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...?
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Murder in Disguise is the third book in the Preston Barclay Mystery series by author Donn Taylor and I believe it is my favorite to date. Preston has signed up to be a visiting history professor at a more liberal college and Mara his love interest is going as well to stay with an old friend to do some research. Preston is arriving at the college after his longtime friend has supposedly committed suicide. This is so out of character for his friend, Jordan, that even Jordan’s wife has asked him to prove it is murder. Preston already saddened by the news is hesitant to step back in to a possible murder investigation.
Well, the story is sprinkled with so many unusual faculty members and students, not to mention the cops don’t really want Preston nosing around. And because she is Mara, and loves Press, she steps into the pot as well. This situation quickly escalates and becomes more dangerous as Preston begins uncovering the truth.
As with all of author Taylor’s books, I so enjoy the wit and wisdom he uses in a tongue in cheek way. Not at all a preachy book but it does show the ridiculous realities that colleges are becoming. Not just a funny subject, but quite a serious and terrifying one as well when you consider the ramifications this will have on our culture, society, and our children.
This was a book that I was invested in and wanted to pursue the truth with Press and Mara at whether their friend did commit suicide and why, or was it truly murder in disguise? The overarching theme of Preston’s and Mara’s romance was also something I have been looking to read more of and I was not disappointed. I highly recommend this cozy mystery and cleverly, witty written book.
I received a copy of this novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
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.
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