As someone who appreciates having cute animals on the book covers, I was the perfect target audience for David Rosenfelt’s "Twelve Dogs of Christmas".
Readers can tell the story was written by an animal advocate and talented writer. The mystery plot was engaging and kept you guessing to the end while the animals were used for more than just props. It wasn’t too scary and it had a lot of depth and heart. It was the ultimate cozy mystery involving puppies.
Even though this was book #15 in the Andy Carpenter series, it was the first one I had read and I’m so happy that it worked as a standalone book. Of course, now I have to start from the beginning on the series, with his 2003 novel, Open and Shut.
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.