THE PLAYER’S ENCORE
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.
I kissed Freddy’s dimple then the cleft in his chin. “Your family had a home in Key West?”
He rested back on the chaise, his shiny black patent leather shoes with white spats dangling off it. “We most certainly did.”
“Was there a player piano in your bedroom there?”
“Now you know your onions.” He winked at me. “As my chum Greta Garbo once told me, ‘It’s so much fun to play with yourself.’”
“Freddy, just because I was able to materialize you from the player piano here and via the pianola in your country home, that doesn’t mean I’ll be able to do the same in your beach house. Besides, we don’t even know if your old beach house has become an inn, or if it still has your player piano!”
“There’s only one way to find out.” He helped me up and across the living room.
With renewed energy, courtesy of the man I love, I made it through the kitchenette— Freddy’s former bar—into the bedroom. After passing my bed with its fanned silver headboard and somehow not collapsing onto it, I sat behind the mahogany desk. Then I turned on my laptop and searched for the Birtwistle’s former estate in Key West, Florida.
Freddy was behind me like a specter. Literally. “What does the magic box say?” A moment later, he gasped at a picture on the screen of a mansion overlooking the beach. “That’s it!”
I read the copy. “The Apollo Branchus Inn, named after the Greek gods of music and the sun, is a gay-friendly bed and breakfast at the edge of Key West. The home was originally owned by railroad magnet Leighton Birtwistle. Upon the death of his son Frederick, the residence was left to a cousin, Whitiker…”
“…whose son, Thompson, sold it to the Mastangello family who converted it into a bed and breakfast. The inn is currently owned by Ernest Rahp.”
Freddy groaned. “I don’t see how earnest Rahp can be, since he stole my family’s beach house.”
I said over my shoulder, “He didn’t steal it. Rahp bought it.”
“Because my ingrate of a cousin sold the house from under me.”
“Actually, from over you, since you were six feet under at the time.” I clicked through the pictures. “Which room was yours?”
Freddy pointed to the screen. “This one! The last room at the end of the hall on the second floor. And there’s my pianola!”
It was a masculine-looking turret room with a large mahogany king-size bed, desk, bookcase, and an armchair at the white marble fireplace mantel. The player piano rested in one corner opposite a balcony. I rose and rested my arms around Freddy’s narrow waist. “If I stay at Apollo Branchus, do you think I can summon you via your old player piano?”
“It’s worth a try.”
“If it works, I assume you won’t be able to leave your room.”
“That’s fine with me.” He kissed the top of my head. “Since we’ll be together.” Taking me in his arms, Freddy said, “You need a vacation, my love.”
“Every day here with you is like a fabulous vacation.”
“But I want you to see my beach house, take in the sun, and breathe the sea air.”
After considering it, I said, “I’d like that too.”
We shared a hug.
When we parted, Freddy said, “Make your reservation.”
After taking the phone out of my pocket, I made a reservation with a man named Yusef Raji for room five at their earliest opening the following week. With Freddy’s chin on my shoulder, I hit my laptop again to make my travel plans.
WRITING THE PLAYER’S ENCORE, PLAYER PIANO MYSTERIES BOOK 2
by Joe Cosentino
I’ve always loved the Roaring Twenties period: the pinstriped suits and beaded dresses, Art Deco houses and furnishings, catchy tunes from Gershwin and Porter, wealthy bon vivant personalities, the Charleston, catchy expressions like “the bee’s knees,” and the player piano. So I decided to blend my love of the period with my passion for the contemporary cozy mystery—with a gay slant—and out came The Player. It was the story of Andre Beaufort, a grade school music teacher living in Hoboken, New Jersey, who having found a player piano in the basement, brought back to life the spirit of dapper Roaring Twenties playboy Freddy Birtwistle, the original owner of the house. The two men got off to a rocky start but eventually fell madly in love and solved two murder mysteries—in Freddy’s old city house and country house.
I worried that readers might not like The Player as much as they adored my popular Nicky and Noah mystery series. To my elation, readers loved The Player, and they begged for another Player novel. Since I love the beach (hence my Cozzi Cove series) and Italy (as noted in my A Home for the Holidays Bobby and Paolo Holiday Story 1), I decided that Andre and Freddy would next solve murder mysteries in Freddy’s old house in Key West and at his family’s past villa in Tuscany. So, The Player’s Encore, The Player Piano Mysteries Book 2, was born.
In part I of the novel: The Beach House, 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. 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 and Freddy’s lives. Since the detective obsessed with the case has come up with an empty seashell, it’s once again up to lovers Andre and Freddy to find the murderer and save the inn—and themselves!
In part II: The Villa, Andre and Freddy venture off on a vacation with Andre’s uncle, an ex-priest, to Tuscany, where they stay at an inn that happens to have once been 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 lovers Andre and Freddy to solve the mystery and save the day!
The two mysteries (for the price of one!) include lots of sexy characters, cozy settings, humor, surprising plot twists and turns, fun red herrings, a touch of drama, a shocking yet justifiable ending, and of course lots of sweet romance.
I hope everyone will give The Player’s Encore a play. I’m sure, like Andre and me, you will fall in love with Freddy and have a great deal of fun trying to solve the mysteries. And I love to hear from readers. So drop me a line at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.
Post a comment on what you love about player pianos, gay romance, Key West, Tuscany, or whodunits. The one that tickles our ivories the most will win a complimentary e-book of The Player, Player Piano Mysteries Book 1, by Joe Cosentino. Don’t forget to leave your email so we can contact you if you win!
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
About Joe Cosentino:
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