Murder in Disguise; the Professor in Hot Pursuit

Deb’s Dozen: Murder Follows Visiting Professor. Threats and Danger Imperil His Investigation and Romance.

Donn Taylor has written a wonderful character in Preston Barclay. Murder in Disguise is the third book in his series. Preston Barclay is a professor teaching one summer term at the college where a dear friend was recently found dead. The verdict was suicide, but Professor Collier’s wife begs Preston to investigate—neither of them feel Collier would have done the deed.

Barclay’s inamorata, Dr. Mara Thorn, is also in town for the summer doing research, and Barclay hopes, to further their budding romance. The two share opinions and research and discover a missing clue along with a web of sex trafficking, money laundering, and other nefarious crimes. Will they convince the cops that Collier was murdered—before being murdered themselves?

Murder in Disguise is written from Preston Barclay’s point of view. He has a dry, almost acerbic, way of speech and a delightful quirk. He hears music that seems to accompany his thoughts and situations. You are reminded of wonderful classical music as Preston muses his way through the mystery. His hippie-looking assistant, Rainbow Glencannon, brings forth a jazz rhythm whenever she appears, however. Taylors somewhat dry manner of writing took some time to get used to, but by the end of the book, I was quite charmed by the style. If you like mysteries and eccentric characters, you’ll love the Preston Barclay Mysteries. Four Stars.

Murder in DisguiseDonn Taylor spent a career in the Army, in the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, Europe, and Asia. The man has seen the world. Afterward, he earned a PhD in Renaissance Literature and taught at two colleges. He has written three suspense novels, a historical novel, and a book of poetry. He lives near Houston, Texas.

I was gifted with a copy of Murder in Disguise, but I was in no way obligated to write a favorable review.

Feisty Attorney Finds Deadly Proof of Medical Malpractice

Deb’s Dozen: Will Feisty Attorney Aided By Ex-Ranger Solve the Murder and Medical Malpractice?

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan tells a tale about the medical malpractice engaged in by a large drug company. One of their drugs seems to cause brain tumors. Attorney Kate Sullivan is lead counsel on the class action suit, but when a meeting with a possible whistle-blower ends up in the informant’s death, Rachel knows there is more to meet the eye than just the suit. When she is threatened, she hires ex-Army Ranger Landon James for security.

Landon digs into the death of the informant and tries to find another. He too feels there is much more going on in the drug company than just the existing case. As they go deeper into the research on the alleged malpractice, Kate is injured in a parking lot staircase by an unknown assailant. Landon ramps up security and brings in a friend’s company to help, so Kate is under twenty-four-hour protections. At the same time as the ramp-up in securing, there is a ramp-up in affections between the two.

I enjoyed reading Deadly Proof. Dylan writes memorable characters and her research and presentation of the legal aspects of the medical malpractice case appears impeccable. Kate and Landon became real characters to me-the dialog realistic. I so loved the action and the interaction among all the characters-good and bad. I hated to see the book end, and I was happy to see Deadly Proof is only Book One in the Atlanta Justice series. Five Stars!

Deadly Proof is but one of Rachel Dylan’s adventures into romantic and legal fiction. She has been an attorney for over a ten years and was a litigator at a national law firm. She says she enjoys combining the law with suspense and romance in her stories. She, her husband, and five “furkids” live in Michigan.

Bethany House gave me a copy of Deadly Proof, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.

Paranormal Mysteries–Puzzles for Cooper M Reid to Solve

Deb’s Dozen: Cooper’s Been Missing, But Confident He Is to Help Solve Paranormal Mysteries

Dark Water, Book One of the Cooper M. Reid series, by Barry Napier intrigued me from the onset. Cooper has been missing for three years, but he’s not sure where he’s been or why he’s back. Most of his friends and colleagues think he’s dead. The only things of which he is certain are that he is still in love with Stephanie, and he is supposed to solve paranormal mysteries. His motive is no longer research, but a desire and confidence he is supposed to help those beset by them.

The first “case,” although Cooper doesn’t call the situation a case, involves the death of a young boy in the ocean off California next to two large, forbidding rocks. The last thing his parents heard him yell was “Dark Water!” When they looked, he was gone. Since the death of their child, Jenny and Sam Blackstock have been beset with odd happenings: childish laughter at night, damp footsteps leading across the deck and headed toward the beach, objects in the house moving or being moved. Needless to say, they are freaked out.

As he’s researching Henry’s death, he finds similar cases-Kevin and Amy. And the next door neighbor, Mary Guthrie, has had communication with them through Scrabble tiles. Way spooky. As Cooper, sometimes aided by Stephanie, continues his research and explores the area where the kids were lost near the rocks, he wonders if there is perhaps a cave. The closer he comes to the answer, the more visions he has and the more odd things occur. Four stars.

I couldn’t put Dark Water down. Napier made Cooper come alive for me and made me believe his story. You may wonder why a Christian blogger is writing about the paranormal. I believe Satan is alive and well in this world and uses all sorts of people and devices to entice people into his world. But God through Christ will win in the end. I believe we need to know about these things so we can guard against the temptation to think we can dabble in them unharmed. And you’ll walk with Cooper as he acknowledges his belief in God and the weak faith he has starts to become stronger.

Dark Water is the first book in the series. Napier plans at least five or six books to follow Cooper Reid on his journey. You will want to walk with him too.

ParanormalBarry Napier is an author, ghostwriter, stay-at-home dad, and prolific writer. His speculative fiction borders on horror but always carries a hint of redemption. Two of his other books I’d recommend are Break Every Chain and Bound. Barry and his family live in Virginia.

Barry Napier gave me a copy of Dark Water, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.