Joe Cosentino: The Player’s Encore

The lovely Joe has a new Player Piano mystery out on the 15th, The Player’s Encore, and it’s my great pleasure to welcome the hero of the book, Andre Beaufort, to the blog today to tell us all about it.

What’s more, you can get the book at a discount of 30% if you pre-order. The discount is available until publication day!

Over to Andre…

Interview with Andre Beaufort, the leading character in
The Player’s Encore,
Player Piano Mysteries Book 2,
a mystery/romance/fantasy novel by Joe Cosentino

Andre, congratulations on the release of your second novel, The Player’s Encore, a new MM mystery/romance/fantasy novel.
Thank you. Since both novels are from my perspective, I told Joe Cosentino what to write.

Since the readers can’t see you, tell us about yourself?”
I’m twenty-eight years old, tall and thin with amber eyes, dark hair, milk chocolate complexion, and what Freddy calls a Nerts body and bubble butt he loves to squeeze. I’m a grade school music teacher. I found a player piano in the basement of my apartment building—Freddy’s family’s city mansion. By pedaling the Pianola and playing famous songs of the Roaring Twenties, I can summon dapper playboy from the Roaring Twenties Freddy Birtwistle. However, only I can see and talk to Freddy. Actually, we do a lot more than talk. And that makes me very happy.

Tell us about Freddy.
Freddy is tall with slicked-back jet-black hair, violet eyes, high cheekbones, a thin nose, and rosy cheeks. As every man of wealth in the Roaring Twenties, Freddy wears a pinstriped black suit and vest, white silk shirt, and gray suspenders with matching bowtie and silk pocket handkerchief. His shoes are shiny black patent leather with white spats. More important than his appearance, Freddy has an alluring and joyous bon vivant personality, big heart, keen mind, and he is the love of my life.

How and when did Freddy die?
Freddy was shot at thirty years old by a misinformed jealous husband.

Did you two fall instantly in love?
Not exactly. We got off to a rocky start. But after sharing stories about our lives and cuddling on the chaise, we found our way into each other’s hearts.

How did you two become a ghostly Holmes and earthbound Watson?
Freddy and I solved two murder mysteries together—one in my family’s city home and another at my family’s country estate. With each mystery, we fell deeper in love.

What’s special about this book?
Freddy of course! Also, the two new stories include sexy characters, cozy settings in a beach house and Tuscan villa, my unique sense of humor, surprising plot twists and turns, fun red herrings, a touch of drama, a shocking yet justifiable ending, and of course a great deal of sweet romance. And as in The Player book 1, the reader gets two books for the price of one!

This isn’t Joe Cosentino’s first mystery series.
Joe wrote the Nicky and Noah Mysteries series and the Jana Lane Mysteries series, both to great acclaim and popularity. But Freddy and I aren’t in those.

What can we expect in The Player’s Encore?
In part I of The Player’s Encore: The Beach House, Freddy yearns to visit his family’s beach house in Florida. So, Freddy and I embark on a vacation to the stunning home which has become a bed and breakfast. Before Freddy can say “zotched,” a young, mysterious houseboy is murdered, the second hunky houseboy to meet the same fate. As it turns out, the suspects are all related to the latest victim: his desk clerk boyfriend, his incredibly handsome cousin who happens to be a doctor, and his feuding parents. Also in the mix are the accountant with slippery books, a studly new houseboy who can’t keep his feather duster in his pants, and a little girl with a secret that changes Freddy’s life. Since the detective obsessed with the case has come up with an empty seashell, it’s once again up to Freddy and me to find the murderer and save the inn—and ourselves!

And in part II?
In The Villa, Freddy and I venture off on a vacation with my uncle, an ex-priest, to Tuscany, where we stay at an inn that was once Freddy’s old family villa. Before the sun sets golden on the hills, a young, handsome, wealthy guest is murdered. The suspects are the victim’s distant father who is his competitor in business, a sexy Italian guide with a secret, two hunky gay travelers connected via a travel app, and a straight married couple who appear ready to embark on new sexual conquests. At the same time, Freddy finds his deceased sister’s diary and makes a surprising discovery that changes his life. When the muscular Italian detective investigating the murder seems lost in his spaghetti, it’s yet again up to Freddy and me to solve the mystery and save the day!

Who are the supporting characters in The Player’s Encore?
In Part I at the Key West beach bed and breakfast, we meet hunky houseboys Christian Hart and Nico DeFina, Christian’s parents and his gorgeous cousin Dr. Spencer Hart, Christian’s boyfriend beefy desk clerk Yusef Raji, oily inn manager Troy Grey, and his young daughter Ana Grey. When Christian is murdered, Butch Detective Ken Evans solicits my help and I ask Freddy’s assistance in catching the murderer.

And in the second story?
In part II in the Tuscan Villa, we meet my hunky Uncle Darryl right out of the priesthood, the inn’s beefy owner Bartolo Lotto, cute travelling roommates Rai Ming and Felix Gutierrez, young A-lister Colin Maverick and his gray fox father CEO of Maverick Enterprises Julian Maverick, and a straight married couple ready to expand their horizons. Sexy Detective Francesco Ferrari seems more interested in Uncle Darryl and Bartolo Lotto than solving the murder mystery. So, it’s Freddy and me to the rescue.

Who is your favorite new character in book 2?
In the first part Yusef Raji is the man everyone would like to marry. In part II, Detective Francesco Ferrari is typically Italian in that he insists upon finishing his lunch before questioning the suspects. My Uncle Darryl is also a laugh riot in his newly out persona.

Which character do you like the least?
Troy Grey in part I has a lot of secrets up his sleeve. In part II, Julian Maverick is the epitome of the arrogant, privileged elite.

How are the stories cozy?
They take place in a quaint bed and breakfast on the beach and in a gorgeous Tuscan villa overlooking olive orchards, vineyards, lemon trees, and rolling hills kissed by the sun.

Will there be more Player novels?
If the spirit (pun intended) moves Freddy.

How can readers get their hands on The Player’s Encore?
The purchase links are below.

Thank you, Andre, for interviewing today.
Andre: I hope everyone will give The Player’s Encore a play. I’m sure, like me, you will fall in love with Freddy and have a great deal of fun trying to solve our mysteries. And Freddy and I love to hear from readers. So go to your magic box and contact Joe at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com. He tells Freddy and me everything!

BUY the book

30% off discount sale until March 15 release day!

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About the Book

Can a man and a ghost be soulmates? When young music teacher Andre Beaufort unleashed the ghost of dapper Roaring Twenties playboy Freddy Birtwistle from his antique player piano, he never imagined they would fall in love and solve two murder mysteries. Now Freddy yearns to visit his family’s beach house in Florida. So, Andre and Freddy embark on a vacation to the stunning home which has become a bed and breakfast. Before Freddy can say “zotched,” a young, mysterious houseboy is murdered, the second hunky houseboy to meet the same fate. Will Andre and Freddy find the murderer to save the inn—and themselves?

A year later, Andre and Freddy venture off on a vacation with Andre’s uncle, an ex-priest, to Tuscany, staying at an inn which happens to have once been Freddy’s old family villa. Before the sun sets golden on the hills, a handsome young guest is murdered. Will Andre and Freddy uncover the secrets of Freddy’s ancestral home, solve the mystery, and find eternal love?

The Player’s Encore, the second installment in the popular Player Piano Mysteries series by Joe Cosentino, includes two cozy mysteries: The Beach House and The Villa.

E-book and Paperback: 216 pages
Language: English
Genre: MM, contemporary, mystery, comedy, romance, paranormal, Key West, Tuscany
Cover Art: Fred Wolinsky
ISBN-13: 9781005956622
ASIN: B08T22P5YV
Release date: March 15, 2021

Excerpt

My head pounded like a drum. My legs slid underneath me like a slide trombone. My arms twitched like an orchestra conductor with a neurological disorder. It was the end of the school year, and I was an exhausted teacher. In my delirious state, I somehow managed to walk the five blocks from the grade school in Hoboken, New Jersey to my apartment building. I thanked the local gym for my powerful arms, legs, and firm bubble butt.

The Art Deco style apartment building was once the home of wealthy playboy Freddy Birtwistle, who inherited the house at age twenty-four after his parents and sister died from influenza. Freddy met his end on his thirtieth birthday in 1935, when a misguided jealous husband shot him. However, that wasn’t really the end for Freddy. After I rescued an old player piano from the basement, my pedaling somehow brought Freddy back to life, or at least his ghost into my apartment. To my surprise, Freddy and I fell in love and solved two murder mysteries together.

Summoning all my strength, I pried open the heavy silver front door, and considered resting in my aunt Nia’s first floor manager’s apartment before going upstairs. After my parents, a French American and an African American, and my baby brother had died in a car accident when I was four, Aunt Nia, my mother’s sister, had become my sole family. However, I assumed Aunt Nia was otherwise engaged with her new husband, the detective. So, I dragged my battle-scarred body up the two flights of stairs.

When I reached the third floor, I thought about knocking on Victor’s door down the hall. Victor had often complained to me about his career—or lack thereof—as an actor, and turnabout is fair play. However, I assumed my best buddy was busy with his new husband, the lawyer. Though I knew everything about Aunt Nia’s husband and Victor’s spouse, my aunt and best friend had no knowledge of Freddy. Having a ghost as a boyfriend isn’t easy to talk about, especially since others can’t see or hear him.

When I finally arrived at apartment 3A, my home for the last six years, I somehow unlocked the door and swung it open. I dropped my bookbag on the narrow table and maneuvered myself across the living room, passing the Gustavian scalloped pedestal and side table, noticing my haggard reflection in the tiered mirror over the screened fireplace. I landed with my back flat on the turquoise chaise opposite two wide armchairs in the balconied bay window.

“You look zozzled.”

“You know I don’t drink, Freddy.”

“Then perhaps you should start on the giggle water.” Freddy walked through the arched doorway of the kitchen, passing the dining alcove, and stood in the living room next to two statues of singers from his Roaring Twenties period. “Did little Marva lose her lunch in a tuba, and did Bobby Jr. place an arrow in his violin bow and stab someone in the eye?”

“That was last week.” My school year flashed before me: screaming children demanding to play rock music instead of learning about Beethoven and Chopin, ogre parents insisting their tone-deaf children will be the next Mozart, overpaid administrators burying me in paperwork and reports.

Freddy sat next to me, placing his large hand on my shoulder. As usual, I shivered from his touch. Though we had been together for two years, Freddy appeared exactly as I had first met him: tall, thin, with black hair parted in the middle and slicked back off his handsome face. “You should have been a dewdropper, Andre.”

Over the past two years, I learned a lot of Freddy’s colorful Roaring Twenties lingo. He was speaking of someone like himself, who lived off his family’s wealth. “I love being a music teacher.” Grinning, I added, “Especially in the summer.”

 Freddy placed his arms around me and rested my head on his lap. I gazed up at the man of my dreams. As always, he looked amazing in the clothing of his era: a pinstriped black suit and vest, white silk shirt, and gray suspenders with matching bow tie and silk pocket handkerchief. He also wore his tantalizingly sexy smile. “Time for a beat session, my love.”

This isn’t what you think. A beat session is Freddy’s jargon for a chat between two men. “I’m too tired,” I whined.

Freddy rubbed my forehead and temples, his long, thin fingers like silk on my skin. “As I once said to my old friend Israel—Irving Berlin to you—after I turned down Israel’s advances in the music room of his manse, ‘When you’re put out because someone won’t put out, it’s time for Puttin’ on the Ritz!’ And the rest is history!”

I sat up and focused on his perfectly proportioned face. “What does that have to do with me feeling exhausted?”

“It’s time for us to put on the Ritz. Dress up. Party. Have a change in scenery.”

I moaned. “I can’t move. The scenery in this apartment is fine with me.”

He placed a warm hand on my cheek. “As my dear friend Mae West once asked me, ‘You want to play in the sand with me and then make some waves?’”

I was lost in his violet eyes, sparkling like jewels. “What do you mean?”

“Andre Beaufort, love of my life, I’m asking you to run away with me to the beach.” Freddy nibbled on what he called my milk chocolate neck, which caused my pants to tighten.

I held his beautiful face in my hands, enjoying the feel of his peaches-and-cream complexion. “Freddy, have you forgotten? You’re a ghost.” For some reason, Freddy’s ghostly status meant I was the only person who could see him, and Freddy was unable to leave his former sitting room, bar, and bedroom—my apartment. Happily for Freddy, I had decided to keep the Art Deco character of the rooms.

Freddy cocked his head at me. “Have you forgotten we went to my country home upstate New York?”

“Because it was turned into a bed and breakfast, and I was able to summon you there via the player piano in my room—your old bedroom.”

“Now you’re in the trolley!” His soft ruby lips covered mine, and I melted into his arms.

In a dreamlike state from his champagne scent, I ran my hands along his broad back as we shared another kiss and then another. Each was deeper, wetter, and more passionate than the one before it. As we parted, I played back in my mind what Freddy had said. A light bulb went off. “Your family had a beach house?”

“Of course.”

I rested my hands on his broad shoulders. “Where?”

His white smile widened. “On Key West in Florida.”

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

“In true Joe Cosentino style…this cast of characters will have you laughing out loud one minute before ripping your heart out the next.” Joyfully Jay Reviews

About Joe

Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite MM Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery novel. He is also the author of the remaining Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas; the Player Piano Mysteries: The Player and The Player’s Encore; the Jana Lane Mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Moving Forward, Stepping Out, New Beginnings, Happy Endings; the In My Heart Anthology: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star; the Tales from Fairyland Anthology: The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland and Holiday Tales from Fairyland; the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Anthology: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, The First Noel; and the Found At Last Anthology: Finding Giorgio and Finding Armando. His books have won numerous Book of the Month awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions. As an actor, Joe appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Jason Robards, and Holland Taylor. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Goddard College, Master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, and is currently a happily married college theatre professor/department chair residing in New York State.

Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

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