Book Reviews

Book Giveaway: Murder Mezzo Forte

murder-mezzo-forte-lg2017 Selah Award Finalist

He is a reclusive history professor with musical hallucinations, she a headstrong professor of religion. 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 … are probably guilty of her murder. A leak of the alleged scandal to the college administration threatens their jobs. Now 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, putting their lives in danger.

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


This was my first read in the Preston Barclay mystery series, but it won’t be my last. It is the second book in the series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone. Witty and surprising are two words that come to mind when reading Taylor’s latest book. I love how he mixed his love for music with fiction. Although, I enjoy classical music while writing I’m not very knowledgeable about it. Yet, I found the way that Taylor mixed in the different songs with his fiction only added to the experience of reading his book. He also created a great cast of characters who entertain while showing great faith. Be prepared to laugh, because Donn’s great sense of humor shines through in the humorous dialogue. The journey to the last page was filled with some unexpected twists and turns. I enjoyed trying to figure out the ending and was left satisfied with a great story.


Interview with Donn Taylor

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Expect any project to take about three times as long as you thought it would.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? It did not change greatly. In revising, I became much more conscious of what an editor might say.

What was your hardest scene to write?  In Murder Mezzo Forte, I think it was the college faculty meeting. The difficulty was getting the whole nuttiness of campus life into one scene. That included the administration’s Machiavellian tactics and pretensions, the conflicts of various faculty defending their turf, the conflict between genuine education and indoctrination, and the innocence of some faculty in not seeing the implications of any of this. Good fun, in the end.


Fun Facts about Donn

Car or Truck? Car in my mature life, though I drove a 2-1/2 ton truck as an Army Pfc. back in the Middle Ages.

Beach or Mountains? Mountains.

Train or Plane? Train. I loved riding the trains as a child, and I love the train scenes in Thomas Wolfe’s novels. I avoid planes when I can because I don’t trust other pilots.

Coffee or Tea? Tea at home, coffee in restaurants.

Book or eBook? Book. 

Winter or Summer? I have no favorites among the seasons.

Blue or Red? Infantry blue, of course.

Football or Baseball? Football, prefer college over pro. 

Favorite childhood book? Hurlburt’s Stories of the Bible.

Describe your family in one word: Love.

Favorite vacation spot: Ridgecrest, NC.


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. Afterward, he completed a PhD degree at The University of Texas and taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges.1914476_155692447336_3057367_n

He lives near Houston, Texas, where he writes fiction, poetry, and articles on current topics.





What’s your favorite type of music?

Happy Reading!  The contest ends July 10th.

2 thoughts on “Book Giveaway: Murder Mezzo Forte”

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