Player Piano Mysteries Book 2
a mystery/romance/paranormal novel by JOE COSENTINO
E-book and Paperback: 216 pages
Genre: MM, contemporary, mystery, comedy, romance, paranormal, Key West, Tuscany
Cover Art: Fred Wolinsky
Release date: March 15, 2021
Can a man and a ghost be soulmates? When young music teacher Andre Beaufort unleashed the ghost of dapper Roaring Twenties playboy Freddy Birtwistle from his antique player piano, he never imagined they would fall in love and solve two murder mysteries. Now Freddy yearns to visit his family’s beach house in Florida. So, Andre and Freddy embark on a vacation to the stunning home which has become a bed and breakfast. Before Freddy can say “zotched,” a young, mysterious houseboy is murdered, the second hunky houseboy to meet the same fate. Will Andre and Freddy find the murderer to save the inn—and themselves?
A year later, Andre and Freddy venture off on a vacation with Andre’s uncle, an ex-priest, to Tuscany, staying at an inn which happens to have once been Freddy’s old family villa. Before the sun sets golden on the hills, a handsome young guest is murdered. Will Andre and Freddy uncover the secrets of Freddy’s ancestral home, solve the mystery, and find eternal love?
The Player’s Encore, the second installment in the popular Player Piano Mysteries series by Joe Cosentino, includes two cozy mysteries: The Beach House and The Villa.
Excerpt from The Player’s Encore, Player Piano Mysteries Book 2, by Joe Cosentino:
I heard a knock at the door. I got to my feet and opened it to Nico DeFina still in his tight T-shirt and shorts.
“Turn down service.” He grinned from ear to ear.
“No, thank you, Nico.”
“Don’t you want a ‘sweet’ on your pillow?”
“But I want to make sure your first night at Apollo Branchus meets all of your expectations.” He ran his finger down my chest. “With your body and face, you definitely meet mine.”
Freddy scowled. “Tell the cake-eater this isn’t a petting pantry!”
I whispered to Freddy, “I know this isn’t a movie theatre.”
Nico cocked his head at me. “You’re into porn? We don’t have any porn movies here at the B&B, but we can act one out.”
I sighed. “Nico, it’s late. I’m ready for bed.”
“Perfect timing.” He brushed past me and stood at the foot of the bed.
I turned toward him. “I have a boyfriend.”
“I’m glad you remembered,” Freddy said.
I whispered to Freddy, “How could I forget?”
Nico replied, “You’d be surprised, especially when you meet a hot guy.” He winked at me. “I saw you with that butch detective.”
I explained, “Ken and I went to dinner.”
Nico nodded. “Looks like we’re both infatuated with straight guys we can’t have, which sounds like the basis for a tight friendship between us.” He gave me the once over. “And speaking of tight, you have an amazing butt.”
Freddy rose from the bed. “Take your eyes off my man, you torpedo!”
I was so exasperated with Freddy, I forgot Nico was in the room was us. I came toward Freddy. “I’m yours. Don’t you know that yet?”
Nico’s face lit up. “I know it now.” He reached for me and I dodged away from him.
“Playing hard to get?”
I sat on the window seat. “Nico, can we talk?”
“Sure. I can do foreplay chat.” He sat next to me.
Freddy glared at him. “I don’t like this one bit.”
“It’s fine,” I whispered to Freddy.
Nico took my hand. “I agree.”
Freeing my hand, I said, “I overheard you and Christian bickering earlier.”
He groaned. “Christian thinks he’s a top because he’s the head houseboy.” Giggling, he added, “He sure wasn’t on top when we first met.”
“When Angel was head houseboy, did Christian say Angel acted like he was on top?”
“Sure. Christian bitches about everyone, including the dead.”
Freddy stood over us. “Nico’s sitting too close to you.”
I glanced up at Freddy and whispered, “I can handle him.”
Nico snickered. “Anybody can handle Christian. Except for his mother. She still falls for his ‘poor me’ act.”
“But Christian isn’t poor.” I asked, “Does Christian get money from his folks?”
“The only sensible method of garnering wealth.”
I smirked at Freddy and whispered, “You mean, your method.”
Nico seemed offended. “My parents aren’t supporting me. And Christian would have bragged about it if Daddy or Mommy Hart had given him any bucks.”
“Then where does Christian’s money come from?”
“The creep joint,” Freddy said.
“Christian hasn’t been a callboy for years,” I replied to Freddy.
“True.” Nico grimaced. “But Christian has his ways of getting money.”
Nico pouted. “You’ll have to ask Christian.”
I let it go—for now. “What was Christian’s problem with Angel?”
He explained, “The same issue I have with Christian now. The head houseboy gets to make the schedule, replace supplies in the rooms, and then sit around filling out paperwork while the other houseboy does the real work of cleaning and making up the rooms.” He wrapped his arms around me. “But let’s not talk about work. All work and no play makes Andre a lousy lay.”
“I won’t play fire extinguisher!”
I cocked my head at Freddy. “I don’t need a chaperone.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Nico squeezed me in closer.
“How can you let him do that!” Freddy shrieked, “I thought you love me!”
“Of course I love you!”
Nico smiled. “I’ll say it back if that turns you on, Andre.”
I pulled away. “I overheard Christian say he has something on his phone that can incriminate you.”
Nico’s sapphire eyes narrowed. “Well that killed the mood faster than a Mormon who won’t take off his underwear.” He rose. “Haven’t you heard curiosity kills the queer? Keep talking like that and I’m out of here.”
“You most certainly are.” Freddy pushed him, and Nico nearly flew out of the room.
As Nico looked back wondering what had hit him, I called out, “Careful, the hardwood floor is slippery.”
After I closed the door, Freddy threw his arms around me. “I couldn’t stand watching that flat tire drooling all over you.”
We shared a long, juicy kiss. “You don’t need to be jealous, Freddy. I was trying to get information for our case.” Gazing at his handsome face, I said, “You’re the only man for me.” Giggling, I added, “Though I like it when you’re jealous.”
“And I like everything about you.”
He lifted and carried me to the bed. We lay there together for some time kissing, hugging, and adoring each other. Then Freddy removed our clothes, and we made love by the light of silvery moon.
Afterward, I rested my head on his welcoming chest, and he wrapped his long arms and legs around me. “Freddy, did you notice the expression on Nico’s face when I asked him about the source of Christian’s money?”
He nodded. “He looked very much like Louie B. Mayer when I turned down his offer for an acting contract with his studio—because the contract had too many…attachments.”
I kissed the thin dark hair around his firm nipples. “I think Christian is blackmailing more than one person at the inn, as was Angel before him.”
“I think you’re right.”
Suddenly, we heard a piercing scream then a thud. Freddy and I threw on our clothes, ran out onto the balcony, and peered in the direction of the screech. The moon illuminated a lifeless body on the lawn. It was Christian Hart.
Interview with Freddy Birtwistle and Andre Beaufort, the leading characters in The Player’s Encore, Player Piano Mysteries Book 2
Freddy and Andre, congratulations on the release of your second novel, The Player’s Encore, a new MM mystery/romance/fantasy novel.
Freddy: Thank you. You’re a blue Serge for asking us to interview.
Andre: Blue Serge means real sweetheart.
Andre, tell us about Freddy.
Andre: Freddy is thirty, tall…
Freddy: Though somehow I managed to fit into the player piano for centuries.
Andre: …with slicked-back jet-black hair, violet eyes, high cheekbones, a thin nose, and rosy cheeks. As every man of wealth in the Roaring Twenties, Freddy wears a pinstriped black suit and vest, white silk shirt, and gray suspenders with matching bowtie and silk pocket handkerchief. His shoes are shiny black patent leather with white spats. More important than his appearance, Freddy has an alluring and joyous bon vivant personality, big heart, keen mind, and he is the love of my life.
Freddy: You’re a lalapazza, Andre!
Freddy, tell us about Andre.
Freddy: Andre is twenty-eight years old, tall and thin with amber eyes, dark hair, milk chocolate complexion, and what you would call a cut body and bubble butt I love to squeeze. He’s the bee’s knees! Andre is a grade school music teacher. He found the player piano in the basement of his apartment building—my family’s city mansion. By pedaling the Pianola and playing famous songs of the Roaring Twenties, Andre can summon me. However, only Andre can see me and talk to me. Actually, we do a lot more than talk. And that makes this ghost very happy.
Freddy, who were some of your friends when you were alive?
Freddy: Cole Porter (who wrote “You’re the Top” about me), Irving Berlin (who wrote “Cheek to Cheek” about me) George Gershwin (who wrote “I Got Rhythm” about me), Henry Ford gifted me with cars, and Thomas Edison phoned me for dates constantly. Flo Ziegfeld offered me a theatre. Louie B. Mayer tried to get me to sign a contract with MGM. J. Edgar Hoover, though a drag, followed me. Joan Crawford wanted to bare my children. Tallulah Bankhead nicknamed me “Darling,” and Mae West said of me, “Never mind about the six feet. Let’s talk about the seven inches.” However, I didn’t find true love until I met Andre.
Freddy, what did you do for a living (no pun intended)?
Freddy: Anything but work! I was a dewdropper, meaning I accepted the kindness of my wealthy family members and friends. My family had made their fortune in the railroad business, which was dreadfully boring to me. After my wonderful parents and dear younger sister died from the influenza, I inherited the city mansion, country estate, beach house, and Italian villa.
How and when did you die?
Andre: Freddy was shot at thirty years old by a misinformed jealous husband.
Freddy: Not mine!
How does it feel to be a ghost?
Freddy: I am definitely light in the loafers.
Did you two fall instantly in love?
Andre: Not exactly. We got off to a rocky start.
Freddy: But after sharing stories about our lives and cuddling on the chaise, we found our way into each other’s hearts.
How did you two become a ghostly Holmes and earthbound Watson?
Freddy: Andre and I solved two murder mysteries together—one in my family’s city home and another at my family’s country estate. With each mystery, we fell deeper in love.
What’s special about this book?
Freddy: Andre of course!
Andre: Freddy of course!
Freddy: Also, the two stories include sexy characters, cozy settings in a beach house and Tuscan villa, my unique sense of humor, surprising plot twists and turns, fun red herrings, a touch of drama, a shocking yet justifiable ending, and of course a great deal of sweet romance.
Andre: And as in The Player book 1, the reader gets two books for the price of one!
This isn’t Joe Cosentino’s first mystery series.
Andre: Joe wrote the Nicky and Noah Mysteries series and the Jana Lane Mysteries series, both to great acclaim and popularity.
Freddy: But Andre and I aren’t in those.
What can we expect in The Player’s Encore?
Freddy: In part I of The Player’s Encore: The Beach House, I yearn to visit my family’s beach house in Florida. So, Andre and I embark on a vacation to my stunning home which has become a bed and breakfast. Before I can say “zotched,” a young, mysterious houseboy is murdered, the second hunky houseboy to meet the same fate. As it turns out, the suspects are all related to the latest victim: his desk clerk boyfriend, his incredibly handsome cousin who happens to be a doctor, and his feuding parents. Also in the mix are the accountant with slippery books, a studly new houseboy who can’t keep his feather duster in his pants, and a little girl with a secret that changes Andre’s and my lives. Since the detective obsessed with the case has come up with an empty seashell, it’s once again up to lovers Andre and me to find the murderer and save the inn—and ourselves!
Andre: And in part II: The Villa, Freddy and I venture off on a vacation with my uncle, an ex-priest, to Tuscany, where we stay at an inn that was once Freddy’s old family villa. Before the sun sets golden on the hills, a young, handsome, wealthy guest is murdered. The suspects are the victim’s distant father who is his competitor in business, a sexy Italian guide with a secret, two hunky gay travelers connected via a travel app, and a straight married couple who appear ready to embark on new sexual conquests. At the same time, Freddy finds his deceased sister’s diary and makes a surprising discovery that changes his life. When the muscular Italian detective investigating the murder seems lost in his spaghetti, it’s yet again up to Freddy and me to solve the mystery and save the day!
Who are the supporting characters in The Player’s Encore?
Freddy: In Part I at the Key West beach bed and breakfast, we meet hunky houseboys Christian Hart and Nico DeFina, Christian’s parents and his gorgeous cousin Dr. Spencer Hart, Christian’s boyfriend beefy desk clerk Yusef Raji, oily inn manager Troy Grey, and his young daughter Ana Grey. When Christian is murdered, Butch Detective Ken Evans solicits Andre’s help who of course asks for my assistance in catching the murderer.
And in the second story?
Andre: In part II in the Tuscan Villa, we meet my hunky Uncle Darryl right out of the priesthood, the inn’s beefy owner Bartolo Lotto, cute travelling roommates Rai Ming and Felix Gutierrez, young A-lister Colin Maverick and his gray fox father CEO of Maverick Enterprises Julian Maverick, and a straight married couple ready to expand their horizons. Sexy Detective Francesco Ferrari seems more interested in Uncle Darryl and Bartolo Lotto than solving the murder mystery. So, it’s Freddy and me to the rescue.
Who is your favorite new character in book 2?
Freddy: In the first part Yusef Raji is the man everyone would like to marry.
Andre: In part II, Detective Francesco Ferrari is typically Italian in that he insists upon finishing his lunch before questioning the suspects. My Uncle Darryl is also a laugh riot in his newly out persona.
Which character do you like the least?
Freddy: Troy Grey in part I has a lot of secrets up his sleeve.
Andre: In part II, Julian Maverick is the epitome of the arrogant, privileged elite.
How are the stories cozy?
Freddy: They take place in a quaint bed and breakfast on the beach and in a gorgeous Tuscan villa overlooking olive orchards, vineyards, lemon trees, and rolling hills kissed by the sun.
Will there be more Player novels?
Freddy: If the spirit (pun intended) moves me.
How can readers get their hands on The Player’s Encore?
Andre: The purchase links are below.
Thank you, Freddy and Andre, for interviewing today.
Freddy: Our pleasure. You’re the Ell’s hips!
Andre: That means, cat’s meow.
Freddy: I guess it’s back to the player piano for me.
Andre: I hope everyone will give The Player’s Encore a play. I’m sure, like me, you will fall in love with Freddy and have a great deal of fun trying to solve our mysteries. And Freddy and I love to hear from readers. So go to your magic box and contact Joe at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com. He tells us everything!
Praise for Joe Cosentino’s Books
“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless…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
“adventure, mystery, and romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet.” – Urban Book Reviews
“The author executed his storyline with a marvelous precision that would be the envy of many authors. He draws the readers into the lives of his characters, they become real and in turn, their emotions becomes yours….If you can only afford to buy one more book this year, buy this one.” – Three Books Over the Rainbow Reviews
“I really loved this book and having an ending that made me laugh and cry at the same time is testament to the brilliant writing.” – BooksLaidBareBoys
“In true Joe Cosentino style…this cast of characters will have you laughing out loud one minute before ripping your heart out the next.” – Joyfully Jay Reviews
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; 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
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