Cat’s Meow~~China Doll by Joe Cosentino
New York City in June
June is my favorite month! As a college professor, that is my vacation month so my spouse and I often take the train to New York City and visit museums, department store windows, Broadway shows, Central Park, and old friends. So it isn’t a coincidence that each of my Jana Lane mystery novels takes place in the month of June, and CHINA DOLL takes place in New York City.
As a child I loved child stars like Shirley Temple, Hayley Mills, and Patty Duke, seeing their movies over and over. So I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In PAPER DOLL Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto. As noted in the novel in Jana’s garden on her vast property, June in the Hudson Valley of New York brings various flowers to life including blue periwinkles, golden iris, pink magnolia, and white bridal reef that lead to a scented path of magenta lilacs quivering in the light breeze. When venturing to LA, Jana and Rocco enjoy a dip in the ocean and the sight of palm trees waving at Jana’s return.
In PORCELAIN DOLL (The Wild Rose Press), Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Apollo. The other suspects include Jana’s James Dean type young co-star, her older John Wayne type co-star, her children’s Eve Harrington type nanny, the film’s gossipy makeup and hair artist, a local reverend trying to stop the film’s production, and Jason’s agent. Again it is June on Jana’s property, which overlooks the majestic Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River’s twinkling antics in the sun.
In SATIN DOLL (The Wild Rose Press), Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romance with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. Jana rubs elbows with senators on both sides of the aisle, a lobbyist, and a Washington reporter. Her husband also goes through a personal crisis. While cherry blossoms are no longer out in Washington, DC in June, Jana and family enjoy sights like the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Capitol, and the Ford’s Theatre in the gorgeous June weather.
In CHINA DOLL (current release from The Wild Rose Press), after winning an Academy Award Jana is offered the leading role in a Broadway mystery. It is old home week and nepotism in action as the play is produced and written by the same producer (Stanley Rothman) and author (Katrina Wright) who produced and wrote Jana’s first Broadway play when she was five years old, Sweet Nothings. Jana’s co-star from Sweet Nothings, the aging but still gorgeous and mysterious Savannah Stevens, is co-starring in China Doll, along with Savannah’s incredibly handsome and muscular son, Peter Stevens, in his Broadway debut. Rounding out the cast are Rothman’s granddaughter Bella, Jana’s nephew Brad, and Jana’s youngest son B.J. And the play is directed by Katrina’s new and much younger husband, the studly Tony Cuccioli. Also in the cast are Sally Chen a recent Tony Award winning actress, and Tate Moonglow a transplant from Off-Broadway. In the mystery play within the mystery novel, Sally plays a young Chinese heiress who dies mysteriously. The suspects are Sally’s impoverished new husband (Tate), his ex-girlfriend (Bella), and their neighbors (Brad and Savannah). Jana plays the neighbor/amateur sleuth who figures out whodunit and why, and Peter takes on the role of the detective who entices her personally and professionally. Attractions come to the surface between Tony and Sally, Brad and Bella, Tate and Gary (B.J.’s new nanny), and even Jana and Peter. Art imitates life as members of the production team of China Doll are murdered, personal secrets are revealed, and Jana once again uses the skills she learned as a child star to solve the crime. Also, Jana and her husband go through a personal crisis, however, her son B.J. is bitten by the acting bug and has the time of his life.
There’s nothing like June in New York City. Though CHINA DOLL is a fictitious play, I was able to place the theatre between the marquees of real shows playing on Broadway at the time: Hurlyburly starring William Hurt and Christopher Walken and The Rink starring Chita Rivera and Liza Minelli. Jana and Peter take a carriage ride through the city and the park. I was also able to include their luxury hotel, Washington Square Park, Little Italy, and of course the theatre district.
Each Jana Lane mystery is it’s own story. The clues are there, and so are the plot twists and turns, and white knuckle shocking ending. And don’t miss the next Jana Lane mystery, RAG DOLL, releasing from The Wild Rose Press in a few months, where Jana stars in a television murder mystery show and once again life imitates art. Again, it takes place in June!
The curtain is going up. So curl up with CHINA DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery, and let me know what you think. I love hearing from readers. You can contact me at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.
A Jana Lane mystery
The Wild Rose Press May 27, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5092-0751-0 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-5092-0752-7 Digital
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor
Jana Lane is back on Broadway in 1984—starring in a murder mystery. Life imitates art when members of the company are murdered. As Jana investigates, it’s clear she may be the next victim. Complicating matters is Jana’s uncontrollable infatuation with her leading man, gorgeous and muscular Off-Broadway actor Peter Stevens. Will Jana find the murderer before the curtain comes down on her?
A little more China Doll
Jana came face to face with Stanley. “If Tate and Gary go, so do I.”
“Don’t do it for me, Jana,” Tate and Gary said in unison.
Stanley grinned. “Listen to your deviant friends, Jana.”
Tate held Jana’s arm to stifle her from replying to Stanley.
Stanley glared at Sally Chen. “And if anyone doesn’t like the size of her role, I’ll accept your resignation.” Then staring at Savannah and Jana, he said, “And if any of you regrets signing a contract with me for this show, let this be a business lesson for you. Lawyers enforce contracts.” Stanley clapped his hands again. “Tony, Tate, and Gary, you are released. Kat, please take a seat in the house. Jose, back to your stage manager’s console please. Everyone else, please make a circle around me, and I will lead you in some acting exercises.”
As everyone moved around Stanley onstage in a state of shocked pandemonium, the bookcase set piece teetered back and forth then crashed down on top of the producer.
5 meows 0 purrs ( no sexual content)
Jana Lane everyone’s favorite child star is now back on Broadway where she began at age five after two comeback movies, one which she earned an Oscar. She is bringing along her youngest son who also gets his first acting part as well as her nephew. It seems as murder and mayhem follow n Jana’s footsteps as The members of the play start dropping dead leaving Jana falling back on her skills and helping to solve the murders.
Each one of these stories gets better and better. I think little B. J nearly stole the show here. He added a touch more comedy and also helped endear us even more to Jana. I love how there is practically no way to solve these crimes as the twists come and come.
If you like sweet stories set in the 1980’s, Mystery/ suspense/ cozy with lots of twists and lots of humor and cute kids this is definitely for you
this is a book in a series but they all stand alone. They are so good I do recommend them all though!
I received a copy for an honest review
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino won Divine Magazine’s awards for best mystery novel, best humorous novel, and best contemporary novel of 2015. He is the author of the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, and China Doll and the upcoming Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, and the upcoming Drama Cruise (Lethe Press); the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (NineStar Press); and the romance novellas: In My Heart anthology (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star), A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). As an actor, he has appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Praise for SATIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:
“A book that will captivate any reader! A page turner that won’t let you go! This is one author you can always depend on to publish a good read!!” Stormy Nights Reviewing
“Joe Cosentino is a brilliant mastermind when creating the perfect mystery series. In each novel in this intriguing series of his, Jana Lane Mysteries, readers are blown away by his writing. The instant readers jump into Joe Cosentino’s fictional world, the danger feels real, the suspense is killing, and the plot moves so fast. Action, lights, camera!” “A fast-paced murder mystery that readers will easily fall in love with…and one they can’t live without. Overall, I highly recommend this new title in the Jana Lane Mysteries and look forward to the next best adventure from Joe Cosentino.” Danielle Urban, Universal Creativity Inc.
Praise for PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:
“Porcelain Doll is Joe Cosentino at his finest. We are drawn back to the fashions and attitudes of the 1980’s in a character-driven story full of intrigue and passion.” Kirsty Vizard, Divine Magazine
“Beautifully written and intensely detailed, Porcelain Doll is one not to be missed. Flirtatiously decadent with a strong moral undertone, set in a decade of extraordinary social change this is a story of its period that is as poignant today as it was then. Joe Cosentino controlled the emotions that the book encouraged with a deft but delicate touch. Suspenseful and mysterious, Porcelain Doll is a masterful creation, one that was impossible not to be affected by.” Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews
“Murder, mystery, and suspense are high inside of this brilliant masterpiece by Joe Cosentino.” “Every page fills the readers with intrigue.” “Edge of your seat mystery that lures readers instantly.” “Once you read it, you can’t put it down.” Danielle Urban Universal Creativity Inc.
Praises for PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery:
“Paper Doll is a superbly crafted mystery with an eclectic cast of characters that will engage you and elicit some very emotional responses as you are completely caught up in the events that unfold in these pages. Everyone has secrets and the people in Paper Doll have them in spades!” Fresh Fiction
“If you like novels that are filled with new and old Hollywood, and a range of sub-plots, you are going to love this!” Saguaro Moon Reviews
“I liked that there was enough evidence for each of the suspects to keep me guessing until the very end.” Molly Lolly Reviews
“Joe Cosentino knows how to keep his readers’ interest with every page.” Universal Creativity Digital Magazine
“Mr. Cosentino has produced a masterpiece of mystery” “The story gripped me from the start and there were enough twists and turns, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure, to keep hold of me until the end of the book.” “Great book, can’t wait for book 2.” Readers’ Favorite