Author Donn Taylor has once more delivered a witty, intelligent, entertaining, and intriguing mystery with enough twists and turns to make a mile-long corkscrew jealous. His first book in the Preston Barclay Mysteries, Rhapsody in Red, hooked me on his droll (and often laugh-out-loud) humor, and his second offering certainly lives up to its predecessor. His characters are so finely drawn, you'd recognize them on the street. With names like Bruno Pinkle, Dean-Dean Billig, and Freda Broyles ("a heavy woman of about sixty or so with a personality like a horned frog. She was shaped kind of like one, too"), you know you're in for a treat.
And Taylor isn't stingy with treats. With his characteristic (and enviable) knowledge of history, literature, Christianity, and both old and new cultures, the author delves into issues not immediately visible on the surface. I found myself reading and re-reading several sections long after I'd finished the book to ponder their meanings just one more time. His style and characters are at once stylish and hilarious, intelligent and head-scratching. Normally I'm able to pick out the bad guy or gal before the end of the story. Not this time. I was left guessing right up to the final reveal.
Donn Taylor is the consummate scholar and author. I can guarantee you'll enjoy every last word, nuance, and bit of humor (whether sly or belly-laugh) you'll encounter in Murder Mezzo Forte.
Donn 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.