Thursday, November 16, 2017

Murder in Disguise - A Preston Barclay Mystery - by Donn Taylor

About the book:

Official verdict: Suicide.
But why would that vigorous department chairman kill himself? To avoid disgrace? Those rumored ventures on the dark side? Some other secret life? Visiting professor Preston Barclay wonders. But his questions bring no answers, only anonymous threats. He has enough problems already, proving himself on a strange campus while radical faculty do all they can to undermine him. Worse yet, that sexy siren assigned as his assistant complicates his courtship of the beautiful Mara Thorn.
While Press keeps asking questions, Mara's research reveals a cancer of criminal activity that permeates the community and even the campus itself. The more Press questions, the more dangerous the threats against him become, and the more determined he grows to clear his friend's name.
But can Press and Mara's stumbling efforts prevail against the entrenched forces of the police, the campus radicals, and an unseen but powerful criminal organization that increasingly puts their lives in danger...?

My review:
I loved this book!  It really surprised me with the characters' unique humor (got to love puns!) and ongoing orchestra music in Press's head.  I had to look up some of the songs mentioned and hear what he was hearing at different points in the book.  I loved the frequent talk about music and history and literature.  I liked Press a lot and Mara was great.  I love strong women characters and the men who love them!  There's often talk of faith as Press teaches the history of Christianity and is a Christian himself, so he gets a lot of resistance from liberal teachers and students.  I thought he answered them very well, calm and reasonable and witty.  It was interesting to see how college has changed since I went a little over a decade ago and yet some things were the same.  It's scary to think how much influence professors have over young people and how so many of them have an agenda and not a good one.  That's why it's so important for a person to know what they believe and why before they go to college.  He gave them something to think about.  There's some romance as Press and Mara's relationship progresses and some action as he gets closer to the truth.  It moved at a fast pace.  This was a wonderful story and I'm definitely going to look for more books by the author.  I highly recommend it!
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

About the author:
With a PhD in English literature (Renaissance), Donn Taylor taught literature for 18 years at two liberal arts colleges. Now retired, he has published suspense novels, mysteries, and poetry. His historical novel Lightning on a Quiet Night was a finalist for the 2015 Selah Awards. He is a frequent speaker at writers' conferences. In a prior incarnation, he led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. He now lives in the woods near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.
Find out more about Donn at

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