Goodreads ~ This Christmas, lawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara, can't say no to helping young Danny and his dachshund, Murphy.
Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his wife, Laurie, have started a new Christmas tradition. Their local pet store has a Christmas tree, where instead of ornaments, there are wishes from those in need. One poignant wish leads Andy to a child named Danny, whose selfless plea strikes a chord. Danny asked Santa for a coat for his mother, a sweater for his dachshund, Murphy, and for the safe return of his missing father.
It turns out Danny’s father doesn't want to be found, he’s on the run after just being arrested for a murder that took place fourteen years ago – a murder that Danny’s mother swears he didn’t commit.
Andy is a criminal defense lawyer who doesn't want any clients. Because of the money his father left him, he is able to not work and spend his time with his friend, Willie, running the Tara Foundation, a dog rescue that he and Willie formed. He is married to Laurie, they have a young son, Ricky, and he is enjoying his life. He loves their dog, Tara, and thinks she's the best dog in the world. They also has another less lively dog named Sebastian.
It's coming up on Christmastime and if Laurie had her way, it would be Christmas all year 'round. She picks a name at a pet store to make sure a family gets a Christmas. She discovers that Noah, the father, has been arrested for the fourteen year old murder of a woman he had dated at the time when they were both in their late teens. What better present for this family than to have Andy represent him and have him acquitted of the charges? There is a lot of evidence stacked against Noah so this one will be a tough one for Andy and his team.
There is a secondary cute story of a retiring police officer who wants his police dog to retire with him. But police policy states the dog still has one more year of duty. Representing Simon, the dog, against species discrimination is one case that Andy can't pass up.
This is the twentieth in the Andy Carpenter series (I've read them all). I enjoyed this book and am enjoying this series. I find with most series that by the time an author has come this far, the series isn't good and the author is pounding out the books just to get a paycheque. That's not the case with this series ... the author is able to keep this series fresh and fun.
The story was interesting and it didn't come together until the end. Even though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone (so you don't need to have read the ones before it to know what is going on). I like the writing style of this author as it was funny, sarcastic and amusing. It was written mostly in first person perspective in Andy's voice but is sometimes in third person perspective when the focus is on one of the bad guys.
I like Andy ... I think he would be a hoot to be around and he's quite generous with his time and money (his two best friends continue to take advantage of his tab at their favourite bar). Part of Andy's team is Laurie, a former police officer and now his investigator. Marcus, an investigator with "persuasive" reasoning skills, continues to provide protection when it's most needed (which is often since Andy is a self-professed coward). Sam is his accountant who is also a computer hack and Hike is his depressed/depressing associate. Edna is his secretary who, like Andy, would rather he not take on any cases.