Donn Taylors Rhapsody in Red was a very intriguing character driven murder mystery story. Preston Barclay is one of the most interesting characters I have been inside the head of in fiction recently. He is a widowed 50 years old father of one college age daughter and is just trying to get through life teaching history which is a passion of his. He also has an interesting syndrome in which he has musical hallucinations, having different music play in his head all the time. He works at a college that seems to have turned its back on the whole reason it was founded, especially when enrollment dropped.
Mara Thorn is a fellow professor and a Wiccan that was hired by this Christian university for the religious studies to attract more students. She comes to Press seeking help concerning another female professor. However, this other professor ends up dead on campus and Preston and Mara are two of the main suspects. As all fingers began to point at the two of them, they decide to do some investigating of their own. All kinds of secrets are uncovered and the other suspects have some really good motive for seeing their fellow professor dead and both are given multiple warnings to quit asking questions. I was kept guessing who the true murderer was until the very end.
This was a smart who done- it with some really great questions asked and answered concerning faith that were seamlessly woven into the story. Along the way, not only did I experience reading pleasure, but I learned some things as well. I look forward to the next adventure with Professors Preston Barclay and Mara Thorn and see just where they may be headed.
I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
Review Title: Another Great Book! (review of Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor)
Reviewer: Janice S. Garey
***** 5 Stars
This book offers a great story, fascinating characters and setting, and the right combination of humor involving academic politics from a male perspective to make the book appeal to both men and women.
My husband and I have been thoroughly enjoying this as a read aloud book. How nice it is to share laughs along with puzzle solving as the plot thickens with suggestions of whodunit.
My husband has read and watched many mystery type stories and said he has never known of one before to utilize musical hallucinations. Because he knows a lot about music, he especially appreciates that aspect of the book. I don't have much of a musical background, but feel that part of the story adds richness. I feel both this and the Donn Taylor sense of humor puts this book a cut above other similar type books.
All the books we've read by this author have been excellent. We look forward to reading the next book in this series that has just released.
I received this book from bookfun.org through the author, and the publisher in exchange for reading and an honest review. I highly recommend this book to all who appreciate a clean read full of mystery and humor. It a great combo for a summer read or anytime.
Do you like suspense novels with a little bit of romance thrown in for good measure? Then Rhapsody In Red by Donn Taylor is a book you will definitely want to read! It held my interest from the very beginning and kept me guessing right up to the very end. I plan to read Donn Taylor's other books and can't wait for the sequel to be released. I give this book 5 stars. I received a free copy from The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for my honest review.
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.