Published October 18th 2016 by Minotaur Books
Synopsis: 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 Review: The Twelve Dogs of Christmas is the fifteenth book in the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt. I do not know how I missed this author as I enjoyed the story immensely and will definitely have to go back and read more in this series. I found this novel to be a lighter John Grisham story. My only problem with reading this book without the others is that the characters were not fleshed out and I did not really get to know them. I am sure this was done in previous books so I will have to rectify that.
Basically the story is about Andy Carpenter, a defense lawyer, trying to seek justice for his client Martha Boyer, aka Pups. When her husband was killed in a drive by shooting 18 months earlier, she inherited a substantial estate in both cash and property. This gave her the means to rescue puppies and their mothers. She spent most of her money on that. Puppies or newborns create a particular problem for shelters and take special care. They are prone to disease. This is where Pups steps in. People bring the puppies directly to her, even the shelter managers sends them to her. When her new neighbour complains to the zoning commission that she is breaking the 3 pet limit, she asks Andy for help. He takes it to court. When the man who complained ends up dead a few days later and Pups is the one to find the body, she is now on trial for murder. Many plot twists and turns occur in this book to make it one that I could not put down.
When I picked this book up, I thought it was a cozy mystery, but I was wrong. It is a legal thriller with plenty of mystery, suspense, wit, skill, and detective work. The fact that it takes place during the Christmas Holiday makes it just a little more fun. The character of Andy Carpenter is that of a fun-loving witty lawyer with a lot of expertise. He is disliked by many of the cops he deals with because he has won so many cases. He has a dedicated staff and family that definitely add to the story and to the human side of Andy. A definite must read for those that like a legal mystery with a little less violence and darkness to it. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.