An Interview with Noah Oliver from Joe Cosentino’s Drama Oz, 14th Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel

Jun 8, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Joe Cosentino

Noah, you are truly the Watson to Nicky’s Sherlock Holmes.

I always thought they were a gay couple.

Congratulations on the release of the fourteenth novel in your award-winning and popular Nicky and Noah gay cozy comedy mystery series.

Thank you. We’ve gotten older but better.

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 masochists’ market. And Nicky has a huge heart.

Tell us about Drama Oz, the fourteenth novel in your popular, award-winning series.

It stars Nicky and me! A killer is loose in The Wizard of Oz theme park theatre where we are staging an original musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz entitled Friends of Dorothy. The young actress cast as Dorothy is quite the diva. The young actors cast as Toto, the Munchkin Leader, and the Winged Monkey Leader fully inhabit their roles and their G-string, chaps, and loincloth respectively. Of course, Nicky and I use our drama skills, including playing wacky characters in investigative role-plays with the suspects, to catch the killer before the witch’s fireball sends us up in smoke.

As usual, calamity ensues.

And calamity begins with Nicky Abbondanza and his theatre crew. Nicky is the wizard onstage and off doing double duty as show director and playing the Wizard. As Nicky says, “It takes a wiz!” I’m cast as the Scarecrow sitting on a long pole. Our teenage son, Taavi, plays the role of the Tinman with a large can of lube, and his best friend, Ty, counters as the Lion with a playful tail. Our best friends, older couple Martin and Ruben, join the cast playing Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. They also double as Glinda who does it good and the Wicked Witch of the wild West.

Who are the new characters in book fourteen?

Adorable actor Pip Manning plays Toto in the show. His affections (and dog collar) waver between handsome Mormon Drew Gateway the stage manager and bodybuilder Detective Rick Boulder. Gymnast with a secret Topper Tucker, who plays the Winged Monkey Leader, has his wings set on stocky Taz Zaman, who plays the Munchkin Leader. A crew of woman technicians and the diva starring as Dorothy have more baggage than an airport.

Who was your favorite new character?

Pip Manning won’t compromise in finding the love of his life. He also calls out “religious” hypocrisy. I admire both of those things.

Which new character do you like the least?

Our Musical Director and Choreographer, Lija Sharif, was quite critical of everyone, except herself. She also held a wallop of a secret.

Which new character is the sexiest?

Bodybuilder Detective Boulder is a musical theatre fan. You have to love that in a man. However, Boulder paled in comparison to my Nicky, including as a detective!

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 conservative politician protecting a treasonous past president.” 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 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. It’s even more cozy in winter with snow blanketing the campus and surrounding the village. This novel in Key West is cozier since the popular and picturesque vacation site is loved by so many. Key West, Florida is one of my favorite places. It’s a peninsula with white sandy beaches laden with foamy waves tickling jagged rocks under an azure sky dotted with marshmallow clouds. Gorgeous white seagulls and towering lighthouses herald gorgeous pink, violet, and gold sunrises and sunsets. Quant guesthouses, theatres, and restaurants inhabited by people open and affirming to all line the shore. So in this novel, we thespians from Treemeadow stage our show in Key West, Florida.

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 lovable 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 the Supreme Court taking away LGBT rights under the guise of “religious freedom.” No matter what is thrown in our path, Nicky always ends up on top. (Editor’s Note: KRL is actually featuring several new cozy LGBTQ+ mysteries this month, be sure to check them out!)

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, and now Drama Oz.

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, as Nicky would say) 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 (the first Player Piano mystery is featured in a Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast this week) 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).

What’s next for the Nicky and Noah mysteries?

Whatever Nicky and I tell Joe to write.

How can your readers get their hands on Drama Oz, 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!

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 the Proud Boys storming the Capitol (as Nicky would say) to share this fourteenth novel in the series with you. So follow the yellow brick road to a girl with a dog who is one hot bitch, a wicked witch who would kill for a new pair of shoes, a sexy Wizard who wants to bang the Scarecrow’s brains out, a Tinman and Lion embarking on a mixed marriage, plenty of monkey business, and murder!

Drama Oz, 14th Nicky and Noah mystery)
a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO

The Treemeadow College theatre crew stage an original musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz entitled Friends of Dorothy at a summer theme park in Key West. Quickly cast and crew members melt away like a witch submerged in water. Nicky, as the Wizard on stage and off, must save the show and figure out whodunit. Once again, our favorite thespians will need to use their drama skills to catch the killer before a witch’s fireball sends them up in smoke. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, sidesplittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining fourteenth novel in this delightful series. It’s a scorcher! So follow the yellow brick road. The stage lights are coming up in Oz on a girl with a dog who is one hot bitch, a wicked witch who would kill for a new pair of shoes, a sexy Wizard, a Scarecrow sitting on a big pole, a Tinman with a giant can of lube, and a Lion with a long tail between his legs, plenty of monkey business, and murder!

Purchase Links:
Amazon: Drama Oz: A Nicky and Noah Mystery
Smashwords: Drama Oz: A Nicky and Noah Mystery
Barnes and Noble: Drama Oz by Joe Cosentino
Kobo: Drama Oz: A Nicky and Noah Mystery

Connect with Joe:
Web site:

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode featuring one of Joe Cosentino’s Player Piano mysteries just went up this week. You can find the episode here or listen in the player below.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


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