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Sounds of Murder (A Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Patricia Rockwell
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description


SOUNDS OF MURDER tells a tale of academic intrigue and death. At Grace University, a small southern college, no one in the Psychology Department likes Charlotte Clark, so no one is particularly upset when she is found murdered in the department's million-dollar computer lab. But because she discovered the body, Associate Professor Pamela Barnes feels obligated to find Charlotte's killer. When she discovers a recording of the murder that was accidentally produced during Charlotte's struggle with the killer, she begins her own investigation.

Along the way, Pamela agonizes with her own conscience as she fights her growing fear. She attempts to understand her mysterious Department Chair, keep her curious colleagues informed, placate her protective husband, and avoid antagonizing a local rube detective who belittles her efforts--all while she struggles to make sense of the sounds on the recording.

As she gets deeper and deeper into her analysis--trying to connect what she hears in the recording with sounds from people (and potential killers) around her--she gets closer and closer to the killer. However, the killer is observing Pamela's efforts and resolving to stop her.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Rockwell's first mystery is well crafted and lots of fun. . . . Her timing is impeccable, her plot jumps along, and the killer is well hidden until the final denouement. . . . a great read for a summer day."

--Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Patricia Rockwell has spent most of her life teaching. From small liberal arts colleges to large regional research universities-and even a brief stint in a high school, her background in education is extensive. She has taught virtually everything related to Communication-from a fine arts speech-theatre orientation to more recently a social science research approach. Her Bachelors' and Masters' degrees are from the University of Nebraska in Speech and her Ph.D. is from the University of Arizona in Communication. She was on the faculty at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for thirteen years, retiring in 2007. Her publications are extensive, with over 20 peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals, several textbooks, and a research book on her major interest area of sarcasm, published by Edwin Mellen Press. In addition to publications, she has presented numerous papers at academic conferences and served for eight years as Editor of the Louisiana Communication Journal. Her research focuses primarily on several areas of communication: deception, sarcasm, and vocal cues. Dr. Rockwell is presently living in Aurora, Illinois, with her husband Milt, also a retired educator. The couple have two adult children, Alex and Cecilia. SOUNDS OF MURDER is her first novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 319 KB
  • Print Length: 206 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0984479503
  • Publisher: Cozy Cat Press (May 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003NHRDK2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,427 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sound Mystery July 9, 2010
Format:Paperback
Pamela Barnes is a professor in psychology who specializes in speech and sound is at Grace University. Kent, her graduate assistant, finds Dr. Charlotte Clark dead in the computer lab, strangled by a cord. Though Clark brought in lots of grant money to the university, she was not popular with the others in the department but Barnes wants to make sure her murderer is found.

Dr. Barnes had heard Clark arguing with the department head Mitchell Marks before the murder and Clark placed a mysterious photo of a former student in Marks mail slot the day she was murdered. The woman arrives and leaves crying. Barnes cannot imagine Marks murdered Clark but thinks it has to be someone in the psychology department. The police are not working as quickly as she would like so she starts investigating.

When the computer lab is again opened, Pamela goes back in to see if she can find something the police may have missed. She wonders if Clark had turned on the sound toggle while she was working at the computer. She checks the main computer and realizes the sounds of the murder had been recorded probably accidentally pushed by Clark in the midst of the struggle. Pamela listens to it and makes a copy. When later than evening Pam tells her husband, Rocky about it he is concerned and tells her to leave the investigation to the police.

Pamela does take the disc to the police but keeps a copy and with her persistence records sounds to find out what is making that non-human clicking sound in the recording that she cannot identify. This leads to a confrontation and the murderer is uncovered.

This book covers the fascinating inner workings of a university dealing with tenure issues, cutbacks, grant money and strong personalities. Rockwell has written interesting characters and I want to read more books about Professor Pamela Barnes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Premise for a Crime. September 24, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was really interested to begin reading this book. I am one of the cozy mystery readers that enjoy cozies because I can learn something new from the book. I was not disappointed in the beginning. The sleuth is a Professor of Psychology specializing in Sound acoustics. The sleuth begins with a seminar on sound and interpretation. I really can see how this would solve a mystery.

The problem was there was the murder and then too much of the book dwelled upon how no one really liked the victim. To me, it was carried too far. I mean, Margarita wakes? Now, I love Psychology and was hoping that the good Dr. Barnes would venture that way, but only at the end, does she use her given and learned talents in these fields.

I was surprised by the killer but not the 'why' of the crime. I had that figured out in chapter one. I think that this series could be a winning one but I ask Dr. Rockwell, please put more of the talents of our sleuth into the detection of the crime.

I have purchased the next in the series and do expect to be blown away and write a five-star review. The premise is terrific and I do like Dr. Barnes and her family and co-workers.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Patricia Rockwell is an academic with an extensive portfolio of publications, journal articles, textbooks and presentations. She holds a doctorate in Communications. This is her first book of fiction. With her solid and prolific background in academics, it would be easy to think the transition to fiction might be a bit weighty, or overly academic. This is absolutely not true of Dr. Rockwell. She has written a cozy novel in an untapped area of the study of sound waves that is very definitely readable. I chose to review this book because I'm fascinated by all kinds of science, and love cozy mysteries. I was not disappointed.

"Sounds of Murder" does take place in a university, and sprinkled throughout, the politics of a university come dashing through. But this is a murder mystery set in a faculty dealing with communications. As in all cozy mysteries, there are several interwoven characterizations. Anyone who has gone to, or worked in, a college or university will appreciate the diverse personalities they find there.

Our heroine, Pamela Barnes, specializes in Acoustics, the study of sound waves, voice patterns, and basically anything to do with sound. She teaches this at a graduate school in the university. On this night, she has a three-hour class and has just made sure that her student assistant, Kent, has locked the Communications Lab before they go to class, since the school is usually empty at this time of the evening and there is a great deal of very expensive equipment in there.

The author's characters range from meek to extreme behaviour. Dr. Charlotte Clark is one of the latter and very quickly the story takes off with a terrible argument between Dr. Clark and the Head of the Department, Mitchell Marks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Mystery May 31, 2011
Format:Paperback
I just finished reading "Sounds of Murder" by Patricia Rockwell. This is the first segment in the Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery series. In "Sounds of Murder", Psychology Professor Pamela discovers the body of her fellow employee and renowned researcher, Charlotte Clark murdered in the schools computer lab. While Pamela, or none of the other Professors, was very fond of Charlotte, it becomes her personal mission to avenge Charlotte's death and discover her killer. Being an authority in acoustics, Pamela is able to find an accidental recording of Charlotte's death that the investigators miss. Using the sound waves, Pamela slowly pieces together the mystery and comes terrifyingly close to becoming a victim herself. For an amateur sleuth, Pamela certainly gives this well paced novel a uniqueness that sets itself apart from others.

I absolutely devoured this book. I started it and finished it overnight. Patricia Rockwell is a brilliant story teller and very well written. "Sounds of Murder" was easy to read and enjoyable.

Anyone who enjoys a good mystery will enjoy reading "Sounds of Murder". For those of you who may be a little standoffish by the title or the genre, as often some are, being concerned that the plot may be too gory and chilling, I urge you to reconsider. Patricia Rockwell takes great care in writing articulately and with good taste. I'm positive that this book will quickly become a favorite to anyone looking for an intriguing, satisfying read. Not only is there excitement with the turn of each page, but there is humor and romance that really make this book stand out. Furthermore, this is one mystery adventure that consists of only clean language, which is in and of itself, a breath of fresh air.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars well written but unrealistic
Characters are stereotypes, certain acts unrealistic. The heroine has great insights except she doesn't. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Devoted Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars A different twist to solving mysteries
A different twist on solving mysteries. This was my first book by this author and I am planning to read another.
Published 7 months ago by Robert E. Howes
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor writing. Don't bother.
This series caught my attention since I have an interest in acoustics. But the basic plot was weak, and the writing, terrible. I can't imagine someone with Ms. Read more
Published 8 months ago by birdlady79
4.0 out of 5 stars academic
Interesting story line. The plot was exciting. A few slow spots Otherwise a very good read. Realistic situations. Also touched on ethics
Published 8 months ago by Buffrin
3.0 out of 5 stars Psychology?
Can someone explain to me how acoustic technology belongs in the psychology department, because this book doesn't. This was an ok mystery but I just couldn't get into it.
Published 13 months ago by DK
3.0 out of 5 stars sounds of murder
overall a pretty good book kind of slow
beginning and it goes along pretty well it just is not quite what I thought
it was.
Published 14 months ago by ahcrosw
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Rockwell's first mystery is well crafted. Her timing is impeccable, her plot jumps along, and the killer is well hidden until the final denouement. Read more
Published 14 months ago by MaryAnn
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mystery!
It all begins when Dr. Pamela Barnes overhears something that she should
not and then she finds one of her colleagues murdered. Who did it and
why?

Must read. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Kat
4.0 out of 5 stars Great first story in a series
I really enjoyed the first Pamela Barnes cozy mystery. The storyline and murder involved the technical aspects of sound, which is the heroine's area of expertise, and made a... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Avid Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Quickie
Nice short read. I normally don't enjoy the shorter mysteries because I like to relax with a few gin and tonics whilst I read. Read more
Published 18 months ago by 1934
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More About the Author

Patricia Rockwell is the author of the Pamela Barnes acoustic mystery series. This amateur sleuth solves crimes using her knowledge of sound. The series includes SOUNDS OF MURDER, FM FOR MURDER, VOICE MAIL MURDER, STUMP SPEECH MURDER, and MURDER IN THE ROUND. Her new series, Essie Cobb senior sleuth, features a 90-year-old assisted living facility resident who solves mysteries. The books in this series include BINGOED, PAPOOSED, VALENTINED, and GHOSTED.

Dr. Rockwell has spent most of her life teaching. From small liberal arts colleges to large regional research universities--and even a brief stint in a high school, her background in education is extensive. She has taught virtually everything related to Communication--from a fine arts speech-theatre orientation to more recently a social science research approach. Her Bachelors' and Masters' degrees are from the University of Nebraska in Speech and her Ph.D. is from the University of Arizona in Communication. She was on the faculty at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for thirteen years, retiring in 2007.

Her publications are extensive, with over 20 peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals, several textbooks, and a research book on her major interest area of sarcasm, published by Edwin Mellen Press. In addition to publications, she has presented numerous papers at academic conferences and served for eight years as Editor of the Louisiana Communication Journal. Her research focuses primarily on several areas of communication: deception, sarcasm, and vocal cues.

She is presently living in Aurora, Illinois, with her husband Milt, also a retired educator. The couple has two adult children.

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