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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Lethe Press (June 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590211650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590211656
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #964,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The scene is post-World War II Fort Myers, Florida, where local statutes prohibit gambling and "mixed-race" serving staff in hotels, and same-sex love is a felony. So what is former navy lieutenant Dan Ewing, manager of the Caloosa Hotel, doing in bed with former marine sergeant and present Fort Myers P.D. detective Spencer "Bud" Wright? Well, uh, trying to solve the mystery of bullets that have killed two men--one black, one white--and a cross burnt by bedsheet-wearing locals on the Caloosa's grounds. What might the connection between the murders and the cross burning be? Trying to whitewash them seems to muddy waters already thick with blood, so Dan and Bud undertake their own exploration. Meanwhile, Dan, though plagued by nightmares of floating bodies and lost loves, has come to terms with his homosexuality, unlike Bud, still struggling with denial. Mackle focuses this whydunnit on the men's relationship, using the details of the mystery and the cover-up to illuminate their deepening attachment as Bud's disenchantment with the town's power structure grows. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Armed forces veteran Elliott Mackle is the author of It Takes Two. He lives in San Francisco, California. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Elliott Mackle served four years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam era. As a very green second lieutenant he commanded a squadron of cooks and bakers, later achieving the rank of captain. He was stationed in California, Italy and Libya, the latter the setting for his new novel, CAPTAIN HARDING'S SIX-DAY WAR (Lethe Press). His previous novel, HOT OFF THE PRESSES (Lethe Press), is based in part on his adventures covering the 1996 Olympic Games for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Then an AJC staff writer, he served as the newspaper's dining critic for a decade, also reporting on military affairs, travel and the national restaurant scene. His first novel, IT TAKES TWO, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. He has written for Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, the Los Angeles Times, Florida Historical Quarterly, Atlanta and Charleston magazines and was a longtime columnist at Creative Loafing, the southeast's leading alternative newsweekly. Mackle wrote and produced segments for Nathalie Dupree's popular television series, New Southern Cooking, and authored a drama about gay bashing for Georgia Public Television. Along the way, he managed a horse farm, served as a child nutrition advocate for the State of Georgia, volunteered at an AIDS shelter, was founding co-chair of Emory University's GLBT alumni association and taught critical and editorial writing at Georgia State University. He lives in Atlanta with his partner of 40 years.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I have just finished reading "IT TAKES TWO", and enjoyed it immensely.
Alice Rogers
I also liked the story line and all the characters, without giving it away I really liked the ending and how it left things open to a sequel, Hint Hint.
Avid Reader
This book is a great romp, an tender love story and full of enchanting characters.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jim Duggins, Ph.D. on April 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
What I like about this book is how it mixes up the murder mystery with amusing but masculine characters and a true picture of the historical period including veterans returning from the war, the Ku Klux Klan, racial segregation, crooked politics, Southern conservative religion and people with varying motives and desires. This is a real noir picture of a typical Florida town of the period that you don't find in tourist magazine travel stories or newspapers.

The homosexual elements and the crime elements in the book are neatly woven together. The sex scenes are hot, very hot, and would interest anybody of whatever persuasion, but I think the author included them to help the plot and create strong characters. I particularly like the way the main characters, Dan and Bud, care for each other even when they are at odds, even fighting drunk. They take care of each other both like a couple of buddies and a real couple, so that the reader is always cheering them on. I also like Admiral Asdeck, Dan's mentor, a lot. Even though some of the deals he pulls are irregular, you can tell he cares for Dan like a son and wants him to grow more mature and accepting of the realities of life in a rough society. Any smart young man would want a father figure like Asdeck. The bar manager, Carmen Veranda, is hard to take at times but she is real believable, too. I knew people like that when I was in the Navy and believe they were funny in a sissy way but strong, too. In closing I have to say that this one of the best gay mystery novels I have read as well as one of the best gay love stories. I recommend it to all but especially to guys who want a mystery story with a lot of adventure featuring he-man type heroes who are also men who love men.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R.Parklane on April 24, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoy "It Takes Two" immensely and finished it in a day. The atmosphere is intense with vivid descriptions of a South drowned in bigotry and racism, flash-backs of World War Two, the steamy going-ons in the Hotel and finally the msytery murder hovering in the background. Seems a lot in a close to 300 pages book but Mackle melds everything together beautifully. The characters are wonderfully appealing, in particular Dan, the narrator, who is just great. The side characters, Bud, Carmen and Admiral Asdeck are equally colourful. Even Tommy the piano player at the hotel and a priest finally "coming-out" have stories of their own. To top it all, there is the build-up of the relationship between Dan and Bud, from buddies entangled in intense passion, to finally, I hope, devoted lovers. I am wishful for a sequel because Dan, Bud and their friends have alot more to tell. An amazing sizzling book!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
It Takes Two: A Novel by Elliott Mackle is a nearly perfect "summer read" (and one that would do very nicely on a dreary winter's day for that matter). Some of the historical allusions are a bit strained and the editors missed a quotation mark or two, but the characters and the story will grab the gay male reader. There are a number of weaker gay-themed titles out there that have received more exposure, which is a shame. This book deserves much more than its gotten. (Is that the publisher's fault?) If you've read Hold Tight: A Novel by Christopher Bram and liked it, you'll find this work equally enjoyable. If you are in the market for a compelling light read, try this book. I'm giving this one 5 stars despite the few flaws because I want to read more by Mr. Mackle. Encore!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By furrealdeal on July 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a good read about Post World War II gay men. Starts out with a double murder and then develops some really engaging characters. The whodunit drives the main plot well but it is also an excellent evocation of the times and the constraints that heterosexism and racism placed on people and the ways those limitations affected the lives of the people involved. I'm eager to read more of Mr. Mackle's work. But wait! There's more! There's some well realized erotic passages that deftly thread the narrow path between too much information and not enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob Lind on July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
The year is 1949, in Fort Meyers FL, a city generally uncomfortable as it pushes
toward racial integration, definitely wary about "sissies" and generally
distrustful of outsiders and their businesses. An example of the latter is our
narrator, Dan Ewing, a young Navy veteran who a former commanding officer
handpicked to manage the Caloosa, a resort hotel he opened. The townspeople are
not happy about the Caloosa, especially the rumors about a "private" club with
(prohibited) mixed drinks, illegal gambling, loose women, a "colored" piano
player, and a Latino cross-dressing gay bartender. Dan is also gay, and in a
shaky relationship with local police detective Bud Wright, a no-nonsense
ex-Marine who also has sex with a local waitress. We join them as the killing of
two men in a motel room, one white and one black, accelerates the actions of the
local KKK and results in speculation and finger pointing at the Caloosa as being
indirectly responsible.

In this reissue of Mackle's first novel, originally released in 2003, he
skillfully weaves commentary about postwar US society and racial tensions around
a captivating mystery complicated by the actions of corrupt public servants. An
engaging and interesting read, which I give five stars out of five.

- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
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