Joe Cosentino’s ‘The Player’

I’m not supposed to have favourite guests, am I? But I swear I smile every time Joe comes along. He’s always charming and kind, and I am in awe of his work ethic. Maybe not quite awed enough to emulate it, mind! Joe works hard. However, it is always a complete delight to host him here, and today’s he’s come to talk about his newest venture. He’s trying something completely new and making a foray into the paranormal. As Joe says, not all of the characters actually have to be alive… Read on to find out more.



by Joe Cosentino

“You are anything but normal. So write something paranormal!” “Interesting characters don’t all have to be alive you know!” “There are other time periods besides ours!”

My author friends and readers took me to task. While they loved the ten novels in my Nicky and Noah Mysteries series and the five novels in my Jana Lane Mysteries series, they wanted me to venture into unknown and celestial territory. As someone who is very much grounded in the “real” world, I was terrified. True, I had written my Tales from Fairyland naughty gay spin on my favorite fairytales, but they were fairytales. I had also teased at the possibility of fantasy with my possible merman, angel, Jesus, vampire, and werewolf characters in my Cozzi Cove series. However, nothing is what it seems in Cozzi Cove. So I decided to continue writing realistic and charming romance stories in my cherished In My Heart, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories, and Found At Last series for Dreamspinner Press. Still, my friends and readers persisted. Eventually their voices became voices in my head, and those voices transformed into the voices of characters—one of them was a ghost!

My conversations with this ghost in my head were comical, thrilling, and I’ll admit quite sexy. The voice belonged to Freddy Birtwistle, a socialite from a family who made their fortune in the railroad industry. Freddy Birtwistle was tall and lean with slicked-back jet-black hair, violet eyes, high cheekbones, a thin nose, and rosy cheeks. True to his period, the Roaring Twenties, Freddy was meticulously dressed in a pinstriped black suit and vest, white silk shirt, and gray suspenders with matching bowtie and silk pocket handkerchief. His shoes were shiny black patent leather with white spats. Even more interesting than his looks and wardrobe was Freddy’s alluring and joyous bon vivant personality. Freddy told me he had socialized with the rich and famous of his time until, at thirty years old, he was shot by a misinformed jealous husband. An eternal partier, Freddy told me he had died having never found true love.

I needed to change that. Given my love of cozy murder mysteries, I decided that Freddy’s ghost would appear through his player piano now in the possession of Andre Beaufort, a young, gay, grade school music teacher who found the player piano in the basement of his apartment building. I also decided that the two men would get off to a rocky start, but after a murder is committed in Andre’s apartment building, they would become a ghostly Holmes and earthbound Watson—and lovers!

The Player is actually two books for the price of one! Part I: The City House takes place in Hoboken, New Jersey as Andre discovers the player piano in Freddy’s old city mansion (now an apartment building) and ultimately falls in love with Freddy. When Andre’s neighbor is murdered in the building, Andre must protect his aunt, his best buddy, and himself by joining with Freddy (who only Andre can see) to catch the murderer. In Part II: The Country House, Andre travels to Freddy’s old country home in Cold Spring, New York, which has become a bed and breakfast. Andre discovers a player piano there as well, which joyously brings Freddy to him. When the owner of the inn is murdered, Andre and Freddy are back at the game of solving the murder mystery as they continue to fall deeper in love.

The mysteries include engaging characters, cozy settings from the Art Deco period, humor, surprising plot twists and turns, fun red herrings, a touch of drama, a shocking yet justifiable ending, and of course lots of sweet romance.

I hope everyone will give The Player a play. I’m sure, like Andre, you will fall in love with Freddy and have a great deal of fun trying to solve these two cozy mysteries. And I love to hear from readers. So drop me a line at:


Player Piano Mysteries Book 1, published by Dreamspinner Press – a paranormal romantic mystery novel by JOE COSENTINO

BUY LINKS : Dreamspinner | Amazon | B&N


When young music teacher Andre Beaufort discovers an antique player piano in the basement of his apartment building, he is visited by the ghost of the original owner: a dapper and charismatic playboy from the Roaring Twenties, Freddy Birtwistle.
Andre has never seen a ghost and Freddy has never been one, so they get off to a rocky start. But when Andre finds his neighbor murdered on his doorstep, he and Freddy join forces to narrow the pool of suspects.
Soon Andre and Freddy discover that opposites attract, even if one’s alive and the other dead. Together these amateur detectives make an enticing team, and it’s a good thing too, because the first murder they solve together won’t be their last. But the real mystery isn’t just whodunit—it’s how a romance between a man and a ghost can have a happily ever after ending.
The Player contains two stand-alone cozy murder mysteries, The City House and The Country House.


I watched as he disappeared. “Freddy!” Feeling ashamed of myself for saying those terrible things to him, I ran to the player piano, loaded a new roll, sat on the bench, and pedaled fiercely. Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” played, but Freddy didn’t appear. I shouted to the pianola, “Freddy, it’s Israel’s song from 1926. I assume he wrote it while you and he strolled hand in hand outside on a nice day, causing Addison Mizner to be mad with envy.” The song ended. Deadly silence surrounded me. “Freddy, please come out. I’m sorry for what I said to you. I know I judged you unfairly.” I paced around the room, flailing my arms. “But I’ve only known you a day. I’ve never spent time with a ghost before. And we’re very different people. Please, come out so we can talk about this?” My pleas were followed by stillness. Needing to cool down, I opened the balcony door and stepped outside. The sun set in a tapestry of crimson, marigold, and periwinkle. I glanced over at Leander Bryce’s window next door. The muscular college film professor was in his T-shirt and boxers undergoing his usual nightly routine. He cleaned his camera lenses and then exercised with his hand weights: curls, reverse curls, bent-over row, flies, dead lift, and squats. As was our custom, he waved from behind his window, and I returned the wave from my balcony. Thinking about Freddy, I didn’t enjoy watching Leander’s routine as much as usual. I waved again. Leander didn’t return my wave, continuing his exercising.

Suddenly, I heard a loud thud coming from the living room. “Freddy?” After hurrying back inside, I scanned the room and found nothing disturbed and Freddy nowhere in sight. Since the sound appeared to have come from the entryway, I opened my front door. Alexandria Popov Sokolov’s lifeless body fell at my feet. I pushed away her long blond hair, and I spotted red marks on her neck. After placing my finger under her nose, I realized she was dead.

Praise for Joe Cosentino’s Books

“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless…will have you guessing until the very last page, which makes his books a joy to read. His books are worth their weight in gold, and if you haven’t discovered them yet you are in for a rare treat.” Divine Magazine

“adventure, mystery, and romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet.” Urban Book Reviews

“The author executed his storyline with a marvelous precision that would be the envy of many authors. He draws the readers into the lives of his characters, they become real and in turn, their emotions becomes yours….If you can only afford to buy one more book this year, buy this one.” Three Books Over the Rainbow Reviews

“I really loved this book and having an ending that made me laugh and cry at the same time is testament to the brilliant writing.” BooksLaidBareBoys


Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas; the Dreamspinner Press stories: In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays/The Perfect Gift/The First Noel, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland/Holiday Tales from Fairyland, Found At Last: Finding Giorgio/Finding Armando, The Player Piano Mysteries: The Player/The Player’s Encore; the Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press): Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings; and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press).

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 Chair of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and he is happily married. Joe was voted 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and his books have received numerous Favorite Book of the Month Awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions.

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