It’s beginning to look a lot like...…em…sorry. This annual entry in the Andy Carpenter series is the only Xmas book I read. They’re always a hoot but there is a sinister downside. While reading you may catch Laurie-Carpenter-itis, an affliction that compels you to begin celebrating Xmas sometime around the end of June. Must…resist. Ok, I’m ok. Focus.
So it all begins with a wish. Every Xmas Laurie Carpenter (long suffering wife of I-don’t-want-to-work Andy) picks a random card from the local Wish Tree & makes someone’s dream reality. This year’s is from local boy Dany Traynor & it’s pretty straight forward. Coat for my mom, coat for Murphy (see cover model) & oh, could you find my Dad? Hmm. Now who does she know who could take care of last one?
She’s not the only female in Andy Carpenter’s life who wants him to get off the couch. He’s been approached by Corey, a local cop set to retire. Corey is in the K9 unit & wants his partner Simon to be released from service at the same time but the Patterson PD wants to give him to another handler. Corey & Andy have met before & it didn’t end well. But none of that matters after his beloved golden retriever Tara insists he step up & represent Simon. Case #2. Jeeze, he really needs to explain the concept of not working to the women in his life.
Ah, but it gets worse. Danny’s father Noah is found but instead of a happy reunion, he’s immediately arrested for a murder that occurred 14 years ago. Looks like Andy will have to dust off his best suit & head to trial.
The next step is to inform his team & they react in typical style. Edna is ecstatic (nope), Hike is pumped (uh uh), Sam is primed to shoot something (oh Lord) & Marcus is ready to…well, be Marcus. Basically that involves scaring the bejeezuz out of anyone dumb enough to get in the way.
And they’re off. While the Carpenter Machine cranks up, we meet a man named Charles Arrant in alternate chapters. Ladies & gents, I present your bad guy. Or one of them. Because before long bullets are flying & people dropping like flies. For the love of Gladys, someone get on the batphone & call Marcus. The whole mess seems to have been triggered by Noah’s arrest but why?
You might think you know where this is going but Rosenfelt gets the last laugh & even pokes fun at himself in the process. Stay tuned for a little surprise at the end that heralds some interesting changes in the next instalment.
If you’ve read any of these books, you know what to expect. A twisty fast paced plot, a lot of laughs & plenty of puppers. For me, this series is the literary equivalent of comfort food. It’s like running into old friends & knowing you’re in for a great time. It’s pure entertainment that puts your little grey cells through their paces & I’m already primed for the next one.