Book Review: Rhapsody in Red

13 Jul

510cgTf5ofL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_It was a bad day to find a corpse on campus. Preston Barclay is a self-made recluse (and he likes it that way). Teaching college history allows him time to grieve the loss of his pianist wife and find relief from the musical hallucinations that have been playing in his head since her death. But when he and headstrong colleague, Mara Thorn, discover the body of another instructor on campus, Press’s monotonous solitude is shaken up. When the preliminary evidence singles out Press and Mara, they must take some chances, including trusting each other, to build their own defense by bending the rules just a little bit. They form an unlikely alliance to stay ahead of the police, the college’s wary and incompetent administration, and whoever is trying to get away with murder. Or else they both might end up unemployed, behind bars, or worse…



DTaylor-384Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His publications include three suspense novels, one historical novel, and a book of poetry. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

Find out more about Donn at


My Impressions:

There is just something about a cozy mystery — I love the witty dialog, the tongue in cheek humor, the quirky characters and the puzzling mystery. You get that and more in Donn Taylor’s novel, Rhapsody in Red. Professors Preston Barclay and Mara Thorne join investigative forces when they are targeted as suspects in a colleague’s murder. As they get closer to finding out just whodunit, the danger from the real murderer increases. Along the way they develop a friendship that just might become something more.

Taylor has created an interesting community in Overton College, er, University. Political correctness and secularization run amok as the church-supported institution strives to attract students. Characters run the gamut of philosophies and ideals with enough oddballs to keep the chuckles coming. There’s also a grudge-holding homicide detective that you’ll love to hate.  The two main characters, widower Preston and Wiccan Mara, are oil and water at first, but soon put aside their differences in order to prove their innocence. Suspects are plenty as many people wanted the victim dead. That’s another plus for this cozy — the victim is not mourned by the characters or the reader. A strong faith thread runs throughout the novel as Press and Mara work out their relationships with God. With lots of literary and musical allusions and references, Rhapsody in Red will also appeal to music and literature lovers.

So if you are looking for a mystery to keep you guessing and thinking, check out Rhapsody in Red.


Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


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