September 22, 2023
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Audiobooks Book Reviews Mystery Romance

Dead Man’s Pose: A Thrilling Novel Exposing Sydney’s dark underbelly (Audio Book Review)

Author: Susan Rogers & John Roosen

Genre: Cozy Mystery – Suspense – Romance

Year Published: 2023

Nerdection Rating:

“Nerdection Must Read”

Savasana, a pose intended to relax the tension from one’s body at the end of their yoga practice, lays Mario Vincenti’s body to rest forever. Under the brightness of the Sydney sun, his untimely passing gives literal meaning to this posture. According to his fellow practitioner, Ric, Mario’s death was not accidental. Yoga instructor and studio owner Elaina follows Ric’s lead as they task themselves with solving the mystery of Mario’s death.

Spoiler-free Plot of Dead Man’s Pose

Mario refuses to move despite Elaina’s attempts—both verbal and physical—to wake him up. In a few short hours, his hue will match the blue of the mat he practiced on as he lays in the cold refrigerator of the morgue. Elaina is, understandably, rattled. They spoke just before class began. Made plans once it was over and now he is dead.

Ric’s pragmatism intervenes. His suspicions are roused at the suddenness of Mario’s demise and instinct kicks in. His insatiable curiosity is agitated by the constant urge to solve any problem presented to him. And this one appeals to Ric’s analytical mind.

Several disturbances born from anything but pure coincidence make a quick co-conspirator out of Elaina. Their sleuthing takes them to different locations; from the heart of Sydney to New South Wales’ central coast and back again. Eyes trail the pair at different stations along their journey. It is clear that whoever Mario was involved with has secrets aplenty. Secrets they would sacrifice heavily for. Elaina and Ric’s safety as collateral is a price they are willing to pay.

With help from acquaintances, old friends and unlikely sources, Elaina and Ric uncover more than they set out to find. Tight quarters, intimate settings and persistent yet jestful innuendos thrown at the two amateur investigators in the presence of those who know them best brings them closer to each other. As they gain more knowledge—of each other and the case they’re looking into—they must tread carefully.

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My Take On Dead Man’s Pose

In a world where hundreds to thousands of mystery books exist, it takes something exceptional to tip a story over the ledge into critical acclaim. Hand on my heart, I can honestly say I’ve never encountered a mystery book with this theme. “Yoga Mat Mysteries” snaps up a reader’s attention instantaneously. Curiosity immediately takes over when reading the title of the book and the series it belongs to. Marketing carries weight these days and an excellent way of drawing in publishers and readers would be through the invention of something completely original. Just as Susan and John have done.

If they haven’t been alerted already, someone needs to sic the New South Wales tourism board on this book. It could easily be classified as promotional material for the premier state. As a foreigner residing over ten thousand kilometers away, I got a first class guided tour, complete with historical commentary on several locations within the state. Quaint coffee shops, world class beaches, verdant hideaways and all. A connection has been sparked through the beautiful, descriptive writing in this book. Charming would be a word more closely associated with a smaller settlement, not a big city, but Susan and John’s writing has created an exception to this trend.

The composition of Sydney’s soul, everything it promises to be is represented by the inclusive and unique characters written by both authors. Race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic background. You name it. From the first few minutes of the recording, the acknowledgment of Australia’s traditional custodians of the land, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples projects a consciousness which has historically been absent. It sets a foundational tone of respect before proceeding with the introduction of non-native characters. Australia’s status as a nation of immigrants is paid homage through the characters, and architecture, right down to the authentic cuisines served up during breakfasts out and homemade dinners. Their personalities are as varied as they would be in real life. Each character is briefly introduced before their contribution to the plot in a very natural manner. We gain insights into their likes, dislikes, quirks and ticks, and form a bond with them because of this.

Audiobook Narrator Review

Rupert’s voice is a pleasure to listen to. His reading brought the book to life with his clear and concise enunciation. I enjoyed his audio reenactments of the character’s actions. When someone (Alfred in particular) ate with a mouthful of food and found themselves out of breath or agitated, it reflected in Rupert’s voice. As the intensity of certain scenes ramped up, his pacing increased to match the urgency of the atmosphere in the story which I thoroughly enjoyed. Throwing in different accents wasn’t a challenge many would step up to the plate for, but Rupert tackled it, and did so to great success. During the prolonged dialogue, some accents did stray a little, however, this criticism is largely negligible. Overall, Rupert displayed a strong showing of his artistry in his narration.

Age Rating

16 yrs and above

Content Warning

Violence, Corruption, Death, Murder, Allusions to sexual assault.

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About The Author Of Dead Man’s Pose

What do a woman, who used to train military personnel how to shoot straight, and a man, skilled at eradicating all sorts of hazardous materials safely, have in common? Both were designated law enforcement officers and they have now written two ‘knock ’em dead’ books … together!

John Roosen started his career as a biologist, served as a commissioned naval officer and environmental emergency specialist in the United States, and has lived and worked in Australasia, Antarctica, the Americas and the Middle East. At a moment’s notice, he would respond to chemical and refinery plant explosions, deal with rocket fuel plant meltdowns and dismantle illegal drug labs. With Susan, John delivered international security and safety training against terrorism to ports in the Pacific. As a change-up, John switched careers to chasing pirates and duelling with a con artist extraordinaire on a remote South Pacific island. In between, he organised jungle expeditions and deep-sea scuba diving. However, John’s experience extends beyond responding to cataclysmic disasters and includes mastering the intricacies of making soufflé omelettes without burning the edges.

Susan Rogers already knew she was a writer at age six, but her life took a major detour when she became a commissioned naval officer. As a designated law enforcement officer, she was boarding ships at sea and conducting structural and safety inspections. In addition, she developed civil defence programs for civilian populations. With John, Susan orchestrated sting operations. Susan also ran extensive weapons training programs and managed emergency responses for natural and man-made disasters. Susan worked in Australasia, the Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East. While posted in Abu Dhabi, she ran health and safety operations for multi-billion-dollar projects along the Persian Gulf. In her spare time, she directed the restoration of a Presidential yacht. In between, she has written several books and revamped a South Pacific maritime service. Susan continues to write: whether braced against the hull of a sailing vessel on a hard tack, during a crossing of the Middle East’s empty quarter in a Mini or bouncing around in a troop carrier in Australia’s outback.

After writing Surviving Paradise about their life in the South Pacific, John and Susan hatched their Yoga Mat Mysteries series. Dead Man’s Pose is first in the line-up, with Cobra Pose as the second book. Next will be Tree Pose – coming soon!

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