Saturday, December 25, 2021

Book Review: The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by David Rosenfelt

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

David Rosenfelt
Series: Andy Carpenter (Book 15)
Publication: Macmillan Audio (October 18, 2016)

Description: Defense lawyer Andy Carpenter usually tries to avoid taking on new cases at all costs. But this time, he's happy - eager, even - to take the case that's just come his way. Andy's long-time friend Martha "Pups" Boyer takes in stray puppies that the local dog rescue center can't handle, raises them until they're old enough to adopt, and then finds good homes for them. Not everyone admires the work Pups does as much as Andy does, however.

With Christmas just around the corner, one of Pups's neighbors has just reported Pups to the city for having more than the legal number of pets in her home under the local zoning laws. Andy happily takes Pups's case, and he feels confident in a positive outcome. Who could punish someone for rescuing puppies, after all, especially at Christmastime? But things get a lot more complicated when Randy Hennessey, the neighbor who registered the complaint against Pups, turns up dead. Pups had loudly and publicly threatened Hennessey after he filed his complaint, and Pups was also the one to find his body. All the evidence seems to point to Pups as the killer, and suddenly Andy has a murder case on his hands. He doesn't believe Pups could be guilty, but as he starts digging deeper into the truth behind Hennessey's murder, Andy may find himself facing a killer more dangerous than he ever imagined.

With his trademark wit, larger-than-life characters, and clever plotting, David Rosenfelt delivers another gripping mystery.

My Thoughts: Andy Carpenter is working for a friend - Pups Boyer - who is dealing with complaints from a neighbor named Andy Hennessy because she is fostering puppies at her home. Andy wins the court battle, but when Pups is arrested for the death of that same neighbor, Andy's job gets a lot harder.

Things get harder still when it is learned that the gun used to murder Hennessy is the same gun that was used eighteen months earlier when Pups husband was murdered. Since he died at the same time as a gang thug, it was assumed that he was just an accidental victim. Pups was quickly cleared of any involvement by the police at the time, but no killer was apprehended.

Now, the prosecutor is trying to connect Pups to the earlier murder. As Andy and his team look into the two cases, they learn lots they didn't know about Pups and her husband John Boyer. Andy hadn't asked if Pups could cover his bill, but that wouldn't be a problem. Her husband left her a multi-millionaire and whose estate included lots of plots of land all over the central US. Since a lot of the land has received multiple offers for purchase, and both John and Pups have turned down all the offers, Andy feels the land has something to do with why someone is trying to frame Pups for murder.

Complicating things is the fact the Pups is dying of cancer and has only months to live. She has left the whole estate to a wide variety of animal rescue sites. So Andy doesn't see how anyone could benefit from a possible murder conviction. 

This was a great story filled with Rosenfelt's wit. Andy tells the story and his snarkiness is on full display. The mystery is tightly plotted and very engaging. The characters are also engaging. I liked that the story was set around Christmas-time which gave Andy special opportunities for snarkiness as he talks about Bing Crosby's White Christmas and tree decorating and undecorating. 

Favorite Quote:
Judge Hough is not pleased.

I can tell by the way she sneers at me when she takes her seat on the bench. She seems to believe this case is somehow beneath the dignity of her courtroom. I can't imagine she's surprised, though, since I've been lowering the dignity of New Jersey courtrooms, including hers, for more than fifteen years.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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