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Santa's Little Yelpers: An Andy Carpenter Mystery


Santa's Little Yelpers: An Andy Carpenter Mystery

True to form, SANTA’S LITTLE YELPERS features not only a myriad of doggie characters, but also David Rosenfelt's favorite wants-to-be-retired lawyer, Andy Carpenter. This is the 26th book featuring that self-deprecating, wisecracking, extremely dog-loving attorney who really doesn't want to work anymore. Most of these mysteries are more thriller than legal procedural, with a hefty dose of humor on the side.

This time, we meet former lawyer Chris Myers, who did time for a crime he didn't commit and now is being accused of a murder that he also had nothing to do with. Andy doesn’t know how he will prove his client’s innocence. Just when it looks like the trial will be a slam-dunk for the prosecution, newcomers to the series will learn what we faithful readers already know --- Andy and his team will uncover the real dastardly perpetrators of the vicious crime(s) in question.

"While it helps to love dogs while reading this series, it is certainly not required. Universally exciting and ultimately happy times for all are inevitable."

Although Chris is a good guy who was fostering a mama dog and her litter of puppies before his arrest, he had motive and opportunity to commit the murder. Chris had been incarcerated for involuntary manslaughter, a charge that he insists was completely fabricated. When the only witness to the crime contacts him and says he wants to recant his testimony, Chris is hopeful that he can get the conviction overturned and work as an attorney again. It won't give him back the year he spent in jail, but it's a small step in the right direction for his future.

Unfortunately, before the witness officially recants, he tells Chris that he has changed his mind. He is obviously frightened about something. When Chris goes to talk to him, he is literally inside the house with the witness when someone (not Chris) shoots the witness dead. Chris had told people how angry he was about the witness's wavering, so he's a logical suspect. It's not going to be easy to absolve Chris of the murder, but Andy and his talented (and always funny) team are on the job.

When they discover that a known mob boss, a pastor and a university professor are involved in the shady goings-on in the small town of Metuska, they are at a loss as to what’s happening and how the murders might be connected. The dead include the son of the mob boss, another professor, the man Chris is accused of accidentally killing, and the supposed witness to the crime. Will Andy be able to figure it all out before the jury gets the case? (Of course, he will not let an innocent man be wrongfully convicted. There are dogs involved, for heaven's sake!)

We know that Andy will keep solving mysteries and not enjoy a well-deserved retirement. We also know that he and his creator will continue to rescue dogs in need. Rosenfelt and his wife have rescued over 4,000 dogs, and there is no evidence that they are slowing down. While it helps to love dogs while reading this series, it is certainly not required. Universally exciting and ultimately happy times for all are inevitable.

Reviewed by Pamela Kramer on October 14, 2022

Santa's Little Yelpers: An Andy Carpenter Mystery
by David Rosenfelt

  • Publication Date: October 10, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 125082883X
  • ISBN-13: 9781250828835