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Nicky and Noah Mystery (series) by Joe Cosentino

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Theater professor Nicky Abbondanza is directing a Sherlock Holmes musical in a professional summer stock production at Treemeadow College, co-starring his husband and theatre professor colleague Noah Oliver as Dr. John Watson.

When cast members begin toppling over like hammy actors at a curtain call, Nicky dons Holmes’ persona on stage and off. Once again Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is lowering the street lamps on the actors before the handsome couple get half-baked on Baker Street.

You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining fifth novel in this delightful series. Curtain up, the game is afoot!

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Welcome, Noah. Thank you for talking with us today about the audiobook release of the fifth novel in your popular Nicky and Noah mystery series.

You’re welcome. It’s great to get out of the book and let my hair down.


You are described in the books as quite handsome with long blond hair, glimmering crystal blue eyes, and a tall, lean, cut body. More importantly, you are sweet and caring to everyone, especially Nicky.

I believe we all need to take care of each other. In the area of romance, I’m a one-man man, and that man is Nicky Abbondanza.

Nicky is described as tall, handsome with a Roman nose and dark hair, muscular, and having an enormous manhood. Does that help you and Nicky solve the murders?

It doesn’t hurt. Well, maybe it hurts a bit. (smile) At times Nicky and I flirt with others to get clues, so I guess it’s a huge asset (“no pun intended,” as Nicky would say). Nicky and I also use our theatre skills, including playing other people, to get information. And as in the third and fourth novels, we get some help from our older pals Martin and Ruben, joining us in playing wacky characters to nab the killer. We are true thespians. (As Nicky would say, “That rhymes with lesbians if you have a lisp.”)

Were you happy with Griswold Addams, the audiobook narrator for Drama Luau and now Drama Detective?

As Nicky would say, “We were happier than a priest at altar boy induction.” Griswold sounds just like Nicky! He looks like him too! Nicky and I prefer to call Griswold a performer, since he perfectly captured all the characters (and they are characters) in the audiobooks. Griswold has the perfect voice, comic timing, versatility, and emotional commitment for these audiobooks. We couldn’t have asked for anyone better to bring our stories to life!

After hearing the audiobooks of Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, and now Drama Detective, it’s clear there should be a television series. Who do you think should play you and Nicky if there is a Nicky and Noah Mysteries television series?

Matt Bomer should play Nicky, and Neil Patrick Harris would be terrific as me. Luke McFarlane would be perfect as Nicky’s brother Tony (or any role). Joe (nepotism) wants to play Martin Anderson, our department head and best friend. How about Nathan Lane as Ruben (Martin’s husband) and Wanda Sykes as Shayla (Martin’s office assistant)? And wouldn’t Rosie O’Donnell and Bruce Willis be joint hoots as my parents? Rather than Logo showing reruns of Golden Girls around the clock, and Bravo airing so called reality shows, they should do The Nicky and Noah Mysteries. Come on, TV producers, make Joe some offers!


Why did Joe Cosentino create this series?

Joe combines his past as a professional actor, present as a theatre college professor/department head, infatuation with mystery novels, and wild sense of humor in this series. Even at a young age, Joe suspected that Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson were more than roommates, which we have a lot of fun with in this fifth novel. There aren’t a lot of gay cozy mysteries out there. Joe changed all that. And Nicky and I helped!

For anyone who hasn’t read them (and they should!), tell us about the Nicky and Noah mysteries.

The Nicky and Noah mysteries are set in an Edwardian style university 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 faster than a priest chasing a new altar boy around the choir loft. At the center is a touching gay romance between Associate Professor of Directing Nicky Abbondanza (the love of my life!) and Assistant Professor of Acting Noah Oliver (that’s me!). In the first novel, Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of 2015), college theatre professors are falling like stage curtains while Nicky directs the college play production, and Nicky and I must figure out whodunit and why—to save me from going to prison! The book ends with Nicky and I professing our love. In the second book, Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention 2016), Nicky is directing the college’s bodybuilding competition, and bodybuilding students and professors are dropping like barbells. The novel ends with Nicky and I becoming engaged! In Drama Cruise it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back. Nicky and I must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring me (I hope you don’t think I have a big head like Nicky’s—pun intended.) and starring other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are both sets of our parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with us. That story ends with our wedding at sea! In Drama Luau, Nicky is directing the luau show at the Maui Mist Resort. Nicky and I need to figure out why muscular Hawaiian hula dancers are dropping like grass skirts. Our pals Martin and Ruben are along for the bumpy tropical ride, which ends with Nicky and I adopting our son!

Has the Nicky and Noah mystery series been well received so far?

They like us! They really like us! Reviewers called the books hysterically funny farce, Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys, and a captivating whodunit with a surprise ending. One reviewer wrote it was the funniest book she had ever read. Who am I to argue? Nicky and I are an adorable couple. The awards have also been amazing.


What do you like about Treemeadow College in Vermont?

Treemeadow College is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery with its white Edwardian buildings, low white stone fences, lake and mountain views, and Cherry wood offices with tall leather chairs and fireplaces. It’s also very romantic. Just ask Nicky.


Tell us about the storyline in Drama Detective. But no spoilers please!

Nicky is directing and ultimately starring as Sherlock Holmes opposite me as Dr. Watson in a Sherlock Holmes musical premiering at Treemeadow College, Is Holmes a Homo?, on the road to Broadway. When cast members begin toppling over like hammy actors at a curtain call, Nicky and I use our drama skills to figure out who is lowering the streetlamps on the actors before we get half-baked on Baker Street. As usual it’s a laugh riot and a good puzzle with an ending you won’t see coming. As Nicky would say, “You’ll love it more than an anti-gay conservative politician loves men’s public bathroom stalls.”

Your and Nicky’s parents are also in the latest book.

I think our parents are absolutely hilarious. Nicky’s mother’s passion for gambling is rich (no pun intended). I love my mother’s fixation with taking pictures of everything, and my father’s fascination with seeing movies. I also love how my dad is an amateur sleuth like Nicky. As they say, men marry their fathers. Also, both sets of our parents accept their son’s spouse as part of their family. Kudos to them.

Who is your favorite character in Drama Detective?

Nicky of course. He is smart, loyal, gorgeous, sexy, and the perfect Holmes to my Watson. He is also genuinely concerned for others, and he will do anything to solve a murder mystery. Of the new characters in book five, my favorite character is Mark Melody, the creator of the Sherlock Holmes musical. Mark talks in musical theatre talk, and he has a wild crush on Corey Sundance a young stud actor member of the company.

Who is your favorite couple in the book, next to you and Nicky?

Ruben and Martin are terrific. I love Martin’s paternal instincts toward Nicky and me, sense of theatricality, and his inquiring mind. I also like how Ruben keeps Martin in line. Finally, it’s wonderful to see an older couple so much in love (uncommon in the entertainment field), and how they can read each other like a book (no pun intended). They’re two terrifically talented guys. (“Try saying that three times fast while eating peanut butter,” as Nicky would say.)

Which character do you like the least in book five?

I started out not liking Rev. Tommy Hawk for his discrimination against Nicky and me under the guise of Hawk’s “religious freedom.” However, when things took a turn in the story, my feelings changed completely.

Which character is the most misunderstood?

Corey Sundance is a handsome, muscular, and sexy young rebel with a cause. His inner secret makes him behave in a self-centered manner, but he’s masking the heart of a frightened child yearning for love.


Which character was the sexiest?

Tony, Nicky’s macho, muscular, Italian-American, younger brother. Don’t tell Nicky I said that.

How can readers get their hands on the new audiobook of Drama Detective, and how can they contact you?

The purchase links are below. Readers and listeners can contact Nicky and me through Joe’s web site. We’re always in his head. And we both love to hear from readers/listeners!

Thank you, Noah, for sharing with us today.

It is Nicky’s and my joy and pleasure to share these stories with you. So put on your Sherlock Holmes coat and hat, grab your pipe and program, and take your front row seat. Listen up! The curtain is rising and the game is afoot in the audiobook of Drama Detective!



Excerpt of Drama Detective, the 5th Nicky and Noah mystery novel, by Joe Cosentino, now an audiobook performed by Griswold Addams:

The Victorian, lamppost-lined London street was forebodingly dark. Prostitutes in low-cut, shabby dresses dug their heels into the dirty gray pavement. A heavy-set man in an expensive suit signaled to an older, small man with a knowing grin. The jeweler locked up his shop and hurried down the street. One of the prostitutes raised a dagger to the jeweler’s throat, grabbed his bag, and disappeared into a smoky alley, as the prostitute transformed into a well-dressed man with a long nose and beady eyes. Another prostitute screamed. The inspector and his men hurried onto the street.

Suddenly, a honky-tonk piano introduction led each of them to face front and belt out, “Acting Butch on Baker Street,” a rousing opening number featuring spinning members of the underworld and a Scotland Yard kick line. At the conclusion of the number, everyone ended with a frozen smile, looking like a pack of right wing politicians entering a ghetto.

“Good energy, everyone! Let’s take a ten-minute break,” I called out from my front row center seat in the audience.

I’m Nicky Abbondonza, Associate Professor of Directing at Treemeadow College, a quaint college in Vermont named after its benefactors, couple Harold Tree and Jacob Meadow. Or as we call them, Treemeadow’s Adam and Steve. Since you can’t see me, I’ll tell you I’m tall, pretty muscular, courtesy of Treemeadow’s gym and my insomnia, with dark hair, green eyes, and a Roman nose. If you’ve read my other four stories, you know I generally wear a dress shirt, blazer, and slacks. You’ll also know that murder is on the menu as are an assortment of characters (and I mean characters)—suspects and victims—as I try to figure out whodunit. So let’s get the game afoot. Ah, speaking of a foot, you newcomers should know another little tidbit of information. Well, not so little actually. I’m referring to my penis. It would make a porn star blush. My nickname in the gym locker room back home in Kansas was “Donkey Donza.” Yes, I’m from Kansas, a true friend of Dorothy’s.

Back to the story. Since it’s summertime, our cozy New England campus is full of multicolored flowers, babbling brooks, warm sunshine, and peace and quiet. So quiet that my department head and best friend, Martin Anderson, Professor of Theatre Management, decided to transform our college theatre into a professional summer stock venue for the tryout of a new Sherlock Holmes Broadway bound musical. True to Martin’s nature, he also took on a role in the play, Langdale Pike (society informer).

Martin, short, thin, bald, and somewhere between seventy and six-feet-under, stood downstage center (meaning closest to the audience for you non-thespians) in his Victorian gray suit. “Nicky, do you think I should act more like a gossip in the opening number?”

“You couldn’t act more like a gossip if twenty closet-gay actors from Hollywood left their beards and asked you for advice on whom to date,” Martin’s husband said sitting third row house left.

I’ll explain. Though Martin is a terrific department head and professor, his brainstorms generally end up as headaches for Martin’s long suffering spouse, Ruben Markinson, who Martin convinced to be our show’s producer. To raise needed funds for this venture, Ruben, the CEO of a gay rights organization, interviewed Broadway chorus boys about their peccadilloes, and then hit up anti-gay Republican legislators to buy shares of the show (and their silence). Next, we held auditions in New York City and found our cast. When our budget had been spent, Ruben (having been bitten by the acting bug in our previous capers) agreed to be understudy for one of the characters in the show, Porky Johnson (agent in the criminal underworld). The rest of the understudies (including yours truly understudying Sherlock Holmes), as well as the ensemble, designers, and technical crews, all came from our college population (including the kids whose parents didn’t want them loafing around at home over the summer).

Like all of us who love Martin, Ruben is well aware of Martin’s “inquisitive” nature. Ruben called out to his husband, “Martin, you and gossip go together like an HMO customer service representative and the words, ‘not covered.’”

“No comments from the peanut gallery,” Martin replied from the stage.

Ruben glared over the laptop on his knees. “Don’t make me fire you, Martin.”

“You try and I’ll bring you up on charges with Equity.”

“Touché, Martin.” Ruben blew him a mime kiss.

Martin caught it and placed it against his heart.

The true sanctity of marriage.

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JOE COSENTINO was voted Favorite MM Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery novel.

He is also the author of the remaining Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan, Drama TV;

the Player Piano Mysteries: The Player and The Player’s Encore; the Jana Lane Mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll;

the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Moving Forward, Stepping Out, New Beginnings, Happy Endings; the In My Heart Anthology: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star; the Tales from Fairyland Anthology: The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland and Holiday Tales from Fairyland; the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Anthology: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, The First Noel; and the Found At Last Anthology: Finding Giorgio and Finding Armando.

His books have won numerous Book of the Month awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions. As an actor, Joe appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Jason Robards, and Holland Taylor. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Goddard College, Master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, and is currently a happily married college theatre professor/department chair residing in New York State.

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