A MelanieM Audiobook Review: DRAMA MUSCLE (Nicky and Noah mystery #2) by Joe Cosentino ~ performed by Chip Hurley


Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

It could be lights out for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodybuilders popping up on campus, Nicky, and his favorite colleague/life partner Noah Oliver, must use their drama skills to figure out who is taking down pumped up musclemen in the Physical Education building before it is curtain down for Nicky and Noah. Complicating matters is a visit from Noah’s parents from Wisconsin, and Nicky’s suspicion that Noah may be hiding more than a cut, smooth body. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining second novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and weights up!

I’ve been reading this series in eBook so I was wondering how the audiobook would affect or change my memory of the original tale.  In this case, the wonderful narration of  Chip Hurley definitely enhanced my enjoyment of a story I already found vastly entertaining.

Joe Cosentino always manages to mix mystery, murder and romance together in his Nicky and Noah stories and come up with something that’s likes to slide between the high and low camps of comedy. While the comedy is front and center on the narrative stage, the author doesn’t forget to balance his plot, mixing in the occasional elements of pathos and of course huge abundance of romance and love.

I had to laugh even before I got started, the imagery of musclemen acting as deities still cracking me up.  Then the narration started and Chip Hurley pulled me right into the story.  Keeping the right instructional tone you would expect of a professor when needed, dry and funny also popping up to give the character Nicky Abbondanza life and believability, Chip Hurley did a terrific job making a story I was already familiar with new again.    Really, this  story is beautifully suited for narration.

Chip Hurley flows easily back and forth between the voices, although I would have wished for a little more character definition here.  Still there was enough variation in tone and inflection to know which person was speaking easily, especially the smooth southern tones he uses.  Combine that with  parents, more professors, more bodybuilders and their possible mates?  Then you realize Hurley has done an amazing job of taking Cosentino’s hilarious story and bringing it to life in audio form.

There are a lot of characters here (many musclemen and Greek gods) plus professors that get involved in the mysteries and murders (yep bodies do fall).  Turns out I enjoyed it even more the second time around in audio format.  Its funny the voices are never the ones I have created for the characters in my head but quickly take their place if the narrator is good and does their job as Hurley does here.  Now Nicky and Noah have voices firmly fixed to go with the characters in the books I’ve read.

I love this series and Nicky and Noah.  They are throughly entertaining and always make me laugh with their antics even as the bodies pile up.  Now I have the series to look forward to in audiobooks!  And yes, I recommend them in both formats.  Pick them up and get started with Nicky and Noah today.

Sales Links:

Audiobook Details:

Length: 6 hours, Release Date: February 22, 2017

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