Narrator: Grover Gardner
Series: Andy Carpenter #28
Published by Macmillan Audio on October 10, 2023
Genres: Mystery, Legal
Length: 6 hrs 23 mins
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In National Bestseller David Rosenfelt’s ‘Twas the Bite Before Christmas, all through the Carpenter house, five dogs are stirring, and not even Andy can get out of working this latest case at his door.
Reluctant lawyer Andy Carpenter is at the Tara Foundation’s annual Christmas party. The dog rescue organization has always been his true calling, and this is one holiday tradition he can get behind because every dog that’s come through the rescue—and their families—are invited to celebrate.
This year’s party is no exception. But before the stockings can be hung by the chimney with care, homicide detectives ruin the evening. Derek Moore, one of the foundation’s best foster volunteers, is arrested for murder.
Andy discovers Derek—whose real name is Bobby—is in the witness protection program after giving evidence against his former gang. The police believe Bobby murdered a member. But Bobby swears to Andy he didn’t do this. He’s built a new life, a new business, has two new dogs after being a double foster-failure.
There isn’t much Andy likes about this case, but he likes Bobby. If he’s innocent, Andy wants to help. Before Andy can settle down for his long winter’s nap, he has a client’s name to clear, a murderer to catch, and two new dogs to look after: a golden and a Dalmatian. Andy’s golden retriever, Tara, will have to adjust to not being the only golden at the house while Andy gets to the bottom of this one…
Honestly, I’m pretty sure I could listen to Grover Gardner read the phone book. And even then he’d still sound sarcastic and self-deprecating, just like he does as Andy Carpenter. As always, Andy reluctantly takes on a case, this time around he’s defending Derek, who has adopted two dogs from the Tara Foundation. Derek’s been arrested for murder, and although the evidence is stacking up against him, Andy believes he’s innocent.
There are a lot of characters in this story. Much of the plot revolves around gangs and gang activity, so we’ve got bot bosses and former associates, both dead and alive. We’ve also got Andy, of course, his family and the investigative team. That being said, if you’ve read any of the series before, you know all the regulars and their dogs.
The mystery portion is put together well. There’s a lot going on and the murder Derek is accused of is just the tip of the iceberg.
The story is told from Andy’s point ot view. He’s funny and snarky and though the looks at things from his own viewpoint, he does take his case, and the surrounding conspiracy, seriously. He’s good at what he does, as is Gardner as the narrator.
“Twas the Bite Before Christmas does take place around the holiday. It starts off at a Christmas party with Andy complaining about eggnog, but it’s not really a Chrsitmas story. The holiday doesn’t play much of a role. But the cover is absolutely adorable.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: