Writing a Hit Gay Mystery
Hi, I’m Noah Oliver of Joe Cosentino’s Nicky and Noah mystery series. That’s me on the left of the book cover. I know, I look a bit frazzled. Well, a lot frazzled. That’s because Nicky and I keep getting ourselves into one murder mystery after the next. How were the Nicky and Noah mysteries created? It all started with the guy who writes down whatever Nicky and I say and do: Joe Cosentino.
Joe had terrible insomnia as a kid. Believe it or not what finally helped him sleep peacefully was reading cozy mystery novels. He liked the puzzle solving aspects of the novels, the humor, the warm and cozy locations, and the romance. However, he was miffed to discover cozy gay mysteries featuring gay characters were few and far between.
As a college professor/department head, Joe discovered theatre departments at colleges are loaded with mystery, romance, and humor. So the Nicky and Noah mystery series was born. The first two Nicky and Noah mysteries are set in an Edwardian style university in quant Vermont founded originally by a gay couple (Tree and Meadow) whose name the university bears: Treemeadow College. The clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning, and at the center is a touching gay romance between smart and very sexy Associate Professor of Directing Nicky Abbondanza and yours truly Assistant Professor of Acting Noah Oliver. Along the way, Nicky and I fall in love, as I’ve heard the readers fall in love with us. Keep it coming. We love you right back!
In Drama Queen, it is winter, so white snow, cherry wood mantels surrounding blazing fireplaces, and hot chocolate are in abundance. Nicky and I eavesdrop, seduce, role play, and finally trap the murderer, as pandemonium, hilarity, and true love ensue for a happily ever after ending for us—until the next book. 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 I’ve ever read!” Don’t worry, I don’t have a big head. But Nicky sure does! You’ll have to read the novels to understand. Anyone, in book one college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains and Nicky and I have to use our theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. Nicky and I leapt for joy when Drama Queen was voted Favorite LGBT Mystery and Humorous Novel of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine!
In Drama Muscle it’s fall, so multicolored leaves line the gorgeous New England campus. Nicky and I don our gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out why bodybuilding students and professors are dropping faster than barbells. Our relationship reaches a milestone by the end of the novel. I’m a one-man man, and that man is Nicky Abbondanza. Nicky and I did the happy dance when book two won a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention stating, ““This book is a comic romp that simultaneously celebrates and lampoons a mash-up of genres: the bloodless murders of Agatha Christie and her ilk, the screwball movie mysteries of Nick and Norah Charles, and the simile-rich voice-overs of film noir– all updated for a gay context.”
Now in Drama Cruise it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back (as Joe took with his 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 yours truly and other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are our both sets of wacky parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with us. Our department head, Martin Anderson (who Joe wants to play in a TV version), and his bickering husband, Ruben, 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, our porter who wants us 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.
Coming in six months is Drama Luau, where Nicky and I direct a luau show in Hawaii (where Joe and his spouse also visited), and muscular hula dancers start dropping like grass skirts.
Nicky and I love sharing 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!
About the Book
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!
About the Author
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).