Title: Dead Man’s Pose
Authors: Susan Rogers and John Roosen
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Crime
Dead Man’s Pose by Susan Rogers and John Roosen is a current-day mystery-suspense novel with elements of romance and a spice of humor set in Sydney, Australia. After one of Elaina’s yoga students, Mario, dies unexpectedly at the end of class, she teams up with one of the other students, Ric, to see if there is more to Mario’s death than it seems. Their journey takes them on several twists and turns, and we meet several interesting and quirky characters along the way, only to find out that yes, indeed, there is more to Mario’s death than it seems.
For being written by two authors, Dead Man’s Pose feels coherent throughout the narrative. Rogers and Roosen clearly collaborate well because they have given a single voice and tone to the story and have kept the characters consistent and the plot intriguing and constantly propelling forward.
For lovers of a fun and offbeat murder mystery, Dead Man’s Pose is a stellar choice. The novel has elements of being a cozy mystery because the side characters are almost caricatures, to the point of entertainment and humor, and the protagonists, Ric and Elaina, are not the typical detectives or police solving the murder. Also, food and drink play a large role in the story, and the authors do a superb job of enticing the reader’s appetite with the descriptions of several savory meals. In addition, the setting of Sydney is rife with details of bars, cafes, coffee shops, and more. We feel like we are walking the streets with Ric and Elaina.
The setting also offers a departure from the typical American big city crime novels or even American East and West Coast small town mysteries. For non-Australian readers, they will become acquainted with the culture, from the dialogue to the city layout to the city life. Rogers and Roosen know Sydney well, and their attention to detail in the setting almost render the city a character in and of itself.
The element of intrigue keeps the narrative moving forward at a steady pace, and the authors introduce new obstacles at balanced rates. The characters have to work to overcome what stands in their paths, but along the way, the other characters they meet add to the thrill of their journey. Some lovely sexual tension also develops between Ric and Elaina, and there are some moments that may elicit laughter from the reader because of their banter. Their dialogue is authentic and brings them to life on the page.
The book is well edited overall, although there are a few small punctuation and grammar errors.
Dead Man’s Pose is a compelling, entertaining murder mystery that offers romance and humor plus elements of cozy mystery, therefore drawing in a broad potential audience. Rogers and Roosen have crafted a coherent story that keeps moving forward at a satisfying pace and maintains the reader’s engagement throughout. Readers who enjoy mysteries with a quirky flavor of setting and characters will find Dead Man’s Pose to their liking.
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