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Thursday, August 26, 2021


rhapsody in red

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!


About the Author

Donn Taylor portraits 12/7/07
Donn Taylor portraits 12/7/07

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 Forteand Murder in Disguise.


What a treat to read a book from this author. His books are always filled with well written intrigue and characters that cover the pages with incredible emotions that grab your attention right away. Preston Barclay is a very private person. He teaches history at a college, then slips away to his house where he has hallucinations of music playing in his head. Yes, I was already intrigued by this character. He must love his privacy and there is going to be something very significant about the music in this story. 

On one particular day Mara Thorn happens to walk into Preston's office looking for help. This was not going to be a quiet day for Preston as he and Mara discover the body of a fellow teacher. Suddenly they find themselves as the prime suspects. How will they prove their innocence? Does the dead teacher have a link to others in the story? As they start to do their own investigation their personalities will clash. Preston doesn't really like to be around women and Mara doesn't trust men. How will they work together? The author has written a mystery that takes you on many twists as characters come to life with intrigue and quirkiness. It is a book that you will find hard to put down. This was a hard mystery for me to figure out, which makes the writing superb. Thank you for a book that was such a joy to read and a mystery that reminds me of a Alfred Hitchcock movie. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

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


To celebrate his tour, Donn is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card plus one paperback copy of Rhapsody in Red!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Hello, Deana. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Thanks for your thorough reading of it. I hope you enjoy the two sequels.

  2. I do love a good mystery! I'll be reading this asap! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Looks like a very interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

  4. Sounds great.. These days my favorite books are mysteries!