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It Takes Two Paperback – June 6, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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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.
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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: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,573,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By Niki 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a book which made me fell in love with Elliott Mackle's writing. I bought the old paperback edition couple years ago from the third party seller on Amazon and when I saw that it is reissued on Kindle, I bought the ebook as well. After rereading I realized that I never reviewed it, so here is my attempt to rectify this.
Out of three books that I have read by this writer, I would say that this is probably the most romantic one. Dont get me wrong, it is also a great historical and murder mystery investigation, but while Bud and Dan do not talk about how much they love and care for each other (actually Bud talks very little about that, period, since he is not a POV character), them falling in love is very very clear for the reader and since we are in Dan's head, we can hear his feelings on that matter. They are restrained when the feelings come up, of course they will be, dont want to generalize much, but more often than not men are not much for feelings talk. The settings of Florida in the 1940s are very believable, seem very well researched, often ugly when racism and homophobia are so rampant, but it makes what Bud and Dan have and realise that it is worth keeping all the more touching and wonderful. I think this book also has one of the best portrayals of PTSD which soldier may often have coming home from war. I really really loved this book and highly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It Takes Two is a gay historical romance/mystery set right after World War II in the Southern town of Fort Myers, Florida. In his first novel, Elliott Mackle tackles bigotry against homosexuality and people of color, PTSD affecting veterans of World War II, and a 'why-done-it,' all while building a romance-in-the-making between the two central characters, Dan and Bud.

U.S. Navy veteran Lieutenant Dan Ewing has suffered from survivors' guilt and nightmares ever since he lost his best buddy and sexual partner of 18 months when his ship was sunk by a submarine and the majority of the men were lost at sea. In Spencer 'Bud' Wright, he finally seems to have found the man whose company helps him find solace. Unfortunately, Bud fights the reality of their attraction and relationship. Sergeant Bud Wright, veteran and ex-sharpshooter, is now a Lee County detective. He and Dan are having what he thinks of as a friendship with occasional sexual benefits. Bud is not beneath playing a little grab-ass, but a homosexual? No. He is confused and scared of the consequences, but most of all afraid 'mixing it up' with Dan might be more than just the fulfillment of a teen-age fantasy. What poor deluded Bud doesn't understand is that sooner or later Dan always gets what he wants.

Managing the Caloosa Hotel with its private club where gambling, drinking and loose behaviors are only acceptable behind closed doors becomes a dangerous proposition for Dan, especially after he inadvertently becomes involved in one of Bud's murder investigations. In a hotel room located at the edge of 'Colored Town,' two men are found shot: a colored soldier and a white man. The white man is husband to the daughter of the most influential man in town.
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