I hit the jackpot when I picked up David Rosenfelt’s new book Muzzled. The fast-paced page turner has all the ingredients for a perfect entertaining escape: A well-crafted, suspenseful mystery that keeps you guessing, interesting and engaging characters, laugh-out-loud moments, and rescue dogs. For this review, I’m joined by my sweetheart rescue, Miss Lizzie. She and her brother, Mr. Darcy, were named for two of literature’s greatest characters–a responsibility she takes very seriously.
Currents: In this delightful series, protagonist Andy Carpenter–retired lawyer, husband, dad, and dog lover–who just wants to run Tara Foundation, his dog rescue organization, gets reluctantly drawn back into the courthouse, helping folks in serious trouble. In Muzzled, Carpenter is again joined by his family, their two dogs–Tara and Sebastian–and his investigative team.
Miss Lizzie: Tara and Sebastian are two lucky dogs because they have a human boy to play with. And, Mr. Carpenter takes them for walks all the time in the story, plus their dog friends come over to play. They’re part of the story, not just props who get forgotten.
Currents: At the heart of the story is Alex Vogel, a man who loves his dog enough to risk his life to be reunited with her. However, he’s got a few problems, starting with the fact that he’s supposed to be dead. He shows up at Tara Foundation under an assumed name to claim Lucy, a sweet yellow Labrador. There, he meets the reluctant attorney–and not a moment too soon.
Miss Lizzie: This is one of the most important parts of the story. Although the guy was assumed killed in a massive boat explosion with his two co-workers, his beloved dog was being cared for. And, he loved Lucy so much that he risked discovery by bad guys to get her back.
Currents: Carpenter rallies his investigative team, and they’re forced to troll mafia types, evil opportunists, and big pharma. They also butt heads with the case’s lead detective. Another challenge for Carpenter is that there are some things his client, a pharmaceutical executive, won’t share with him due to the secretive nature of the industry. With time running out to save his client from prison, Carpenter and his team find themselves up against a ruthless killer.
Miss Lizzie: Big pharma? Oh, like the people who make mine and Darcy’s flea and heart prevention medication. Yeah, about Mr. Vogel not telling all to his attorney, keeping secrets is always bad. That’s why dogs never lie.
Currents: Rosenfelt has penned 32 novels, including the Andy Carpenter and Doug Brock series, and standalone thrillers. He’s introduced a new spin off series of his Andy Carpenter mysteries–The K Team–that’s sure to delight.
Miss Lizzie: I’m excited about this new series. It features former police dog Simon Garfunkel, a totally hot German Shepherd, and his human partner Corey Douglas, also a retired cop. I can’t help but wonder if SG starts humming, “Hello darkness, my old friend…” right before he goes in for the takedown. But I digress. Completing the team is fellow former cop Laurie Carpenter (I’m a Southern lady, so I call her Mrs. Carpenter–as in Andy Carpenter’s wife), and her partner Marcus. When you read Muzzled, you’ll understand why bad guys don’t want to mess with Marcus, which is how the squirrels in our yard feel about me.
Currents: Rosenfelt has amassed a collection of awards including, an Edgar Award, a Barry, an Audie for mystery, and a Shamus.
Miss Lizzie: He writes about dogs, what would you expect? Pups are awesome–and people who love them are Top Dog in my book.
Currents: Muzzled is the 21st novel in this series, and I’ve fallen in love with these characters. So, Miss Lizzie, we’ve got some reading to get after. I want to hire Andy Carpenter, and I don’t need a lawyer.
Miss Lizzie: I love our reading together time. I give Muzzled a Four Paws Up rating. And, while I’m in this position, how about a belly rub? It’s what Andy Carpenter would do.
To learn more about author David Rosenfelt and this charming series, go to www.davidrosenfelt.com.