Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor

Preston Barclay has simple wants. He wants to go on teaching history, to be left alone to grieve the loss of his pianist wife and, somehow, to cope with the musical hallucinations that have plagued him since her death. Unfortunately, stumbling across the dead body of a colleague tends to complicate things. The woman who was with him at the time of the discovery, Mara Thorn, is a headstrong Wiccan professor of comparative religions, brought in as part of the "Christian" university's inclusiveness campaign. The chief of homicide, Press's old enemy from their army days, immediately tries to prove Press and Mara guilty, and the evidence does seem to point that way. Jointly accused, Mara and Press team up to find the murderer before the police can build a case to convict them. Can this ill-matched pair prevail against the police, the murderer, and- even worse-the college administration? And what might they learn about themselves along the way?

My Review:
By the end of chapter one, a dead body is discovered, a possibility exists for romance, and I've chuckled aloud! What a terrific beginning. The descriptive wording is a delightful change from the clichés of most novels; with allusions sprinkled throughout, English majors are bound to love this one!

Music lovers will appreciate the musical theme playing as pages are turned. Musical terminology and titles of music are referred to as Press goes about investigating the murder. He has musical hallucinations--uncontrollable music-like sounds inside his brain that sometimes makes clear-thinking difficult.

The major characters are both flawed. In addition to his internal music, Press is mourning the death of his wife, struggling to hang on to his university teaching schedule, and his colleague, Mara, a Wiccan, does not tolerate touching or "coloring outside the box." I liked both Press and Mara and look forward to meeting them again in a future work. If you like whodunits, this one's for you.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Hey Sally,
Thanks for your post on Red Room Library. I noticed on your profile that you enjoy Christian Fiction. I loved Jeannette Oak growing up, and I noticed in last week's Publishers Weekly that she's coming out with another book. If you haven't read any of her work, you should check her out. She's awesome!