Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino

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CosentinoDramaQueenWhere I Got It: Review copy

Narrator: Michael Gilboe

Publisher: Lethe Press (2015)

Length: 6 hours 31 minutes

Series: Book 1 A Nicky and Noah Mystery

Author’s Page

Nicky Abbondanza is at the center of this murder mystery. Set on the Treemeadow college campus that focuses on the theater arts, there are plenty of characters that are literally trained in the arts of deceit, deflection, deception, and out right artful lies. It’s going to be tough to figure out who is racking up the bodies. And then there is Noah Oliver, an assistant professor who is up for tenure. every time Nicky sees Noah, his heart does a little flip.

As you can tell by the name of the series (A Nicky & Noah Mystery) these two eventually team up. First, we have to go through all the cutsy stuff of them figuring out that they like each other. That was pretty sweet. Once their romance is off and running, it moves really quickly. In fact, that is probably one of the things that I found a bit silly about the plot. I think they went from friend/colleagues to lovers to moving in together in less than a week. Such a fast romance wasn’t really necessary for the plot.

The murder mystery itself was fun. There are plenty of suspects and plenty of bodies. So of course we have to wonder if we have one killer or multiple killers. The suspects have good motivations too for wanting some or all of the victims dead. I was guessing until the end. The final culprit(s) was a total surprise and I felt it came out of left field a bit. It left me a little unsatisfied.

Humor and wit twine together in this twisty murder mystery. Some of the humor was punny and a little predictable. I did laugh a few times. There were plenty of jokes about people being in the closet and being rather frustrated, angry folks because of it. The first time or two, it fit the plot and was worth a chuckle. Then some of the jokes kept being repeated throughout the story. This was one of those books I had to be in the mood for so I listened to it in chunks. This book definitely lives up to it’s name with plenty of characters having dramas big and little.

Now for the sex scenes. They are steamy and hot, sometimes lengthy and sometimes brief. Sometimes we get plenty of detail (including measurements of people’s personal equipment), and sometimes it was some kissing and then the curtain closed so we don’t get to see what they did next. It worked with the story and gave a little break from the action (of the murder mystery).

I really, really liked that we have such a representation of the LGBTQ community. In some cases (especially for the minor characters) that was their defining character. But for the main characters, their sexual preferences was secondary to their person (job, likes, believes,etc.).

Overall, I enjoyed this flawed tale. It was fun and unlike any other murder mystery I have listened to. The uniqueness definitely grabbed me up front. While the dramatic humor weared on me here and there, I was hooked by the plot and really wanted to know who did the deed. While the ending left me feeling luke warm on the plot’s resolution, I still wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another Cosentino book to see what he comes up with next.

I received a copy of this book from the author at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Michael Gilboe did a very good job on this book. It had a pretty large cast for a fairly short novel. His male voices were distinct and varied enough to keep everyone straight. He managed the same for the ladies with the added bonus of having believable female voices. He also pulled off the exaggerated gay accent when needed.  

What I Liked: The cover art; the setting; a unique murder mystery; Noah and Nicky (sigh); the romance is cute; a higher body count than expected; the murder mystery had me guessing the entire time; great narration.

What I Disliked: Sometimes the repeated dramatic humor wore me down; Noah’s & Nicky’s relationship moved really, really quickly; the ending left me wanting a bit more.

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