Review: The Big Show Stopper by Ken Dalton {Blog Tour}

Title: The Big Show Stopper {Pinky and the Bear Mystery #2}

Author: Ken Dalton

Published: Tribute Books 2010

Sypnosis: The Big Show Stopper opens in a packed concert arena with everyone waiting for the entrance of Brady Blackstone, the richest, and premier concert performer in America. But before Brady sets his foot on the stage, a tragic accident takes his life in front of Bear and a devastated Flo. However, it does not take Bear and Flo very long to question if the death was it an accident or murder?
Once again, in the pursuit of a pile of money and a little justice, Pinky travels to an exotic site while Bear and Flo end up in one of the least desirable locations in California.
The Big Show Stopper brings back Pinky, Bear, Flo, along with a gaggle of quirky characters. A beer swilling wacko. A naked old fart. A couple of downright dangerous folks. And concludes on a dark night with the dynamic trio spread eagle counting down the final seconds of their lives.

Status: Read from February 04 to 10, 2011 — I own a copy

My Thoughts:

Partnerships are a traditional feature in mystery novels and in The Big Show Stopper, author Ken Dalton pairs urbane lawyer, J Pincus Delemont and petty criminal turned investigator Bear Zebarte. This book is the second in the Pinky and the Bear series, the first being  The Bloody Birthright.
Bear and his bombshell girlfriend, Flo, are attending a concert when the beloved star dies in what is first thought to be a tragic accident. It is quickly discovered that Brady Blackstone has been murdered and the superstars’ wife is willing to pay Pinky a very healthy bonus if he can prove that her lover is not responsible.
The Big Show Stopper unfurls with deliberation as at the behest of Pinky Bear and Flo drive across the country following the slimmest of leads. Bear’s investigative inexperience is tempered by Flo’s smarts as the couple make the most of th expense account to identify suspects. Bear may not be terribly bright but he is resourceful, and I thought him likeable. Flo provides some light relief and I was amused by her diva behaviour. I didn’t find Pinky particularly appealing, his pomposity, greed and misogyny reduces him to a cliche.
The investigated developed slowly and I felt the pace of the story dragged despite the deadline suggesting urgency. I can contribute part of that feeling to the books very dry humour and formal language which I struggled with at times. The narrative shifts between the perspective of Pinky and Bear which breaks up the events, but I didn’t feel the change was reflected in the dialogue or tone for the characters.
I did enjoy the minor subplots, such as the vindictive detective and the overreaching secretary, though I think both perhaps had roots in the first Pinky and Bear mystery which I was not privy to. Still, I appreciated the diversion these provided.
The Big Show Stopper is solidly plotted, with interesting characters. A classic mystery with a quirky noir edge, it should find a place with fans of the genre.

Read and excerpt:
Amazon:  See Inside the Book


Follow The Big Show Stopper Blog Tour

Ken Dalton’s Bio

Ken Dalton was born in 1938. In a turn of bad luck, the dreaded Polio virus found Ken. At the end of World War II, Ken’s family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming for a year where he learned how to live through snow blizzards, avoid walking through the large pile of coal in the basement, and how to survive life as an Army Officer’s brat on a base called Fort Warren.
By the age of sixteen, after eleven years of operations, therapy, and braces, Ken’s luck changed dramatically when he met the girl of his dreams at a party. A few years later they married, produced three wonderful children, and settled into a happy life in Southern California.
In 1966, Ken, who worked as a technician for Pacific Bell, and his family left Southern California for the green hills of Sonoma County where they bought a home in Sebastopol surrounded with apple trees. A few years later, Ken and Arlene built a new home on three and a half acres. They raised cows, pigs, and learned how to build outstanding fences. While their children grew, they hosted two exchange students, Eva Reimers from Sweden, and Tanja Wuttke from Germany, both of whom are still loved members of the Dalton clan. Also during those years, Ken was promoted to management at Pacific Bell. He eventually ended up responsible for all the central offices, sixty-three, in an area that covered five counties.
In 1977, Ken, Arlene, Bob Wiltermood, and his wife Norma, designed, built, and operated a 2000 case winery named Pommeraie Vineyards. They produced award winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. However, after Bob died, the winery was sold. Ken and Arlene moved to a hilltop in Healdsburg.
With the winery gone, and time on their hands, Ken and Arlene started to perform with the Camp Rose Players. Twenty years and forty productions later, both are still acting and singing.
Life was good. All Ken had to do was learn some lines and bow when the audience applauded.
Then, ten years ago, in a moment of madness, Ken started to write. His first article was published in Golf Illustrated in August 1996. More golf articles followed in national and regional magazines including Golf Magazine and Fairways and Greens.
After a two-year stint on the County Grand Jury, Ken felt the need to begin his first novel.
Now, after a decade of struggle to learn the craft of writing, Ken has become the publishing world’s latest overnight sensation.


Purchase The Big Show Stopper

@ Amazon {Paperback}

@ Amazon {Kindle}


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Nicole Langan
    Feb 22, 2011 @ 03:18:43

    Thanks Shelleyrae for your great review, and for hosting a stop on the blog tour.



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