LAUGHING ALL THE WAY CREATING NICKY AND NOAH OF THE NICKY AND NOAH COMEDY MYSTERIES
Book Three: Drama Cruise, published by Lethe Press
by Joe Cosentino
As a college professor/department head, I have always been aware that colleges are rife with mystery, romance, and humor. I remembered back to my days as a junior faculty member in the theatre department. Using combinations of various people I’ve met, I created Nicky Abbondanza, Associate Professor of Play Directing, and Noah Oliver, Assistant Professor of Acting, at fictitious Edwardian style university Treemeadow College in Vermont. I patterned their department head, Martin Anderson, after myself. Hear that television producers?
If you haven’t read Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite Mystery, Crime, Humorous, Contemporary novel of 2015) and Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) published by Lethe Press (and you should!), the series is a cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, and there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning. Along the way, Nicky and Noah fall in love with each other, as I’ve heard the readers fall in love with them.
In Drama Queen, college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains and amateur sleuths/college theatre professors Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. Reviewers called Drama Queen “hysterically funny farce,” “Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys,” and “a captivating whodunit.” One reviewer wrote Drama Queen was the funniest books she’d ever read! Who am I to argue?
In Drama Muscle, Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out why bodybuilding students and professors are dropping faster than barbells. Nicky and Noah’s relationship reaches a milestone by the end of the novel available in paperback and e-book. Again reviewers praised the humor, fast pace, and engrossing mystery calling it “hilarious,” “a brilliant masterpiece,” and “a stunning series.”
Now in Drama Cruise, it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back (which I took with my spouse). Nicky and Noah must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are their both sets of wacky parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with the handsome couple. Martin Anderson (Nicky and Noah’s department head) and his bickering husband are also along for the rocky ride. As in the first two books, there are a slew of colorful, hysterically funny victims and suspects like the cruise director who talks endlessly about her glory days as a theatre major in college, the ship’s doctor who is looking for the secret of life, Nicky and Noah’s porter who wants them to adopt him, and the captain of the boat who insists he has seen the ghost of his former sea captain. The theatre professors are equally as colorful, including an alcoholic who believes he has seen a mermaid, a hypochondriac looking for love, a comic with a cat of nine tails in her closet, and a Shakespearian actor who can’t keep his hands off his volume of the Bard—or off anyone else. Reviewers said the series is getting better with each book. Again, no arguments here.
It is my joy and pleasure to share these stories with you. So take your front row seat. The boat is leaving from port. Lights up and ahoy matey! Alaska here we come!
P.S. – Drama Luau, the fourth Nicky and Noah, mystery releases in six months!
DRAMA CRUISE (a Nicky and Noah mystery)
a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO from Lethe Press
Theater professors and couple, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are going overboard as usual, but this time on an Alaskan cruise, where dead college theatre professors are popping up everywhere from the swimming pool to the captain’s table. Further complicating matters are Nicky’s and Noah’s parents as surprise cruise passengers, and Nicky’s assignment to direct a murder mystery dinner theater show onboard ship. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the curtain down on vacationing theatre professors before it is lights out for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining third novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and ship ahoy!
Praise for DRAMA CRUISE, the third Nicky and Noah mystery:
“I have been an avid reader of Joe Cosentino’s books for some time and he has yet to let me down. His ability to write highly original, yet somehow realistic, characters is one of his greatest strengths as a writer. Their quirks and personalities fill the pages in a way that makes for a fabulously entertaining and totally engrossing read. I loved this book and highly recommend it to lovers of farce, humour, murder mystery and sweet MM love stories.” Divine Magazine
“Superb fun from start to finish, for me this series gets stronger with every book and that’s saying something because the benchmark was set so very high with book 1.” Three Books Over the Rainbow
“Joe Cosentino does it again with Drama Cruise, the third Nicky and Noah mystery. I loved the humor, drama, and theater work inside. Plus, the romance and murder investigation keep readers turning the pages. Absolutely, must read this latest book in the series.” Urban Book Reviews
“If you are looking for a good, funny book to shake the blahs, love mystery, humor and romance, and a story with a twist or two, you’re bound to love this.” Cathy Brockman Romances
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle and Drama Cruise (Lethe Press); In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press); Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries; and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015, and has won many Rainbow Award Honorable mentions including for Drama Muscle. Upcoming novels are Drama Luau (fourth Nicky and Noah mystery) and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (fourth Cozzi Cove beach novel, NineStar Press).
Excerpt of DRAMA CRUISE, the third Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino, Lethe Press
The stunning movie star’s long jet-black hair created a silky fan on the
cold marble floor. Surrounding her were a crowd of guilt-ridden faces: her
possessive husband and producer, her handsome young paramour and co-star,
her aggressive agent and female lover, her jealous sister and stand-in, and her
makeup man who knew all her secrets (and she knew his). A detective arrived
on the scene, took one look at the murdered beauty, and fell in love.
“Nice job, people! Let’s take ten.”
That was me, Nicky Abbondanza, Professor of Directing at Treemeadow
College, a white stone Edwardian-style private college in the quaint and
picturesque village of Treemeadow, Vermont. And how did I become the director
of a murder mystery dinner theatre show on a ten-night June cruise from San
Francisco to Alaska and back? I spotted an online ad seeking theatre professors to
present theatrical workshops for passengers on a cruise, culminating in a murder
mystery dinner theatre presentation on the last evening. Okay, technically my
colleague and fiancé Noah Oliver, Professor of Acting at Treemeadow, spotted
the ad in an educational journal, but I applied for my department head and
mentor, Martin Anderson (producing the show), my Noah (acting in the show),
and me (directing). Martin’s husband, Ruben, came along for the ride.
Martin and Ruben are a sweet, elderly couple (don’t tell them I said that)
who have been together forever and have two grown daughters. For our part,
Noah and I are both tall, but the similarity ends there. I have dark hair, long
sideburns, a Roman nose, and a pretty pumped body thanks to the gym on
campus. Noah has exquisite curly-blond hair, sky blue eyes, a smooth build, and
the most loving heart on land and sea. I am just a tad older than Noah—but
what’s seven years? A lot when you are thirty-six and your lover is twenty-nine.
Oh, there’s one other little thing. Actually, it’s not so little. I have a thick
nine-and-a-quarter inch penis—flaccid. Luckily, Noah is very open (pardon the
pun) to my anatomical quirk.
After flying from Vermont to New York to San Francisco and waiting on
endless security lines in the airports, the four of us got to the boat, where we
waited on a long security line to come onboard. After unpacking in our cabin then
getting a quick lunch at the bountiful buffet, Noah and I made our way through
the sea of polyester, and somehow remained awake during the life boat drill.
Then we dodged photographers, dollar signs shining in their eyes like paparazzi
at a closeted gay movie star’s mansion, and headed to our first rehearsal. As the
dining room was occupied with guests eating lunch, we rehearsed in a nautical
themed lounge onboard ship.
After an hour and a half of rehearsal, it was break time. While the other
professors scattered like televangelists near an IRS building, Noah and I sat on a
cozy loveseat next to a gas brick fireplace. Noah looked amazing in an aqua polo
shirt and white pants, while I was a bit more toned down in yellow slacks and a
cranberry hoodie. I took Noah’s soft, warm hand in mine, and said adoringly, “I
can’t believe we’re here.”
Noah responded, “My first cruise.”
“My little virgin.” I kissed his cheek.
He looked out of the porthole and kissed the cleft in my chin. “The sky and
the water are gorgeous.”
“I hope we get to the deck to see them.”
“We won’t be rehearsing all day, Nicky.”
“Don’t you need a break, handsome, young paramour character?”
Noah snuggled his shoulder into my chest. “I’d rather wallow away the
minutes with my intended.”
We shared a warm kiss.