Read Rhapsody in Red by Donn E. Taylor Online


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 instIt 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......

Title : Rhapsody in Red
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780802451163
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Rhapsody in Red Reviews

  • Catherine Leggitt
    2019-03-31 09:27

    There's very little that is quite as satisfying as rereading one of my favorite mysteries. And I loved it every bit as much this time as I did several years ago. Once again I was mesmerized by Professor Preston Barclay's "musical hallucinations" and their exact fit for every occasion he encounters, I adore the characters, the mystery kept me guessing--again--and the mental bantering between the academic staff kept me chuckling. Imagine setting your life to music. Professor Preston Barclay's life has a musical score which plays inside his head. How I wish I'd thought of this. His beloved wife was a musician. The music keeps her memory fresh in his mind. In fact, he's having a bit of a problem moving past her death, although three years have passed. It takes a murder on campus to propel him fully back into life--a murder in which he is implicated.Hard to say whether I would love this book as much if I didn't absolutely adore its author, Donn Taylor. Mr. Donn is witty, charming, highly intelligent, deeply moral, and dedicated to all that is that is good in life. He makes me want to be like him. Mystery lovers, grab a copy of this wonderful book. I highly recommend it, on multiple levels.

  • Ron
    2019-03-26 06:52

    The plot is fun, storytelling good, but the mechanics are poor.Great development of the plot (except for the villain monologuing before he shoots the hero. But at least he does shoot the hero. ;-)) with increasing tension,confusion and danger. The lead female is two-dimensional, which may be excusable since she is reported solely from the point of view of the protagonist, and he's not sure about her.Taylor's downfall is his "on the nose" reporting. He sets up several intriguing situations or word plays, such as bassoon music in the hero's head whenever the college dean is present, then spoils it by then explaining the pun with buffoon (we got it), and by repeating it. Interesting, only Dead Dean had such a liet motif. Many details are over described or explained repeatedly.The tone is so preachy that perhaps only Christians will tolerate the book.

  • Cheri Swalwell
    2019-03-20 06:51

    I am reading Rhapsody in Red. Wow - Donn Taylor sure knows how to get a reader’s interest from the first paragraph on. His characters are intense, multilayered and keep me wanting to read more. This is a great book and a real page turner. The more I read, the more I uncover and I want to see how it all ends… definitely one I will recommend to all kinds of readers. I received this book for free from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. I have posted my review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Deeper Shopping.

  • Ann
    2019-04-04 06:29

    I absolutely loved this book. What a fun read. Go to my blog at www dot annshorey dot com and read the full review.

  • Mary Hamilton
    2019-04-03 13:44

    Another fun mystery to solve from Donn Taylor. His novels come complete with musical accompaniment, and though I rarely recognized the tunes, I was usually able to discern the mood of the music from the text. I thoroughly enjoy Dr. Preston Barclay's adventures on university campuses. Am looking forward to his next one.

  • Teresa Merriman
    2019-04-04 07:35

    I really enjoyed reading Rhapsody in Red by Don Taylor. It kept me either sitting on the edge of my chair or laughing. I love the characters and look forward to reading more in the series.

  • Lisa Johnson
    2019-04-08 06:42

    Title: Rhapsody in Red (A Preston Barclay Mystery #1)Author: Donn TaylorPages: 364Year: 2008Publisher: Moody PublishersProfessor Preston Barclay teaches history at a small Midwestern university. His friends call him Press, but he has few of those. Most faculty shun him as he is not afraid to say what he thinks and stand up for what he feels is right. He is a widower in his mid-fifties with a college age daughter. His wife died about three years ago and he has stopped going to church due to his overwhelming grief, which he still experiences sometimes more deeply than others. He hasn’t lost his faith, but he isn’t practicing it either. He becomes involved in a murder investigation when a fellow colleague, Mara Thorn, asks for his help confronting another teacher. They go to confront this teacher and find her murdered.Press and Mara soon find themselves among the suspects and begin their own investigation to find the murderer. The captain in charge of the investigation is someone from Preston’s past and has a personal score to settle with Press, so he finds any and every excuse to keep Press as the prime suspect. As Press and Mara continue to ask questions, more and more threats are made against them. Then, they are on the run for their very lives. Mara is in her mid-thirties with an aversion to being touched and is very much in control of herself. She was raised in a very strict religious environment that claimed to be Christian, but in truth didn’t practice what the Bible says, which in turn has soured her on Christianity. She says she is now a Wiccan, but will these beliefs sustain her when she is on the run? This is an excellent mystery filled with witty dialogue, sarcastic wit; some laugh out loud moments for readers as well as some really awful puns! I loved it and hope there are many more Professor Barclay novels that come from the mind and pen of Donn Taylor. I liked seeing the coming out of the fog of grief to return to an active faith-based life, his fight against political correctness when that violates his religious freedoms and the different songs that play through his mind at various times. I am a big mystery fan and am so excited I’ve found a new author with a great talent for this genre. This one is definitely a book readers will want to buy for their collection. Great job Donn!!My rating is 5 stars out of 5.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo.... Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

  • Amy
    2019-03-21 14:47

    Donn Taylor’s 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.

  • Jackie
    2019-04-01 13:47

    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 author’s 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.

  • SapphireFox
    2019-04-14 12:34

    I was skeptic going into this book. The story sounded interesting enough but it seemed unlikely that there would be much meat on its bones, so to speak. The further I read though, the more I was pleasantly surprised. Some of the remarks and dialogues are so outrages yet eloquently put that it reminds me a little bit of what I've seen and heard of Raymond Chandler's iconic P.I. character, Philip Marlowe.The book definitely contains a special sort of humour - one that I immensely enjoyed and had me chuckling aloud on numerous occasions.As far as the writing is concerned, there are numerous terms and references which I didn't readily understand, English not being my home language. They do, however fit with the academic setting of the story and without bothering to look them up I still followed the gist of it all.The writer includes a cornucopia of references to musical pieces. Sadly, I know very few, if any of them and then only by name and not melody. I would like to re-read the book someday and look up these pieces of music to see how they fit with the story and if for no other reason than to broaden my horizons.All in all, the book is an interesting mix of genres. It manages to weave a tale of intrigue, mystery, crime, romance and faith renewal without letting any of the categories dominate. If you are looking for something serious or that focuses on a specific theme, this might not be for you - but as a quick, fun read it is a story that takes a couple of pages out of almost all walks of life, mixes them together and ties them up in a neat, albeit quirky-looking bow that left me wanting more of the same.

  • Dailycheapreads
    2019-03-28 13:26

    Rhapsody in Red is a classic cozy mystery, with all the required elements to make it click and a few quirks to make to sparkle.*Preston Barclay is a history professor at Overton University and still mourning the death of wife three years ago. She was a piano instructor and in his grief, Press, as he is known, constantly hears music hallucinations.*On an otherwise quiet afternoon on campus, Press and fellow professor Mara Thorne discover a body in the science building. They become prime suspects and with the police investigator carrying a grudge against Press, they don’t expect justice to come easily. Mara generates her own suspicions as a Wiccan on a nominally Christian campus.*Press and Mara team up to sneak into faculty offices, interview suspects and take a trip out to the deceased’s hometown. The mystery kept me fully engaged through the story. Thankfully, any hint of romance is kept very light.*Press’s personality as a history professor is well played, with a dry wit and bit of intellectual superiority that usually comes back to hit him in the head. I used my Kindle dictionary a few times and the ponderous, professor-like attention to detail bogged down the story in places.*The politics of small colleges was a lively backdrop. I especially enjoyed the sanctimonious dialog from the university president. Press’s soundtrack playing through the story added a unique dimension to a classic mystery with a very modern ending.*I never did figure out what the shoe had to do with the story. Maybe one of you can solve that mystery for me.

  • Beckie Burnham
    2019-04-04 14:23

    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.Recommended.Audience: adults.

  • Rachael
    2019-04-14 06:48

    Professor Barclay lost his wife three years ago, and he has been pretty much a hermit since. He spends his days teaching history and listening to the music his brain has fed him ever since he lost his wife.Mara Thorn is another enigma, and she pretty much keeps to herself as well.They both do until they find themselves the top suspects in a murder.This book was interesting for several reasons. Very few write in first person POV. I like it myself as it is rare. I must admit that the "Rhapsody" part of the book was a bit annoying to me. That and the middle of the book dragging is all that keeps this from a five star read.The theme of the university pulling away from its Christian roots to be more open and inviting is definitely a good one for these days. Once again Donn Taylor always manages to weave a faith theme so well in his books. The mystery part of the book is fascinating...a very good " who done it" novel. One that keeps the reader guessing. It has many twists and turns and some strange characters thrown in for good measure. The storyline is interesting, and with the reader only knowing one character, the mystery and suspense is stronger than most.I really enjoyed this book. It stated that a sequel is to come out, and I'd be thrilled to see that occur....especially if the rhapsody is less.I received this book through for my honest opinion which I have given.

  • Paula
    2019-04-06 07:49

    Rhapsody in Red is another Christian suspense novel with a touch of romance by Donn Taylor that is well worth taking the time to read. Full of twists and turns, each chapter reveals something new that keeps the reader guessing until the end of the book. All the references to music were a little confusing since I am not a music major, but it did not distract me from being engrossed in the plot of the story. Preston Barclay is a professor at a Christian university teaching history and for three years has lived a solitary life grieving the death of his wife which was the love of his life. Her music dominates his mind, and he cannot even face going to church without her. His life is disrupted by another professor, Mara Thorn, a Wiccan hired to teach in the department of religious studies, when she asks him to escort her to a colleague’s office. On entering, they find the teacher’s body and end up in the pool of suspects. Preston and Mara must learn to trust each other and conduct their own investigation in order to clear their names and save their jobs. This adventure leads them through dangers of the additional murder of a student and losing friendships, their jobs, and even their lives. Will they be able to solve the murders? Can Preston overcome his grief to trust God and love? Is Mara a true Wiccan or will she rediscover a relationship with the Lord? I received a copy from the author and publisher of The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review.

  • Deana Dick
    2019-03-23 06:29

    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 The BookClub Network for an honest review.

  • Janice Garey
    2019-04-13 12:26

    Review Title: Another Great Book! (review of Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor)Reviewer: Janice S. Garey***** 5 StarsThis 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 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.

  • Donna Mcginnis
    2019-03-25 09:24

    I love to read books written by Donn Taylor. He is a talented writer that keeps you enthralled and captivated in each novel. Always with well defined characters. I look forward to reading more of his books.Preston Barclay teaches college history. Since his pianist wife passed away several years ago he has become a recluse and has hallucinations of music constantly playing in his head. Mara Thorn a Wican teaches in the department of religious studies. She asks Preston to escort her to a colleague's office which he is reluctant to do. When they arrive they find that she has been murdered and find themselves suspects in the murder investigation. They decide to do their on investigation to find the killer. As they try to prove they are not the killers they discover another body. Can they trust each other and work together? Will Preston find faith again and will Mara stay a Wican.This unique mystery has a lot of twists an turns and keeps you guessing to the end. A great read. I recommend this book.I received a free copy of this book from for my honest opinion and review

  • Tima
    2019-04-06 08:32

    Preston Barclay has become a bit of a hermit since his wife passed away. He's a professor who lives for his teaching, but doesn't really have any other life outside of the university. So when a fellow professor, Mara, comes to him for help in mediating a problem with another co-worker, he's reluctant to get involved. Turns out he should have listened to his reluctance. Now he and Mara are neck deep in a murder mystery. With a killer on the loose, an police officer with revenge on his mind, and a inept boss, they need to come together to share clues before they both end up dead.I've read another book by this author and enjoyed it. But this one was even better. The characters were well defined and fit with the genre. The author adds their backstories without overwhelming the plot. This is labeled as a Christian mystery, but the elements of faith were subtle and flowed well with the story. The mystery was wrapped up in the end, but the author left a couple of things open to lead the way for the next book.I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.

  • Linda Yezak
    2019-03-21 09:26

    Two college professors are accused of murdering one of their colleagues, and since they can't count on anyone else to find the real killer, they have to tackle the task themselves. Their sometimes-illegal investigation reveals the many enemies of the victim, but nothing to lead them to that one particular person who hated her enough to kill her.Donn Taylor's main characters are quirky to the hilt. Preston Barclay has musical hallucinations that have been playing since the death of his wife. Mara Thorn holds him at bay with a "don't color outside the lines" rule, which holds the primary meaning of, "Don't touch me. Ever. For any reason." Love between these two seems out of the question, but they must trust each other enough to find the real killer.Keep an eye out for Donn's clever puns and quick wit. I found myself giggling often, even while puzzling over who-dun-it. Clean, entertaining mystery that'll keep ya hooked till the end.

  • Anne Rightler
    2019-04-17 09:42

    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 ( in exchange for my honest review.

  • Connie Knight
    2019-03-26 08:30

    Very well written. History Professor Preston Barclay and religious studies Professor Mara Thorn find a corpse in Chapter One. It's Professor Laila Sloan,a troublemaker. Mara had persuaded Preston to accompany her in confronting Laila, but finding her body sets them up as suspects. There's nobody else in the hall.The setting is a small college, formerly Christian, having undergone change and still rife with academic politics. Preston, grieving over the death of his wife, manages to come forward and assist Mara, a Wiccan who teaches religious studies with a broad mind. They become friends and amateur detectives. They search for clues, find many, and solve the puzzle at the end of the book.They've made some changes in their approach to life, and the college is going through changes, too. Will Preston and Mara remain good friends? Or more?

  • Trudy
    2019-04-05 08:44

    Some loose ends were left hanging, but all-in-all this was an entertaining mystery. The academic setting provided some on-target humor at the expense of education administrations and their sometimes whacky policies and faculty meetings! Rhapsody in Red had a few "preachy" overtones, but they were not heavy-handed. The book was published by Moody Publishers, so the tone was not unexpected. It was refreshing to read a mystery that wasn't filled with gratuitous sex and swearing.I keep going back and forth between three and four stars...I'll leave it at four, but three and a half would probably be more accurate.

  • Diane Higgins
    2019-03-19 08:35

    This was an excellent book! I had a hard time putting it down because I couldn't wait to find out who the killer was!Professor Preston Barclay is a college professor who keeps to himself. His wife has passed away and now he pretty much just teaches. But then him and a colleague find a body of another colleague. Since they found the body, they become the prime suspects. They form an unlikely alliance, and try to find out who the real killeris so they can clear their names.This was a great inspirational suspense novel. I would recommend this to everyone. I can't wait until the sequel comes out! I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.

  • Vickie Jameson
    2019-03-30 10:50

    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.

  • Becky
    2019-04-07 10:36

    Great mystery & suspense. I loved the behind-the-scenes politics of academia. The main character is forced into investigating a murder, since he's been added to the suspects. Another teacher assists him, even though she's obviously got a chip on her shoulder. The references to musical hallucinations is intriguing - I wish I could have heard snippets of the compositions referred to. I'm looking forward to more books from this author!

  • Ane Mulligan
    2019-04-04 10:23

    Donn Taylor's delightful sense of humor flows onto the pages of Rhapsody in Red. He's taken one reclusive professor, coerced him into playing mediator between two fellow educators, and then accused him of murdering one of them. Add to that a philharmonic orchestra performing in this professor's head. Then top it all off with a few masterful plot twists, and you've got one of the most memorable characters we've seen this year. Noel Reviews and I give it a high recommendation.

  • Laura
    2019-03-21 11:25

    I enjoyed this mystery by Donn Taylor. It was well-written, and I liked the main characters (Press and Mara). They were unique and an interesting pair. The mystery was intriguing without being too detailed about the crimes.Overall, I really liked this book and plan to read more by the author.

  • Michael
    2019-03-23 14:40

    I read the first two books out of order...but this did not stop me from enjoying both of them. The theological overtones might bother some, but not me. I look forward to reading more books by Donn Taylor.

  • Jena Gardner
    2019-04-17 14:38

    Terrible cover for a decently good mystery. Centered on a religious university with all of its arcane restrictions trying to stay relevant...interesting main character. Definitely to see if there are more of these.

  • Tonnie
    2019-04-04 07:52

    I love mystery and suspense. Donn Taylor kept me turning the next page. I gasped at the unexpected!! Great read for mystery lovers.