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It Takes Two to Strangle (Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective #1)

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  22 reviews
When the owner of a traveling carnival is strangled—not once but twice—on opening night of the summer fair in Hollydale, the police surmise he was not well liked. As the head of Hollydale's citizens association and local liaison with the carnival, Damon Lassard feels obligated to help his dear friend, Detective Gerry Sloman, solve the crime. Damon is determined to bring th ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published September 26th 2012 by Cozy Cat Press (first published September 20th 2012)
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Barbara Coast
Guys and Dolls, I have to say that if I need a mystery solved or a date for my next soiree Damon Lassard would certainly fit the bill. He's savy, smart, and single! Stephen Kaminski's It Takes Two to Strangle proves that a carnival can be fun for some and dangerous for others. One of the owners of this traveling operation is found strangled in his trailer. Damon who is community minded and curious by nature finds himself playing amateur sleuth,and he's good at following the clues that lead to a ...more
LORI CASWELL
The carnival has come to Hollydale and as head of the citizen’s association Damon Lassard is the local liaison to make sure that event goes off without a hitch. When one of the owners of the carnival is found dead with two separate and different ligature marks Damon steps in to help his friend Detective Gerry Sloman solve the case and catch the killers.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This was an interesting debut with quite a few red herrings.

Damon just can’t help himself, he gets right into the middle of th
...more
Krissi Bryant
very awesome! the book has a lot of twists and a lot of suspects! just when you think Damon has the killer youre wrong! i definitley was not expecting the ending thats for sure. Even the title of the book had me wondering. How does it take two to strangle? Finding out if two people killed the same man in one night, or was it a duo murder team? I was deeply drawn into thos book from the beginning.

Other reviews said that the book isnt focused on the murder but they must not have been reading it! T
...more
Shirley
I greatly enjoyed this mystery by Stephen Kaminski, with its appealing characters and small-town setting, plot that kept me guessing, and keeping-it-real details like the Dunkin' Donuts mention. It was very easy to keep turning the pages. It's not lurid or bloody - it's a cozy mystery about a murder. I wanted to curl up with this with a cup of tea. (How cozy.) I'm looking forward to future installments to see what Damon Lassard does next.
Rajesh Khanna
This is an enlightening tale, suspenseful, interesting, and unique. It will leave readers wanting more. If you enjoy thrillers and mystery novels, you will surely enjoy this book.
Annie
How refreshing to read a cozy mystery written by a male, with a male protagonist, and strong female characters. Mr. Kaminski has given us a very likeable fellow and we learn of his integrity through his actions instead of merely through exposition and narrative. I like that Damon is not perfect and makes mistakes in his voluntary sleuthing. The author’s law background is evident in Damon’s logical analysis of presented clues and his clean questioning of suspects. Damon’s association with Gerry p ...more
Karen Musser
I really enjoyed the characters in this book and think the writer achieved an excellent balance. In many mysteries with amateur sleuths, there is an extremely antagonistic relationship with the police, but in this case Damon is invited in by his friend Gerry as a sounding board, reprimanded gently when he goes too far and recognized for his actual contributions. By the same token, there is a little romantic thread in the story but is not overdone to the point of junior high hijinks. And his moth ...more
Marissa
Holy hell there sure are a lot of suspects and round about lose ends. And so much driving. For being a "dabbling" detective, Damon sure is amazing at getting information from people.

While a few things, like: Damon's infatuation with Bethany, Mrs. what's her face at the salon, and Damon's mom being pushy, got really old really fast, I found the rest of the book really great.

The seemingly wild goose chase that eventually winds up with a case closed is a pretty good suspense point and it was fun to
...more
Kirby Mccauley
Kaminski's debut novel was a fun, page-turning read. His characters are well rounded & believable.
It Takes Two to Strangle is a delightful mystery, every time you think you have it figured out, Kaminski throws you a curve ball.

Admittedly, it could have done with another close editing as there were a few typos and places where names were obviously transposed, and one or two times the jump from one chapter to another seemed a bit awkward.

Even still, I very much look forward to more works fro
...more
Debra Trueman
A well-crafted cozy mystery! Kaminski moves the story along at a good pace, with believable characters, and a tight plot. Kaminski’s prose are eloquent without being pretentious, and he uses his strong command of the English language to create wonderful descriptions of his characters and the places they frequent. There were several times when I actually re-read a paragraph just to savor the author’s choice of words. I look forward to reading the next book in the Damon Lassard series.
Kenzee
*I won this book in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway*

When the owner of a travelling circus is murdered in the community of Hollydale, Damon Lassard finds himself in the unique position of helping the local police solve the crime.

While I thought Damon's curiosity was a little overblown, it was easy to overlook. The book was well written, and had enough twists to keep me guessing until the end.

Overall It Takes Two to Strangle was a quick and entertaining read.
Maddie
I normally don't like mysteries, but this book captured me and had me guessing from the minute the murder began! The only part I didn't get, was why Damon wanted to figure out the murder and investigate. But the great characters, plot, and settings made up for that. One of my favorite mysteries of all time!
Victor Gentile
Stephen Kaminski in his new book, “It Takes Two to Strangle” Book One in the Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective Mystery series published by Cozy Cat Press introduces us to Damon Lassard.

From the back cover: When the owner of a traveling carnival is strangled––not once but twice––on opening night of the summer fair in Hollydale, the police surmise he was not well liked. As the head of Hollydale’s citizens’ association and local liaison with the carnival, Damon Lassard feels obligated to help his de
...more
Sarah
It Takes Two to Strangle is Stephen Kaminski's first novel, featuring amateur sleuth Damon Lassard as the "Dabbling Detective" in this new mystery series.

Former professional baseball player Damon Lassard has recently settled into the small, fictional community of Hollydale in Arlington, Virginia, to be near his single mother. Having no major need for a job after his baseball career left him financially secure, the 31-year-old handsome lothario keeps busy with a number of activities that include
...more
Joan
Sep 14, 2013 Joan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ebooks
The plot and story line were pretty good, but I was not impressed with the writing. The author seems to have worked with a list of words that he thought would make the story sound more sophisticated or intelligent, but they did just the opposite.

Seriously, who would call a window in an office "an interior aperture"? The main character "remonstrated himself for giving in to temptation" and "castigated himself for the lack of forethought" and at one point his "cogitation was cut off." Much of the
...more
Bart Gilbertson
Stephen Kaminski has put together a well crafted "whodunit" as we journey along with his amateur sleuth, Damon Lassard in discovering who the killer is. Mr. Kaminski effectively ties up all loose ends and answers all the questions satisfactorily. At the same time, we are introduced to his mother and his friends from Hollydale...all of which are very likeable characters. He has a love triangle brewing with Bethany and Rebecca too. I felt that everything was in good balance here. His characters al ...more
Kelly
I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I found it to be entertaining. Damon Lassard is a good protagonist who gets overly involved with a murder investigation because it takes place at the county fairgrounds of which he is in charge as the head of the citizen's association. He is also good friends with one of the detectives on the case. So, his interest in the case makes sense in the context of the story. As a first novel, there were quite a few editing issues that in some places were distra ...more
Allison
Pretty good. Well-written and as mentioned in the book, an ode (of sorts) to Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express." Some twists and turns I didn't expect, some romance and a bad ending to a bad guy which made me happy. I would read more in this series.
Dave
Great book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it
Christian Belz
Moved along quickly, and had a capable, engaging hero. Great plot, good voice. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!
Brian Mailer
An thoroughly enjoyable book. The characters are engaging. The plot is well thoughout out and well executed. It's a fast read.
Amanda
Jan 22, 2013 Amanda marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
Won as part of the Goodreads first reads program. Can't wait to read it!
Kelly
Kelly marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2015
Matt
Matt marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2015
Heather
Heather marked it as to-read
Aug 17, 2015
Linda Galloway
Linda Galloway is currently reading it
Jun 26, 2015
Alan Orloff
Alan Orloff marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
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James D. A. Terry marked it as to-read
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STEPHEN KAMINSKI is the author of the award-winning Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective series. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Law School. Stephen currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of a national health services organization. He is a lifelong lover of all types of mysteries and lives in Arlington, Virginia.
More about Stephen Kaminski...

Other Books in the Series

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