‘Who Let the Dog Out?’ by David Rosenfelt: 13th in Andy Carpenter Mystery series

wholetthe dogout

Rating: 5 stars

In David Rosenfelt’s new mystery/comedy, “Who Let the Dog Out?” that Carpenter man is back again. But this Carpenter, of course, does not build houses out of wood or fix all kinds of things so they work right. Nope, attorney Andy Carpenter builds strong cases for the defense of his unfortunate (and almost always entirely innocent) clients, and all he fixes is the set of injustices which threaten those poor and desperate souls he decides to represent.

In “Who Let the Dog Out?” the first murder victim turns out to be the unfortunate fellow who has, for reasons not yet clear early on in the story, just stolen a beautiful large dog from the animal shelter owned by Andy and managed by his pal and former client, Willie Miller. When the dog thief is found murdered, the dog is found right at the victim’s feet — perfectly happy and apparently healthy.

The identity of the murderer seems clear to the police and everybody else except Andy Carpenter. That suspect is known to have threatened in public to slit the victim’s throat during an encounter at a bar, and the murder weapon, a knife, is found in his possession. In steps that Carpenter man to straighten everything out.

But Andy must follow a tortuous road in order to track down the new suspects, new plots, crazy clues, a related mass terror attack, a set of mysterious gorgeous fake diamonds, and more murders, all the while making us readers guffaw (seriously — laugh out loud) at his hilarious self-deprecating and other-people-deprecating humorous remarks. As usual, Rosenfelt pulls off the remarkable trick of providing several laughs per page without taking his eye or our brains off the maze of surrounding mysteries.

In this thirteenth, but not at all unlucky, Andy Carpenter mystery, the author once again includes the work and personalities of his whole mishugana team: his investigator wife Laurie, his shelter keepers Willie and Sondra; his perpetually down-in-the-dumps partner Hike; his brilliant do-nothing secretary Edna; and his senior citizen computer hackers Sam, Hilda and Eli Mandlebaum, Morris Fishman, and Leon Goldberg; and his investigator/bodyguard Marcus, who should have a big “S” on his chest because he must be made of steel. Oh, and of course Zoe, the dog who started it all by getting kidnapped in the first place.

Then Rosenfelt invites all of us to the party, too, and a wonderful time, as always, is had by all. Thant’s an iron-clad guarantee.

Please note: This review is based on an final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Minotaur, for review purposes.