Perhaps because of being a math teacher with an avid interest in cosmology, the author has acquired an expectancy of alternatives such as "if not real, then imaginary" all the way to "if not matter, then antimatter." This has led to the "what if factor" demonstrated in his novel. "What if" (to the first power) a man can hear sounds emanating from paintings in a museum? To what end, you might ask: perhaps a hobby of cataloging masterpieces based on tones from one to four? But "what if" (squared), in the presence of a foreign object the original painting becomes silent, as silent as a movie poster or even a reproduction. What did the painting have that the poster didn't have? What, then, did it lose? Is this cause for alarm? In Shell Tones, it is!