Dead Man’s Pose
Susan Rogers and John Roosen
Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Chelsy Scherba for Reader Views (06/2022)
“Dead Man’s Pose” is the first installment of Susan Rogers’ and John Roosen’s new murder mystery series, Yoga Mat Mysteries. Elaina Williams is a popular yoga teacher who enjoys bringing peace and balance into peoples’ lives. One day, she is horrified to find one of her yoga students, Mario Vincente, dead after attending one of her sessions. It soon becomes apparent that Mario’s death was no accident, and Elaina is determined to find out the truth. Together with her attractive friend, Ric Peters, Elaina hopes to uncover the secrets behind Mario’s murder and bring the killers to justice.
If you enjoy quirky murder mysteries with a hint of romance, you’ll definitely want to read this book. I often found myself entertained by the odd personalities and variety of unique characters. They all have unusual characteristics or behaviors that make them easy to identify and fun to read about. One of my favorites was Professor Scott; his interactions with Ric and Elaina and his note board were pretty funny. I also enjoyed the brief introduction of a young hacker near the end of the story. As for Ric and Elaina, they were a great duo. There was just enough flirtation to keep me invested in their emerging feelings for each other. I really liked that Ric is the perfect gentleman, and I enjoyed how he protected Elaina and took care of her, sacrificing his own comfort for hers. Elaina possesses a strong mind, which I really liked as well. She knows exactly what she wants and Ric is there to guide and support her perfectly.
The locations featured in the book should keep people who love boats, tropical atmospheres, lavish parties, and James Bond style espionage entertained. I don’t know a whole lot about Australia, but I never felt like I didn’t know where I was in the story or couldn’t relate to it. I really liked how they mentioned songs playing in certain places to depict the atmosphere, and I enjoyed the witty banter between the characters and being surprised by all the strange personalities. I also liked the way native birds and nature scenes were described; it made me feel like I was actually there.
There’s really nothing for me to take issue with in this book. The mystery unfolds with plenty of revelations and surprises. I will say there wasn’t a whole lot of action or imminent danger except in a few places, which might be the only detraction from the story as a whole. Most of the book involved sleuthing and undercover operations, which is more character based, and not a complaint from me, but it might be for others who enjoy this genre more for the suspense than the character development.
Ric and Elaina are a great power couple that are equally likable and balance each other well. It was especially fun to see their relationship slowly develop as their feelings grew. The content is also pretty clean with nothing offensive or too graphic to report. I probably wouldn’t recommend this book to people who like more gritty, action-oriented stories, but if meeting eccentric characters and getting swept up in exotic atmospheres appeals to you, you should give this series a try.