Thursday, July 16, 2015

Please Welcome Back Mystery Author Joe Cosentino

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Joe Cosentino

We are delighted to welcome back author Joe Cosentino to Omnimystery News.

Earlier this year we talked with Joe when his debut mystery Paper Doll was published, and now he has a new mystery out, Drama Queen (Lethe Press; June 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats), the first in a series.

We asked Joe to give us the backstory to Drama Queen, and he titles his guest post for us today, "Why I Created a Cozy Gay Mystery Series".

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Joe Cosentino
Photo provided courtesy of
Joe Cosentino

Life is funny. Murders, clues, suspects, suspense, plot twists and turns, and a shocking ending make us feel warm and cozy. Since I was a kid I've read cozy mystery novels, and I always felt calm, relaxed, and fulfilled afterward. Though the novels were full of murder and mayhem, they made me smile, gave me a good brain-teaser, sharpened my puzzle skills, and tickled me inside. You don't see many cozy gay mysteries out there. I always wondered why. What could be better than a whodunit set in a cozy location, where the reader plays armchair detective along with the novel's amateur detective, where some of the characters are gay — just like in real life? Why not have a brain-teaser with plot twists and turns, hidden clues, and a surprising ending, filled with humor and romance, all taking place in a comfortable environment — with lots of gay people? It sounds like a resort! So I created a new series, the Nicky and Noah mysteries, premiering with Drama Queen published by Lethe Press on June 6, 2015. Both gay and straight people have embraced it, and the novel hit #18 in its category on Amazon Kindle's Bestseller List

In the series Nicky and Noah, college theatre professors, live and work in the fictitious, quaint college town of Treemeadow, named after its original founders, gay couple Tree and Meadow. The Edwardian style college campus in winter provides plenty of opportunity for Nicky and Noah to sip hot chocolate at the fireplace and stimulate their little gray cells — and other things. Since Nicky and Noah use their theatrical skills to find the clues and solve the murders (five of them!), the novel is chock full of wacky characters, comic antics, and witty dialogue as in an Armistead Maupin novel. Like an Agatha Christie, the mystery is the central focus with red herrings and inversions leading to a shocking but justifiable and satisfying conclusion. Along the way, Nicky and Noah fall in love, as do some of the supporting gay and straight characters. I hope the readers will fall in love with them too.

As Drama Queen (book one) begins, David Samson, the technical theatre professor, is found with a knife from the prop room lodged in his back. The suspects include David's wife and son who stand to inherit a fortune, David's two hunky graduates assistants who are desperate for his job, the mysterious movement professor who Samson didn't support for tenure, the department head David wanted to unseat, David's two ex-girlfriends, and his four students with a joint secret. When the local police are stumped, including a studly closet-gay detective, it is up to handsome, well-endowed Nicky Abbondanza, Professor of Directing, to moonlight from directing the college production and use his theatre skills to find the murderer. Complicating matters is Nicky's intense crush on gorgeous Assistant Professor of Acting, Noah Oliver, the prime suspect in the murder (whose tenure application was not supported by the victim).

Nicky has his sleuthing cut out for him as Treemeadow theatre professors continue to drop like stage curtains. Since Noah finds each of the bodies, Nicky must not only restore justice to Treemeadow, but also save the man he adores.

As Nicky and Noah eavesdrop, seduce, impersonate other people, and finally trap the murderer, pandemonium, hilarity, and true love ensue for a happily ever after ending — until the next book. In Drama Muscle, Nicky and Noah have to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. Again Nicky and Noah use their theatrical skills, including impersonating other people, to solve the crime. In Drama Cruise, the third book, Nicky and Noah go on a cruise to Alaska, and discover why college theatre professors are going overboard like lifeboats while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship. Like all the books, this one is loaded with wacky humor and romance in a fast-paced whodunit. The fourth book, Drama Aloha, have Nicky and Noah putting on a luau show as muscular male dancers drop like hula skirts. As the series progressing, Nicky and Noah will deal with various personal issues, but have no fear, they will always be one-man men.

I hope you give this new series a try. It's bound to put a smile on your face and make you feel warm and cozy.

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Actor, playwright, and author Joe Cosentino received his MFA from Goddard College in Vermont, and MA from SUNY New Paltz. He is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married.

For more information about the author, please visit his website and his author page on Goodreads, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino

Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino

A Nicky and Noah Mystery

Publisher: Lethe Press Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)

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!

Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino


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