Thursday, November 16, 2017

Book Review - Murder In Disguise


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...?


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


All I can say is if you like a really good mystery that keeps you guessing throughout the whole book, you're going to love this book, Murder in Disguise!

This book finds us revisiting Preston and Mara as they get themselves pulled into yet another murder. This is part of the Preston Barclay series and you won't be lost if you haven't read the other books in the series, but I highly recommend you do. I have read them and they are as enjoyable as this one.

This time Preston is a visiting professor for a few weeks during the summer at the state University. He is teaching history but his reputation for solving two other murders is preceding him and it's the topic of conversation - especially since his good friend, Jordan Collier, had committed suicide some months before and there are certain people who don't want him looking any further than the suicide decision. However, when Grace, Jordan's widow, asks Preston to look into it, he feels he must at least check it out. What follows is once threat and mystery after another. Every time something happens, it leads Preston and Mara to think that there is something more to this than suicide.

I really like Preston. He has a quirkiness about him and a likability that kept me reading and hoping for his safety. I liked Mara, okay, but found her a bit prickly and I wasn't always feeling she was the best person for Preston to be involved with. She has a lot of past issues that mars their relationship and I find it annoying at times. However, having said that, she is always there for Pres when he really needs her so that redeems her in a lot of ways for me.

I had a hard time putting this book down. There are so many twists, turns and nuances to this story that you're never sure who anyone really is or if they are friend or foe. There is a lot of really bad stuff going on around this campus, and on it, that makes it dangerous for anyone trying to get to the bottom or it or do the right thing. That's what I love about Preston - he always tries to do the right thing.

I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it to any mystery lover out there. It has the undertone of Christianity so there is talk about it, but it fits well within the story and, of course, there is not cursing or bad situations that will be having you blush. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

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