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'Twas the Bite Before Christmas: Andy Carpenter #28    by David Rosenfelt order for
'Twas the Bite Before Christmas
by David Rosenfelt
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2023 (2023)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

'Twas the Bite Before Christmas follows Flop Dead Gorgeous as the twenty-eighth in David Rosenfelt's cozy mystery series starring ever reluctant attorney Andy Carpenter, who is always pulled into the defense of the innocent, especially when they love dogs.

This time, it's a committed volunteer with the Tara Foundation. Derek Moore, who turns out to really be Robert 'Bobby' Klaster, is arrested at the Foundation's Christmas Party (for canines and humans) for the murder of a former gang member, Roland Banks. As we expect, Andy represents him, and takes his two dogs home with him.

Bobby belonged to a gang that was taken over by the Tony Giordano crime family. After witnessing a shooting, he went to the cops and ended up in witness protection in Paterson. An anonymous tip, a handgun found in his den, and the victim's blood in his car trunk led to his arrest for murder. Seems like the usual slam dunk for Andy to contest.

In between walking all the dogs, Andy mulls over his defense options, mobilizes his team, and investigates. There's more violence. A local gangster is involved and Andy learns that 'something big is going down' to do with explosives. Of course, Andy clears Bobby, with a final twist of an ending.

And, as always, it's the witty journey that readers always enjoy, even more than the whodunit destination.

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