Thursday, July 17, 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

Sometimes you read a book that is chock full of memorable characters, ones that make a lasting impression, ones that stay with you. I read a lot - I mean A LOT - and I don't come across characters like that too often. It takes a talented author to make mere words on a page seem just as alive as the person sitting next to you. And Ken Dalton's done it, times three.

I have to start with Bear because he has THE best lines. He's a big lumbering ox of a guy with a low IQ and a raging libido. Dalton's comedic timing is spot on with this small town hustler from Elko, Nevada. He has more brawn than brains as a bumbling private investigator who just about skirts the edge of the law when it comes to doing his job. For him, it's all about boobs, beer and baseball, in that order.

And lucky for Bear, he puts his appreciation for a certain part of the female anatomy at the top of his list because his girlfriend Flo would probably freeze him out of her bed for the next six months if he didn't place her feminine wiles above everything else. Flo's a con artist, plain and simple. She fluffs her hair, sticks out her chest and works any mark to her advantage. Yeah, she's manipulative, but she also looks out for Bear and doesn't let him get swindled by their nefarious employer.

And that's a good thing because their boss man Pinky is a guy small in stature but large in clout. As a defense attorney, he's won twenty-four out of twenty-four murder cases, getting those charged with homicide off every single time. He's good, but he's cocky and a tad on the superficial side, caring more about his Armani suits and fancy Jaguar than even his own safety and well-being. His "favorite ex-wife" Willow works in the district attorney's office and he's dying to get back together with her, even if she keeps giving him the brush off. He's one man who won't be deterred.

What brings Bear, Flo and Pinky together this time around in their continuing caper is a stolen 1894 S dime worth about two million dollars. They have to track it down and convince Willow that Pinky's client didn't shoot his handicapped brother in the head in order to steal it. Money is the driving theme throughout the narrative. Pinky has it and Bear and Flo want it, or at least Flo is cunning enough to try and get it. Pinky's a known cheapskate and he doesn't want to be paying for their business class trips from Hawaii to China, especially since they end up drinking and cavorting with each other rather than working the case.

The tension between the three of them is just as juicy as the drama of tracking down the killer. Even when they're not in each other's presence, their phone exchanges sizzle and pop, beautifully highlighting the ever-shifting dynamic between employer and employee. Pinky doesn't want to give them any more than he has to, as far as he's concerned Bear and Flo fall under the category of "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." And Flo intends to milk Pinky for every dime she can get, just not the one they're all looking for.


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. You can't help but enjoy these three characters! Thanks for the review :)

  2. Thank you for your kind words about my characters and writing. Happy you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them