Rating: 5 stars
From the fertile, facile, and unfailingly funny imagination of author David Rosenfelt comes “Outfoxed,” the fourteenth installment of the Andy Carpenter mystery series. But don’t let the fact that it’s the fourteenth installment deter you from picking it up — Rosenfelt cleverly manages to make each book a stand-alone that can be enjoyed by either new readers or Andy Carpenter “veterans.”
Actually, there are no foxes in the novel, but, as always there are plenty of dogs, and one in particular — a fox terrier — plays an important role in the unfolding of the plot. Here’s the scenario: Lawyer Carpenter is representing a wealthy client, one Brian Atkins, who is doing time in prison for alleged embezzlement of funds from his own company, a software firm. The firm is at the vanguard of new technologies.
Andy is running a special program at the prison, a program which partners prisoners with dogs (from Andy’s own rescue) in order to provide some very productive time for those inmates. Atkins is about to be paroled, but he mysteriously escapes and heads directly to the home of his ex-partner. A short time later, he’s spotted running in panic from the house, and inside the house, his wife and ex-partner are found stabbed to death.
Atkins, of course, is not only the main suspect, he is the only suspect — a typical Andy Carpenter client — but Andy is not so sure he should try to defend Atkins on the murder charges; that is, until he sees Atkins risk his own life to save his prison “partner” dog from an onrushing police car. Carpenter says, in effect, a guy who would do that cannot be a murderer.
Carpenter is a fascinating main character. His love of animals has caused him to start a dog rescue (much like real-life Rosenfelt and his wife). Also like the author, the love of his life is his golden retriever, Tara. Like all Rosenfelt plots, this one is filled with not only dogs, but also surprises, suspense, danger, wonderful banter among virtually all the characters, and laugh-out-loud insult humor and self-deprecating humor from Andy, the first-person narrator.
Mystery lovers, dog lovers, and anybody who loves to laugh should not miss “Outfoxed” or any of the earlier thirteen Andy Carpenter novels. David Rosenfelt never lets you down.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher for review purposes.