Saturday, June 13, 2020

Book Review: Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt

Open and Shut
Author: David Rosenfelt
Series: Andy Carpenter (Book 1)
Publication: Warner Books; First Warner Books Printing edition (May 1, 2003)

Description: "There is nothing like a golden retriever. I know, I know, it's a big planet with a lot of wonderful things, but golden retrievers are the absolute best. Mine is named Tara . . . The only problem she has ever caused is that I spend so much time with her in the mornings that I am almost invariably late for work."

Whether dueling with new forensics or the local old boys' network, irreverent defense attorney Andy Carpenter always leaves them awed with his biting wit and winning fourth-quarter game plan. But Andy prefers the company of his best friend, Tara, to the people he encounters in the courtroom. Tara, a golden retriever, is clearly smarter than half the lawyers who clog the courts of Passaic County. However, just as it seems Andy has everything figured out, his dad, New Jersey's legendary ex-D.A., drops dead in front of him at a game in Yankee Stadium. The shocks pile on as he discovers his dad left him with two unexpected legacies: a fortune of $22 million that Andy never knew existed . . . and a murder case with enough racial tinder to burn down City Hall. Struggling to serve justice and bring honor to his father, Andy must dig up some explosive political skeletons-and an astonishing family secret that can close his case (and his mouth) for good.

My Thoughts: This is the story that introduces lawyer Andy Carpenter. It begins with his father Nelson, who is a retired District Attorney, asking Andy to take a case to get a retrial for a convicted murder who has been on death row for seven years. Willie Miller is accused of murdering a young woman outside the bar where he worked. Andy's father is the one who prosecuted the case but now he is having second thoughts.

When Andy's dad dies at a Yankee's game which he is attending with his son, Andy is devastated. He becomes confused when his father's lawyer tells him that his father left him $22 million. Andy had no idea his father had that much money and begins to investigate where the money came from. He discovers a photo hidden behind another in his father's house which deepens the mystery. The photo is dated just days before his father received a cashier's check for $2 million and shows a group of young men including his father. Andy is determined to figure out who the other men were and how that relates to the money.

Even though he identifies a couple of the men, they deny that it is a picture of them which deepens the mystery. Also adding to the mystery is that the son of one of the men was dating the woman Willie Miller was convicted of murdering.

Andy is an interesting character with a really smart mouth. He also has a golden retriever named Tara who is his best friend. And he has an estranged wife who wants to rekindle their romance and save their marriage. Of course, Andy has begun a new relationship with his chief investigator Laurie and has very mixed feelings about his wife's plan.

I liked the courtroom drama and all the things discovered as Andy investigates events of thirty-five years earlier and seven years earlier. I enjoyed Andy's confusion when someone starts pressuring him to give up the Miller case because he has no idea what he has done to make anyone worry about what he might learn.

This is an entertaining start to a new mystery series that has already reached 22 books. I look forward to reading more of Andy's adventures.

Favorite Quote:
I take the elevator up to the lobby, which is large enough for the Knicks to play their home games. I enter another elevator, and this time a computer-generated male voice addresses me. "Welcome to Markham Plaza. Please press the floor of your choice."

"Will do," I say. "By the way, there's a gal in the parking lot you might like. Short, a little metallic-looking, but a good personality."

Unfortunately, a couple is getting on the elevator behind me, and they hear my conversation.

They don't respond, and we have an uncomfortable ride up, especially for them. They're the ones trapped in an elevator with a lunatic.
I smile lamely at them. "The elevator talks." Heh, heh.

I bought this one Sept. 15, 2010. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I hope you keep going with the series, Kathy. I sure have enjoyed it but I'm about 6 books behind right now.


I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!