Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Tartan Shroud, Ken Dalton (3.5 stars) Review & Giveaway

About The Tartan Shroud

A bulldozer unearths a young girl’s body on a golf course in Scotland but for some reason, Fergus Murray, the top crime officer in Tayside seems unwilling to pursue the case. Fergus contacts Willow Stone, his American cousin and pleads for help. Willow, Pinky’s favorite ex-wife, calls in all her chips and convinces Pinky, Bear, Flo, and Ettamae to go to the small Scottish town of Pitlochry to help her cousin find the killer. Along the way the American’s come across a forester with a wonky eye—haggis—the occasional bad weather spring day—various Scottish policeman all named McSomething—mutton pie—a near new, sixty-year-old Austin Taxi—a bathroom that could double for a freezer—the nearly indecipherable Scottish accent—many glasses of whiskey and beer—ancient records—a broadsword—and a real Duke! Ride with Bear, Flo, and Henry during their final mad dash across Scotland to try to stop the murderer before he kills again inside the hallowed halls of Blair Castle.

Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780578113258
Publisher: Different Drummer Press
Release: October 1, 2012


The Tartan Shroud is entertaining from the first page. From witty dialogue to an engaging mystery, the story takes the reader on a ride full of humor, suspense, and intrigue. 

Fergus is knee-deep in an old murder case, and turns to his American cousin, Willow, in desperation. Willow recruits her ex-husband, Pinky, along with his partners Bear and Flo to help Fergus with the case. Once the team arrives in Scotland, they encounter many interesting situations and quite the cast of characters. As if the murder case wasn't enough, they are also on the run from a man from their past--a man seeking revenge and willing to kill to get it. 

Although this book reads well as a stand alone, it is the fourth Pinky and Bear mystery novel. Because I enjoyed the characters so much, I would like to go back and read some of the earlier books to get more insight. Not having those details, it took me a few chapters to get into the groove of the story even though I was enjoying the writing and character interaction. However, once the mystery started picking up steam, I eagerly turned the pages and enjoyed the ride.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy an entertaining mystery and like to follow interesting characters on several adventures (see below for more information on Books 1-3). 

Rating: 3.5 stars
Note: Worthy of being rounded to 4 stars on Amazon and GoodReads

About Ken Dalton

Ken Dalton was born in 1938 at Hollywood Hospital. He grew up with his parents, his older sister, Pat, and younger brother, Richard in Los Angeles. The year 1938 informs the quick reader that Ken’s older than a lot of people, but younger than some.

In a turn of bad luck, the dreaded Polio virus found Ken.

At the end of World War ll, 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, 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.

For more on the author, please visit his website, Facebook page, and on GoodReads.
Buy The Tartan Shroud
Amazon (paperback / Kindle)
This is a blog tour, please visit The Tartan Shroud blog tour for more stops.

Note: I received a complimentary copy from Tribute Books for review purposes. No other compensation was received. A positive review was not guaranteed or requested; the views expressed are my own.

For more information on Tribute Books, please visit their website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

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Info on Books 1-3

J. Pincus Delmont is the most successful, and ethically challenged attorney north of Las Vegas, and he's Richard Page's only hope to escape execution by lethal injection. Pinky quickly determines his client's tale of betrayal and murder leads to Southern California and demands investigative help from Bear Zarbarte who owes him a sizeable chunk of money. The Bear is as big as a tree, street wise, sort of trustworthy, and not averse to cracking the occasional head when the need arises. A grumbling Bear drives south where he discovers, and falls for Flo Sonderlund-a woman with a body to kill for, and a mouth as caustic as a bucket of lye. By hook and by crook, Pinky, the Bear, and Flo pry a solution to the murder from a string of chumps and patsies that stretches from the fertile hills of Tuscany, Italy to eastern wasteland of Nevada, the home of the Loneliest Road In America.

Brady Blackstone, America's richest and favorite concert performer, dies in a tragic accident while Bear and Flo, along with thousands of northern Nevada's music lovers, look on in horror. However, before Bear can maneuver Flo back to their apartment to complete her birthday celebration, they stumble across a clue that makes them question if Brady's death was an accident. 

In The Big Show Stopper, Pinky, a sleazy but successful defence attorney, and Bear, a street-wise ex bartender, mix madness with mayhem as you meet Brady's less than grieving widow-a trigger-happy Carson City Cop named Ice Conner-travel in first-class luxury with Pinky as he follows a questionable lead to an exotic location and suffer with Flo in Bear's old pick up while they drive to another of America's armpit locations where they discover Brady Blackstone's killer.

A humorous mystery that takes Pinky, Bear and Flo into the wine country of northern California to discover who turned a famous winemaker into a purple corpse.


Tribute Books said...

Tia, I'm glad the fourth installment in Ken's mystery series kept you entertained. Thanks for the review.

Tia Bach said...

Nicole... Thanks for including me on the tour. As I've said before, you've brought some great books in my life! ;-)