Donn Taylor's delightful sense of humor flows onto the pages of Rhapsody in Red. He's taken one reclusive professor, coerced him into playing mediator between two fellow educators, and then accused him of murdering one of them. Add to that a philharmonic orchestra performing in this professor's head. Then top it all off with a few masterful plot twists, and you've got one of the most memorable characters we've seen this year. I give it a high recommendation.
By the end of chapter one, a dead body is discovered, a possibility exists for romance, and I've chuckled aloud! What a terrific beginning. The descriptive wording is a delightful change from the clichs of most novels; with allusions sprinkled throughout, English majors are bound to love this one!Music lovers will appreciate the musical theme playing as pages are turned. Musical terminology and titles of music are referred to as Press goes about investigating the murder. He has musical hallucinations--uncontrollable music-like sounds inside his brain that sometimes makes clear-thinking difficult.The major characters are both flawed. In addition to his internal music, Press is mourning the death of his wife, struggling to hang on to his university teaching schedule, and his colleague, Mara, a Wiccan, does not tolerate touching or "coloring outside the box." I liked both Press and Mara and look forward to meeting them again in a future work. If you like whodunits, this one's for you.
Professor Preston Barclay has been stuck in a self-imposed rut since his wife died three years before, but all that is about to change. When fellow Professor Mara Thorn asks his help with another faculty member, and they discover that individuals body, neither of their lives will ever be the same.This is a fast-paced, witty, multi-dimensional mystery that will keep you glued to till the very end!
Donn Taylors Rhapsody in Red is a mystery filled with suspense and laced with humor. The protagonist, Preston Barclay, is a history professor at a small college that has morphed from a Christian institution to a secular one in order to draw more students. Press Barclays wry comments on college faculty infighting will bring a smile to the readers lips even as theyre racing through the story. An additional twist that drew me in was the introduction of the secondary character, Mara Thorn, as the Wiccan head of the department of religious studies. Press and Mara have the misfortune to discover the murdered body of a dead colleague, and the further misfortune of being the primary suspects of the crime. The story takes off at a run from that point, and doesnt slow down until the surprising conclusion. Donn Taylor added several dimensions to this novel, which in my opinion, raise it above the average mystery. His protagonist, Press Barclay, suffers from musical hallucinations, so many scenes are enlivened by Barclays description of the melodies that are haunting his mind. Taylor cleverly sets the mood for much of the action in Rhapsody in Red by describing the instruments playing in Presss head. Further, Taylors droll sense of humor, especially when directed at the faculty of the university where his protagonist is employed, will cause the reader to snicker even while his heart pounds with the suspense that Taylor so adroitly weaves into each chapter.Rhapsody in Red rates high on my recommended list.