Review: The Tartan Shroud – Ken Dalton

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Different Drummer Press (October 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0578113252
ISBN-13: 978-0578113258
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J. Pinkus “Pinky” Delmont – Defense Attorney
Benate “Bear” Zabarle – Part time Bartender/Investigator
Florence “Flo” Sonderlund – Bear’s girlfriend/Tech helper.
Willow Stone – Chief Deputy District Attorney


Willow’s Scottish cousin requests her help with a small situation. It seems he’s up for the job of head of the police department, but there’s been a bit of a problem. It seems that on a local golf course, the body of a young girl turns up. Years earlier he had worked the missing persons case and due to departmental politics closed it. Now Willow, Pinky, Bear, Flo, and Anamae find themselves off to Scotland.


This is the fourth and most recent entry in the Pinky and the Brain Mystery series. I had the opportunity to read all four of these, and while only this one required a review, I would have felt guilty for taking books and not reviewing them, so I reviewed all four. Each book has built and carried on from the previous book. For instance, in the third book, Ettamae is introduced into the normal roster of characters. In this one, a subplot involves a character from a previous book seeking revenge.

The characters as always are fun. I Flo and Bear together are the most fun, while Pinky seems to be the straight man for a lot of the humor. You are introduced to some of the culture of Scotland, and the descriptions are very vivid, so you can almost picture what you are seeing. The plot is well paced, I finished the book in two days. While the characters might be a bit over the top, I think when you are doing lighthearted mysteries, you probably want a little over the top behavior from them.

If you are a fan of mysteries mixed with some humor, then be sure and pick up not only this but the previous entries. If I were to give it a rating, I’d say older teens and adults due to some sexual content and language. However, if that doesn’t offend you, then by all means picks this book up. It’s my understand that Mr. Dalton is coming out with a fifth entry soon, so now is your chance to get caught up before it comes out. If you do decide to give it a look, drop back by and let us know what you think.

About the Author

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.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Nicole at Tribute Books for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

One Response to “Review: The Tartan Shroud – Ken Dalton”

  1. Ken Dalton Says:

    Thank you for your review of my work. It is gratifying to me, as the author, to find a reviewer who enjoys the humor in my Pinky and Bear series. It is true, the fifth in the series will be out this fall. At present I am working on a non-fiction memoir titled, Polio and the Freckle Face Boy.
    I will be sure to send you a copy of Polio and the Freckle Face Boy when I am finished.
    Thank you again.