Sounds of Murder

Rated 4.00/5 based on 5 reviews
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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About Patricia Rockwell

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.


Sounds and Voices
Patricia Rockwell's cozy mystery "Sounds of Murder" is all about sounds and how amateur sleuth Pamela Barnes uses her knowledge of sounds to identify a killer. Do you recognize the sounds of these famous voices?

Also in Series: Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mysteries

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Review by: Joan H. Young on April 24, 2012 :
This is the first in the Pamela Barnes Audio mystery series. Barnes is a small-college professor, and Rockwell nails the character and the atmosphere. You can tell she's lived this scene.

The plot is clever, and the story held my interest.

There was perhaps, a bit too much mental reviewing of the clues by Barnes, but not so much that I was put off from the series.

I was hoping for a bit more of the technical aspects of the audio analysis. With Rockwell's background in this field I'm sure she could describe the process in more detail (but I like techno-forensic stuff).

I liked this book enough to continue reading the series.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
Review by: Mike Bove on Aug. 18, 2011 :
I enjoyed this cozy, but I did not love it. There is a good plot, clue trail, dialogue, and a likable sleuth. Appreciation of the overall story is diminished by a lot of repetition. The interplay among the faculty and in Pamela's family is well written and fun.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
Review by: A.M. Harte on May 3, 2011 :
Sounds of Murder is a cozy murder mystery debut which brings back childhood memories of reading the adventures of amateur sleuths like Nancy Drew — except instead of a teenaged detective, we have an older, professional sleuth who uses acoustics to solve crime.

Main character Pamela Barnes is a university professor with an expertise in acoustic technology and the classical personality of an amateur sleuth: she’s passionate, stubborn, and can’t leave well enough alone -- choosing to continue investigating despite common sense.

Set on a university backdrop of academic politics and high-stakes research, the novel features a wide enough range of potential suspects to keep you guessing. The use of acoustic technology to solve the crime is certainly original, although the drawback of using sound waves is that it makes it very difficult for the reader to do any sleuthing of their own, which tends to be one of the appeals of the genre.

Overall, however, the story is well-written and engaging; this is a light-hearted, quick read. While a little slow-paced, the realistic setting and use of acoustic technology are enough to intrigue. Recommended for fans of gentle murder mysteries with strong romantic subplots.

[Read my full review at quillsandzebras.]
(reviewed 56 days after purchase)
Review by: Darcia Helle on March 22, 2011 :
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.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
Review by: Susan Schoeffield on June 1, 2010 :
What would Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot or Perry Mason have done had there been available today’s latest scientific advancements for solving crimes? They would have presented you with the same type of intriguing mystery found in Patricia Rockwell’s Sounds of Murder. When an overbearing Psychology professor is found strangled, a fellow professor, Dr. Pamela Barnes, wants to help bring the killer to justice. Pamela is convinced crucial evidence can be found using her department’s sophisticated acoustics equipment. But could her amateur sleuthing lead the way to her own sounds of murder? Dr. Rockwell’s interesting characters, enticing storyline and fascinating use of advanced sound technology all blend together to make this book a must-have for your murder mystery library.
(reviewed 32 days after purchase)

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