Santa’s Little Yelpers by David RosenfeltSanta's Little Yelpers by David Rosenfelt
Narrator: Grover Gardner
Series: Andy Carpenter #26
Published by Macmillan Audio on October 11, 2022
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Mystery
Length: 6 hrs 41 mins
Pages: 304
Format: Audiobook
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
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three-half-stars

Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his humorous investigating team return in Santa's Little Yelpers, the next Yuletide mystery in David Rosenfelt’s bestselling series.

'Tis the season in Paterson, New Jersey: Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara, are surrounded by holiday cheer. It’s even spread to the Tara Foundation. The dog rescue organization, not used to having puppies, has their hands full with a recent litter. Eight puppies are a lot to handle, and Andy is relieved when his co-worker Chris Myers agrees to foster them.

Myers, a newer employee at the Tara Foundation, did time for a crime he swears he didn’t commit. When Myers discovers a key witness against him lied on the stand, he goes to Andy to ask for representation in getting the conviction overturned. Myers thinks they can have this wrapped up by Christmas, no problem.

But when the witness is murdered, and Myers is arrested for the crime, things go from bad to worse. Suddenly, it’s all elves on deck to make a list and check it twice, so they can prove Myers is innocent.

Andy Carpenter is a reluctant lawyer who keeps getting drawn back into the courtroom. Andy and his wife also run the Tara Foundation, an organization dedicated to rescuing dogs, so dogs are always at least tangential to the story (and the covers are adorable). The Tara Foundation has just received a mother Golden Retriever, and her eight puppies. Chris Myers, their newest worker, offers to foster them. Chris is a former lawyer who lost his practice when he was jailed for manslaughter. He claims to be innocent, but a witness lied. Now the witness wants to recant his false testimony, and Andy volunteers to help clear Chris’s name. Of course, nothing is ever that easy and when the witness ends up dead, Chris is once again on trial.

Grover Gardner is the narrator of this audiobook and he is perfect. Andy has a dry sense of humor, is self-deprecating and sarcastic, and Gardner captures his personality perfectly.

The characters surrounding Andy are all well-done. His wife, a former police officer, and his investigative team are competent and willing to take risks when necessary. His three dogs are adorable and his son is there just enough to remind us he has one, but not enough to annoy me.

The action moves along at a good pace. The plot is appropriately complicated, involving the mob, a religious cult, and a nuclear physicist. It’s a complex conspiracy, but the solution wraps it up all rather well. I definitely enjoyed it. I don’t know why I’ve read so few of this series – the ones I have read have been fun.

About David Rosenfelt

Rosenfelt graduated from New York University and then decided to work in the movie business. After being interviewed by his uncle, who was the President of United Artists, he was hired and worked his way up the corporate culture. Rosenfelt eventually became the marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures. He married and had two children during this period.

Rosenfelt left the corporate industry and wrote screenplays for movies and television. He turned to writing novels and has become quite successful. In 1995, he and his wife started the “Tara Foundation” which has saved almost 4,000 dogs. He is a dog lover and supports more than two dozen dogs

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