Author: Joe Cosentino
Publisher: Lethe Press
Pages/Word Count: 196 Pages
At a Glance: Drama Queen is a comedic and cozy little murder mystery with a side of romance.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: 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!
Review: Joe Cosentino’s Drama Queen takes readers behind the curtain at Treemeadow College, a fictional school set in the fictional town of Treemeadow, Vermont—perhaps the last place on earth one might expect to happen upon a series of murders. But, that is indeed what we find within the pages of this book: a murder mystery, a comedic romp, an investigative caper, and a love story all rolled up into one nifty little novel that never takes itself too seriously, leaves us rooting for its amateur sleuthing duo, Professors Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, and places this novel firmly in the category of a tried and true cozy mystery.
There’s a play-within-the-play feeling to this story, in that Cosentino makes us, the readers, his audience, as though we’re watching a theatrical performance he’s scripting and directing as the story moves forward, all while the actors are moving from scene to scene and including us in the show. There’s a play in pre-production at Treemeadow, too, but someone keeps bumping off faculty members, one by one, which leads to the theater department’s eventual closure, and leaves Nicky and Noah to team up as our pseud0 Holmes/Watson investigative team, not only to help find the killer but to help clear Noah as a suspect.
The author keeps things close to the vest as the story unfolds—there are a slew of players, both major and minor, which leaves us with plenty of red herrings, each with possible motives and sufficient opportunity to make them a plausible suspect in the crimes. As Nicky and Noah make their way through this cat and mouse caper, and the body count continues to rise, we also watch these two playful and charming men fall crazy in love with each other, which gives Drama Queen just the right heartwarming tone to add to its blend of lightheartedness and drama.
If you’re ever on the outlook for a sweet romance with a murderous bite that’ll tickle your funny bone too, consider giving this coziest of cozies a try.
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