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Ben Adams is a San Francisco Bay Area writer. His work has appeared in Everyday Weirdness, an online literary magazine. He is currently enrolled in Stanford’s Novel Writing Program. The Enigmatologist is the first book in a trilogy.


Connect With: BEN ADAMS

The Enigmatologist

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Twenty-something, John Abernathy is disillusioned. His job as a private investigator is unfulfilling, and he can’t find work in his chosen field, Enigmatology, the study and design of puzzles. He is about to quit when the National Enquirer calls. A woman in Las Vegas, New Mexico sent them a photo of someone who’s supposed to have died 35 years ago—Elvis Aaron Presley. And they need John to investigate it.

When the Elvis impersonator, Al Leadbelly, is murdered, John investigates, finding Air Force colonel, Alvin Hollister—convinced Leadbelly has information regarding Elvis's death—at the crime scene conducting his own investigation. John discovers great-great-great grandfather's journal—unearthing a conspiracy entwining Elvis, shape-shifting aliens, and Mary Todd Lincoln. When John finds Leadbelly, alive and wearing a sequined jumpsuit, John must help him escape before Colonel Hollister finds him, and discover if Leadbelly is really Elvis, an obsessed fan, or something more.




What people are saying...

"The Enigmatologist is a novel written by Ben Adams. Tired of the same old private investigative assignments which always ultimately bring unhappiness and divorce for the client, John Abernathy is relieved when the National Enquirer calls, offering a hefty sum if he can prove that a recent photograph provided to them is of the real Elvis Presley. Undeterred by the fact that the previous investigator was murdered, John sets off for Las Vegas and looks into the matter, knowing that he can design a few crossword puzzles in his spare time during the assignment. John’s investigation leads him to being sexually propositioned by an 80+-year-old woman who enjoys BDSM, before being kidnapped by the military, being held at gunpoint by a barman, and eventually gaining the attention of the local sheriff who immediately recognizes the man in the photograph. On learning, first-hand, why the not-so-photogenic Elvis really had to disappear from everybody’s radar, John quickly goes into damage control, trying to throw the tabloid magazine off Elvis’ trail before everybody from crazed fans to the Mafia takes over the quiet town. Unfortunately, John’s good intentions don’t quite go according to plan as the National Enquirer chooses to go ahead with the story anyway, embellishing the truth and creating a nightmare which stirs up a hornet’s nest, adding to the body count.

The first word that comes to mind after reading The Enigmatologist is WOW! This is definitely a unique and extremely imaginative and humorous tale which has a lot going on, keeping the reader interested, focused and wanting more. At first, the main character is bored and unhappy with making others unhappy, and is excited at the prospect of something different. With all of the evidence pointing in one direction, and a giant painted artwork of Elvis’ appendage pointing in another, John Abernathy follows all leads, determined to get to the truth of the matter. I almost woke the neighbors, laughing at the insane interaction between John and the woman who had taken the photo, especially when her painted depiction of The King subtly caught John’s eye. Ben Adams has found the perfect combination of action, adventure, drama, suspense, comedy and intrigue in this murder-mystery with a twist. I recommend The Enigmatologist to all Elvis fans who love to laugh."

- Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite


  • Title: The Enigmatologist
  • Author: Ben Adams
  • Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
  • Length: 403 pages
  • Release Date: April 30, 2016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692670606
  • Imprint: Devil's Tower

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