkillers, makes convincing Elvis's discovery of Freud and describes an impromptu concert in a way that reminds us what made Presley the astonishing artistic force that he was. (Mar. 16)Forecast: Faithful to the Elvis of Peter Guralnick's exhaustive two-volume biography, Klein should continue to build up his base among Presley fans. According to the supermarket tabloids, Presley himself called from a phone booth "somewhere in the Midwest" to say he was "tickled pink" with the author's portrayal. Klein's Elvis would seem a natural for a series of made-for-TV movies.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

An old army buddy, jailed in 1963 for the murder of a Hollywood starlet, appeals to Elvis for help. Despite personal problems of his own, including his romance with Ann-Margaret, allegations regarding the death of his French mistress, and the remarriage of his father, Elvis sleuths. An entertaining sequel to Kill Me Tender.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (March 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312262493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312262495
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,882,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dawn Dowdle VINE VOICE on January 28, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A fabulous installment in this terrific series. Elvis Presley does the sleuthing!
Freddy "Squirm" Littlejohn sent Elvis a letter and photo. The photo was from four years ago when Elvis was in Germany in the army. It was of Elvis singing with other Army guys at Christmas. Squirm was one of them. His letter asked for Elvis' help. Squirm was serving a life sentence for a murder he didn't commit. Holly McDougal had been strangled on the MGM lot.
Elvis went to the California Correction Institution in Tehachapi to see Squirm. He met Bob Reardon, warden of CCI. After his discussion with Squirm, the warden gave Elvis a script. In a recent interview Elvis had asked for a first-class script.
Then Elvis contacted Regis Clifford, Squirm's lawyer. Elvis quickly concluded that Regis was a drinker. He discussed Squirm's case. He found out that a makeup artist named Connie Spinelli had told Regis that Holly McDougal was a wild kid. She said that she `made a stripper blush to her ankles.' Unfortunately when Regis went to meet with Spinelli, she had vanished.
He also told Elvis that Miss Nanette Poulette, Squirm's girlfriend, had given some damning testimony against him which seemed to seal his fate.
Elvis asked around about Spinelli and finally got someone to talk to him. He then called his buddy Billy Jackson and asked for his help in contacting her.
Elvis went to the stunt shack on the MGM lot. He met Will Cathcart, a stuntman and rodeo rider. He showed Elvis around including the bunk room where Holly had died. Will had not been around then. He also gave Elvis a trial ride on Nelly, the stuntman's mistrees, a harness. While dangling from the harness, he met Mickey Grieves, Squirem's good buddy who had referred Squirm to his attorney.
I won't tell you anymore.
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Format: Hardcover
Elvis takes on his second case in BLUE SUEDE CLUES. Bringing back some of his new friends that we first met in KILL ME TENDER along with some of the historical characters in his life like Colonel Tom Parker and Priscilla and even Ann Margaret, who I am sure would love these stories.
I disagree that many who will read Mr. Klein's works are looking for him to provide "the idiosynchrasies of the superstar". Lord knows there are enough books out that deal with those. I think that Mr. Klein has tapped the real "heart" of Elvis, that he has done his homework, and that his "Elvis" isn't just "anyman amateur sleuth" but the real Elvis taking on the new role of sleuth.
For any Elvis fan these stories put him "back in the building", and for those who don't know Elvis, they historically tell the story of the Elvis who wanted to make a difference, with the added fictional twist of solving mysteries on top of being a superstar, in an age where racial differences were still considered problems and Hollywood still owned the both the star and the public. When the world wasn't sure they wanted the change Elvis could bring and Elvis was sure we needed some changing.
I think these mysteries, like those of Kinky Friedman, are written to be read for the pure joy of them.
I have read them both and cannot wait for the third installment where I can kick back and relax and spend some more time with the king of rock 'n' roll and maybe help someone new while we're there.
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Format: Hardcover
Some fans would consider what Daniel Klein has done to be “sacrilegious”—making a detective out of the “king”—but here he’s done it. But perhaps all those Heartbreak Hotel denizens are not all shook up in "Blue Suede Clues: A Murder Mystery Featuring Elvis Presley." And Klein seems to have a hit series here, for this one’s a follow up to Kill Me Tender.

What Klein has done (and rather successfully) is to take this “jaded, drugged-out corrupter of traditional American values” as a man who’s drawn to criminal investigation (In his spare time)—to make sure that he really doesn’t have a wooden heart! Elvis is currently in the final stages of filming his movie “Kissin’ Cousins” when he hears from an old Army buddy (from when Elvis was stationed in Frankfurt and Butzbach, Germany) named Freddy "Squirm" Littlejohn, who’s currently serving a life sentence for the murder strangulation of Hollywood starlet Holly McDougal.

And the action goes from there. As this is a “murder mystery,” of course, there’s the requisite body, but Klein goes much further, and he (and Elvis) take a long, hard look at power, and the abuse of it, especially in Hollywood. Things are NOT always as they seem in the movies. Elvis teams up with a down-and-out alcoholic lawyer (who just happened to be Squirm’s lawyer in the original trial). Despite dealing with his own personal problems (and Klein doesn’t sugar coat them), Elvis moves forward. Klein includes Elvis’ romance with Ann-Margaret, his dealing with Col.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you love Elvis then you will like this book. It presents A different aspect of Elvis as a Private Investigator but very humorous and
entertaining! The author also throws in some tidbits of his real life that make it more interesting. I enjoyed this book very much!
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