It Takes Two to Strangle (a Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective Mystery)

Stephen Kaminski
Cozy Cat Press (2012)
ISBN 9780988194311

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (12/12)

Article first published as Book Review: It Takes Two to Strangle (A Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective Mystery) by Stephen Kaminski on Blogcritics.

“It Takes Two to Strangle” is the author Stephen Kaminski’s introduction to Damon Lassard and the Dabbling Detective Mystery Series.

Hollydale, a small community near the environs of Washington, DC, is hosting a summer fair. As a community representative, Damon Lassard, a young retired baseball player, is delegated to meet with Lirim Jovanovich, owner of a traveling carnival and to work out details of the financial arrangements. Throughout the setting up of the carnival rides and exhibits, Damon is introduced to various key members of the carnival staff.

News of the discovery of Lirim’s dead body, in his trailer, on the second morning of the fair travels fast in the small community of Hollydale. Detective Gerry Sloman, Daman’s good friend, is assigned to help solve the crime. This is Gerry Sloman’s first murder investigation; Damon becomes his sounding board.

Damon displays remarkable investigative intuitive gifts and hunches that provide the police with the dilemma of frustration, and Damon’s remarkable gift for important discovery of motive and evidence.

Kaminski carefully introduces a cast of believable characters, with divergent world views, who carry the plot forward. Using a laid back writing style, with subtle humor, he engages his reader through carefully delivered dialog, plot preview, revealing nuances, and clues that fortify the storyline.

The reader is quickly drawn into the challenge of matching wits with the protagonist, the police, and the community in a myriad of actions that uncover long hidden crimes over a wide area of the surrounding countryside which led to the untimely death and double strangulation of Lirim Jovanovich.

Frequent unexpected plot developments, the introduction of conflict and resolution, romantic innuendos, and interaction among the key players engage the reader from the early pages right through to the dramatic finale of “It Takes Two to Strangle.” Stephen Kaminski has won me over as a new fan. I am eagerly looking forward to the sequel to the Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective Mystery Series.

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