“Muzzled” by David Rosenfelt

Is Andy’s new client a murderer or just a dog lover?

 “Muzzled” is the newest book in David Rosenfelt’s continuing series featuring Andy Carpenter and his assorted friends and dogs. Regular readers will find everything they love about Andy, the gang, (and the dogs) while new readers will easily jump into this offbeat yet compelling story. The book opens with a spectacular and well publicized boat explosion that kills everyone on board. That is until Alex Vogel, one of the boat’s purported occupants, shows up to collect his missing dog. This means he either murdered the other two men or faked his own death, or both.

Andy Carpenter is a semi-retired, self-described obnoxious defense attorney who frequently infuriates dangerous people and actually likes what he does, plus, he is good at it. He reluctantly jumps to Vogel’s assistance, because after all, Vogel came out of hiding for his dog. The story progresses as a first-person narrative by Andy, with alternate chapters told in a third person perspective so readers know what Andy does not. The regular players on Andy’s team are there along with newcomers “The K-Team.” They search for answers to questions they did not know about, and they find answers they wish they had not discovered. Andy helps out because in a pinch, he can successfully use his preferred weapon, sarcasm, on any enemy, even organized crime in northern New Jersey. “Muzzled” follows a predictable yet entertaining plot structure, and the trial starts without Andy having a clue about the real culprit, leading to the familiar but shocking and horrible twist right in the middle of the trial.

Rosenfelt’s books are entertaining, reliable, and above all enjoyable. Even though the characters and structure are familiar, the stories are never predictable, well except that the dogs always win. I received a review copy of “Muzzled” from David Rosenfelt and Minotaur Books. Andy Carpenter is compelling, interesting, and above all funny. There is mystery without duplication, suspense without confusion, and resolution without vagueness. I have read and loved every book.