Murder Mezzo Forte


The hero of “Murder Mezzo Forte” is an unlikely college history professor in threadbare suits who drives what many would consider a junker. Preston Barclay is also a reclusive widower with a penchant for puns. He also suffers with musical hallucinations. Yet for some reason the ladies seem drawn to him. After he and a female colleague discover the body of another professor, they soon find themselves suspects as well as victims of rumors and lies intended to destroy their careers and perhaps even their lives.

Unfamiliar with Taylor’s books, I was delighted to find “Murder Mezzo Forte” to be quite entertaining with abundant humorous and witty remarks that helped to lighten the much darker subjects of murder and danger. More than once I found myself chuckling at one of Preston’s off-the-wall remarks right in the middle of a suspenseful scene. What fun!

The intriguing plot includes a diverse cast of characters that includes corrupt policemen, inept college administrators, organized crime members, and quirky faculty members as well as other unique characters. Preston himself was a quite interesting character complete with foibles but his honesty about his shortcomings was refreshing. The mystery was one that kept me guessing throughout the story although hints dropped along the way led me in the right direction. There were definitely some welcome surprises and the touch of romance was just right.

I enjoyed “Murder Mezzo Forte” and would definitely be interested in reading other books by Donn Taylor.

A copy of this book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


He is a reclusive history professor with musical hallucinations. . . .

She a headstrong professor of religion, a converted Wiccan. Earlier, they solved a campus murder, but now police say they formed two-thirds of an illicit love triangle with a newly-murdered female colleague and they’re probably guilty of her murder. A leak of the alleged scandal to the college administration threatens their jobs.

Their desperate attempt to prove themselves innocent of the triangle and the murder plunges them into a tangle of unsavory corporate relationships among college trustees. And it puts their lives in danger from a mysterious criminal organization that seems to have tentacles everywhere.

Can this ill-matched pair’s stumbling efforts succeed against the entrenched forces of the police, the college’s incompetent administration, and that powerful but unseen criminal organization? If not, they may end up unemployed, in prison, or suffering a fate much worse.

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Donn TaylorDonn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His publications include three suspense novels, one historical novel, and a book of poetry. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

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