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Synopsis

February, 1949. Fort Myers, Florida. It started out to be such a nice day. But early morning gunfire at the Royal Plaza Motor Hotel changed all that. One white man is dead. One black man is dead. The white man’s widow has just crashed the investigation and is waving a gun around. Dan Ewing, who isn't supposed to be there, barely escapes getting shot. Saving his bacon is Lee County detective Bud Wright. Dan and Bud are more than just fishing buddies. But that’s one secret of many in this small town. Dan is the manager of the Caloosa Hotel, a class act if you're just passing through, but a provider of card games, call girls, mixed drinks and other special “services” for members of the ultra-private Caloosa Club. This doesn't sit well with everyone in town, including a wealthy car dealer, the KKK, and Bud Wright, despite the fact that he's sleeping with Dan. But the car dealer is the dead white man, the black man is the husband of his wife's former maid, and the sheriff, Bud's boss, seems determined to steer the investigation off track. So what does the apparent murder-suicide have to do with the Caloosa? Former journalist Elliott Mackle takes this wonderfully realized "why-done-it” to fascinating levels as he explores the various factions of a small southern town facing the giant implications of a rapidly changing society in the postwar years.

It Takes Two, Mackle’s first novel, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Since then, he has published Hot off the Presses, drawn from his adventures covering the Olympic Games for Cox Newspapers, and the prize-winning Captain Harding’s Six-Day War, based on his service as a gay air force officer during the Vietnam Era.

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