Sounds of Murder [NOOK Book]


When Psychology Professor Pamela Barnes discovers her department's star researcher strangled to death in the computer lab, she's determined to find out who did it. Will an accidental recording of the murder allow Pamela to use her expertise in acoustics to identify the killer? A unique cozy mystery--set in the world of academia and high-stakes research--full of excitement, humor, and romance.

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Sounds of Murder

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When Psychology Professor Pamela Barnes discovers her department's star researcher strangled to death in the computer lab, she's determined to find out who did it. Will an accidental recording of the murder allow Pamela to use her expertise in acoustics to identify the killer? A unique cozy mystery--set in the world of academia and high-stakes research--full of excitement, humor, and romance.

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940000900086
  • Publisher: Cozy Cat Press
  • Publication date: 4/21/2010
  • Series: Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mysteries , #1
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 150,484
  • File size: 528 KB

Meet 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.Dr. Rockwell's 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.SOUNDS OF MURDER is her first mystery. She lives in Aurora, IL, with her husband Milt. She has two grown children--Alex and Cecilia.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 31, 2011

    Unique Mystery

    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.

    Patricia Rockwell has begun her ascent towards the top of my favorite reading material. Mrs. Rockwell shows great potential and I'm certain that we will see more of her in the future. I personally, look forward to reading more of the Pamela Barnes Mystery series, starting with "FM For Murder", the second installment.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2013

    Rockwell's first mystery is well crafted. Her timing is impeccab

    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.

    I was up all night reading it and I still can't get the characters and the story out of my head. I can usually tell how a book is going to end up, but not this time. A definite read. You won't be disappointed.

    Had never read anything from this author, and found it to be a very good book. It kept my attention, and had some interesting twists and turns that were very entertaining. I would recommend this book, and do plan on reading some others by this author.

    Great read! I could hardly put this book down. The characters were very well written and so interesting. I am so looking forward to her next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014


    This is such a cute story. All the character's are so real-life, not cutsie or warped......just normal academica. I really really enjoyed the story and the writing style so much so I bought the next books in the series. What a breath of fresh air for a who-done-it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Interesting format. Liked the science and academic side.

    Excellent characters. Very good plot. Figured out the killer in advance but that was ok. It didnt take away from the story. Just enjoy it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012


    Big disapointment. Pamela is simple minded and obsesses frequentltly. The other characters are one dimensional.The story is dull and drags on to over 400 pages.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012


    I enjoyed reading this book. It was a good book to pass the the time. It was not difficult reading.

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  • Posted December 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Lilac Wolf and Stuff Review

    Cozy Mystery...I really like that. Yes, this would be a cozy mystery. You have a psychology professor who specializes in sounds (I never knew there was such a thing) and when her colleague is murdered, she feels she is the only one who can crack the code of the recorded murder.

    Her husband is the perfect man, knows what Pamela needs and delivers. Plus he loves to cook fancy gourmet meals ALL THE TIME. As I said,'s your first clue that this is a work of fiction. lol Her teenage daughter is excited about the murder...proving she is still a teenager. I was really bothered by her when she walks into her parents room and gives actually tells them to "get a room." HELLO! They were in their ROOM!

    The characters are fairly easy to read, and while it never gets too deep, Patricia does a good job of keeping you in suspense. I think that's what they mean by cozy doesn't take too much to get through it.

    As for the writing, it's without fail and sometimes too perfect. But hey, at least it was easy to follow and well edited. I'm giving this one 3 stars, it's a good story but the characters really didn't do it for me this time around.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Print won't change to white . . .

    My vision requires white print on black background. This book shows black on black.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A GREAT Cozy!!!

    A great cozy mystery that was fun to read and a fantastic start to the series. I enjoyed the storyline and characters - nothing over the top and quite realistic. This well written book had me anxious at times and snickering at others. I'm really looking forward to getting the next book in the series!

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  • Posted March 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Whodunit With A Modern Twist

    Sounds of Murder is a quick read, mixing the classic whodunit mystery with modern technology. Patricia Rockwell has spent her career in academics and her familiarity with that world is captured within this story. The characters are entertaining and the plot unique.

    This is Rockwell's first novel and at times that shows in her writing style. Facts the reader already knows are often repeated within various dialogues between characters. Overall, though, this is a fun read with an intriguing main character to start this series.

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  • Posted July 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A great debut, bodes well for a 2nd in the series

    Patricia Rockwell is an academic with a prolific portfolio of publications, journal articles, textbooks and presentations. She holds a doctorate in Communications. This is her first book of fiction. With her solid 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 enjoy all kinds of science, and love cozy mysteries. I was not disappointed.

    "Sounds of Murder" does take place in a university, the politics of a university come sporadically through. But this is a murder mystery. 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. This evening, she has a three-hour class and has just made sure that her student assistant, Kent, has locked the Communications Lab before class, there is very expensive equipment there.

    The author's characters range from meek to extreme behaviour. Dr. Charlotte Clark is one of the latter. The story quickly takes off with a terrible argument between Dr. Clark and the Head of the Department, Mitchell Marks. Pamela has just come into the main office for her mail and the strength of the argument is coming right through the Head's office door. She can hear it, but she can't hear the words. When she hears Charlotte approaching the door, she hurries out of the office and into class.

    Before leaving for the evening, Kent is sent to check that the Lab door is locked. He immediately comes running and calling for her, he has found the door wide open and a body slumped at one of the special computers. Now our story is really underway as police arrive and question them both together and separately.

    The action builds, everyone seems to have a motive of some type, but as well, we are witness to all Pamela's thoughts, which I found to be unique and fascinating. Her mind jumps around just as a person who has met with trauma would do. This feeling of being inside her head is a remarkable piece of storytelling. As the investigation moves along, the reader almost always knows what she is thinking. This could have been monotonous, yet most certainly is not. One thing she is thinking is that she may well be the only person available with the expertise to solve this case or at the very least present compelling evidence, because she has a small sound byte on a CD and she knows she is the most likely to be able to analyze it.

    Meanwhile, Rocky and the lead Columbo-like Detective Shoop both try to stop her from "sticking her nose in" but she just can't leave it alone. This is a well-written mystery, with some unique features. I do enjoy finding cozies or any book that has something new and different. This appears to be the first in a series, and I certainly hope so. There is humor and pathos, surprises, lots of interaction of characters, and a most tempting house to come home to. Regardless of the murder and political academia, this is essentially a warm friendly story, a perfect cozy to curl up with.

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  • Posted July 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Sound Mystery!

    Pamela Barnes is a professor in psychology who specializes in speech and sound 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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Debut Mystery

    After teaching a graduate seminar, Professor Pamela Barnes is shocked when her graduate assistant Kent comes to her and announces that he's found a dead body in their computer lab. She is even more shocked when she goes with Kent and discovers that it is one of her peers, Dr. Charlotte Clark. Charlotte has been strangled with the cord of headset at one of the computers.

    Charlotte is the star of the Psychology Department at Grace University. A renowned scholar and fund-raiser, she published more research and won more grants than anyone else in the department. Who could have killed her? It seems that the suspects are legion. There is Mitchell Marks, head of the department, who was overheard in a shouting match with Charlotte the evening of the murder. There are departmental rivalries with some professors resenting Charlotte's popularity with the students and others resenting the money she brought in as they felt their areas were slighted financially compared to her budget. There are three professors fighting for tenure and only two spots. Since Charlotte was head of the tenure committee, it provides another source of suspects since tenure is a professional make or break situation.

    Pamela is questioned closely by the police. She later visits the lab where Charlotte was murdered, and realises that there is a recording of the murder that was inadvertedly left behind by the murderer. Since Pamela's speciality is the psychology of speech and the study of different noises, she can't resist making a copy of the recording when she gives one to the police. Her actions do nothing more than make her a target for the killer. Will the murderer be discovered before Pamela is killed herself?

    This is Patricia Rockwell's first mystery, and could easily be the start of a series. The reader will enjoy the characters, and those in academia will recognize them immediately as Rockwell has captured the rhythms and conflicts of a university quite well. The mystery is satisfactorily solved, with a murderer who will come as a surprise. This book is recommended for mystery lovers.

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  • Posted June 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A campus murder mystery

    In "Sounds of Murder," Grace University psychology professor Dr. Pamela Barnes turns amateur sleuth when her graduate assistant, Kent Drummond, summons her to the department's state-of-the-art computer lab where Pamela finds prima donna professor Dr. Charlotte Clark strangled to death. Though Charlotte was a real go-getter and brought in mega dollars in research money, she was not well liked by department staff, and for good reason. However, since Pamela discovered Charlotte's body, she feels compelled to find her killer.

    Although the local police department's Detective Shoop is investigating the case, Pamela feels her expertise in acoustics may be just what is needed to uncover the killer, much to the chagrin of her husband Rocky, a former Army cook who now teaches English classes at Grace University.

    There are plenty of suspects in the murder, including Charlotte's protege, the department dean and other department staff. Pamela discovers a digital recording of the murder and holds onto it to analyze it for clues. When she tells Rocky about it, he demands she give it to Shoop. She does give Shoop the recording but, of course, she keeps a copy for herself. Will Pamela's sleuthing uncover the killer or will the killer decide Pamela knows too much and attempt to stop her?

    Patricia Rockwell has created a fun leading lady in Dr. Pamela Barnes. I enjoyed the camaraderie she has with her female colleagues and her husband. And I can relate to her relationship with her teen daughter Angela. Also, Rockwell includes Rocky's recipes at the end of the book, which is a nice touch. Overall, "Sounds of Murder" was an enjoyable read, if a bit slow paced for me. I would recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers.

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  • Posted June 10, 2010

    Sounds of Murder

    Sounds of Murder - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

    'Pamela followed Kent, running behind him around the corner of the main hallway towards the experimental computer laboratory at the far end of the side hallway. She could see in the distance that the door to the lab was wide open and the lights were on. Kent ran through the doorway and Pamela followed on his heels. He went immediately to the first row of computer carrels, to Carrell #4, one of the department's special "souped up" computers. Pamela could see a woman in the carrel bent over the computer desk, a tousled head of blond curls. As she drew closer, she realized that the woman was Charlotte Clark. "It's Dr. Clark," said Kent, "Dr. Barnes! I think she's dead!"

    Dr. Charlotte Clark was Chair of the Tenure Committee and taught courses on addiction at Grace University. She was world famous and popular with students which lined up to take her classes. But by her peers, she was considered abrasive and confrontational. More often than not creating verbal attacks on anyone who crossed her. So, when word of her death made its way around the campus, very few tears were shed.

    After completing her evening class, Dr. Pamela Barnes, a Psychology Professor, and her graduate assistant Kent Drummond, found Charlotte's body in the computer lab. Charlotte being in the lab was normal but the question that pops into Pamela's mind is "why was she in the lab late at night?" Before class, Pamela had heard Charlotte and Department Head, Mitchell Marks, arguing. Charlotte had even made threats to go to the Dean to resolve their argument. So, did Mitchell Marks follow Charlotte to the computer lab and murder her? As Pamela soon finds, there are many others that have reason to take Charlotte out of the picture. For starters there are 3 candidates up for tenure with the Dean only allowing 2. There is also the Animal Psychology Lab which became upset with Charlotte after she announced that their research wasn't needed and should be cut. The more Pamela searches, the more suspects she ends up adding to her list.

    Sounds of Murder ends up being solved by "sound." This, to me, took the suspense to an entirely different field for. As I read, I found myself listening to Pamela as she details each sound in her attempt to decide which would are beneficial clues in solving the crime. Near the middle of the book I had the case solved as to who had committed the murder but not why, so I thought. It turned out that I was totally off base. The murderer wasn't revealed until the end and to my surprise this character wasn't even on my list of suspects. This book kept me in suspense from beginning to end.

    Cozy Cat Press
    204 pages
    ISBN# 978-0-9844795-0-4

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2010

    Great Mystery

    My Take: What a great mystery. This book kept me guessing all the way to the end. I really liked the mian character Pamela Barnes. She was likable character and I really iked the relationship she had with her husband and daughter. In this day and age when it seems as if there are problems in all the relationships in books it was refreshing to find a husband and sife who had a good marrigage and actually liked eadh other. Yes they had their disagreements but there where legimate reasons. I liked the setting of the book on a college campus and the means by which Pamela goes about finding the killer is unique. Pamel's relationship with her co-workers was good but I didn't relly seem to connect with any of them. I would give this book a four out of five it was very enjoyable and will keep you wondering who dun it.

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    Acoustic Mystery

    "Sounds of Murder" is a delightful first book in the acoustic mystery series. Pamela Barnes is a on the tenure Committee along with Charlotte Clark and they have the future of several co-workers in their hands. When Charlotte's body is found in the new lab that Charlotte made possible with grants she acquired for the college, everyone in the department is a suspect. When Pamela discovers a recording of the murder she uses her unique knowledge of sound to figure out who murdered Charlotte.
    Rockwell's knowledge of sound and acoustics makes this mystery intriguing. The characters are mostly instructors in the Psychology department. They range from a stuffy professor to a prim and proper instructor to a light and lively research assistant. Pamela Barnes is a smart and affable professor, wife and mother. Rocky, Pamela's husband is marvelous. An ex-military gourmet cook who teaches English at the same college where Pamela works, he's also over-protective of Pamela and their daughter, Angie. Especially when Angie starts dating, Kent, Pamela's graduate assistant.
    This is the first "Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery". It will be interesting to see how she uses sound in future books.

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    Posted November 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2011

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    Posted August 11, 2011

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