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Title: Drama Cruise, the third Nicky and Noah mystery
Author: Joe Cosentino
Publisher: Lethe Press
Cover Artist: Denny Minonne
Release Date: 12/01/2016
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!
Q&A with characters from Drama Cruise, the third Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino, published by Lethe Press
It is my pleasure to welcome four characters from Joe Cosentino’s Drama Cruise, the third Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino, published by Lethe Press. Thank you for stopping by to chat with us today Nicky Abbondanza, Noah Oliver, Scott Oliver, and Bonnie Oliver.
Bonnie: If you serve any refreshments. Please keep in mind that my son, Noah, is allergic to nuts.
Nicky: But not mine.
I’ll keep that in mind. Nicky and Noah, throughout the Nicky and Noah mysteries (Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise) we’ve watched your relationship grow from flirtatious to quite serious.
Nicky: I’m a one man man, and that man is Noah Oliver.
Noah: Right back at you, Nicky.
Scott: And Mom and I are proud to welcome Nicky into our family.
Bonnie: Here, here, Dad.
Tell us about the Nicky and Noah mysteries.
Nicky: They’re funny, theatrical, sexy, wild, and wacky with a solid mystery in each book.
Noah: The first two 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, and at the center is a touching gay romance between Nicky and me.
Nicky: In the first novel, Drama Queen, it is winter, so white snow, cherry wood mantels surrounding blazing fireplaces, and hot chocolate are in abundance. College theatre professors are falling like stage curtains (while I direct the college play production), and Noah and I must figure out whodunit and why.
Noah: In the second book, Drama Muscle, it is fall, so gorgeous leaves of amber, violet, and scarlet blanket the campus. Nicky is directing the college’s bodybuilding competition, and bodybuilding students and professors are dropping like barbells. In each book 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—until the next book.
Was Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery, well received?
Bonnie: Reviewers called Drama Queen 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. Dad and I were so proud of you boys when we read that. Not to mention the readers of Divine Magazine voted it their Favorite Mystery Novel, Favorite Humorous Novel, and Favorite Contemporary Novel of 2015. I always liked that magazine.
Nicky: When the ebook reached eighteen on the Amazon bestsellers list in its category and the paperback and audiobook (with all twenty-four roles played by Michael Gilboe) sold like tickets to Les Mis after the Tony Awards, it was time for another Nicky and Noah mystery.
Did Drama Muscle, the second Nicky and Noah mystery do as well?
Bonnie: Of course it did. Dad and I were in it.
Nicky: Readers really liked the bodybuilders. And reviewers said the book packs a laugh a minute, is a romantic romp, and the coziest of cozy mysteries
Noah: And one nice thing about the Nicky and Noah series is that each book is a totally contained mystery. So readers don’t need to read one before being able to enjoy another.
Scott: And my boy is the star!
Noah: Co-star, Dad.
Tell us about the storyline in Drama Cruise, the third Nicky and Noah mystery.
Nicky: Drama Cruise takes place in summer as Noah and I go on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back. We must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as I direct a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from all over the world.
Bonnie: Complicating matters are their both sets of parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with them.
Scott: Martin Anderson (Nicky and Noah’s department head) and his husband are also along for the rocky ride.
Nicky: 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.
Noah: 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.
Nicky: And who is the mysterious Professor Nan Joy Hassahl?
Bonnie: Good thing Dad I came along. After one of the college theatre professors is murdered, Nicky put me in the murder mystery dinner theatre show! I always knew I’d be a star one day.
Scott: And I helped out our two boys by impersonating someone for information. I felt like Hercule Poirot. Though I’m about two hundred pounds heavier.
How was life on the cruise to Alaska?
Nicky: We had amazing meals—
Noah: After amazing meals.
Scott: And we saw fantastic ocean views of glaciers.
Bonnie: Which Dad missed because he was in the ship’s movie theatre seeing Ice Age.
Scott: It was a good movie.
Nicky: We also embarked on land excursions to a tramway over the mountains, a totem pole park, a log climbers show, a frontier habitat, and a Native American village.
Noah: Our cabin sported a private balcony with amazing views.
Bonnie: Our cabin was gorgeous.
Scott: But it was so small when Mom dropped a tissue on the floor, I thought we had wall to wall carpeting.
Bonnie: I loved looking out the porthole.
Scott: Which was smaller than our portable TV at home.
Any plans for the Nicky and Noah mysteries to become a television series?
Nicky: Rather than Logo showing reruns of Golden Girls around the clock, and Bravo airing so called reality shows, I would love to see them do the Nicky and Noah mysteries. Can’t you see Matt Bomer as me?
Noah: Neil Patrick Harris as me?
Bonnie: That Sophia Vergara should play me.
Scott: And I see Richard Gere as me.
Nicky, you are described as having dark hair, green eyes, a Roman nose, a muscular body, and an enormous manhood. Does that help you solve the murders?
Nicky: It doesn’t hurt.
Noah: Guess again.
Nicky: I have to flirt my way into some places to get certain information. But even more, Noah and I use our theatre skills, including playing other people, to get clues.
Noah: Most of all Nicky uses his smarts, always a fine asset in an amateur detective.
Nicky: And in the third novel I get some help from Noah, our department head Martin, his husband Ruben—
Scott: And me!
There is a great deal of humor in the novels.
Nicky: Joe comes from a funny Italian family. He can’t help himself. Also, we help him think of clever things to write about us.
Noah, what do you like most about Nicky?
Noah: Nicky has such an amazing never say die attitude, wit, smarts, and perseverance in the face of adversity. He is genuinely concerned for others, and he wants to help them.
Nicky, what do you like most about Noah?
Nicky: Noah’s gorgeous blond hair and blue eyes, kind heart, sweet disposition, and commitment to me.
Noah, what do you like most about your parents?
Noah: How much they love Nicky.
Scott: Almost as much as Mom loves her camera.
Nicky: Good one, Dad.
Bonnie: Oh, you two!
Nicky: As they say, men marry their fathers.
Who else did you enjoy having on the cruise?
Nicky: I love Martin’s sense of theatricality, and his inquiring mind (meaning he’s a gossip). I also like how Martin and Ruben throw loving jibes at one another yet are totally in love, and can read each other like a book—no pun intended.
Noah: Jeff, the hypochondriac professor and Neem the ship’s doctor were sweet.
Which character do you like the least?
Nicky: Captain James Vessel is quite vocal about his homophobia due to what he calls his, religious freedom. Religious freedom means you are free to practice whatever religion you like, not take away someone else’s civil rights. But Vessel is in for a huge surprise as the book commences.
Scott: Your mother had the hots for him.
Bonnie: I danced one dance with the man!
Scott: Which is more than you danced with me.
Bonnie: You were in the ship’s movie theatre watching Flash Dance, or dancing with Aurora Star, the cruise director.
Scott: She couldn’t help herself. She’s only human.
Are you happy to be in a gay-themed series?
Bonnie: I’m a proud PLAG mom.
Scott: There’s nobody better than these two guys.
Nicky: Obviously gay stories are part of my life. Also, there are still many untold stories about gay people. Go to the mall and look at the movie posters sans any gay characters on them. However, just as Joe’s Jana Lane series with its gay supporting characters has huge crossover appeal for gay people, the Nicky and Noah series with its straight supporting characters has a tremendous amount of crossover appeal for straight people. Besides, everybody likes a clever mystery, a sweet romance, and a good laugh.
Tell us about Joe Cosentino’s Jana Lane mystery series.
Bonnie: I love them! Joe created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In Paper Doll Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto. In Porcelain Doll (The Wild Rose Press), Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, Jason Apollo. In Satin Doll (The Wild Rose Press), Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romance with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. In China Doll (The Wild Rose Press), Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off. In the upcoming Rag Doll (the Wild Rose Press), Jana stars in a murder mystery television show, and once again life imitates art. Since the novels take place in the 1980’s, Jana’s agent and best friend are gay, and Jana is somewhat of a gay activist, the AIDS epidemic is a large part of the novels. Like Nicky and Noah’s mysteries, they have interesting characters, a strong plot with lots of twists and turns, and a satisfying but shocking ending. And some romance and humor.
Like Drama Queen and Drama Muscle, is Drama Cruise available as an ebook and paperbook?
Nicky: The ebook and paperback are out. This gives the reader an option to read it on a Kindle, Nook, computer, or with book in hand on the train, the beach, or in bed.
How can your readers get their hands on Drama Cruise, and how can they contact Joe Cosentino?
Noah: The purchase links for Drama Cruise are below, as are Joe’s contact links, including his web site. He loves to hear from readers, since it gives him a break from hearing from Nicky and me!
Will there be another Nicky and Noah mystery?
Nicky: Drama Luau releases in six months, where I direct a luau show in Hawaii and muscular male hula dancers start dropping like grass skirts. Once again it’s up to Noah and me to figure out whodunit and why.
Nicky: It is our joy and pleasure to share our stories with you. So take your front row seat. The boat is leaving from port. Lights up and ahoy matey! Alaska here we come!
Excerpt of DRAMA CRUISE, the third Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino, Lethe Press
Noah and I left the lounge and took the all-glass elevator down to the main
level, marveling at the enormous circular marble stairway opposite us.
Noah took my hand and squeezed it. “I’m so glad we’re doing this, Nicky.”
“Whatever floats your boat,” I replied kissing his cheek.
Kissing my sideburn, Noah replied, “You float my boat.”
I grabbed his bottom as we came out of the elevator. “I wonder what
happened to Jeff. We need the star’s confidant character.”
“He probably hasn’t gotten his sea legs yet,” Noah replied with compassion
as usual. “We can check on him later.”
We looked at the various stores, restaurants, and four-piece wind orchestra
“What do you want to do now?” Noah asked.
“You know what I want to do.” I put my arm around Noah’s welcoming
shoulders. “However, I told Martin we would meet him and Ruben at the pool.”
Noah sighed in ecstasy. “Ah, whiling away the afternoon at the pool. I could
get used to this, Nicky.”
We walked up the grand staircase, which rivaled the set from Gone with
the Wind. In our cabin, we changed into bathing suits—form-fitting for Noah
and baggy for me. After a quick elevator ride down, Noah and I sat poolside.
We marveled at the azure sky morphing into the aqua ocean rolling away to the
turquoise pool, all reflected in Noah’s gorgeous eyes.
Noah held my hand. “I feel like I’m in heaven, Nicky.”
“Wherever you are is heaven for me.” I kissed his hand.
“Can we stay here forever?” Noah asked as he settled deeper into his
I sipped my lemonade. “Enjoy it now. Treemeadow College owns us come
“And don’t you forget it.” Martin Anderson served us a late afternoon snack
of triple decker grilled veggie sandwiches with sweet potato fries and spinach
salad from the outdoor buffet. Short, thin, and pushing seventy, my mentor,
department head, and best friend sat on the chaise lounge next to me and
motioned for his husband to join him on the next chaise. Ruben Markinson,
the CEO of a large gay rights organization and Martin’s taller half, followed his
“Don’t you two look spiffy?” I said like a teenage son with his parents on
“What a change to be out in the sun. It’s glorious!” said Martin.
“Amen,” added Ruben.
Martin said, “Though we had to spend a half hour putting on sunscreen.”
Noah and I grinned at Martin and Ruben’s matching attire: enormous
beach hats, floor-length white terry cloth robes, and fluffy slippers.
“Is your cabin all right?” asked Noah, always concerned about others.
“How was lunch in the dining room?” I asked, pulling out Noah’s nuts (the
nuts on his salad—since he’s allergic).
Martin waved our questions away like mosquitoes at a picnic. “Everything
is fine.” His brown eyes doubled in size as he unleashed them behind his giant
sunglasses. “Tell me about the rehearsal.” As producer, Martin was in charge
of approving our contracts with the cruise line and securing our costumes and
props for the dinner theatre production. However, as always, Martin’s main
interest was gossip.
I answered, “Noah is terrific as Cheyenne’s young paramour. Cheyenne is
the perfect temptress of mystery.”
Martin put his small hand over my mouth. “I’m sure everyone is wonderful.”
He slid to the edge of his chaise. “I want the dirt. How are the cast members
getting along…or not getting along?”
When I hesitated, Ruben said, “You’d better tell him, Nicky. If you don’t,
this trip will be hell for me. Besides, you know he’ll get it out of you sooner or
later anyway. So let’s make it sooner and enjoy the beautiful day.” He winked at
Post a comment below about why you like cruising. The comment that floats our boat the most will receive the code for a gift audiobook of Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery, by Joe Cosentino, performed by Michael Gilboe, and published on Audible.com by Lethe Press.
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.
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