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The Twelve Dogs of Christmas: An Andy Carpenter Mystery    by David Rosenfelt Amazon.com order for
Twelve Dogs of Christmas
by David Rosenfelt
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's hard to believe that The Twelve Dogs of Christmas is the fifteenth in David Rosenfelt's engaging Andy Carpenter legal mysteries set in Paterson, New Jersey - they go down as smoothly as holiday egg nog.

Andy Carpenter is a millionaire defense lawyer who avoids work like the plague. But he's softhearted and can never say no when friends need his help. In addition to a colorful and quirky entourage of helpful associates, his wife Laurie Collins (the love of his life) has his back and they have adopted a boy named Ricky.

This time, the friend in dire straits is cantankerous, elderly Martha 'Pups' Boyer. Her husband was killed in a drive-by shooting a year and a half before and she's well known for taking in stray puppies, raising them, and finding good homes for them - a sure way to dog lover Andy's heart.

A neighbor has complained that the number of pets in Pup's household exceeds the limit allowed by the zoning laws, so of course Andy takes her case. It goes well until Pups is arrested for the murder of the complainant! Not only that, but she's soon also charged with her own husband's murder.

Andy becomes convinced that his client is being framed, but why? Turns out she has less than a year to live anyway. Andy follows the money, and that and a baseball game tells him everything he needs to know about three murders. It's always heartwarming to spend time with Andy and friends and The Twelve Dogs of Christmas is a perfect pick for a holiday gift or holiday reading.

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