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Sounds of Murder

(Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  38 reviews
When Pamela Barnes discovers her department's star researcher Charlotte Clark strangled to death in the computer lab, she is determined to find the killer. She extracts an audio recording of the murder and analyzes it acoustically to determine if any of the sounds made during the murder can help identify the killer. Unfortunately, her aggressive attempts to solve the crime ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Cozy Cat Press (first published April 21st 2010)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  120 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Marty Beaudet
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: students needing examples of common pitfalls
Recommended to Marty by: fReado
The story started off effectively enough—with a murder—giving the reader and the characters a mystery to solve. But much of the story was contained in the head of the protagonist as she fretted about what to do and replayed the list of possible suspects over and over again. There would be brief snippets of dialogue with her colleagues, after which she would run around "wondering" about this person or that person, or some bit of evidence.

As the title implies, the plot revolves around an accidenta
Cheryl Landmark
As far as cozy mysteries go, this one was quite enjoyable for the most part with an interesting academic setting and a unique way to solve a murder using sound technology.

The story started off quickly with the murder occurring almost immediately. Pamela's determination to find out who killed her unpopular and widely disliked colleague became almost an obsession with her despite the wise advice of her husband, friends and the police detective to leave the investigating to the proper authorities.
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 read ...more
Martha Cheves
Jun 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 “s
Jul 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Diane Morlan
May 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes cozy mysteries
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.

Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Sounds of Murder(Patricia Rockwell)

Pamela Barnes, psychology Professor finds one of her colleagues Murdered in the computer lab. Charlotte Clark was not well liked, a woman with a lot of power and authority, she had quite a few people angry with her. Pamela is determined to find the murderer. With the aide of an audio recording, she decides to try to figure out just who committed this crime. This is not an easy task, since Charlotte seemed to have more enemies than friends. And spe
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I started with a later volume in the series and enjoyed it enough to go back and read Sounds of Murder. I enjoyed the first volume even more than the later one. The protagonist, Pamela Barnes, is a professor of acoustics at a university and I really enjoyed the information about this field of which I know only a little but find fascinating. Rockwell was a teacher for many years and it shows in the clarity and readability of her prose. The characters are good enough as is the plot.

Altogether an e
Darcia Helle
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 ch
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good read, Pamela being an expert in sound technology records the sounds from the main computer from the time a colleague was murdered while working on a computer, this way she sets out to solve the murder.
Pam Leffler
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Darcy Odden
Jun 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 co ...more
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Really not worth the time (and I read it in about 3 hours). I am predispositioned to like mysteries set in a university environment and I was hoping to pick up a bit about sound in psychology too.

This book (published in 2010) seemed to paint such an unrealistic picture of today's psychology departments that I couldn't get past it. I can't count the number of times the author referred to "special research databases" that could only be accessed on these four special computers. Yes, she confirms s
Aug 31, 2010 rated it liked it
When psychology professor, Pamela Barnes, and her graduate assistant discover the body of the psychology’s department most renowned (and disagreeable) professor, Pamela is determined to solve the crime. She uses her specialization in acoustics to unravel the murder when she finds an accidental sound recording from the night of the murder. With the department up in arms over a potential killer amidst their ranks, danger lurking in the corners, and her protective husband watching her every move, P ...more
Angela Holtz
Dec 07, 2011 rated it liked it
From Lilac Wolf and Stuff

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 fictio
Mar 15, 2011 rated it liked it
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 invest
Feb 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-bought
Thanks to her specialized skill set, psychology professor Pamela Barnes feels obligated to solve the murder of her much-despised colleague. I was originally drawn to this book due to a common general interest with the professor. But, the author focused so much on the technical aspects of sound (the protagonist's specialty area) that it soon bored me. I found Dr. Barnes to be too flawed (can you say daft and defiant?) for my liking. By the end of the story, I was actually hoping she'd be killed o ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
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 m
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the story. I mainly read older mystery books. My attention was initially drawn to this book because it was on a list of low cost Kindle books. I figured it was a low-risk to try it out on my new Kindle. The technology aspect of the book (audio analysis) was the second factor.

Overall, I recommend the book. It was a quick read and the story moved along well. The story is placed right in the middle of a university staff environment. Since the author is an academic, I suspect that she knows
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010
A little hard to sink into at first. Mostly because you can't quickly relate to the main character and are given only glances at supporting cast. The murder happens almost right off the bat, so you aren't given a lot of background on the 'suspects', those faculty and students with reasons to want Charlotte Clark dead. However, after the murder occurs you are enveloped by the faculaty and learn more about the main character, Pamela Barnes.

In the end this is a somewhat charming novel, with interes
Barbara Jean Coast
Pamela Barnes is one clever gal with her ear to the ground and her understanding of sound! Anyone who dares to murder a colleague, even one who no one really cared for better be prepared to pay for their crime. This is an engaging and fast paced read, that had this mystery writer trying to guess “who-dunnit” all the way through. Loved all the characters, especially the delicious man that Pamela is married to. Let me tell you gals if yours truly were ever to wed, then a man like Rocky would be ju ...more
Mindy Detweiler
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 setti ...more
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozies, e-book, i-own
Blake University is small but thanks to Dr. Charlotte Clark it's Psychology department is rich from her generous donations but still someone has seen it fit to kill her in the computer lab she paod for, but why?

Enter Pamela Barnes and ehr graduate student Kent who discover her strangled while do doing research and now the search to find out who in the department wants her dead that badly. Everyone from the department head had fought with her just prior to her death.

Patrica Rockwell pens a great
Mar 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, ebook, kindle, cozy
I enjoyed this cozy mystery. It took me a long while to get through it, but due in no part to the quality of the book, but rather how busy I've been lately.

I enjoyed the academic setting of this series. Perhaps even more so now with my DH in the thick of graduate school and having recently worked for our local university. I'm still a bit confused as to why an acoustics expert is part of the psychology department, but perhaps the next book will make that a bit clearer? In reality it did not matte
Georgiann Hennelly
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
When Pamela Barnes , a Psychology professor finds her collegue Charlotte Clark murdered in the computer lab Pamela is determined tto find the murderer. With the aide of an audio recording Pamela decides to try to figure out who the killer is Charlotte was not well liked and seemed to have more enemies than friends. And some of Pamela,s friends are on the suspect list. Fast paced who -done -it complete with recipes in the back of the book. I look forward to reading more books by Patricia Rockwell
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
When an unpopular faculty member is found strangled in her lab Professor Pamela Barnes is shocked. She's even more shocked to realize that some of the advanced equipment in the lab has recorded the sounds of the murder.
Dr. Barnes is in her element - acoustics - as she works with Detective Shoop to solve the murder.
Good story. Enjoyed the interactions between characters. Rocky Barnes was a good balance to his wife.
There was a little too much "should I tell Rocky" or "I'll tell him later" back and
Aaron Lazar
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This isn't an "official" review - I usually try to pen intelligent reviews but I'm just jotting down some quick thoughts because I realize I missed adding these books earlier to my collection. I love these books by Patricia Rockwell. There's something very comforting about coming back to the main character's life and friends, etc. I love the fact that it's very easy and smooth reading - well edited and written in a casual and breezy style that goes down easily!
Kate L
Oct 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have to say first off, that I am quite picky about my cozy mysteries. I believe there to be a verrrrry fine line between cozy and boring. I think Sounds of Murder found itself teetering for a minute or two, but ultimately came out pretty dang good...

To see the complete review over at The Book Buff, click on the following link:

-Kate the Book Buff
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I purchased "Sounds of Murder" as a Kindle 99c download and it was more than worth the price. I enjoyed it enough to read the next in the series, but I wouldn't say it's one of the best I've read recently. There was nothing to find fault with, it just didn't 'wow' me. Using acoustic science as the heroine's specialty and the means for solving the murder was an interesting twist though.
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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’ deg ...more

Other books in the series

Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery (5 books)
  • FM For Murder (Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery, #2)
  • Voice Mail Murder (Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery, #3)
  • Stump Speech Murder (Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery, #4)
  • Murder in the Round (Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery, #5)