Saturday, December 26, 2020

Book Review: Deck the Hounds by David Rosenfelt

Deck the Hounds

David Rosenfelt
Series: Andy Carpenter Novel Book 18
Publication: Minotaur Books (October 16, 2018)

Description: This Christmas mystery, featuring criminal defense lawyer Andy Carpenter and his faithful golden retriever, Tara, showcases Rosenfelt’s trademark humor and larger-than-life characters.

Reluctant lawyer Andy Carpenter doesn’t usually stop to help others, but seeing a dog next to a homeless man inspires him to give the pair some money to help. It’s just Andy’s luck that things don’t end there. Soon after Andy’s encounter with them, man and dog are attacked in the middle of the night on the street. The dog defends its new owner, and the erstwhile attacker is bitten but escapes. But the dog is quarantined and the man, Don Carrigan, is heartbroken.

Andy’s wife Laurie can’t resist helping the duo after learning Andy has met them before… it’s the Christmas season after all. In a matter of days Don and his dog Zoey are living above Andy’s garage and become two new additions to the family. It’s not until Andy accidentally gives away his guest’s name during an interview that things go awry; turns out Don is wanted for a murder that happened two years ago. Don not only claims he’s innocent, but that he had no idea that he was wanted for a crime he has no knowledge of in the first place. It’s up to Andy to exonerate his new friend, if he doesn’t get pulled into the quagmire first.

David Rosenfelt’s signature wit, charm, and cleverness are back again in this most exciting installment yet.

My Thoughts: It is the Christmas season which Andy's wife Laurie celebrates from the end of Thanksgiving dinner to the end of January. Andy gets involved in his next case after giving a homeless man living on the street a $20 bill and a PetSmart gift card for his dog. The next thing he knows one of his friends who runs a shelter has the dog and the man is sleeping outside the dog's cage. It seems that when the man was attacked, his dog bit the assailant. The Christmas Spirit convinces Andy to take the man and dog to his garage apartment. 

Don Carrigan is an Iraq war vet  who has PTSD and claustrophobia. He lives on the street because he can't stand being indoors. He just recently adopted his dog Zoey who is soon to become a mother. An feel-good story in the newspaper has an unexpected consequence. Don is arrested and charged with murder. 

Don is accused of killing Steven McMaster who is a wealthy grocery distributor based on the way he died, a hot with hair matched by DNA to Don, and a custom ring found in Don's locker at a local soup kitchen. Don claims that he doesn't know McMaster and certainly had no reason to kill him. Andy gathers his team and begins to look into this collection of circumstantial evidence.

Meanwhile, there are other deaths that don't seem connected to McMaster's but some do connect to Don. The man who attacked him - identified by DNA that was never matched at the scene - is a victim. So are a lawyer, ex-wife, former boyfriend and judge connected to a divorce some time earlier.

Andy uses his customary wit and cleverness to find his way to the truth in this engaging holiday mystery for dog lovers and other fans of the series. 

Favorite Quote:
Marcus has the amazing ability to be simultaneously unconcerned and totally ready for anything. I retain the opposite ability to be obsessively concerned and helpless in anything remotely resembling an emergency.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.


  1. Funny how I can just hear the snark in the quote! I especially like this series in audio.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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