Thursday, August 19, 2021

Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor Blog Tour

About the Book

Book:  Rhapsody in Red

Author: Donn Taylor

Genre: Mystery

Release date: September 2018


Preston Barclay is a reclusive history professor with musical hallucinations. The feisty Mara Thorn is a newly arrived professor with a strong desire to be left alone. But finding the body of a murdered colleague shakes them out of their quiet lives. Worse yet, police accuse them of her murder, forcing the ill-matched pair into an uneasy alliance for their defense. However, that proves more perilous than they’d thought. To succeed, they have to outwit the police, avoid discipline by the college’s incompetent administration, and escape threats and attacks by the unseen and ruthless forces behind the murder. It’s a one-in-a-hundred chance, and if they fail, they’ll end up unemployed, behind bars, or worse . . .

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is a mystery for lovers of literature or music. There are many enjoyable references to authors and poets and musical compositions. The characters are developed well. Press, a history professor, is a good amateur sleuth, aided by another amateur sleuth in the religion department. The plot moves along well with a good combination of action and character thought. The dialogue was fun with many witty interactions. The university setting revealed much of the tension involved in that academic world.

There is a strong Christian message in one sense as the transforming power of the gospel is clearly portrayed. There might be some unusual content for the Christian genre in another sense. Press, the hero, does some underhanded activities in order to prove his innocence. He steals keys and illegally enters homes and offices. That's not such a good witness, but then Press is sort of a lapsed believer. He has not been to church since the death of his wife years before and it shows in his actions.

Nonetheless, I liked the novel. It is quite entertaining. Taylor's writing style shows a wide knowledge of literature and music. The mystery plot is pretty good too. I'll be looking to see how Press solves his next murder adventure.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Donn 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. Afterward, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His published works include six suspense novels and a book of poetry. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. He lives in the woods near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

More from Donn

About Rhapsody in Red: From teaching eighteen years in small denominational colleges, I knew that part of the academic world well. So when I came to write the Preston Barclay Mystery Series, that’s where I turned. What would happen if someone dropped a murder into that placid environment?

That was the basic question. But that part of the college world also has internal conflicts and tensions that even the best-intentioned people can’t avoid. That leads most faculty into being discreet. But what would happen if one professor kept saying openly what the rest of the faculty were only thinking? That’s why the series protagonist, Professor Preston Barclay, is always in trouble.

In writing the series I wanted to mainly to give readers an interesting story about a murder and the complications leading to its solution. But I also wanted them to enjoy the story’s interplay of strong and often quirky personalities navigating the varied conflicts of the small-college world.

Whether I’ve achieved those objectives will be decided by each individual reader. But CBA Retailers and Resources Magazine wrote that  Rhapsody in Red is “peopled with academia’s most intriguing eccentrics and snobs,” and Christian Review of Books wrote that it’s “a delightful change from the clichés of most novels.”

Readers who enjoy Rhapsody in Red may want to look at its two sequels, Murder Mezzo Forte and Murder in Disguise.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 19

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 20 (Author Interview)

Daysong Reflections, August 20

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, August 21

For Him and My Family, August 22

deb's Book Review, August 23

Inklings and notions, August 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 25

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, August 26

Texas Book-aholic, August 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 1 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, September 1

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)


megana said...

You've caught my attention! Thanks for sharing!

Rita Wray said...

I liked the review, thank you.

Rick Barry said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I've read Taylor before, but hadn't yet picked up this title. Blessings!

Debbie P said...

I like mysteries and this sounds like a great read.

Eileen Brown said...

So love Donn's novel and his poetry is exquisite. 5 Stars to each and every one of his books!

Bea LaRocca said...

Thank you for sharing your review and the book and author details, this sounds like an excellent mystery read

slehan said...

Looks like an interesting book.
Thanks for the contest. 

traciem said...

I am looking forward to reading this book on my upcoming trip to the mountains!