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FM For Murder (2012)

FM For Murder (2012)

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3.7 of 5 Votes: 1
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0984479546 (ISBN13: 9780984479542)
cozy cat press

About book FM For Murder (2012)

Published by Cozy Cat PressAnother unique foray into the forensic use of acoustics in aiding murder investigations. Who would have thought what a great tool this can be? I had the privilege of reviewing Patricia Rockwell's first book in this series, Sounds of Murder, this is the second. We have several of the same characters as in the first, but this time out the location is completely different. The book is written in two time periods as well as the present. This may sound confusing, but the times are well laid out, and essential to the mystery.The story begins December 15 just before midnight with a late-night radio broadcast of alternative music, hosted by "Black Vulture", normally running from midnight to 4:00 a.m. During his patter, he mentions that he can hear that he has a visitor coming, the door opens, and the listening world hears the shooting death of the local celebrity, Black Vulture a.k.a. Theodore Ballard, on air, then deathly quiet as the mike is switched off. So here we are with a mysterious death and the shocked alternative music world as audio witness, right in the first two pages, the Prologue.Back to a previous day in the week, December 11, we meet a dying carpet king, his son Daniel who is currently running the business, and the family lawyer Harold Vickers, among others. Now, what could a carpet manufacturing business possibly have to do with an alternative music disk jockey? There are a few secrets in this family, including Amy, Daniel's secret sweetheart and his desire to reunite his father and his long-missing and disowned brother before his father passes away. This is no easy task because they have never heard a word from him since he left many years before, but he asks the lawyer if he will look into it..Next, we move into "present" time, which at this moment in the story is December 16. Before long, a pattern of timing will appear explaining why these three time periods are important, how they connect up, and eventually reach the present in all three parts. We are now at the home of the intrepid and feisty heroine, Pamela Barnes, who is trying to sleep in on this Sunday morning, while her dog is trying to wake her up. We also get to know her husband Rocky, and daughter Angie. Rocky is the main cook in this family and there are recipes in the back of the book. Rocky is also against his wife "sticking her nose in" when it comes to murder, akin to Columbo-like Detective Shoop, nor does he approve of Angie's relationship with Pamela's graduate assistant, Kent, and refers to him as "that hoodlum" and says he "looks like a weirdo". Kent and Angie are into alternative music. They had been to a movie the night before, then at a friend's home where they were listening to Black Vulture's show and so it is that they also became audio witnesses to his murder, and called the police. When she mentions his real name, Rocky is shocked to learn that he has met him. He is one of the doctoral students in the English Department at Grace University, where both Pamela and Rocky work. Their friend Trudi is his advisor.Of course, Pamela's mind switches into investigative mode, while Rocky slips into his over-protective mode both for his wife and his daughter. Since the murder was recorded, this time Detective Shoop asks for Pamela's help in analyzing the audio with her specialized equipment for any possible clues. Pamela, naturally, jumps at the chance to help. She soon has others helping her with knowledge of accents and guns, as well as her entire class as a project they jump right in to. Her research also extends itself into attending a Vampires Ball in New Orleans.There is a blend in Patricia Rockwell's writing of pathos and humor, intelligence, surprises, shock and very interesting investigative methods. For all the switches in time, it's fascinating how she draws all these into one. Patricia, you totally shocked me with the murderer. I thought it was between 3 possible suspects, but no. Fantastic!.Again, I look forward to what's in store for Pamela, her family and friends, next time.

3.5/5FM For Murder is a short cozy mystery with a fresh new perspective. It stars Pamela Barnes, a professor speciallizing in sound that has caught the attention of a police officer looking to recruit her for help on a murder case. It's not a premise for a cozy mystery series that I have seen before. When I think cozy mystery I usually think of something along the lines of book shops, bakeries, flower shops, etc. And I'm excited to see something new!FM For Murder is the second book in the series but this was my first time reading a Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery book. I didn't have any trouble getting into this one and Patricia Rockwell does a fine job of introducing new readers to her characters. When something involves a character that also appeared in the first book, Ms. Rockwell explains a small piece of the story so we know who the character is and why they know Pamela. This also helps to explain Pamela's involvement in the murder case when it comes up.The murder case is very interesting and has a lot of twists and turns in it. A disc jockey - "The Black Vulture" - is murdered during his late night broadcast in the middle of his banter about an unexpected visitor, or who he thinks is a fan. The book then dives into the aftershock by the community and Pamela is asked to be a part of the case to see if she can find any hidden clues in the recording. It also follows a second storyline of Daniel Bridgewater and his ailing father. Daniel's story was the most interesting for me, although for a large sum of the book it was uncertain to me what this story had to do with the murder mystery going on in Pamela's life. The great thing here is that Daniel's story begins a week before the murder takes place, meaning that we get glimpses of the past and start to clue in to what happened to "The Black Vulture".I enjoyed Pamela's storyline, just not quite as much as Daniel's. She had this brightness to her character that made her so adorable. I pictured her always with a sparkle in her eye and ready to smile at anyone who crossed her path. She was also quite funny at points too. In one scene, she accidentily tells her class about the case she is working on and everything she has concluded to see if they had any ideas. It's only afterwards that it occurs to her she probably shouldn't have given out all that information and comes up with her own light-hearted excuse in case the police officer in charge questions her about it. My only problem with her storyline was that she was just a little too slow in figuring out what happened for me as the reader. By the time she comes to any real conclusions, the murderer and exactly what happened is already revealed. She does have a big role in apprehending the murderer, and that's redeeming to the story, but in the end I wished she had a bigger role in solving the case for me as the reader.Overall, this was a good, entertaining book. I really respect Patricia Rockwell for doing something different in the cozy mystery genre that had never even occured to me as an option. This book may be more likely to appeal to an older crowd because of it's main character who comes from a middle age perspective and light-hearted rather than edgy, but the subject and mystery is one that could appeal to people of ages. It will be interesting to see what kind of mystery the author comes up with next.** As reviewed on Suddenly Books.

Do You like book FM For Murder (2012)?

Another Pamela Barnes acoustic mystery that kept me guessing. About halfway through the book I was just sure I knew "who dunit", and then more complications were revealed and I was guessing again. This really had me thinking.Having read The Sound of Murder I am beginning to really like the character of Dr. Pamela Barnes and am looking forward to the next book and getting to know her a little more. Mother, wife, college professor, friend -- Pam seems just like someone I might know. In FM for Murder Pam is once again thrown into solving a murder mystery, not by her own choosing. This time the not-quite-so-friendly quirky police detective asks for Pam's help. I liked how Pam seemed to get everyone involved in helping to solve the mystery, including husband Rocky, who is not so eager to have his wife involved in solving another murder mystery.
—Karen B.

I got this for 99 cents at the same time I got the first one in the series. Despite not really liking the first, I opened this one on a day when my Nook was low on books. It is again disappointing. I find the main character unbelievable; she is approached to be a police consultant but then decides to do all sorts of other investigating. I know this is the norm for "cozy mysteries" but it just isn't believable that this character would do this. Again I find the academic details off... just one example..why is her husband who is also a professor at the university "Mr. Barnes"? There are inconsistencies throughout and the writing is stilted. Ugh.... I mostly just skimmed the last 10 chapters.

This is the second in the Pamela Barnes series. These are an easy read, capturing the atmosphere of a small college well. The plots make sense. This particular book has two threads running simultaneously until they culminate in the solution of the mystery.I think there are some problems with the forensic believability, which detracted from my ability to remain engaged with the ending.There were also minor editing errors that made me think the book was published in a hurry. I think one more good beta reader would have caught some of these, and resulted in a much better product.
—Joan Young

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