Sunday, February 13, 2011
The Big Show Stopper by Ken Dalton
This is the second Pinky and Bear mystery in Ken Dalton's series. Pinky is J. Pincus Delmont, the best criminal lawyer (he is quick to tell you) in Carson City, Nevada. Pinky gets results but doesn't mind pushing the morality envelope to do so. Bear is Bear Zabarte, a street-wise guy who came from a Basque sheep-herding family and now makes a living doing this and that. The that at the moment is working as an investigator for Pinky Bear is accompanied everywhere by his girlfriend Flo, who would be welcomed as a regular on Jersey Shore. A high-maintenance woman with a great body and demands piled high, she makes sure Bear toes the line and also that he gets his due from Pinky.
Bear and Flo head for a concert, Bear's birthday present to Flo, to hear her favorite singer Brady Blackstone. Jack Spurlock, Flo's hairdresser's son, has come up with great tickets and a backstage pass. Ready for a fun night, instead they and a screaming audience of fans are shocked when an accident on stage results in Brady's death. The police soon determine that it is no accident, and arrest Jack, who was in charge of making sure all the equipment worked.
Pinky and Bear spring into action. Pinky is contacted by the grieving widow, who isn't grieving at all, and who is having an affair with Jack. She offers Pinky a big fee if he can get Jack released from jail. Pinky puts Bear on the case, and he takes Flo with him. There are lots of quirky characters; a Vietnam vet who is homeless, various characters in the real estate business, Pinky's ex-wife, Willow, who is the prosecutor, a cute blonde who seems to be after Bear, and a policeman who has vowed to put Bear in jail. Can this pair discover what caused Brady's death and free Jack before the fee time limit runs out?
This book is recommended for mystery readers who like breezy, witty mysteries. The characters are believable and the mystery unravels slowly enough to be satisfying. The interplay between the various characters makes the book enjoyable. Dalton's third mystery in this series comes out soon, and readers who enjoy this one will be anxiously awaiting that one.