Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
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!
Reading Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino reminded me of watching some of those early tv detective shows…you know the light hearted ones that didn’t take themselves too seriously. Unlike shows along the lines of Criminal Minds or CSI, back then the formula called for a lively and fast paced storyline and a couple in love. Think “Moonlighting” (my favorite), “Hart to Hart”, “McMillan and Wife”..well you get the idea. The quips came fast and furious, the love between the main characters never in doubt (mostly), something their repartees reinforce, and the investigations are launched as the body(ies) start to fall almost as soon as the opening credits are over. It was enjoyable, accessible, and if it was sort of predictable, well there was comfort in that as well.
Quite frankly we never got to know the people being killed off, so their murders didn’t leave much of an impression other than to act as the starting point of the script and mystery. That sort of happens here. Nicky and Noah’s grand murder mystery adventure takes place within the cloistered, somewhat incestuous hothouse atmosphere of a small town college drama department. Even without the murders, this department has enough angst and maneuvering going on “backstage” it doesn’t need the drama in the play that is being staged as the book opens. Professors are vying for tenure, students and teachers are swapping more than reposts, and a long seated crush is about to be revealed! Its over the top, melodramatic and viewed through the lively, inquisitive and theatrical eyes of Professor Nicky Abbondanza. Outside of the Treemeadow College theater club and the Drama Department, Nicky has two things he obsesses about…his nine and a half inch long penis and Noah Oliver, the stunning assistant professor going for tenure in his department. We get to “hear” lots and lots about both of them, so just be prepared.
Noah is younger, holding a few secrets of his own but clearly meant for Nicky from the get go. That they are going to get together is never in doubt as the bodies, yes as in more than one, start to fall. As members of the Theater Club and Drama Department dwindle down by various lethal means, Nicky and Noah’s romance takes flight along with the investigation.
Did I enjoy myself? Absolutely! There’s nary a dark and scary grit to be found here, nothing raw or actually terribly believable. It’s lighthearted fare, meant to be fun and that’s the spirit that I read it in. Outside of hearing a little too much about Nicky’s giant appendage and how he wields it, I thought the interdepartmental manipulations and tactics fun and realistic, more so than some of the characters. No matter, they often came to a quick end before their lack of substance started to bother me.
Want something quick and lively to read? A story that won’t stress your heart or thoughts for that matter? A “feel good” (in more ways than one) story for murder enthusiasts and lovers of detective stories? Then Drama Queen: A Nicky and Noah Mystery by Joe Cosentino might just be the thing for you. I’m hoping that this is just the start for Nicky and Noah. If Jessica Fletcher could have so many murderers in Cabot Cove, why shouldn’t the same hold true for Treemeadow College?
Cover art works. Its got drama galore from the design to the fonts used. I like it!
Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published May 26th 2015 by Lethe Press