It could be curtains for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodies popping up all over campus, Nicky must use his drama skills to figure out who is playing the role of murderer before it is lights out for Nicky and his colleagues. Complicating matters is Nicky's huge crush on Noah Oliver, a gorgeous assistant professor in his department, who may or may not be involved with a cocky graduate assistant... and is also the top suspect for the murders! You will be applauding and shouting "bravo" for Joe Cosentino's fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat, delightfully entertaining novel. Curtain up!
©2015 Joe Cosentino (P)2015 Lethe Press
I love this story, just the right mix, of fun, hilarity and mystery in the mix. The storyline is fresh and well thought out, and the dynamic of the characters is through the roof! Top notch narration as well! This is a win win win indeed!
The mix of fun and drama plays very well in this story
Nicky hands down, he was a scene stealer for me all the way!! :)
Founding host of the 3 M/Musketeers podcast, author, voice actor.
(I won a copy in an online competition… and I’m so glad I did!)
While far too sexy to be called a “cozy mystery,” Drama Queen adds an in-the-buff zing to the normally staid, small community murder story.
I love that the author is also an experienced actor and drama instructor. His grasp of improv’s “Yes AND?” concept shines in this story. Every time the characters recognize a clue, you can feel the unspoken “Yes AND?” right before the plot takes a new twist.
Nicky and Noah are two sexy leading characters who conduct the investigation this comedic caper with wit and style. The supporting cast can only have been built on the follies and foibles of real drama students and instructors.
The narrator delivered on the fast paced humor, the character nuances, and sheer entertainment. It’s a rare jewel when you can hear the narrator actually smile while delivering the lines, and I heard it several times.
I have to admit that I really loved this book. Mystery books with a healthy dose of humor is one of my absolute favorites. Murder, sex and theater oh my. The setting for this book is in the academic world of acting. The characters, while at times a bit one dimensional, were interesting. While this a LGBT mystery book, it still has all you need for a most enjoyable ride.
Nicky Abbondanza is at the center of this murder mystery. Set on the Treemeadow college campus that focuses on the theater arts, there are plenty of characters that are literally trained in the arts of deceit, deflection, deception, and out right artful lies. It’s going to be tough to figure out who is racking up the bodies. And then there is Noah Oliver, an assistant professor who is up for tenure. every time Nicky sees Noah, his heart does a little flip.
As you can tell by the name of the series (A Nicky & Noah Mystery) these two eventually team up. First, we have to go through all the cutsy stuff of them figuring out that they like each other. That was pretty sweet. Once their romance is off and running, it moves really quickly. In fact, that is probably one of the things that I found a bit silly about the plot. I think they went from friend/colleagues to lovers to moving in together in less than a week. Such a fast romance wasn’t really necessary for the plot.
The murder mystery itself was fun. There are plenty of suspects and plenty of bodies. So of course we have to wonder if we have one killer or multiple killers. The suspects have good motivations too for wanting some or all of the victims dead. I was guessing until the end. The final culprit(s) was a total surprise and I felt it came out of left field a bit. It left me a little unsatisfied.
Humor and wit twine together in this twisty murder mystery. Some of the humor was punny and a little predictable. I did laugh a few times. There were plenty of jokes about people being in the closet and being rather frustrated, angry folks because of it. The first time or two, it fit the plot and was worth a chuckle. Then some of the jokes kept being repeated throughout the story. This was one of those books I had to be in the mood for so I listened to it in chunks. This book definitely lives up to it’s name with plenty of characters having dramas big and little.
Now for the sex scenes. They are steamy and hot, sometimes lengthy and sometimes brief. Sometimes we get plenty of detail (including measurements of people’s personal equipment), and sometimes it was some kissing and then the curtain closed so we don’t get to see what they did next. It worked with the story and gave a little break from the action (of the murder mystery).
I really, really liked that we have such a representation of the LGBTQ community. In some cases (especially for the minor characters) that was their defining character. But for the main characters, their sexual preferences was secondary to their person (job, likes, believes,etc.).
Overall, I enjoyed this flawed tale. It was fun and unlike any other murder mystery I have listened to. The uniqueness definitely grabbed me up front. While the dramatic humor weared on me here and there, I was hooked by the plot and really wanted to know who did the deed. While the ending left me feeling luke warm on the plot’s resolution, I still wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another Cosentino book to see what he comes up with next.
I received a copy of this book from the author at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Michael Gilboe did a very good job on this book. It had a pretty large cast for a fairly short novel. His male voices were distinct and varied enough to keep everyone straight. He managed the same for the ladies with the added bonus of having believable female voices. He also pulled off the exaggerated gay accent when needed.
I love to read and working on my first book. Maybe it will be on Audible someday.
This is a wonderful mystery set at a small liberal arts college in Vermont. Tremeadow College was founded by a gay couple and still draws a lot of gay and lesbian students, staff and faculty. I did not know that when I agreed to listed to review this book. It was a pleasant surprise, mainly because most of the books I have read that feature gay characters always seem to feature graphic descriptions of sex.
I really hate that in a book whether it be a gay or straight couple. I know how it works. Been there, done that. I don't need to read about it books that I am reading for entertainment. Happily, Joe Cosentino did not go there. The most graphic this book gets is a shared kiss between Nicky and Noah from time to time.
Cosentino does a wonderful job of writing a mystery that keeps the reader guessing right up until the end. I never did guess the killer, and I kept making guesses. I loved this story and want to listen to more like it. The characters are well developed and very believable. There is no need for suspension of disbelief.
This book got some major grins from me as Nicky and Noah go about trying to prove Noah's innocence.
I have never listened to a book narrated by Michael Gilboe. He was very believable as a crime solving college professor. Most of his voices are very good. Only two that I didn't really care for. I didn't find them believable at all. I only gave him 3 stars because of the two voices.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Celebrating Diversity Through Literature
The only two stories I have read from author Joe Cosentino were both heartfelt and heartbreaking. With Drama Queen, he proves that he can do humor and mystery with equal skill.
Drama Queen is the first book in his new Nick and Noah Mysteries series. A series of cozy mysteries with two Drama professors from a small Vermont college as the protagonists. Nick is a professor of directing and Noah one of acting. They don’t start out the story as a couple but do end up as one, in case you hadn’t guessed that much. However, this is not a story about their love. It is a story about the two of them working together to solve a murder.
Our story is filled with humor as the sometimes over the top antics of Nick and Noah get them closer and closer to the answer to the mystery. There is no subtlety in Nick’s character. I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word. His inner dialogue is entertaining and sometimes biting.
I chuckled a few times throughout the book. We know I am a tough sell on humor, so chuckling is a good thing 😉 I am ready for Nick and Noah’s next adventure.
This is my first title narrated by Michael Gilboe. I have mixed feelings about the job he did with Drama Queen. While he certainly lived up to the books name, and did a pretty fabulous job on Nick, the rest of the characters lacked in my eyes. Some sounded robotic. Some just sounded wrong. He also lacked consistency on some of the non-point of view characters.
I will probably give him another shot if he narrated the second book in the series, but I don’t know that I would listen to him for anything outside this series.
What a fun book! Joe Cosentino sees the world through a fun house mirror, pushing the edge of reality, yet still creating characters with a real emotional core, and writing a mystery plot line that will keep you guessing till the end.
Taking place in the Theater Department of a small New England college, with diverse and colorful personalities of faculty and students, this book keeps moving at a fast pace. The writing is clever, succinct, absorbing, and full of surprises. Nicky and Noah find their colleagues keeling over dead one by one, and need to find who done it before one of them becomes the next victim. We find out lots of secrets in addition to who is the murderer.
I found myself rooting for Nicky & Noah’s budding romance, intrigued with trying to solve the mystery, and laughing out loud at the antics in this book. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!
The narrator, Michale Gilboe, does a fine job at capturing the wit and sarcasm in the writing, moving the story along at a nice pace, and creating fun and identifiable character voices.
I am at that half a century mark in years. I enjoy audiobooks,cats,rats and most days my family,not necessarily in that order!lol
This was a really fun,funny book.A theater troupe made up of gay,lesbian,straight actors experiences a death.We play who dun nit while others get the whack.Nicky and Noah feel they can do more than the police to find out who is killing the actors.It is stereotypical and full of drama.Michael Gilboe brings it all to life with his perfect voice.
I was given this book free for an honest review.
That was a light, frothy, laugh with hot chocolate and blueberry muffins.
What I enjoyed most was Nicky's sarcastic asides, voiced perfecly by Michael Gilboe.
The characters are a hoot but the final reveal felt a little deas ex machina (hence the 4 stars instead of 5 for story). That the characters are so much fun is also the reason why I only dropped one star for the deas ex machina.
I love Nicky... Noah's cute but Nicky really is my cup of tea.
Basically, if you want something light to read/listen too this fits the bill nicely.
This book was fairly silly which, but it was entertaining. The narration was well done.
"A light-hearted murder mystery"
A light-hearted murder mystery and gay romance peppered with innuendo and a mix of corny and amusing asides. A well-written and enjoyable read that doesn't take itself too seriously.
The audio version was an excellent production. Michael Gilboe's voice and fast-paced narration suited the tongue-in-cheek story and made each of the many characters' voices clearly distinguishable
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