Rhapsody in Red
by Donn Taylor
List Price: $13.99
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Review – Rhapsody in Red
Reviewed by Susan Sleeman
Preston Barkley is a character that is so compelling and fun to journey along with that you won’t stop reading until the end of the book.
History professor, Preston Barkley still lamenting the loss of his wife is minding his own business when fellow Professor Mara Thorn asks for his help in confronting one of their colleagues, Laila Stone. Press is not at all eager to help Mara, but reluctantly agrees. He and Mara make the trek to Laila’s office, only to discover she’d been murdered.
This could be the end of the story, a simple newspaper headline, Two Professors Find Murdered Colleague. Fortunately for the reader, author Donn Taylor brings onto the stage Clyde Staggart, the one man Press hoped never to see again. Earlier in life and while serving in the military, Press had reported Staggart’s nefarious activities. Suffice it to say, Staggart does not consider Press a long lost friend and as the local homicide captain, Staggart has the perfect opportunity to retaliate by setting Press up as the fall guy for the murder. To keep out of jail, Press and Mara form an unlikely pact to ferret out the real killer, beginning with a list of fellow professors who might have cause to end Laila’s life.
Rhapsody in Red is based on a basic mystery plot, and before reading it, you could easily chalk it up as another run of the mill mystery. But author Donn Taylor doesn’t let that thought even enter your head as you begin reading the book. His main character, Preston Barkley is so well defined, well-written, and fleshed out that you have to read every page just because you’re enjoying the character. Press is a professor through and through. He has a delightful sense of humor and an eccentric quirk that makes him even more memorable. Yes, Press has musical hallucinations, haunting melodies play in a variety of instrumentations in his head, and the music defines the situation he’s in.
Rhapsody in Red isn’t a race through, fast moving mystery that the reader flips pages to find out what happens to the protagonist. True, the mystery is there and Press solves it, but this novel is character driven with a character that is so compelling and fun to journey along with that you won’t stop reading until the end of the book. This book is so good, I have chosen it as our book of the month. So rush out to your bookstore and grab a copy. You’re sure to be as enchanted by the story as I was.
SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational and clean read romantic suspense books. Awards include Thread of Suspicion-2013 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Best Book Award, No Way Out-2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence finalist, and The Christmas Witness-2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence finalist.
In addition to writing, Susan also hosts the popular website TheSuspenseZone.com. She currently lives in Oregon with her husband, but has lived in nine states. They have two daughters, a son-in-law, and an adorable grandson. To learn more about Susan visit her at her at her website, or any of these social media sites-
About Donn Taylor
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. Afterwards, he completed a PhD degree at The University of Texas and taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges. Before his latest novel, Rhapsody in Red, he published a suspense novel, The Lazarus File (spies and airplanes in the Caribbean), and the poems he published in various journals over the years are collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond. He is a frequent speaker for writers’ groups and has taught poetry writing at the Glorieta and Blue Ridge conferences. He and his wife live near Houston, where he writes fiction, poetry, and articles on current topics.
Books by Donn Taylor
The Lazarus File: How Often Must an Undercover Agent Die in Order to Survive? (Espionage Suspense)
Release date: 12/03/2013
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