The lovely Joe has a new Nicky and Noah book out – the 16th!! – and its available now. To tell you all about it, Joe’s corralled one of his characters, Noah Oliver, to talk about the book and his partner Nicky… read on for a fun interview with Noah.
An Interview with Noah Oliver
from Joe Cosentino’s Drama Merry,
the 16th Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel
Noah, you are truly the Watson to Nicky’s Sherlock Holmes.
Elementary, my dear interviewer!
Congratulations on the release of the sixteenth novel in your award-winning and popular Nicky and Noah gay cozy comedy mystery series.
Thank you. The books span a decade, but Nicky and I are ageless.
Since the readers can’t see you, tell them what you look like.
Nicky says I’m tall, with silky golden blond hair, true-blue eyes, milk and honey skin, and a body he loves to hold all night long. Nicky is tall with dark hair and sexy long sideburns, a cleft chin I love to kiss, Roman nose, emerald eyes, and a muscular body thanks to the gym on campus (he calls a torture chamber). And Nicky has a huge heart. Oh, another of his organs is huge. And that’s just fine with me. (smile)
Tell us about Drama Merry, the sixteenth novel in your popular, award-winning series.
It stars Nicky and me! The sweet (pun intended) sixteenth Nicky and Noah mystery novel has our theatrical troupe back at Treemeadow College staging an original musical production of Robin Hood entitled, Why the Merry Men Are So Merry. Mystery ensues as the five Very Merry Men chorus members are murdered
As usual, calamity ensues.
Of course, it’s a Nicky and Noah mystery! In our very merry version, Nicky directs and plays the Sheriff of Nottingham. He and I (as Robin Hood) begin as adversaries and end up as lovers. Wouldn’t it be nice if feuding world leaders would do that? Also in our play within the novel, Maid Marian is played by our best pal and department chair Martin Anderson. Martin’s long-suffering husband, Ruben, is Friar Tuck (a drag queen). Our son, Taavi, is Will Scarlet, and his wife Sloane, a transexual, plays Maude Lindsey. Martin and Ruben’s son, Ty, is minstrel Alan-a-Dale, and Nicky’s nemesis Detective Manuello comes along for the ride as (not so little) Little John. Even our dog, Asterisk, and his husband, Tag, are cast as Merry Stud and Tail-wagger. The rest of the cast members are hunky newcomers to the series, so there are plenty of victims and suspects—not to mention sweet romance. If you read this novel, you’ll have more fun (as Nicky would say) than a conservative politician taking away workers’ rights.
Who are the new characters in book sixteen?
Things heat up pretty quickly between the assistant professors playing Merry Men David of Doncaster and Arthur a Bland: exotic and muscular Count Choreo and adorably stocky Pierce Falsetto. The same holds true for the theatre majors cast as Merry Men Gilbert Whitehead and Reynold Greenleaf: lean city boy Bass Jazzy and incredibly hunky country boy Spin Vibrato. But none of them are as hot as Nicky.
Who was your favorite new character?
Long and lean theatre major Bass Jazzy from New York City acts tough, but he has a heart of gold.
Which new character do you like the least?
Handsome Associate Professor of Dance Count Choreo is a bit cocky (no pun intended), but he has real charisma and style. What until you find out his secret!
Which new character is the sexiest?
Latin farm boy Spin Vibrato is incredibly muscular, and he builds beautiful furniture. He believes in werewolves, which is quite interesting.
What makes the Nicky and Noah mystery series so special?
Nicky and me! Actually, it’s a gay cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, and there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning, as Nicky would say, faster than a Mormon getting out of his magic underwear. At the center is the touching relationship between Nicky and me. You watch us go from courting to marrying to adopting a child, all the while head over heels in love with each other. Reviewers called the series “hysterically funny farce,” “Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys,” and “captivating whodunits.” One reviewer wrote they are the funniest books she’s ever read! Another said Joe is “a master storyteller.” Who am I to argue? Even though Nicky and I tell Joe everything to write.
How are the novels cozy?
Many of them, like this one, take place in Vermont, a cozy state with green pastures, white church steeples, glowing lakes, and friendly and accepting people. Fictitious Treemeadow College (named after its gay founders, couple Tree and Meadow) is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery with its white Edwardian buildings, low white stone fences, lake and mountain views, and cherry wood offices with tall leather chairs and fireplaces.
Why do you think there aren’t many other gay cozy mystery series out there?
Most MM novels are erotica, young adult, dark thrillers, or supernatural. While that’s fine, I think we’re missing a whole spectrum of fiction. In the case of the Nicky and Noah mysteries, they include romance, humor, mystery, adventure, and quaint and loveable characters in uncanny situations. The settings are warm and cozy with lots of hot cocoa by the fireplace. The clues and red herrings are there for the perfect whodunit. So are the plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning over as Nicky would say, faster than a Republican president taking away LGBT rights under the guise of “religious freedom.” No matter what is thrown in our path, Nicky always ends up on top. And that’s just fine with me.
For anyone unfortunate enough not to have read them, tell us the titles of the novels in the series.
The Nicky and Noah mysteries are Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan, Drama TV, Drama Oz, Drama Prince, and now Drama Merry.
Joe is a college theatre professor/department chair like Martin Anderson in your series. Has that influenced your series, Noah?
As a past professional actor and current college theatre professor/department chair, Joe knows first-hand the wild and wacky antics, sweet romance, and captivating mystery in the worlds of theatre and academia. The Nicky and Noah mysteries are full of them! He never seems to run out of wild characters to write about. His faculty colleagues and students kid him that if any of them tick me off, he’ll kill them in his next book. And he probably will!
What do you like about the regular characters in the series?
I love Nicky’s never give up attitude and sense of humor in the face of adversity. He’s genuinely concerned for others, and he’ll do anything to solve a murder mystery. He’s also a one-man man, and I’m proud to admit that man is me. I make the perfect Watson to his Holmes. I’ll admit I have a large heart and a soft spot (no pun intended) for others. I also enjoy using improvisation to create the wild and wonderful characters for our role plays to catch the murderer. I think it’s terrific how Martin and Ruben throw riotous zingers at each other, but they’re so much in love. You don’t see a lot of older gay characters in books nowadays. Our sons Taavi and Ty fit perfectly into our world of thespian crime-solving.
How about your parents?
I get a kick out of my mother’s fixation with taking pictures of everything, and my father’s fascination with seeing movies and television. I also love how my father is a bit of a ham and an amateur sleuth like Nicky. As they say, men marry their fathers. Nicky’s mother’s mafia ties and church Bingo addiction are also a riot. Both sets of parents fully embrace their sons and their sons’ family, which is refreshing.
I’m sure Joe has been told that the books would make a terrific TV series.
Many many times! Rather than Logo showing reruns of Golden Girls around the clock, and Bravo airing so called reality shows, I would love to see them do The Nicky and Noah Mysteries. Come on, TV producers, make your offers! Joe has written a teleplay of the first novel and treatments for the remaining novels!
Joe has written other mystery series: the Player Piano mysteries and the Jana Lane mysteries. There are mystery elements in his Cozzi Cove series and Found At Last series. A story in Joe’s Tales from Fairyland Anthology is a mystery.
They’re great stories, but Nicky and I aren’t in them (frown).
This book ends in a wallop. Is it the last book in the series?
Only the theatre muses know for sure.
How can your readers get their hands on Drama Merry, and how can they contact you?
The purchase links are below, as are Joe’s contact links, including his web site. Nicky and I love to hear from readers via Joe! He tells us everything you say about us! http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Thank you, Noah, for interviewing today.
My pleasure. I know you’ll laugh, cry, feel romantic, and love delving into this crackling new mystery with more plot twists and turns than a past Republican president’s bankruptcies, affairs, and fraudulent foundation and university (as Nicky would say). I’m more excited than a banker at 3pm (as Nicky would say) to share this sixteenth novel in the series with you. So don your tunic and tights, wave your arrow, and meet me in Sherwood Forest! I promise you a happy ending!
DRAMA MERRY (the 16th Nicky and Noah mystery)
a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO
Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | Kobo
About the book
Spring and romance blossom at Treemeadow College when theatre professors Nicky, Noah, and their thespian cohorts stage an original musical adaptation of Robin Hood entitled, Why the Merry Men Are So Merry. Things are very merry indeed until some Merry Men drop like tights after a drag show. Once again, our favorite thespians will need to use their drama skills to catch the killer before their tights are in a knot—around their throats. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining sixteenth novel in this delightful series. It’s a gas! So hurry to your seat. The stage lights are coming up in Sherwood Forest on a Robin in the hood, a sheriff with a bulge in his tights, a not-so-little Little John, a Friar Tuck drag queen, more Merry Men than in the back room of a family values’ convention, and murder!
E-book and Paperback: 207 pages
Genre: MM, contemporary, mystery, comedy, romance, theatre, musical theater, college, Robin Hood
Heat Level: 2
Cover Art: Jesús Da Silva
Release date: April 1, 2023
I leapt to my feet and scurried down the hallway. When I heard voices outside the theatre, I opened the backstage door, pretending to soak in some sun and (polluted) air. Spin Vibrato sat on a tree stump behind the theatre. Bass Jazzy approached him. “What’s up?”
Spin nearly spun in the air.
Bass said, “I didn’t mean to scare you, man.”
“Could have fooled me.”
Spin’s pumped-up muscles nearly burst out of his tunic and tights. “I was just remembering something.”
“A past love?” Bass sat on an adjacent tree stump.
“No.” Spin gazed out at the trees as their harlequin leaves tickled the clear cyan sky.
Bass asked him, “Were you thinking about our number in the show: ‘Let’s Make a Rainbow’?”
“Actually, I was remembering something that happened back home.”
“On your family’s farm in Nebraska?”
“Hey, how did a Latinx family end up in Nebraska anyway?”
Spin cocked his head at him. “Stereotype much?”
Bass chortled. “Okay, I’m a black dude from New York City. When people from the city see Latinos, we don’t think they’re from Nebraska.”
“My grandparents were goat farmers in Argentina. They came to the US for a better life. They knew people who knew people with a goat farm in Nebraska.”
“I doubt you’d say that if you lived in Nebraska.”
“Because I think you’d hate it there.”
“No, I’m pretty sure you’d go stir-crazy in Nebraska.”
Bass scratched at his dark hair. “Why? You don’t have restaurants, theatres, and nightclubs in Nebraska?”
“Of course we do. But we don’t rate and judge people based on their clothes, cars, jobs, friends, and how they spend their leisure time.”
“We don’t do that in the city.”
“All right. We don’t do it too much. But we can’t understand why people in red states vote Republican against their own self-interest while the rich get richer and everyone else…doesn’t. And why you give all of your money to a rich pastor who lives in a mansion? If the megachurches want to get into politics, they should pay taxes.”
“But you don’t judge anyone.” Spin smirked.
“Am I wrong?”
“Yeah, you’re wrong. At least in my case. I don’t vote Republican. And I don’t go to a megachurch. I don’t go to any church.” Spin rested his elbows on his knees. “One thing I like about goats. They don’t judge people.”
“Nobody is judging you.”
“Except for the chorus boys in our show who mock my hair, clothes, accent, what I eat, and the fact that I don’t belong to agym.”
“They mock me for not being classically trained.”
“Join the club.”
A crease appeared between Bass’s thick eyebrows. “Dude, if you don’t go to a gym, how’d you get that incredible body?”
Spin shrugged. “From building a house with my dad, I guess.”
“You built your own house?”
Spin nodded. “It’s a pretty nice house.”
“Then why did you come to Treemeadow, Vermont?”
“At my high school, the kid who was playing Harold Hill in the school’s production of The Music Man got appendicitis two days before opening night. My English teacher was frantic. She taught me the role fast, and I went on opening night. I wasn’t great, but I did a decent job. The audience really liked me.” His dimples appeared like scoops of ice cream. “After the show, for the first time in my life other people noticed me, complimented me, and told me I had talent. My teacher said I should major in theatre in college. She helped me fill out some applications. I was accepted at Treemeadow.”
There were plenty of open seats, since so many theatre majors here have been murdered.
Spin asked, “How about you? Why aren’t you off at some big New York City conservatory?”
“I couldn’t get in.” Bass sighed. “I don’t have any formal training or experience. Rap singing and dancing on the streets are my roots. I was ecstatic when I got accepted to Treemeadow. And I’ve learned a lot here.”
Spin nodded. “I guess Vermont isn’t that far away from New York City.”
“That’s what you think. Compared to New York City, this place is dead.”
As are many of the residents.
Spin leaned back on the stump. “You seem pretty happy here, especially when you’re around Professor Choreo.”
“You noticed that, huh?”
Helen Keller would have noticed that.
Spin rubbed his square jaw. “I hope you don’t mind me telling you something.”
Spin said, “I don’t think throwing yourself at Professor Choreo impresses him much.”
“But country people don’t judge anyone?”
“I’m not judging you.”
“Right. You’re just saying I throw myself at Choreo.”
Bass shrugged. “So what if I do? I’m over eighteen. And I’m hot for the guy.”
“He seems pretty cool toward you.”
“So I’ve noticed—again and again.” Bass frowned. “I wish I could get Choreo to like me.”
Spin tented his fingers. “On my family’s farm, if one goat wants to mate with another goat, and the second goat isn’t interested, the first goat goes off and finds another goat.”
“And they live happily ever after on the farm.” Bass grimaced like a televangelist losing his wig and jewelry at the studio’s wind machine. “I don’t want to marry and mate with Choreo, I just want to fool around with him. Don’t country folk fool around with anything other than their farm animals.”
Spin gasped. “That was pretty rude. Just like you throwing yourself at Choreo—who doesn’t date his students by the way.”
“How do you know?”
“I heard him tell you that. I also heard you coming on to Graduate Assistant Lyric Baritone who was equally uninterested.”
Bass glared at him. “Dude, are you spying on me?”
“My dressing room is next to yours. The walls are pretty thin.” Spin folded his powerful arms over his thick chest. “Speaking of thin things, your skin seems pretty thin, city boy.”
“So does yours, country boy. Maybe the chorus guys are right about you.”
“The chorus guys aren’t right about anything.”
“We agree there.”
Spin smirked. “So we agree about something, do we?”
“Seems like it.” Bass rubbed his chin. “Maybe we aren’t so different.”
Spin chuckled. “We’re different all right.”
Bass’s eyes thinned. “I think we both have a secret.”
“Don’t we all have secrets?”
Bass nodded. “And I’m going to find out yours.”
“Not if I find out yours first.”
Their eyes met.
Praise for the Nicky and Noah mysteries
“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless, and his plot-lines 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
“a combination of Laurel and Hardy mixed with Hitchcock and Murder She Wrote…
Loaded with puns and one-liners…Right to the end, you are kept guessing, and the conclusion still has a surprise in store for you…the best modern Sherlock and Watson in books today…I highly recommend this book and the entire series, it’s a pure pleasure, full of fun and love, written with talent and brio…fabulous…brilliant” Optimumm Book Reviews
“adventure, mystery, and romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet….I can’t find anything not to love about this series….This read had me laughing and falling in love….Nicky and Noah are my favorite gay couple.” Urban Book Reviews
“For fans of Joe Cosentino’s hilarious mysteries, this is another vintage story with more cheeky asides and sub plots right left and centre….The story is fast paced, funny and sassy. The writing is very witty with lots of tongue-in-cheek humour….Highly recommended.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews
“Every entry of the Nicky and Noah mystery series is rife with intrigue, calamity, and hilarity…Cosentino keeps us guessing – and laughing – until the end, as well as leaving us breathlessly anticipating the next Nicky and Noah thriller.” Edge Media Network
“A laugh and a murder, done in the style we have all come to love….This had me from the first paragraph….Another wonderful story with characters you know and love!” Crystals Many Reviewers
“These two are so entertaining….Their tactics in finding clues and the crazy funny interactions between characters keeps the pages turning. For most of the book if I wasn’t laughing I was grinning.” Jo and Isa Love Books
“Superb fun from start to finish, for me this series gets stronger with every book and that’s saying something because the benchmark was set so very high with book 1.” Three Books Over the Rainbow
“The Nicky and Noah Mysteries series are perfect for fans of the Cozy Mystery sub-genre. They mix tongue-in-cheek humor, over-the-top characters, a wee bit of political commentary, and suspense into a sweet little mystery solved by Nicky and Noah, theatre professors for whom all the world’s a stage.” Prism Book Alliance
“This is one hilarious series with a heart and it just keeps getting better. I highly recommend them all, and please read them in the order they were written for full blown laugh out loud reading pleasure!” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
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, Drama Pan, Drama TV, Drama Oz, Drama Prince, Drama Merry;
- 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