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.
*
We featured Rhapsody in Red a few weeks ago when it was less than $2. Now the e-book is selling for $8.19.
*
Click here to purchase Rhapsody in Red