Cosentino, Joe. “Drama Queen (a Nicky and Noah Mystery)”, Lethe Press, 2015.
Comedy and Mystery and Romance
It is not a good time for college theater professor Nicky Abbomdanza. Someone is killing people all over the campus and it is up to Nicky to use his drama skills to find out who is doing this. As if that is not enough for one man to handle, Nicky also has a mad crush on Noah Oliver, an assistant professor in his department who just might be involved with a graduate assistant. (This is beginning to sound like my own graduate days). It just so happens that this very same graduate assistant is the main suspect for the murders.
This is all set in the world of academia in small town, small college America where everyone loves apple pie and mom. Those of us who have served on faculties like this know that that is not how it is at all and incestuous activities go on all the time. All it takes is a semester in a small college in a small town to discover intrigue like you have never known. In an atmosphere like this everyone not only knows everyone else but everything about everyone else. There is no need for murder to bring about excitement, it just seems to happen in small town America. Granted author Joe Cosentino exaggerates but that is only to make it all that much more fun. So let’s see what is going on at Treemeadow College. Any of you who have ever served on a college faculty knows what goes on what the time comes to grant tenure. The same is true regarding romances among faculty members and between faculty members and students (and don’t say, “oh really?”). There are also those who lust from a far.
Nicky loves his job and he really loves the drama department and the theater club. He also happens to love that he is well hung and Noah Oliver, the assistant drama professor who is up for tenure but not down for Nicky… just yet. While Noah is not so secretive about the way he feels about Noah or about his own penis, Noah has a few secrets. He knows, just as we do, that the two of them will get together sexually especially as the student body and the theater club both begin to shrink in live bodies. Once the investigation begins and Noah checks out Nicky’s prized possession, romance is suddenly in the air. (From this point on I must be careful not to spoil the mystery for other readers but then this is also a comedy so who really cares?).
Nicky has a play production in rehearsal when the whole mystery unfolds. His star actor is acting stranger than he usually does and he has his own three-member fan club with him. Nicky is distracted and heartbroken because Noah Oliver might just be in a relationship with a student. But then it starts— one dead professor and four students seem to have some kind of secret and suddenly Noah is looking at him lustfully. in his eyes. Then another dead professor and Noah turns to Nicky for solace when he learns that he is a suspect in the murders. Just as they begin to enjoy each other another professor dies and the four students now are involved in something. As Noah comforts Nicky (wait a second, isn’t that supposed to be the other way around?), the police are not doing what they are supposed to do and one of them is making Nicky’s life unhappy. We are so lucky to have Nicky share his thoughts with us until we realize that what he says is not what he means. So no, as you have probably surmised by now, this is more of a comedy than a mystery and I know that most of you would rather know more about Nicky’s penis than who killed the profs. They’re dead anyway.
I can describe this best as a fun read that is easy and interesting with just the right amount of smut to hold our interest. I enjoyed it especially since I have been on a faculty like Treemeadow’s but as yet I have not met someone with equipment lime Nicky (or maybe I have but am not willing to share that info [or that appendage]).
Mystery-wise there are plenty of twists and turns; the romantic aspects of the novel were fun to read and the sex, well let’s just say that Nicky and Noah got it on. There are many things to like here and while we might classify this as fluff, it is fun fluff. I have always said that there is room for fluff in our lives. I suspect that some of this is based upon author Joe Cosentino’s own life from what I have read about him but I am not sure if he is as blessed as Nicky in the penis department. If anyone knows, drop me a line.