Friday, October 28, 2011

Death is a Cabernet by Ken Dalton

An old school mate sends Pinky a picture of a purple corpse and begs for his help to find the real murderer. The corpse? Paul Hellman, the world famous winemaker, who was murdered when he was stuffed, head first, into in stainless steel tank filled with cabernet sauvignon.
While Pinky ponders if he wants to help his college chum, Bear and Flo discover that Pinky had them steal a computer printout from an organized crime boss in Las Vegas. Concerned there could be a price on his head, Pinky flees to the California wine country to help his friend and to hide from the Vegas hit man.

In Death is a Cabernet, Pinky, Bear, Flo, and a new sidekick, have to deal with death threats—a dubious Public Defender—a ferret-faced innkeeper—a pair of knockout twins—a dominatrix—a blind grandpa—and many other memorable characters as the dynamic quartet work their way through floods, ground fog, phylloxera, gun shots, central valley plonk, and come very close to losing their lives to uncover the real killer of Paul Hellman.

This is my second Pinky and Bear novel and I have to admit that I love the unlikely duo! Bear is a hulky bear of a man with a low mentality but a pretty high moral compass. He doesn't always go by it, but he sure tries his best. Pinky, on the other hand, is an intellectual fart. He's lovable; don't get me wrong, but not exactly the friendliest person in the world.

As a mystery, I have to admit that I didn't really care about who killed who and how they found him. What I found fascinating was the way that invariably something is always popping up. The nonstop chaos that most of us face in life is represented in the book, but in such a manner that it's easy to laugh about it. When it rains, it pours, but at least Dalton makes it entertaining!

Most mystery readers will want to pick this up. Be warned though! Most of the humor found in the book is sarcastic and not your every day slapstick.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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