Review: Drama Muscle by Joe Cosentino

It could be lights out for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodybuilders popping up on campus, Nicky, and his favorite colleague/life partner Noah Oliver, must use their drama skills to figure out who is taking down pumped up musclemen in the Physical Education building before it is curtain down for Nicky and Noah. Complicating matters is a visit from Noah’s parents from Wisconsin, and Nicky’s suspicion that Noah may be hiding more than a cut, smooth body.

You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining second novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and weights up!

When we met Nicky and Noah in Drama Queen, they were Jessica Fletcher(s) to Tree Meadow's Cabbot's Cove - all while falling in love. Of course, by then end of the book they'd tied up the mystery is a velvet bow and worked out whodunnit before going back to their busy lives, their short careers as detectives behind them.

Until now that is. Now, when they are working with the gym department to put on a body building show (Nicky and Noah add a little help in the theatrics part of the competition) and all of a sudden they find themselves having to work out whodidit again. It was in the gym, with... well, various weapons... but WHO is the culprit? They know the where and the how, but they need to work out the who and the why before anyone else falls foul of the gym killer.

In Joe Cosentino's inimitable style Nicky, and Noah, set out to find out who is killing off body builders faster than you can say gym bunny. There is a fine line of writing farcical humour, too far and it just becomes eye-rollingly stupid, but Cosentino walks it beautifully. It's in your face, but has subtle undertones at the same time. It's the sublime and the ridiculous in just the right amounts. From the names to the situations and scenarios, every detail is thought out.

The who's shagging who in this story is reminiscent of an eighties bedroom swapping drama. You know, the ones where nobody ends up in bed with who they expect too. Nobody is as sweet and innocent as they appear. I suppose all that oil the body builders are rubbing into their bodies makes for good lubrication.

As well as trying to stage this show and solve this mystery, Noah's parents have come to stay, and Nicky is getting a little suspicious about Noah's frequent disappearances. The story lines keep us loving the relationship between Nicky and Noah as well as the mystery and humour.

Drama Muscle is such a well woven story that is literally laugh out loud funny. Reminiscent of the Carry On films in humour, if you've not tried this author I'd say start with Nicky and Noah, they definitely hooked me in.

Before I's gotta be said, on my (decidedly rare) visits to the gym, I often feel like killing people. All that working out, it's meant to make you feel happy and buzzed but it's just a waste of good reading time, if you ask me.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
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