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The Twelve Dogs of Christmas: An Andy…

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas: An Andy Carpenter Mystery (An Andy Carpenter…

by David Rosenfelt

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A simple and quick story with almost no Christmas content. But who can resist puppies in need of a good home? Andy takes the case of a woman who raises and adopts-out rescued puppies when she's accused of killing the neighbor who complained about her. Rosenfelt builds a decent case and his intentional goofy humor makes this book light fare for holiday reading. ( )
  bookappeal | Dec 12, 2016 |
This is a pretty good mystery. The only thing I wish the author had done was to involve dogs more than he did. As written, the role of dogs in the mystery is not very big, though it remains important. Though he prefers not to wrest with a lot of different facts during the holiday season, trying to connect the dots and does not have to, since he is independently wealthy, Andy Carpenter wants to take on this case. The defendant, Martha “Pups” Boyer, takes in puppies form the local rescue organization and raises the pups until she can find good homes for them. However, though many admire, love and respect Pups, not everyone does. After a confrontation in court with a disgruntled neighbor, who complained about the number of pups Pups was keeping in her house, during which Pups threatened the neighbor, this same neighbor is found dead. Pups is accused of his murder. As the case unfolds, Pups is also accused of killing her now deceased husband and a known offender, in a drive-by shooting, about 18 months previously. Andy must sift through a myriad of confusing and seemingly disconnected dots to figure this one out. To complicate matters, Pups is dying, with little time left to live. Andy believes Pups is innocent and wants to allow her to clear her name and die peacefully, in freedom and not in jail.

This is a well written, interesting mystery. I found it fascinating to watch Andy sift through the many and varied clues to determine which were germane to the case and which could ultimately help him win Pups’ freedom to die in peace. Andy has a crew of colorful characters to help him defend Pups, all of whom are interesting to get to know and watch in action. I have not read any other of David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter novels, but that did not create a problem, as enough back story was provided, making this tale a stand-alone. As I said, I only had hoped for more involvement of dogs in the story. Andy is a colorful persona, but not quite as colorful as Pups, the story’s other main character. I enjoyed watching both interact with each other and other members of the community and the court system. The story has numerous twists and turns until reaching a somewhat surprising conclusion. I found the ending surprising, though clearly not a blot from out of nowhere. The fact that the rich and powerful tried to railroad Pups for their own nefarious actions reminded me of many current, real stories with similar modus operandi by the rich and powerful. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Andy, as he worked his lawyerly thing, while juggling his personal life with its many trials, tribulations and decisions. The holiday setting was great, though not essential to the story line. In fact, it fell into the realm of a side issue/fact, as the book progressed. This is a great book that will interest anyone who enjoys the series or a good, cozy mystery set during the holidays. I received this from NetGalley to read and review. ( )
  KMT01 | Nov 15, 2016 |
Andy Carpenter is lucky - and wealthy – enough to limit the cases he takes, but this one is a case that he wants to win at all costs. His long-time friend, Martha, better known as Pups, is accused of murder. She had a bitter, continuing feud with her neighbor about the dogs that Pups was caring for and then placing in forever homes. When the neighbor turns up dead, Pups seems to be the one and only suspect the police have. It’s up to Andy and his team to save her, if they can. Author David Rosenfelt has given us another great book in the Andy Carpenter series. The story is liberally dosed with humor yet it is still an intriguingly complex mystery. With delightful continuing characters in a tale about saving homeless dogs, this book is highly recommended. ( )
  Maydacat | Oct 29, 2016 |
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. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Oct 22, 2016 |
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

David Rosenfelt returns with his favorite series, following (2016) Outfoxed (Andy Carpenter #14), with THE TWELVE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS (Andy Carpenter #15).

One heck of a legal thriller with plenty of mystery, suspense, wit, skill, detective work and a little Christmas cheer!

Andy Carpenter does not like to spend the pre-holiday period on a case- in fact, he tries to work as little as possible. He is rich and does not need to work.

But the world seems to be crying out for this fun-loving witty lawyer’s expertise, to provide legal genius to those targeted by the justice system. So he tries to do his part. However, this case is a bit different. This one, he is eager to take.

His client’s name is Martha Boyer, known as “Pups”, or the Puppy Lady. She is 68 years old, and a feisty thing. Her husband died in a drive-by shooting in Paterson a year and a half ago. He was leaving a restaurant with a friend and had the misfortune of being near a gang member when the shooting started.

The husband Jake Boyer and the gang member were killed, while Boyer’s friend, David Barnett, emerged unscathed. Pups continued to live in their house in New Jersey about ten blocks away from Andy. Some people do not like her but Andy does. What is not to love, she says what is on her mind, takes no bull, funny, and she is a dog lover.

She does not care for the social niceties. She also has a bad cough and is very sick. She never uses any income (which she has plenty), but you wouldn't know it. Her husband was quite a wealthy man with all the land and real estate he left for her.

The animal shelters in Passaic County leave quite a bit to be desired. They are overcrowded and animals that aren’t adopted can get put down. This is one reason Andy and Willie have their Tara Organization.

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. They have a better chance and she never turns them away.

She seldom has less than twenty-five pups at any given time. She does not care what anyone thinks and says what’s on her mind. However, now the problem is --someone had recently filed an anonymous complaint against Pups, claiming that the zoning law for the area in which she lives, specifically limits the number of pets per household to three. At the time it was filed, she had twenty-six, above the legal limit.

She has thirty days to make a choice and this is when Andy steps in to help her. Jail? Why would anyone in their right mind do this when none of the neighbors cared. Is it so close to Christmas? A setup? However, there is much more to this problem than what you see. It gets very complex. The person was Randy Hennessey. Now this person is dead. Pups is arrested for the murder.

None of this makes sense, and Andy suspects there is more than meets the eye. He is determined to get his entire team on board to go back to the gang shooting and re-visit Jake’s death.

Somehow this has got to be tied to the former crime. But why has someone waited this long to set up Pups, and what is their motive? Does it have anything to do with the land, or a hidden agenda to get Pups out of the way?

To further complicate matters, Pups is dying with only a few months to live. Cancer. He will not leave her sitting in jail sick and dying, with her love of dogs and all the good she does for others. An intense race against time.

With his investigation which turns dangerous, he finds a son which never came around, a broker, gang members, and a lawyer. How does this guy being murdered and placing the same gun used to kill Pup’s husband more than a year and a half ago- now in her basement?

In the meantime, there is also a Senator involved with a little blackmail and a sex tape. When opening the will, it is further proof, Martha has nothing to gain from murdering her husband, nor anyone else. Add in little sports, a left-handed baseball pitcher, and a blackjack dealer to offer some clues to the mystery and conspiracy to commit murder.

Wow, this was one twisted and multi-layered interesting case, and Andy, as usual, offers the witty entertainment we all love, plus the skilled legal expertise and lots of courtroom drama. (Read in one sitting)

As always, a huge fan of golden retrievers, mysteries, and legal thrillers (a nice combo), readers get caught up with Tara the golden and Sebastian, the basset hound, with the nightly walks and talks. Also Laurie, his ex-cop wife, and Ricky his adopted son. Currently, their little family all have different last names, and Laurie wants to remedy this for Ricky’s sake.

When you put Andy, Willie, and a tenacious older altruistic woman, together---who wants nothing more than to give pups a home, you have a fight on your hands- unstoppable!

For those of you who may think this is a cheesy Christmas silly story. It is nothing of the such. A fast action legal thriller with a lot of twists and turns. One of my favorites in the Andy Carpenter’s series! No cheese here. A perfect book for those who love legal thrillers, dogs, humor, and an engaging holiday Christmas tale.

If you are unaware of David’s story, read about his incredible Tara Foundation (as in the book). This one is for my Golden Retriever “Duke” I had the pleasure of knowing and loving for fourteen glorious years.

JDCMustReadBooks ( )
  JudithDCollins | Oct 16, 2016 |
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"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."--… (more)

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