- The Player, by Joe Cosentino
The Player, by Joe Cosentino
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.
The Player contains two stand-alone cozy murder mysteries, The City House and The Country House.
The City House – the first story – takes us straight into the characters, the mystery, and the return of Freddy into the land of the living, or undead. From page one, we take a deep-dive into Andre's life, which lets us get to know our central character, and allows us to feel for him, to worry about his fate, and hope for his future. As soon as the ghost, Freddy, was introduced I was even more drawn to the story, because both he and Andre were perfect main characters to keep the story alive, exciting, and add a touch of romance to the plot.
The pacing and writing, as usual, were brilliant. I have been a fan of Cosentino's for years, and this one is perfectly in line with everything I've come to know, expect and love of their writing. The wit, the humour, and the mystery were all right up my alley. The humour was fun and a touch slapstick and quirky, but not over-the-top. The mystery was intriguing, but like any good mystery, we were given plenty of breadcrumbs to follow throughout the story.
I loved the way Freddy – especially in The City House – is used to explore both the 1930s era and the modern era. Andre shares the good and bad advances of the modern world, and even how things haven't progressed as far as he'd like, while Freddy shares a riot of history and fame and fortune that is far removed from Andre's less glamorous life.
Overall, the entire novel was fun, lovely and super cute. It had an intriguing mystery and, though I did spot some of the clues early on, it was a fun journey to follow Andre and Freddy to the final conclusions. The first story lasted for 58%, which gave us plenty of time to feel connected to Andre and Freddy and explore their relationship, before progressing into the second story. I loved the pacing, the plotting and the natural way Andre came across information to help him solve the case.
I can't wait for the next installment in this series.
“We need to get it up to my apartment.”
“What if he arrests me?” Victor rose and sat on the arm of my chair. “If I go to prison, a tall, muscular inmate might want to have his way with me.” He thought about it. “Okay, maybe we shouldn’t rush into a defense.””