Cheesy is a most apt description of Donn Taylor’s latest offering, Murder in Disguise. From protagonist Professor Preston Barclay’s tedious wearing of suits to his repetitiously boring twice daily meals of ham sandwiches and coffee to the awkward relationship he shares with fellow professor Mara Thorn, the book is a rather disappointing three hundred and one pages.
The chronic references to Barclay’s internal symphony might be humorous if the musical references were relevant. The average reader will have no inkling what Handel’s The Faithful Shepherd, or Sigmond Romberg’s When I Grow Too Old to Dream even sound like. Because of their overabundance, taking time to research the musical references sucks all pleasure out of reading.
Verbal sparring amongst the book’s characters laced with excessive puns is nothing short of eye-rollingly ridiculous, a type of dialogue that detracts from rather than adding to the story.
However, for the patient reader willing to overlook the uppity language, annoying musical references, stuffy behavior and boring palates of the main characters, the mystery unravels with a rather surprising conclusion.
***In exchange for this review, a complimentary copy of the book was provided by the publisher.