Rhapsody in Red, a Preston Barclay Mystery, by Donn Taylor is another fast-paced suspense story with a plot that keeps the reader guessing until the end. Preston Barclay is a college history professor, still grieving the loss of his pianist wife and preferring his solitary existence. With his daughter away at college, the, at times, unbearable loneliness is relieved by his satisfying interaction with his classes. A surprising request from a female faculty member, Mara Thorn, to confront another colleague about unwanted advances, places both of them at the scene of a horrific crime. Preliminary evidence points to Preston and Mara. It does not help that Preston has the reputation of being an odd sort (and no one even knows that he has musical hallucinations). Nor does it help that Mara is a specialist in comparative religions (and everyone does know that she is a Wiccan).
Thrust into the forefront of the investigation as the prime suspects, Preston and Mara form an unusual alliance to find the real culprit who focuses unrelenting and vicious attention on them. In order to stay out of jail and to retain their jobs at the university, they have to smoke out the killer and stay alive in the process. Retired history department chair and bored nursing home resident, Dr. Lincoln Sheldon becomes their sounding board and research assistant.
The authors humor and witty phrases enhance the entertaining plot and dialogue. Taylor has a sequel to this book and several others in print also. I recommend this book which I received through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
Homicide and Havoc in the Hallowed Halls of Academe
February 5, 2016
Age: Over 65
Rhapsody in Red is a page turner for sure. From first page to last, the twists and turns to the plot keep the reader's interest. Donn Taylor writes this whodunit with wit, puns, and tongue-in-cheek humor. The characters are interesting and quirky (some of their names match their quirks!). Preston, history professor and key suspect in a campus murder, hears musical hallucinations since his musician wife died three years ago. Mara, fellow professor and the other key suspect, is a prickly sort who will. not. be. touched and has turned to Wicca to make sense of life. Readers follow these two on a madcap adventure through out the book as they search for clues to the real murderer. The book is intriguing and intense, the Christian message is subtle but apparent. Rhapsody in Red is worthy of a sequel, let's hope there is one in the works.
I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
I love to read books written by Donn Taylor. He is a talented writer that keeps you enthralled and captivated in each novel. Always with well defined characters. I look forward to reading more of his books.
Preston Barclay teaches college history. Since his pianist wife passed away several years ago he has become a recluse and has hallucinations of music constantly playing in his head. Mara Thorn a Wican teaches in the department of religious studies. She asks Preston to escort her to a colleague's office which he is reluctant to do. When they arrive they find that she has been murdered and find themselves suspects in the murder investigation. They decide to do their on investigation to find the killer. As they try to prove they are not the killers they discover another body. Can they trust each other and work together? Will Preston find faith again and will Mara stay a Wican.
This unique mystery has a lot of twists an turns and keeps you guessing to the end. A great read. I recommend this book.
I received a free copy of this book from bookfun.org for my honest opinion and review
Professor Barclay lost his wife three years ago, and he has been pretty much a hermit since. He spends his days teaching history and listening to the music his brain has fed him ever since he lost his wife.
Mara Thorn is another enigma, and she pretty much keeps to herself as well.
They both do until they find themselves the top suspects in a murder.
This book was interesting for several reasons. Very few write in first person POV. I like it myself as it is rare. I must admit that the "Rhapsody" part of the book was a bit annoying to me. That and the middle of the book dragging is all that keeps this from a five star read.
The theme of the university pulling away from its Christian roots to be more open and inviting is definitely a good one for these days. Once again Donn Taylor always manages to weave a faith theme so well in his books.
The mystery part of the book is fascinating...a very good " who done it" novel. One that keeps the reader guessing. It has many twists and turns and some strange characters thrown in for good measure. The storyline is interesting, and with the reader only knowing one character, the mystery and suspense is stronger than most.
I really enjoyed this book. It stated that a sequel is to come out, and I'd be thrilled to see that occur....especially if the rhapsody is less.
I received this book through bookfun.org for my honest opinion which I have given.
Preston Barclay has become a bit of a hermit since his wife passed away. He's a professor who lives for his teaching, but doesn't really have any other life outside of the university. So when a fellow professor, Mara, comes to him for help in mediating a problem with another co-worker, he's reluctant to get involved. Turns out he should have listened to his reluctance. Now he and Mara are neck deep in a murder mystery. With a killer on the loose, an police officer with revenge on his mind, and a inept boss, they need to come together to share clues before they both end up dead.
I've read another book by this author and enjoyed it. But this one was even better. The characters were well defined and fit with the genre. The author adds their backstories without overwhelming the plot. This is labeled as a Christian mystery, but the elements of faith were subtle and flowed well with the story. The mystery was wrapped up in the end, but the author left a couple of things open to lead the way for the next book.
I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.