Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ken Dalton - Brother, can you spare a dime? - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Bear’s planned afternoon of beer and baseball is interrupted by a phone call from a man he hardly remembers from their years at Elko High. So begins the tale of a cold-blooded murder and the theft of a dime worth two million dollars!

Faced with bi-coastal murder suspects, Pinky hands Bear, and Flo the sweaty task of tracking down one of the suspects along the hot, humid North Carolina shoreline while he chooses to pursue the other on the Kona coast of Hawaii. But Pinky, after imbibing too many Mai Tai’s with a bevy of sky-goddesses, and a moved-up court date, is forced to return to Carson City, sans suspect.

Bear and Flo hit pay dirt and with the identity of the killer in hand they fly across the Pacific Ocean to the smoggy Beijing airport where they meet Joe, the uncle of Pinky’s Chinese secretary. The enigmatic Joe quotes Confucius and Shakespeare as he purposefully guides the dynamic duo to their final destination— oxygen sparse Lhasa, Tibet.

Cliff hanger contest

Brother, can you spare a dime? ends with a prize winning cliff hanger that defies all logic.

Let Ken know how you would answer the question and he will choose the two answers he likes the best. Both winners will receive a complete paperback set of his Pinky and Bear mystery series.

The Bloody Birthright
The Big Show Stopper
Death is a Cabernet
The Tartan Shroud
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Five books, each one personally inscribed!

Email your cliff hanger answer to and in a couple of months Ken will post the winners' names on his Facebook page.

My Review

Ken Dalton has created a sub-genre of fiction all his own—the comedic mystery. Murder isn't supposed to be funny, but somehow he makes it so. Not the act of killing per se, but more like the personalities of his two investigators, looking to piece it together. Flo and Bear are a trip. They're partners, not to mention lovers, who are just as adept at solving a crime as they are at fleecing their boss. Pinky, who they derogatorily call "the shrimp," serves as the straight man to their laugh-a-minute humor. He's the money hungry, sex crazed lawyer, who hires them mostly because he's afraid of them.

In this installment of Dalton's series, the clues they have seem pretty cut and dry. A successful rare coin dealer is shot in the head while sitting in his wheelchair. His brother stumbles across his body, walking through the blood, touching the gun and it's no big surprise when he's charged with the homicide. The twist is that his brother's two million dollar 1894 S dime is missing, and it doesn't help that his commercial real estate business could use just that amount to stave off impending bankruptcy.

But Pinky doesn't think he did it, and neither do Bear and Flo. So they backtrack the movements of the deceased, discovering that he talked to two other collectors about the dime at a recent coin show. They start with one then move on to the other as they begin to tighten the noose. But it's all lighthearted fun as the chase begins. Bear and Flo continually squeeze more funds out of Pinky to finance their expense account, and Pinky mutters and groans that he's going to be broke by the end of their quest. Their back and forth bickering is as hilarious as it is revelatory. With each expenditure request, Bear and Flo get closer and closer to nailing their target, and Pinky gets closer and closer to blowing his top.

Where do Bear and Flo finally end up? China. Dalton does an exemplary job of showing what it's like for two average American citizens, traveling in a Communist regime. The crowds. The oversight. The pollution. Money is important, but not as much as being connected to the right people. In China, it's not what you know, but who you know, and luckily a relative of a friend of theirs puts them on the inside track. They end up doing the impossible, finding one suspect hiding among a billion people, not an easy task to say the least.

Bear and Flo provide plenty of comic relief, but they're also intrepid, gritty investigators. Mystery fans will enjoy following them from lead to lead, as they work doggedly to bring the guilty to justice. Their chuckle inducing antics make them real and relatable, but their crime solving abilities are what make them second to none in the mystery department. Dalton gives armchair sleuths the best of both worlds in this refreshing duo, a twosome unlike any other they're bound to encounter.


Brother, can you spare a dime? can be purchased at:
Amazon, (personalized inscription and free shipping)

Prices/Formats: $4.99 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Pages: 310
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Release: April 9, 2014
Publisher: Different Drummer Press
ISBN: 9780578140391
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Ken was born in 1938 at Hollywood Hospital. He grew up in Los Angeles with his parents, his older sister and younger brother.

In a turn of bad luck, the dreaded Polio virus attacked Ken at the age of five. By the age of sixteen, after eleven years of operations, therapy, and braces to mitigate the effects of Polio, Ken’s luck changed when he met the girl of his dreams. A few years later they married, produced three wonderful children, and settled into a happy life in Southern California.

In 1966, Ken and his family moved to the green hills of Sonoma County where they bought a home surrounded with apple trees.

Some time later, Ken, designed, built, and operated a small winery that produced award winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Then, in a moment of madness, Ken began writing. His first article was published in Golf Illustrated. Many more golf articles followed in national and regional magazines including Golf Magazine and Fairways and Greens. Eventually Ken felt the urge to write his first novel.

Now, after the publication of The Bloody Birthright, The Big Show Stopper, Death is a Cabernet, and The Tartan Shroud, Ken has published his latest Pinky and Bear mystery, Brother, can you spare a dime?

Links to connect with Ken:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank for your insightful review. I think you see more in my characters than I do.
    P. S> Please enter the cliff hanger. I am interested in your take on Willow's answer.

    1. My pleasure, Ken! It's always good to be in sync with a writer :)