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.
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My Thoughts: This was my first David Rosenfelt novel and I don't think it will be the last. I contemplated picking this book up at the library because it was number 14 in the series. I don't like reading books out of order. However, the puppies on the cover won me, plus I was looking for a holiday themed book. I am so glad that I picked up the book! It did not matter if this was number 14 in the series for it read as a stand-alone. I absolutely had fun reading the humorous tale on how Andy tried to defend Pup's case.
What I loved best about this book was Pup's character. Pup was an elderly lady who rescued dogs. She took in any kind of dog, loved and took care of the dogs, and made sure to give the dogs to good families. As loving and a big hearted woman she was, Pup was snarky! She had a dry sense of humor who always appeared bitter to everyone. She never seemed to have a nice thing to say. In fact, she would tell people exactly what she thought about them. The things she said and the relationship she had with Andy was hilarious. She had me chuckling all of the time. I came to love her character so much that the ending had me tearing up just a little bit.
Though I enjoyed this book a lot, I have to admit that I was confused a few times. Pup was charged for killing her neighbor and was being connected to her husband's death that happened a few months before. Andy did his best trying to find out the truth behind the killings and save Pup from an awful conviction. The killer was immediately introduced at the beginning so there was no mystery there. How the killer became connected to Pup was a little confusing, though. The killer was hired by this guy, who was connected to this other guy, who happened to be working with these two other people...Yeah, can you feel my confusion? Fortunately, my confusion did not stop me from reading and liking the book.
As a whole, this was a fun read that had a Christmas theme to it (it has nothing to do with Christmas other than it was set during this time). The truth behind the crime was a bit confusing for me but I still enjoyed the story. It inspired me to read the other books in the series. I rate it: