Goodreads ~ Lawyer Andy Carpenter can finally take a breath; he’s back on dry land after a family Caribbean cruise forced on him by his wife, Laurie, to get into the Christmas spirit. Of course, the family’s first stop is to the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization that has always been Andy’s true passion.
But when Andy arrives, his partner, Willie Miller, needs his help. Willie’s old cellmate, Tony Birch, has been arrested for murder. Andy doesn’t necessarily believe in Tony but Willie does. And Andy believes in Willie, which is why Andy decides to take the case.
Andy is a criminal defense lawyer who doesn't want any clients. Because of the money his father left him and some lucrative cases, 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 love love loves their dog, Tara, and thinks she's the best dog in the world. They also has another less lively dog named Sebastian, who he also loves.
Andy and his family just got home from a cruise, which Andy hated. He stops in to see Willie who tells him about a friend of his, Tony, who has been arrested for murder. Willie doesn't think Tony did it and wants Andy to be his lawyer. Andy wants to be retired lawyer and agrees to meet Tony. Because Willie is Andy's friend and Tony has a dog, Andy begrudgedly takes the case.
Tony has a past. He is a former gang member and had spent time in prison for involuntary manslaughter. When Tony got out, he turned his life around and became a mechanic, eventually buying the garage where he worked. One of his former gang "colleagues" had testified in court during the manslaughter trial and Tony had sworn in court he would kill him. He is now being charged with the recent murder of this man plus another colleague. Plus it didn't help that he has no alibi for the nights of the two murders and the murder weapon was found buried in Tony's backyard.
This is the 22nd 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 very 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.
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 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 other people.
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 the K-Team (Laurie, a former police officer and now an investigator; Marcus, an investigator with "persuasive" reasoning skills; Cody, a former police officer; and Simon Garfunkel, Cody's former canine partner). Sam is his accountant who is also a computer hack who wants to be part of the action and he has a new associate named Eddie who is a former football player. Edna is his secretary who, like Andy, would rather he not take on any cases and she likes getting paid to do nothing.