The Player by Joe Cosentino- A Murder Mystery Review

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The Player by Joe Cosentino- A Murder Mystery Review

The Player

By Joe Cosentino


Published by: Dreamspinner Press

This post contains affiliate links.  They are no cost to you but help to keep my little site afloat.  Check out my disclosure.

The Storyline: The Player

Cover Art

When young music teacher Andre Beaufort discovers an antique player piano in the basement of his apartment building, he is visited by the ghost of the original owner: a dapper and charismatic playboy from the Roaring Twenties, Freddy Birtwistle.

Andre has never seen a ghost and Freddy has never been one, so they get off to a rocky start. But when Andre finds his neighbor murdered on his doorstep, he and Freddy join forces to narrow the pool of suspects.

Soon Andre and Freddy discover that opposites attract, even if one’s alive and the other dead. Together these amateur detectives make an enticing team, and it’s a good thing too, because the first murder they solve together won’t be their last. But the real mystery isn’t just whodunit—it’s how a romance between a man and a ghost can have a happily ever after ending.

Book Specifics

The Player contains two stand-alone cozy murder mysteries, The City House and The Country House.

  • Book Title: The Player
  • Author:  Joe Cosentino
  • Genre/s: Paranormal Romance Murder Mystery
  • Trope/s: Ghost, Second Chance, paranormal, murder mystery, contemporary
  • Length: approx 246 pages
  • This book is book one of the Player Paino Mysteries.
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My Recommendation

What I Liked…

This is my FIRST Joe Cosentino book (surprising since he has 26 of them out!) This book actually has two stories, it is two separate cozy mysteries. One of the main characters is a ghost, adding a paranormal flare to the story.

I enjoyed the characters. It was an odd mixture of contemporary and historical. Andre is a teacher in the here and now. Freddie is a gay (“cake eater”) socialite from the Roaring 20s, bringing in the historical effect to the story…not to mention the lingo! Together they had to figure out if and how a blooming romance would even work, even if it is the modern world. PS: I loved the reference to how the Republician party has changed since the 1920s!

The stories bring together a colorful cast of ancillary characters that you learn more and more about as the stories. The mystery is fast-paced enough that you will not get bored with it, but not too complex that you are head-scratching or suspending belief.

The romance….yes it is a cute developing relationship. I found myself rooting for Freddie in the first story. The sexual parts of the novel are “fade to black”, so it is not really graphic in that department.

A Forewarning…

I truly enjoyed the books. I will call out a possible trigger to some. In the second story, Country House, one of the ancillary characters was physically abused as a child by his adopted brother. The story does not go into graphic detail but is part of the storyline. Personally, I think it was well written and handled with grace.

The Bottomline…

This was one that I am glad to have had the chance to read! Two fairly quick stories that kept my attention between the characters and the mystery. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

Check out the real player piano that Joe saw in a New York antique shop that ended up inspiring the whole series!

Buy Links

About the Author: Joe Cosentino

Joe Cosentino began as an actor appearing in principal acting roles in film, television, and theater, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Watching him on YouTube, his students said, You were cute when you were young.

He moved on to playwriting and directing, and his plays were published and produced in NYC, regionally, and on tour.

When he began writing fiction, his mother said, Don’t you have anything better to do than write books? He replied I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother said that to him? All’s well that ends well, as his mother, other family members, and friends love his published books. 27 books later….

He hopes everyone reading this book will enjoy solving the mystery and falling in love with a ghost. Writing is all in the family since his spouse is an audiobook performer.


Joe received his MFA from Goddard College in Vermont and MA from SUNY New Paltz. He is currently Chair of the Department/Professor of Theatre at a college in upstate New York, where he and his spouse designed and had built an environmentally friendly home. Joe is a member of an open and affirming church, and he does fundraising for GLSEN.

Joe’s Social Media Links

Website  |   Facebook page

Twitter  | Goodreads

“Coffee” Talk with Joe Cosentino

As many of you know, I have a bit of a coffee addiction.   This has developed into a little bit of a sub-theme to my site (BookGemz).  I say it is being a father of three wonderful kiddos, BUT, it is more likely because I can never seem to set my book down to go to sleep once I am engrossed into it. 

However, I have a small tradition of reaching out to the authors to connect on their favorite caffeinated beverages and other little tidbits.   Joe immediately & enthusically responded!!  

JOE: As you can see from reading the book, I enjoy writing about food and incorporating that into my stories. My favorite drink is three berry herbal tea, though I love all herbal teas. We have a huge cherry wood herbal tea box (a gift from my inlaws) in our cupboard that seems to constantly need refilling.

Book Gemz: Given you are the first book and post of the new year, I thought I would change it up a little. Do you have any New Year Resolutions for 2021?

JOE: My New Year’s resolution is to finish Drama Finale, the 12th Nicky and Noah mystery novel, to get a vaccine for the COVID virus, and to enjoy a White House administration in Washington, DC free of the lies, embarrassment, destruction, corruption, and treason of the current inhabitants.  On that happy note, best wishes to you in 2021!


Help keep my little site going for the benefit of all…

Please use my buy links included. I also accept coffee!!



Sorry, it is part of review sites required by the FCC and others:

  • I DID receive a copy of this book from the author or publisher in exchange for an HONEST review.
  • All these opinions are mine and I received NO compensation for this review.
  • This post contains affiliate links.  They are no cost to you but help to keep my little site afloat.  Check out my disclosure.
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Check Out Other Murder Mysteries I Reviewed

Case of the Boy In Blue by Amanda Meuwissen – Review

Leonard Quill, private investigator, never expected a case to walk through his door quite like this one, complete with murder, a frame job, blackmail, and powerful players, especially coming from a man with bright blue eyes behind his glasses, a crooked bow tie, and an impossible smile.


Bound by Rhys Ford – Release Day Review

Spencer & Xian finds themselves on a case involving a bound, dismembered, mummified man. Can a human and demon work together to solve the case, but will require them to work CLOSE. MM Romance


Spooky Business by S.E. Harmon: Pre-Release Review

Being curious is a good way to end up dead. Rain, a police officer & medium works to solve a murder with his boss and lover, Danny. #mmromance


Acsquidentally In Love-Review, Interview, Giveaway

Sloan, a Private Investigator, teams with an ancient god to solve murder. Sparks & tentacles fly in this mm romance murder mystery.

North Point by Thom Collins

North Point – Release Blitz, Review & Giveaway

Murder mystery rocks a small town while Arnie is vacationing. Romancing the local lifeboat captain was last on his mind. Until it happened. Gay m/m Romance

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