MAUI, A COZY MYSTERY PARADISE
Drama Luau, the fourth Nicky and Noah comedy/mystery/romance novel
by Joe Cosentino
I’ve been all over the world, and no place is more beautiful, exotic, and romantic than Maui, the perfect location for a gay cozy mystery.
A few years ago, my spouse and I survived the long plane ride and visited hidden white sandy beaches (our favorite was the beach used in the movie South Pacific), giant and spectacular waterfalls (as in the opening of Fantasy Island), craters of every hue on steep mountaintops, palm trees waving in the gentle breeze, and incredibly low key and hospitable Hawaiians. We braved the white-knuckle drive to the fantastic Seven Sacred Pools, yawned at the gorgeous sunrise at Haleakala, snorkeled in the clear turquoise water, and flew through the crystal blue sky while parasailing. We also attended a luau with a dramatic boat procession, pig roast and ceremony, huge and sumptuous buffet of Hawaiian foods, and of course the hula dancer show. The dancers were muscular Hawaiian men wearing grass skirts, leis, flower headdresses, anklets, and bracelets, who gestured with their arms, waved their knees, stomped, and grunted on an outdoor stage masked by a dormant volcano.
So when it came time for Nicky and Noah to go on their honeymoon in the fourth novel in my popular Nicky and Noah mystery series, I knew they had to go to Maui. It was great fun including all the things my spouse and I did on our trip into this fast-paced, humorous, spine-tingling mystery with a very shocking ending. Nicky and Noah have the time of their lives solving this one, and also find their relationship in for quite a change.
As you remember, in Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of 2015), college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains at Treemeadow College, and amateur sleuths/college theatre professors Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. In Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention 2016), Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out why bodybuilding students and professors at Treemeadow are dropping faster than barbells. Also, Nicky and Noah’s relationship reaches a milestone by the end of the novel. In Drama Cruise, it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back (which my spouse and I also did). Nicky and Noah must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are their both sets of wacky parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with the handsome couple.
Now in Drama Luau, Nicky is directing the luau show at the Maui Mist Resort, and he and Noah need to figure out why muscular Hawaiian hula dancers are dropping like grass skirts. Their department head and his husband, Martin and Ruben, are along for the bumpy tropical ride. In addition to the sexy hula dancers, we meet a handsome Hawaiian detective, a Bloody Mary type housekeeper, a cigar chomping hotel manager, the hotel owner and his senator wife who give new meaning to the term family values, and a cute young waiter who wants to be a hula dancer more than a priest wants a new altar boy convention.
And watch for Drama Detective, book five, releasing in six months!
It is my joy and pleasure to share these stories with you. So grab your plate at the buffet table, and take your front row seat for the luau show. The grass curtain is going up on Drama Luau!
DRAMA LUAU (a Nicky and Noah mystery)
a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO
Theater professors and spouses, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are on their honeymoon at a Hawaiian resort, where musclemen in grass skirts are keeling over like waterfalls. Things erupt faster than a volcano when Nicky and Noah, along with their best friends Martin and Ruben, try to stage a luau show. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the grass curtain down on male hula dancers—before things go coconuts for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining fourth novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and aloha!
Praise for DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, Contemporary Novel of 2015):
“I love this story, just the right mix, of fun, hilarity and mystery in the mix. The storyline is fresh and well thought out, and the dynamic of the characters is through the roof! Bike Book Reviews
Praise for DRAMA MUSCLE, the second Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention):
“reading these books is like watching a fabulous comedic, murder mystery, action, adventure, romantic film.” “I was giggle snorting and laughing so much I had to stop reading. Joe Cosentino’s writing is absolutely flawless. He’s a master storyteller and will keep you guessing and utterly riveted until Drama Muscle’s highly satisfying ending. This is an absolute gem of a book, and series.” Divine Magazine
Praise for DRAMA CRUISE, the third Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press:
“Each (Nicky and Noah mystery) is a wonderful mixture of sex, comedy, romance and murder, but when Cosentino took it to an Alaska cruise and the high seas, well, it tossed it up into theatrically delicious magic….I loved this story. I love this couple. What on earth is going to happen to them next? I can’t wait to find out.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) and Drama Cruise (Lethe Press), Drama Luau; In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (TBR Pile Book of the Month/Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press); Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries; and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). 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. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015! Coming next: Drama Detective, the fifth Nicky and Noah mystery.
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Excerpt of Drama Luau by Joe Cosentino:
Rivaling our heated argument with the Kapenas, the fake volcano onstage erupted, thanks to the theatrical effects of red lights and smoke. The dancers entered the stage to welcoming applause and executed their opening number. I held Noah’s hand as the men gestured toward the palm trees, ocean, and mountains behind them. As the dance built in intensity, they stomped, grunted, and made faces in honor of the goddess of the ocean. Though lead dancer Kal was positioned front and center for most of the dance, each dancer filled the stage with dramatic character (thanks, Noah!) and strong presence. The conclusion of the opening number was met with appreciative applause from the audience.
After a brief musical interlude, the dancers returned to the stage in their grass skirts and performed the next few numbers. Kal maintained his magnetic charisma. Though older and drooping a bit in the middle, dance captain Ak and bulldog faced Kimu held their own, as did cute little Ahe. Not surprisingly, Ahe’s lover, Keanu, commanded the audience’s attention with his obvious desire to move from dancer helper to lead dancer. With each successfully completed routine, Noah and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Pulling off their skirts and wearing only G-strings, the dancers performed their homage to the creation god. I noticed that both of the Kapenas seemed to be quite interested in that number.
Finally, the stage lights dimmed, and the cast lit their fire clubs. Waving them enthusiastically to honor the fire goddess, each dancer performed his routine beautifully. As I had instructed, a technician turned on the fan near the stage to highlight the flames that danced along as the men carried them. I thanked the theatre gods when Kimu, no doubt having taken a swig in the dressing room, doddered a bit but managed to stay on his feet until the end of the fire finale.
I followed Noah’s index finger pointing to a tiki lamp onstage as it came crashing down on Kimu’s head. Kimu saw the light.
The music stopped as the audience shrieked. Noah and I raced up onto the stage. Checking Kimu’s pulse, Noah said, “Nicky. He’s dead!”
The stage became a blur of activity with dancers, technicians, Walter, the Kapenas, wait staff, and band members racing around like bear cubs without their mother.
Feeling like the star of a 1940’s thriller, I stood at the apron of the stage. “Is there a doctor in the house?”
Before anyone could answer, Noah tapped my shoulder. “Nicky, Kimu’s gone.”
I continued scanning the audience for a doctor or a nurse. “Maybe there’s still a chance to save him.”
“No, Nicky, he’s really gone,” Noah said.
I looked behind me at the place onstage where Kimu had fallen. It was empty.