As you might guess from the title, Drama Queen is set in the world of the theatre. Academic theatre, to be precise. If you’ve ever seen this type of comedic murder mystery, the bread and butter of dinner theaters everywhere, you will understand this novel.

Consider the ad copy, currently running on local radio, for Derby Dinner Playhouse’s production of Run For Your Wife:

A fast-paced, outrageous comedy about a cab driver who lives a very ordinary life, with the exception that he has two wives! Complication piles upon hilarious complication as the cabby tries to keep his double life from exploding.

Fast paced and outrageous? Check. Complicated and hilarious? Check. A multitude of characters are broadly drawn and the plot is…not simply implausible but ludicrous, and that’s exactly how it’s meant to be. If you thought it was dangerous to be friends with Jessica Fletcher or Hercule Poirot, wait until you experience the body count surrounding Nicky Abbondanza, Professor of Play Directing, and Noah Oliver, Professor of Acting at Treemeadow College in Vermont. Someone is killing off their colleagues, and the many twists will keep you guessing right to the end. Just when you think you’ve figured out who’s behind a murder that person becomes the next victim, while the one-liners fly back and forth and the sexual tension rises. It was most interesting to find this zany type of story in prose format, and nice, too, that it was told from the perspective of a gay main character. A unique and highly enjoyable read.

Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino (Lethe Press, 2015)

Paperback, 196 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1590214671