“Murder in Disguise” by Donn Taylor

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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?

Donn Taylor
 
Preston Barclay is a bumbling, yet exciting protagonist who will keep you turning page after page as he tries not to solve his friend’s murder.  When he becomes the target of strange attacks and even stranger conversations with other professors, Preston stumbles upon clue after clue and begins to put the mystery together.
 
Preston is not your typical main character.  He’s a little more advanced in age, for one thing, and is quite quirky.  Having lost his musician wife a few years before, he hears music as a soundtrack to his life.  He seems to be quite addicted to ham sandwiches and coffee.  Press is also loyal and smart.  He’s observant and dedicated to his friends, as well as being a strong person of faith.  He’s a neat main character, and I enjoyed reading about him.  
 
It was unusual, too, the way that Preston was clearly not  trying to solve a mystery, and yet developments kept coming.  This, along with some of Preston’s idiosyncrasies, makes the story especially entertaining.  The mood of Murder in Disguise is not as scary as other mystery-suspense stories that I’ve read, but I really liked the bits of humor scattered throughout.  I’ll definitely read more of Donn Taylor.
 
I received a free copy of Murder in Disguise from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.
 

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