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

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  53 Ratings  ·  21 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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Jan 16, 2016 LORI CASWELL rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
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
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
Krissi Bryant
Nov 17, 2012 Krissi Bryant rated it it was amazing
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
Rajesh Khanna
Oct 16, 2012 Rajesh Khanna rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 01, 2013 Annie rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozies
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
Jan 26, 2013 Karen Musser rated it really liked it
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
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
Kirby Mccauley
Nov 13, 2012 Kirby Mccauley rated it really liked it
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
Feb 12, 2013 Kenzee rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*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.
Apr 29, 2013 Shirley rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 28, 2013 Maddie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
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
Nov 24, 2012 Victor Gentile rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 07, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
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
Sep 14, 2013 Joan rated it it was ok
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
Bart Gilbertson
Jul 05, 2013 Bart Gilbertson rated it really liked it
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
Jun 02, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, giveaway
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
Sep 10, 2014 Allison rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-kindle
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.
Feb 22, 2015 Dave rated it it was amazing
Great book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it
Christian Belz
Jun 01, 2013 Christian Belz rated it really liked it
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
Oct 16, 2012 Brian Mailer rated it it was amazing
An thoroughly enjoyable book. The characters are engaging. The plot is well thoughout out and well executed. It's a fast read.
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!
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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

Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective (3 books)
  • Don't Cry Over Killed Milk
  • Murder, She Floats (Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective Mystery #3)

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