Not everyone in the fictional world of wanna-be-retired attorney Andy Carpenter loves him. But IRL (in real life), author David Rosenfelt’s fans adore the irascible, humorous, and self-deprecating lawyer whose dialogue literally makes us LOL (laugh out loud). “Holy Chow” is the latest in a long series of Rosenfelt novels about Andy Carpenter and his motley crew of investigators. As the series has continued, the cast of supporting characters has grown. In addition to Andy’s wife Laurie, who acts as his investigator, there is retired cop Corey Douglas and his K-9 Simon Garfunkel. They, in fact, star in their own kick-off series titled “K Team,” the “K” referencing the amazing Simon, as he is known for short.
In this murder mystery, a lovely lady who adopted a chow chow from Andy’s rescue, the Tara Foundation, had asked Andy if he would take her dog, Lion, if anything happened to her. First she planned to ask her stepson if he would take the dog, and she entertained hopes that they would bond while he was visiting her. When Rachel Morehouse, the lady in question, dies, Andy is notified. At that point, he also realizes that Rachel Morehouse was married to Stanley Wasserman, a billionaire investor who left her all his assets. And Andy is present when Stanley’s son, her stepson, is arrested for Rachel’s murder at the reading of her will.
The stepson, Tony, begs Andy to represent him. He claims he didn’t kill Rachel and that he didn’t care that he received nothing from his late father and stood to receive little from Rachel. He also wants to take Lion and care for him, as Rachel had wished. Reluctantly (as always), Andy decides to represent Tony, and thus begins the investigation.
In the Andy Carpenter series, Andy is not just the lawyer, he is also the master investigator who solves the most mysterious and perplexing of crimes. This particular murder is very puzzling. In Rosenfelt’s usual style, the chapters alternate with most being written in first person narrative from Andy Carpenter’s point of view. That narrative is witty and filled with humor. Andy is a self-deprecating guy, and we laugh at his laziness and self-professed fear of violence as he puts himself in danger’s way to fight for justice for his client. The other chapters are written in third person, and they are the narratives that give us a glimpse—just a small peek, mind you—into who the real bad guys are and what is going on when Andy is not present.
As usual, Andy is still trying to solve the murder and find out who really killed Rachel as the trial begins. Also as usual, Andy’s life is in danger because he’s getting close to what the really bad bad guys want to keep hidden (they’re really bad). The valiant, near-superhero Marcus keeps Andy safe. At the end, while justice prevails, we ponder the ingenuity of Rosenfelt’s plot. And we appreciate the glimpse he’s provided into the world of dog rescue, a world that the author knows from experience. He and his wife ran the very real Tara Foundation, and they rescued and found homes for thousands of dogs before they moved to Maine, where they still take in older dogs and those with medical needs.
The Andy Carpenter books make up a series that grows on readers as each book brings new dogs, new mysteries, and new ways for Rosenfelt’s clever narrative to entertain us. Enjoy reading about the “Bubelah Brigade,” a group of octogenarians whose hacking abilities would be the envy of any spy organization with the added bonus of homemade rugelah. Escape into the world of Andy Carpenter, where every dog deserves a home and every dog lover deserves a good lawyer.
Please note: This review was first posted on Bookreporter.com.