Thursday, November 9, 2017

MURDER IN DISGUISE by Donn Taylor


 

 

Murder in Disguise by Donn Taylor

A story of murder, a rumored secret life, and anonymous threats—don’t miss book three, Murder in Disguise, of Donn Taylor’s Preston Barclay Mystery series! Visiting professor Preston Barclay decides to investigate the department chairman’s mysterious death. The more Press questions, the more dangerous the threats against him become, and the more determined he grows to clear his friend’s name. Can Press’ stumbling efforts prevail against the entrenched forces of the police, the campus radicals, and an unseen but powerful criminal organization that increasingly puts lives in danger?
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{More about Murder in Disguise}

Murder in Disguise (Lamplighter Mysteries, October 2017)
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…?
Learn more and purchase a copy.
Donn Taylor

{More About Donn Taylor}

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 http://www.donntaylor.com.

MY IMPRESSION:

At first glance, MURDER IN DISGUISE has much to offer.  First there is the apparent suicide of the department head at the university where Professor Preston Barclay has taken a summer position.  Too many suspicious questions regarding this death remain unanswered, including where are Jordan's research notes and his beloved coffee cup?
So within hours of arriving, Press and his karate-kicking girlfriend Mara's attentions are entrenched in solving the mystery.  I've read other reviews of this novel, and it appears that some readers  love the Press-Mara duo and their dynamics, but I soon tired of Preston's "music in his mind" and the constant word plays.  And it seemed that the campus "culture" wars got more focus than the crime of sex trafficking.  I never really felt any sincere outrage from Barclay once he suspected that the trafficking of young girls was what Jordan had been investigating.  Instead, the narration goes forward with the mix of word play humor and suspense, but no drive to rescue the youngest victims and return them to safety.  When I read author Donn Taylor's credentials, I feel that I should like his work better than I do. I am glad that others have liked the series, but it did not click with me.

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