Skip to main content

Best in Snow: An Andy Carpenter Mystery


Best in Snow: An Andy Carpenter Mystery

In the Andy Carpenter mysteries, David Rosenfelt has created an irascible yet lovable attorney and dog lover who only agrees to represent accused murderers after much kicking and screaming. He's inherited a lot of money from his father, so he doesn't have to work, and he certainly doesn't need the stress of having someone's life in his hands. But in each of these books, there is a reason that Andy is compelled to once again dust off his briefcase, call his employees into the office, and use their combined talents to save someone by solving another mystery. Reluctantly.

In the series, Rosenfelt creates situations in which it appears impossible that Andy will be able to prove his client's innocence. The evidence against each accused murderer is overwhelming, and in BEST IN SNOW, the author remains true to form. In this case, Andy's good friend and newspaper editor, Vince, has begged him to represent Bobby Nash, who is accused of killing the mayor of their hometown of Paterson, New Jersey, as well as one of his political workers. Andy has a personal interest in the case; his dog, Tara, was the one who literally uncovered the corpse in a local park on a snowy evening. He had thought she was chasing a squirrel, but it was a much larger body and a very dead one.

"David Rosenfelt deftly keeps a few secrets so that at the end we are presented with a final act that, as always, unveils Andy's clever plotting and semi-heroic ability to outthink the evildoers."

Bobby is found shortly thereafter in a car accident, and with enough drugs in his system to have killed him. It was pure luck that his vehicle in the ditch was found immediately, and he received the medical attention that kept him alive. But the evidence against him includes Mayor Alex Oliva’s blood in his trunk and his cell phone's GPS showing that he was at Oliva’s house at the time of the killing. And when there is another death, there is more evidence that incriminates him. It would seem, in Andy's favorite sports parlance, to be a slam dunk that will end with Bobby in jail for the rest of his life. But there are questions about the scene and the crimes that would lead us to believe he is being framed. And when there is an attempt on Bobby's life while he is in the hospital recovering from the accident, Andy becomes convinced of his innocence.

As Rosenfelt fans are well aware, Andy doesn't give up. When he’s confident that his client is innocent, there are no lengths to which he will not go to prove it. His investigation typically involves putting himself in personal danger, but he's lucky in that his wife is a former cop, and they have Marcus, who is almost a superhero given his ability to thwart bad guys and bullets. Andy also boasts a colorful cast of characters who assist him in his endeavors. Edna is the secretary/office manager who usually does no work other than cashing her paycheck. Sam is his accountant who can crack any online security system to procure information on his behalf. His Jewish cabal of octogenarians is equally talented and passionate about finding exculpatory evidence.

And in each case there's a dog. Sometimes the dog is more central to the plot than at other times, but Andy's dog rescue always gets some billing. Here, Bobby's new puppy needs a place to stay. Vince begs Andy to take the pooch, but he declines. Reading about how Vince and the puppy learn to coexist is charming, and perhaps a bit predictable, but we love it nonetheless.

Can Andy convince the jury that there is enough reasonable doubt that they will vote "not guilty"? Will Laurie and Marcus be able to keep Andy alive long enough to make it through the trial and find the real perpetrators? As usual, readers will chuckle in delight at the self-deprecating narrative as only Rosenfelt can write it. While Andy often seems to be easily led astray by temptations like home-baked goodies, he's also always determined to do right by his client. He's like a bulldog. Once he's on the trail of wrongdoing, he'll follow the leads and get to the bottom of the situation even after the trial is over. He won't let go.

David Rosenfelt deftly keeps a few secrets so that at the end we are presented with a final act that, as always, unveils Andy's clever plotting and semi-heroic ability to outthink the evildoers. Even if you haven't read any of the previous Andy Carpenter books, don't let that stop you from diving right into this one. Rosenfelt provides everything you need to enjoy this snowy mystery all on its own.

Reviewed by Pamela Kramer on October 29, 2021

Best in Snow: An Andy Carpenter Mystery
by David Rosenfelt

  • Publication Date: October 11, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250847206
  • ISBN-13: 9781250847201