Enjoy this title right now, plus millions more, with a free trial

Only $9.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

Ph.D in Murder (A Cozy Mystery Short)

Ph.D in Murder (A Cozy Mystery Short)

Read preview

Ph.D in Murder (A Cozy Mystery Short)

96 pages
1 hour
Jul 5, 2013


Ph.D in Murder is a cozy mystery short by bestselling author R. Barri Flowers. A doctoral student’s independent study reenactment of the well-known and still unsolved murder of Marilyn Sheppard ends with a modern day murder and killer on the loose.

Also includes a bonus mystery suspense short, “Kill and Say Goodbye.” A woman discovers a dead woman on the beach that bears a striking resemblance to her.

Included as well are excerpts from the bestselling women’s sleuth novel, Murder In Honolulu: A Skye Delaney Mystery, by R. Barri Flowers.


“A heart-thumping thriller, this is that rare novel that is downright scary. Pick it up at your peril, because you won't put it down until you've read the last word." -- John Lutz, Edgar Winner and bestselling author of Twist on BEFORE HE KILLS AGAIN

“A masterful thriller set in the dark underbelly of Maui, with lots of fine action, down and dirty characters, and the vivid details of police procedure one would expect from an author who is also a top criminologist. A terrific read!" -- Douglas Preston, co-creator of the bestselling Pendergast series of novels on MURDER IN MAUI.

"An excellent look at the jurisprudence system...will appeal to fans of John Grisham and Linda Fairstein." -- Harriet Klausner on PERSUASIVE EVIDENCE

"An exquisitely rich and masterfully constructed mystery.... A savvy, smooth, and sumptuous read that's as hot as Waikiki beach sand." -- Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong Vengeance on MURDER IN HONOLULU

"It gets no better than this! R. Barri Flowers has written another thriller guaranteed to hold onto its readers! -- Huntress Reviews on DARK STREETS OF WHITECHAPEL

“A gripping and tightly woven tale you won't want to put down. Author Flowers neatly contrasts the natural beauty of a tropical paradise with the ugliness of murder and its aftermath." -- John Lutz, Edgar Winner and bestselling author of Pulse on MURDER IN MAUI

"R. Barri Flowers writes with the passion and knowledge of someone who truly knows his craft. A steamy, non-stop thrill-ride through the seamy underbelly of Hawaii." -- Allison Leotta, former federal prosecutor and author of Discretion on MURDER IN MAUI

“Flowers once again has written a page-turner legal thriller that begins with a bang and rapidly moves along to its final page.” -- Midwest Book Review on STATE’S EVIDENCE

“A model of crime fiction .... Flowers may be a new voice in modern mystery writing, but he is already one of its best voices.” -- Statesman Journal on JUSTICE SERVED

Jul 5, 2013

About the author

R. Barri Flowers is the author of romance, mystery, and thriller fiction with a dozen Harlequin titles published. He enjoys traveling around the country and abroad to scope out potential settings for future books and plots. Also, an avid reader, he especially loves historical fiction and narrative nonfiction books.

Related to Ph.D in Murder (A Cozy Mystery Short)

Read More From R. Barri Flowers

Related Books

Related Articles

Book Preview

Ph.D in Murder (A Cozy Mystery Short) - R. Barri Flowers


A Cozy Mystery Short

By R. Barri Flowers

Copyright 2013 by R. Barri Flowers at Smashwords. All rights reserved.

Cover Image Copyright 2013 by Bekki Schwartz

Used under license from http://www.shutterstock.com

PH.D IN MURDER is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, business establishments, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.



Before He Kills Again (A Veronica Vasquez Thriller)

Dark Streets of Whitechapel (A Jack the Ripper Mystery)

Dead in the Rose City (A Dean Drake Mystery)

Forever Sweethearts (A Love Story)

Justice Served (A Barkley and Parker Mystery)

Killer in The Woods (A Psychological Thriller)

Murder in Honolulu (A Skye Delaney Mystery)

Murder in Maui (A Leila Kahana Mystery)

Persuasive Evidence (A Jordan La Fontaine Legal Thriller)

Seduced to Kill in Kauai (An Exotic Thriller)

State's Evidence (A Beverly Mendoza Legal Thriller)


Christmas Wishes: Laura's Story (A Young Adult Holiday Fantasy)

Count Dracula's Teenage Daughter (A Transylvanica High Novel)

Danger in Time (A Young Adult Time Travel Mystery)

Ghost Girl in Shadow Bay (A Young Adult Haunted House Mystery)


Mass Murder in the Sky: The Bombing of Flight 629 (historical short)

Masters of True Crime

Murder at the Pencil Factory: The Killing of Mary Phagan 100 Years Later (historical short)

Murders in the United States

Serial Killer Couples: Bonded by Sexual Depravity, Abduction, & Murder

The Pickaxe Killers: Karla Faye Tucker & Daniel Garrett (true crime short)

The Sex Slave Murders: The True Story of Serial Killers Gerald & Charlene Gallego

* * *


Ph.D in Murder

Kill and Say Goodbye – Bonus Short Story

Murder in Honolulu: A Skye Delaney Mystery – Bonus Excerpt

About the Author


I think that's a marvelous idea, Madsen, Elliot Arness said with a mouthful of blueberry pancakes.

You do? I asked, raising a skeptical brow.

Of course. Anyone interested in the dark side of American history would find the notion intriguing.

Elliot was my current beau and a history professor at Everly University in Pearl's Village, Oregon. On the side, he wrote western novels. Like me, Elliot was happily divorced, in his early thirties, and glad to have someone he could bounce ideas off.

In this case, as a doctoral student in criminology, it was my idea to do as an independent study a reenactment of the real life, well-known, and still unsolved murder of Marilyn Sheppard. She had been found beaten to death in bed on the morning of July 4, 1954. Her husband, Dr. Samuel Sheppard, was the fall guy, first convicted of the murder; then after the conviction was overturned, acquitted in a second trial. All along, Dr. Sheppard insisted that a bushy-haired intruder was the true culprit, though it was never proven.

I doubted I could improve much on what two TV series and a movie of the same name, The Fugitive, tried to do in pointing toward a killer and/or collaborators. But I thought it would be fun and enlightening to stage a recreation of the murder based on Sam Sheppard's perspective that someone else had gotten away with cold-blooded murder. The fact it would move me a step closer to my PhD didn't hurt matters any either.

Nor did having the support of Elliot.

Well, I sure hope my advisor agrees to it.

I don't see why he wouldn't. Elliot dabbed a napkin at the corner of his mouth. Like most professors, Harrison loves to see students show initiative over and beyond the norm. Trust me, he'll pat you on the back for this one.

I didn't think that would be necessary, but felt a bit more confident about my meeting with Professor Harrison Tucker that afternoon.

Well, as long as he doesn't expect me to actually solve the mystery.

Elliot flashed a half smile. I doubt that. But if anyone could, it would be you, given your amazing sense of timing and intuition.

I chuckled. You give me far more credit than I deserve. Lending my two cents in solving real homicides is something the local authorities would surely have little use for. I'd rather spend my free time walking on the beach, reading, or having fun with you.

The fun with me part sounds good, he said.

Yeah, I thought it would.

That said, the best laid plans did not always go my way or his. Fortunately, staging a cold case for credits toward my degree didn't seem like it would step on any toes.

I looked at Elliot's handsome face and gave him a sexy smile. So what are you going to do today on your day off?

Oh, I'll write a couple chapters of my latest book, jog a few miles, and hope I can return the favor of breakfast by making you dinner at my place tonight.

That's a great idea! Consider it a date.

What seemed to make things work between Elliot and me for the past six months was that we lived apart and got together when we chose to. Unlike with my ex-husband, Ray, who proved to be way too clingy for me to deal with, leading to the inevitable breakup. There were also major trust issues in our marriage.

But the prospects for a long-term relationship with Elliot seemed very promising at the moment.

* * *

I parked my Subaru Outback in the student lot and began to walk across campus on a somewhat blustery spring day.

Everly University made up the lion's share of Pearl's Village, which was located on the coast, some ninety miles or so from Portland. The campus was filled with beautiful red and white dogwood trees, numerous flowering shrubs, and Ponderosa pines. Bicycle paths bordered meandering walkways that led to buildings rich in architecture and history.

I'd grown up in Pearl's Village with parents who were professors, and I attended Everly as an undergraduate. I returned two

You've reached the end of this preview. Sign up to read more!
Page 1 of 1


What people think about Ph.D in Murder (A Cozy Mystery Short)

0 ratings / 0 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews