“The Twelve Dogs of Christmas” is the most recent “Andy Carpenter” mystery by author and dog-lover extraordinaire David Rosenfelt. Dog lovers across the country drool at the thought of a new mystery about the curmudgeonly lovable lawyer and his quirky entourage including his ex-police officer wife Laurie, his adopted son Ricky, Ricky’s dog (also adopted) Sebastian, his beloved dog Tara, and a cast of friends who range from an octogenarian, retired rugelach-maker-turned-online detective to a huge, almost-mute, sometimes-lethal, sometimes-bodyguard.
In each and every book, Rosenfelt manages to make the reading both humorous (laugh-out-loud funny) and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful. Of course, the reader knows that Rosenfelt can’t kill off Andy Carpenter — readers would never stand for that. But in each book, Rosenfelt manages to throw in a bit of danger as well as a twist at the end that most readers will not be expecting.
Did I mention the dogs? In real life, Rosenfelt and his wife, Debbie, rescue dogs. That is a huge understatement; they don’t just rescue dogs, they live with a number of dogs that would seem insane to even the more ardent dog-lover. The count changes almost daily. It might be only 25 dogs, but a few more senior dogs needing rescue will show up and then — surprise — there are over 30 dogs at their cozy Maine residence.
Tara, the beloved golden retriever in every “Andy Carpenter” mystery, is based on the real-life Tara that was much beloved by Rosenfelt and his wife. Because of Tara, they started the Tara Foundation and began rescuing golden retrievers (and any other senior dog in need). Read about those adventures in “Lessons from Tara,” and read about their cross-country trip moving from California to Maine with 27 dogs in Winnebagoes in his memoir “Dogtripping.”
Watch Rosenfelt’s interview at his California home after the publication of “New Tricks,” an Andy Carpenter mystery.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Minotaur Books, the publisher, for review purposes.