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Manuscript Found in a Violin
Reviewed By: Susan Keefe
Susan Keefe reviews novels, poetry and non-fiction books for TheColumbiaReview.com

This exciting novel is the first in a series by author Leo G. Taylor, followed by two more Detective Turley novels — Samanthazade and Ducks in a Row. Although legally blind since 1989, in his unique style of writing the author has drawn his inspiration from past conversations with thousands of people who posed for his charcoal and pastel portraits in fairs, festivals, malls, and touring shows, and his art history students from all over the world, which he taught at college. His expertise in art history, having a Ph.D. in the subject, shines through in the detail of this fast paced detective story.

In the first paragraph of this great story you are transported into a scene from the past, a scene full of intrigue and promise, which captures your imagination and gives you a glimpse of the treat in store for you.

Then, straight away you are catapulted into the present day, to a park where Hugh Turley has an encounter with muggers, and you enter the world of the private investigator. A former N.Y.P.D. detective, Turley always intended to go private. Because of this he has established a network of useful people from both sides of the law. These connections and the results of past decisions form the backbone which enhance the many ‘situations’ Turley finds himself in.

This story really does explore the twists and turns of a private investigator’s career, including the dangerous highs and lows which are part of everyday life, when making enemies is a daily occurrence. Many of the stories are intertwined with Turley’s past, and when he is asked to find an art thief, I found it fascinating to learn some of the secrets of the art history world, which were revealed. However, when he is contacted by a former friend who believes he has discovered a manuscript in a violin that was originally from the estate of Edgar Allen Poe. the plot explodes with possibilities. As the story evolves, and even more villains come out of the woodwork, it is difficult for Turley to decide which way to turn as he fights for his life and for the woman he has come to love…

In Summary: In this exciting detective novel, author Leo G. Taylor takes his reader on a frenzied, fast paced adventure where no-one is to be trusted and nothing is quite as it seems. Highly recommended! –Susan Keefe, TheColumbiaReview.com