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The Two-Bear Mambo

(Hap and Leonard #3)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  3,485 ratings  ·  237 reviews
Florida Grange, Leonard's drop-dead gorgeous lawyer and Hap's former lover, has vanished in Klan-infested Grovetown while in pursuit of the real story behind the jailhouse death of a legendary bluesman's blackguard son. Has she been murdered too? Fearing the worst, Hap and Leonard set out to do the kind of investigating the good ole boy cops can't - or won't - do themselve ...more
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Published May 15th 2001 by Mysterious Press (first published 1995)
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Mark Weaver Each Hap and Leonard story stand on their own, but the stories are chronological and you get the background of how they got to where they are in this…moreEach Hap and Leonard story stand on their own, but the stories are chronological and you get the background of how they got to where they are in this story.

I like the first two a lot, but this one was really good. I can't wait to start the fourth in the series.(less)
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,485 ratings  ·  237 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Hap's ex-girlfirend Florida disappears while investigating the murder of blues musician's son. Hap and Leonard, on behalf of Marvin Hanson, go to Grovetown, a racist hive of scum and villainy, to investigate. Will they find Florida and bring her back?

2016 Reread:
My quest to reread all of the Hap and Leonard books before the TV series drops so I can lord it over everyone else continues. In this, the third Hap and Leonard book, the boys go looking for Florida, Hap's ex and the current girlfriend o
Another great adventure with my buddies Hap Collins and Leonard Pine! Leonard has a new boyfriend but is still surly, having just burnt down the neighborhood crack house for the third Christmas Eve in a row. But to stay out of jail this time, Leonard and Hap agree to help their friend Marvin locate his girlfriend Florida Grange, who happens to be Leonard's old lawyer and Hap's former sweet thang. The stakes are pretty high though this go round because Florida, an attractive black woman, was last ...more
When Hap goes to spend Christmas Eve with his friend Leonard, he finds that Leonard’s idea of a Yule log is burning down the neighborhood crack house. Since this is the third time Leonard has torched it, the cops are a little miffed even though he always pulls the drug dealers out of the fire. Police lieutenant Hanson offers to help get Leonard off the hook for his pyromania if the guys will look for his girlfriend, Florida, who has gone missing while poking around the story of the relative of a ...more
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Our intrepid misanthrope heroes are asked by local cop Hanson to travel to mostly racist Grovetown, TX. Job - to look into the whereabouts of Florida, lawyer and lover of both Hap and the cop. She's researching a story about a black man killed while in police custody.

I find myself alternately shaking my head in their antics, then chuckling over the dialogue and action.

Hap talking to Chief of Police Cantuck: "We're looking for a friend of ours," I said, "and we thought you might know something ab
David Brian
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's difficult not to be enamored with Joe R. Lansdale's prose. He has such a wonderfully engaging style.
Hap and Leonard are two very different people, but who happen to be lifelong friends. When they are asked to go in search of a missing woman with whom they have history, they feel obliged to find her. But their travels lead them to the hate-fueled, Klansmen infested streets of Grovetown. On any given day, stopping off here would seem a really bad idea; Leonard is gay, he is black, and he has
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
“When I say act like a man," Leonard said, "I mean act honorably and with courage. Macho has been turned into a bad word by turds who act like beasts, not men.”

Another step up in the quality of entertainment provided by Joe Lansdale's Hap & Leonard books as he juggles wisecracking, climbing up on his soapbox, brutality, psychological surveys and an interesting mystery with great dexterity. Collins & Pine are on fire throughout this one, hardly stopping to recover from threats and beating
Holly (The Grimdragon)
"When I got over to Leonard's Christmas Eve night, he had the Kentucky Headhunters turned way up over at his place, and they were singing "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," and Leonard, in a kind of Christmas celebration, was once again setting fire to the house next door."

The Two-Bear Mambo (named from a nature program where two bears get it on) is the third book in the long-running Hap and Leonard series. I am seriously loving these two characters so goddamn much! Their banter is ::chef's kiss::

Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another sterling novel from Lansdale, opening with a burning crackhouse and closing with a flood of Biblical proportions. I have to say that there was a lot less light-hearted “fun” to be had in this one, due to the subject matter and the way things stand at the end of the book. There’s still plenty of funny banter and one-liners, but things are a lot darker and severe in this one. The story concerns Hap and Leonard traveling to the “town that time forgot” of Grovestown, a progressive’s nightmar ...more
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the Hap and Leonard series, and the strongest in both story and structure, so far. The characters really come into their own here, functioning like living entities that exist outside of the novel’s pages, instead of being merely plot-and-ideology-delivery machines (although what is a character besides that, really?) It’s a great, gory, occasionally funny, and often action-packed southern noir. I really enjoyed reading this.

(Be forewarned: the n-word drops about a 100x
Third book in the Hap and Leonard series is on an even par with book 2 for me. I love that Florida Grange, who was introduced in book 2, is incorporated into the mystery in this one. She's beautiful, Leonard's lawyer, and an ex-girlfriend of Hap's. Not only that, but she is also the current girlfriend of Marvin, a friend of theirs who is also a detective. So when she goes missing they are on it and they are determined to find her, come hell or high water!

What I didn't like is how racist the peop
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They just keep getting better! I finished this yesterday and was going to start 4 today but I had some trouble with audible and I can't actually read at work anymore so I guess I'm just taking a break and listening to some music.
David Church
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hap & Leonard book 3, loved this. Lansdale to me is a master story teller. He sucked me right into this with an unlikely duo on an East Texas adventure into the vilest evil racist town to ever exist. If easily offended by bigotry or racism stay far away from this book. Hap & Leonard run into the true evils of human nature… do they survive? Read and find out!
Such a great book! The character development was simply outstanding, and so much about both Hap and Leonard are revealed. The story itself was outstanding, too, very exciting, and very surprising. On to the next one!
Benoit Lelièvre
This is how brilliant Joe Lansdale is. Twenty pages in this novel, I was super excited because it started at a point Hap & Leonard had never been before. A hundred pages in, I was about to give up because it shaped up to be a Hap & Leonard vs evil novel. Then it took another, darker turner and finally headed in a darker direction than I've ever seen in a Joe Lansdale novel before. In THE TWO-BEAR MAMBO, Hap & Leonard have to survive before even thinking about saving the day. These tw ...more
I thought this one started perilously slow, with Lansdale on his soap-box a lot, and if I hadn't already grown attached to Hap and Leonard from the previous two books I might have been tempted to set this one aside, or at least skip ahead until something started happening. And then . . . holy crap, all the darkness in this world just gets shoveled onto these errant knights. Survival does not seem possible, yet they do. The aftermath, where Lansdale portrays the psychological damage - their grail ...more
Robin Hobb
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this third Hap and Leonard book, Joe R Lansdale takes the gloves off. Harrowing. And real. And a reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same. One of those books where even the funny parts hurt some.
Cari Hunter
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still an absolute shitload of fun.
Michael Fierce
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Neo-noir, Crime fiction, Anyone who likes to LOL
Another killer read.
Heath Lowrance
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The third Hap and Leonard book, and the strongest so far. At the request of their cop friend Hanson, the boys head off to Grovetown, Texas, in search of Hanson's girlfriend (and Hap's ex) Florida. What they find is a kind of throwback town, full of Jim Crow types. No sir, they don't like "coloreds" in Grovetown. Trying to get a bead on where Florida has vanished to, Hap and Leonard find themselves in pretty serious straits, asking questions that are making some of Grovetown's more illustrious ci ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scribd, 2018, audio
I'm 6 chapters in, and there are two words that are going to stick with me:

"Christmas ants". And the line "It's not every day you can actually step into a science fiction episode of the Andy Griffith show by way of Deliverance." LOL. It makes sense in context!

[After listening to the whole book]:
Well, this book is much more like what I think of when I think of Joe Lansdale's writing. Honestly, are there men who really talk like this out of the hearing of women? I wouldn't know. But if you're curi
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably closer to a 3.5 than a 4.

Hap and Leonard find themselves in trouble again, this time as they try to solve the mystery of Florida's disappearance. As usual, there's a lot of vulgar humor coupled with dark themes and a undertone of doom and gloom. Darker than the first two books in the series, this one doesn't really come together until the last 1/3, when the various strands of the novel start to gel.

Worthwhile, but not my favorite Lansdale.
Eddie Generous
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic. My favorite one yet. Gritty, funny, fast, enthralling.
Nov 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audiobook
Joe Lansdale is definitely not for the easily offended. He manages to offend women, cops, gay men, bears, dogs and more all within the first few pages. If you can laugh with him you'll probably enjoy his colorful writing. If not, you probably won't want to read on.

Hap (an everyman sort of guy) & Leonard (a big, tough gay man) are unlikely buds. After Hap sets aflame the neighboring crack house the duo land in the slammer but the Police Lt. agrees to forgive them if they'll find his missing g
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The third installment of the Hap and Leonard series is a strong addition but is also the darkest and most disturbing. While Lansdale is never afraid to break boundaries, Two Bear Mambo mixes suspense, mystery ad action with a social realism that can be downright uncomfortable. The stark depiction of racism and violence tends to overshadow the sharp dialogue that has always graces this series. There are plenty of hilarious lines throughout and Leonard continues to be my favorite black gay Republi ...more
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2017
#3 in the Hap & Leonard series, mystery/thriller books about mismatched best friends (Hap is a white ex-hippie ladies man; Leonard a black gay conservative) in impoverished East Texas. In this book, they go in search of Florida Grange, Hap's ex, a lawyer and wannabe journalist. The last anyone heard of her, she was staying in nearby Grovetown to investigate the mysterious death of a black man in the county jail. Hap and Leonard head over to try and pick up her trail – was she murdered? is sh ...more
Tim Schneider
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hap and Leonard are back. And this time they're kind of trying to be detectives on purpose. Florida is missing. She was last known to be going to a small town in east Texas that has pretty well skipped over the entire Civil Rights era. Hansen asks the boys to look into where Florida is and if she's okay. Asks it a bit gentle...since Leonard has burned down the crack-house next door again. So the boys head out to a small racist Klan-controlled company town looking for a young black woman with a w ...more
Travis Hartman
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great Leonard and Hap adventure, this one a continuation of their adventures from the previous novel Mucho Mojo. Lieutenant Marvin Hanson sends Hap and Leonard down to a little backwoods racist trash-hole called Grovetown to investigate the disappearance of Hap's former lover, and now Marvin's full-time girlfriend, Florida Grange. Florida struck off to investigate the supposed suicide of a black man in the town's jail and hasn't turned up in a couple of weeks. Needless to say Hap and Leo ...more
Marty Fried
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Much of the action in this book takes place in a town with some of the most racist people we'd never meet. Practically the whole town is very racist to the point of beating and killing blacks without any hesitation. Add to this Leonard's outspoken provocations, and you have a sure recipe for disaster.

The most amazing thing about this book is how much humor is mixed in with this serious subject. If not for the humor, though, I think it might have been too painful to read.

Once again, a very well d
Mary Stenvall
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of Hap and Leonard. Their adventures are dark, gritty and dotted with humor. I would categorize it as Southern Noir. Definitely not for the faint of heart. This one involves a branch of the KKK, under a sheet of another color, a town covered in darkness and the shame of a sudden act.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ending was NOT at all what I expected, which is rare. I love this series.
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Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in more than two dozen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-e ...more

Other books in the series

Hap and Leonard (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Savage Season (Hap and Leonard, #1)
  • Mucho Mojo (Hap and Leonard, #2)
  • Bad Chili
  • Rumble Tumble (Hap and Leonard, #5)
  • Captains Outrageous (Hap and Leonard, #6)
  • Vanilla Ride (Hap and Leonard, #7)
  • Devil Red (Hap and Leonard, #8)
  • Honky Tonk Samurai
  • Rusty Puppy
  • Blood and Lemonade (Hap and Leonard, #11)
“Don't try to skin your rabbit and keep it as a pet too.” 12 likes
“It's over with, " Raul said, " You did all you could. You've got this tough-guy image. It's out of date. We fags, we don't have to do that. It's not in our makeup."

"What's in my makeup is in my makeup," Leonard said. "I'm a man. I got balls. So do you. I like balls. I like your balls, but I'm still a man and I got to feel like a man. Maybe I'm some kind of anomaly or something. I don't know. I don't get it. But I like a man acts like a man without thinking it's being a bully. I can't explain it him, Hap. Can you?”
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