Category: Legal Thriller

A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Review | “Deck the Hounds” (Book Eighteen of the Andy Carpenter Mysteries) by David Rosenfelt

Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , 2 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was approached by Minotaur Books this Winter about reading a selection of their upcoming Mysteries and Suspense novels. I was hoping to read them in the weeks leading into Christmas until I came down with a serious Winter virus which disrupted my plans. Therefore, it became a proper #cloakanddaggerchristmas celebration for me as I settled into these Cosies as the holiday was arriving giving me a comfortable joy of reading the kind of stories I love to discover during this time of the year. Cosies are wonderful all year round but there is something special about the ones that take-on a holiday vibe!

I received a complimentary copy of “Deck the Hounds” direct from the publisher Minotaur Books (an imprint of St. Martin’s Press) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The reason reading ‘Deck the Hounds’ appealled to me:

I used to read quite a lot of legal dramas and legal mysteries – it has been awhile since a plot inspired me and this one, as it is set at Christmastime felt rather charming!

As a rule, I do love to read series in-progress start to finish; however, there is one small luxury I haven’t had the pleasure of engaging in for a few years, which is to seek out new Mystery series to read by way of reading a ‘holiday’ release within a series and to gauge if I would enjoy reading the rest of the series after entering through the holiday story! I did this previously with “Holiday Grind” for the Coffeehouse Mysteries – which gave me a strong impression of the series at large and I am still working my way back through the series start to finish as a result.

This year, when I was offered the chance to select some books to review for Minotaur Books, I decided to take a chance to see if I could find new series to become engaged inside. One of the descriptions which stood out to me was this one “Deck the Hounds” – as I knew the cover art might be misleading a bit, as it looks like a cute Cosy but something told me to prepare for a hearty story-line inside the cute & fluffy cover!

From what I gathered via their current catalogues of new releases for Cosy Mysteries, Historical Mysteries & Thrillers or Suspense – I have found a new publisher to keep a ready eye out for #newtomeauthors & serials! I’ve selected quite a few I want to seek out in New Year, as a few of my libraries are carrying their authors! I’d love to get to know these new series and see which of the authors I’ve recently discovered by Minotaur Books will become my new beloved favourites of the coming year!

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Deck the Hounds badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit

Deck the Hounds
Subtitle: An Andy Carpenter Mystery
by David Rosenfelt
Source: Direct from Publisher

Reluctant lawyer Andy Carpenter and his faithful golden retriever are back again in David Rosenfelt's dog-centric Christmas mystery Deck the Hounds. A rare act of kindness on Andy's art leads him into a perplexing mystery requiring all of his sleuthing skills, and a little help from his loyal pet.

When Andy sees a dog next to a homeless man, he's inspired o give the pair some money to help. It's just Andy's luck that things don't end there. A little while later, the man and his dog are attacked on the street. The dog defends its new owner, and the erstwhile attacker is bitten but escapes. But the dog is quarantined and the man, Don Carrigan, is heartbroken.

Andy's wife Laurie can't resist helping the duo after learning Andy has met them before... it's the Christmas season after all. In a matter of days Don and his dog Zoey are living above Andy's garage and become two new additions to the family. It's not until Andy accidentally gives away his guest's name during an interview that things go awry; Don, as it turns out is wanted for a murder that happened two years ago. Don not only claim he's innocent, but that he has no idea that he was wanted for a crime he has no knowledge of in the first place. Andy has to exonerate his new friend, if he doesn't get pulled into the quagmire first.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Legal Thriller

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250198488

Published by Minotaur Books

on 16th October, 2018

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 336

 Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks)
{imprint of} St. Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress)

The Andy Carpenter Mysteries:

Open and Shut (book one) | First Degree (book two) | Bury the Lead (book three)

Sudden Death (book four) | Dead Center (book five) | Play Dead (book six)

New Tricks (book seven) | Dog Tags (book eight) | One Dog Night (book nine)

Leader of the Pack (book ten) | Unleashed (book eleven) | Hounded (book twelve)

Who Let the Dog Out? (book thirteen) | Outfoxed (book fourteen)

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas (book fifteen) | Collared (book sixteen)

Rescued (book seventeen)

→ Deck the Hounds (book eighteen) *where I begin the series!

Converse via: #AndyCarpenter, #CosyMystery, #LegalThriller & Holiday Humour
Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

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I sometimes enjoy listening to audiobook samplers whilst I’m about to read an author for the first time. Especially in this instance, as this is a series well into its rhythm of releases – wherein, I found the character’s voice & tone of delivery to be uniquely different than what I had pre-imagined Andy Carpenter might sound like as a narrated character! Which of course, proves that sometimes what we think a character might be about and who they really are could be two different impressions!

The narrator is Grover Gardner and his voice reminds me of Andy Rooney from “Sixty Minutes” which of course is dating myself but that is okay! If you know of Rooney’s voice, you can imagine how surprised I was that a similar tone of delivery is being used for Andy Carpenter! I guess I hadn’t quite envisioned him the same way but then again, I didn’t have a lot to go on and as this is the 18th book, clearly I am missing a few of his personality quirks! Laughs.

The sampler skips over a pivotal scene with a homeless man & his dog, inserting us directly after the encounter where Andy, his wife Laurie and their son Ricky are discussing the situation shortly after dinner. I could have listened to more of this to gather a bit more insight into Andy & his family but I was thankful to have the sampler available as a precursor to my readings!

One interesting thing to note is that it would appear most if not all of the stories are available via Scribd for those who subscribe to their audiobooks.

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About David Rosenfelt

Rosenfelt is the Edgar and Shamus Award-nominated author of eight stand-alone thrillers and seventeen previous Andy Carpenter novels. A New Jersey native, now living in Maine, he and his wife recently moved with the twenty-five golden retrievers that they've rescued.

After a long and successful career as the President of Marketing for Tri-Star Pictures, he began the Tara Foundation (the basis of Andy Carpenter's foundation) to help find a home for sick or injured dogs. The foundation has rescued over 4,000 dogs from shelters; experiences he relates in his non-fiction books Dogtripping and Lessons from Tara.

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Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2018 by jorielov in #cloakanddaggerchristmas, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Dogs and Puppies, Homeless Residents, Legal Drama, Legal Drama | Courtroom Drama, Legal Thriller, Men's Fiction, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, Vulgarity in Literature

+Blog Book Tour+ The Professor by Robert Bailey

Posted Saturday, 1 February, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee DesignsThe Professor by Robert Bailey

The Professor by Robert Bailey Blog Tour via JKS Communications

Published By:  Exhibit A Books, 28 January 2014

Official Author Websites: Facebook | Twitter | Site |

Converse on Twitter: #RBaileyBooks or tweet @RBaileyBooks

Available Formats: Trade Paperback & E-Book Page Count: 416

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a stop on “The Professor” Virtual Book Tour, hosted by JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm, which I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

As I revealed in my response to Mr. Bailey’s interview question about reading John Grisham novels, I elected to read his at a very young age (fourteen!) as I was shifting out of young adult titles and into the world of adult fiction. Grisham set the stage for me as far as legal dramas and legal thrillers are concerned. I attempted to read others within the same boundaries of the field but always felt as though I was falling a bit short of what I enjoyed in his books. I read everything that was published by the mid-90s, and prior to his writings shifting away from legal stories, I ventured off into new directions myself. Aside from the writers I had mentioned, I had a keen interest in Shakespeare, British Literature (especially the 19th Century), Science Fiction, and Fantasy. When I first read the description for The Professor I felt it might finally be possible to segue back into the genre of legal dramas in book form! For years, I have carried my love and appreciation of the genre in the world of classic motion pictures and tv serials!

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Author Biography:

Robert BaileyFrom the time he could walk, Robert Bailey has loved stories, especially those about the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and his beloved Crimson Tide football team at the University of Alabama.

Bailey was born in Huntsville, Ala., in 1973. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Davidson College in North Carolina and graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 1999. In law school, Bailey was honored with the Award for Outstanding Achievement at the American Judicature Society Interscholastic Trial Competition. He made Law Review and was a member of the Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society. Somehow, between studying and preparing for the bar exam, Bailey managed to watch every home football game.

For the past 14 years, Bailey has practiced law as a civil defense trial attorney in Huntsville at the law firm of Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne. In addition to representing health care providers and nursing homes in medical liability cases, he defends trucking companies, insurance carriers, insureds and businesses in injury-related lawsuits.

Bailey is admitted to practice before the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court – Northern and Middle Districts of Alabama and Western District of Tennessee – and in all Alabama state courts.

He is a member of several professional associations including the International Association of Defense Counsel, Defense Research Institute, Alabama Defense Lawyers’ Association, Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association and the Alabama Bar Association.

Bailey’s first novel, “The Professor,” will be published Jan. 28, 2014 by Exhibit A Books.

Bailey is married with three children. When he’s not writing or practicing law, he’s playing golf, coaching his sons’ little league baseball teams and, of course, cheering on the Crimson Tide.

Synopsis of the Story:

“In trials, like sports, sometimes winning means everything…”

Thomas Jackson McMurtrie is a living legend scorned. Forty years ago, he gave up a promising career as a trial lawyer to become a law professor at the University of Alabama at the request of his mentor, Alabama football Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Now Tom is forced into retirement, betrayed by both a powerful colleague and his own failing health.

Meanwhile the young family of one of his oldest friends is killed in a tragic road collision. Believing his career is over, Tom refers the case to a brilliant, yet beleaguered, former student, who begins to uncover the truth behind the tragedy, buried in a tangled web of arson, bribery and greed.

But as the eve of trial approaches, the young attorney’s case begins to unravel. In over his head and at the end of his rope, he realizes there’s only one man who can help…

“The Professor” is the first in a series of tense legal thrillers featuring the enthralling and brilliant legal team of McMurtrie and Drake, combining the thrills and authenticity of a John Grisham novel for the audience that flocked to “Friday Night Lights.”

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My Review of The Professor: (minor spoilers)

The Professor by Robert BaileyI picked up The Professor in the hopes of finding a new voice in legal drama which would give me what I was seeking in a genre I have all but abandoned in literary circles for those of television teleplays. Sinking into the first chapters of the story I was less convinced of my choice than I was when I originally broached the idea to read the book for the tour.

The opening of The Professor illuminates the darker core of humanity, but going to the root of the chase for the golden egg in the transport industry. In this particular story, the all too familiar records of drivers are presented at being against federal regulations, but this is only a telling back-story of the corruption of the company in which the drivers are employed. I was a bit aghast at how the author chose to present the opening sequences, as the writing was brash, distinctively vulgar, and brimming with corrosive short passages and easy sentence structures. If I were hoping for a hearty opening chapter filled with a choking honesty of the fatality accident which sits as an apex into the story, I was grossly mistaken.

By the time Chapter Eight rolled around to introduce ‘the Professor’, I was nearly considering if I could go much further into the dark underside of the story. I realise I’ve read Grisham’s full library of legal dramas save three, but I never remember in all those readings where the story was told through choppy narrative and brutally blunt descriptions. Although, all things being equal time and memory can change as we move forward in life.

The hard truth is that I couldn’t draw empathy for any of the characters as they were presented save the dying family in the car in front of the petrol station. In their short and ever so brief appearance in the story, they felt more real to me than anything that happened past their tragic exit. If I had to swallow through one more corrosively laced line of thought murmurations and dark alley gusto I think I would have lost the will to pick up another legal drama! I unfortunately didn’t finish this story because in all honestly, I couldn’t begin it with the proper footing it requires. My mind leapt in and out of the sequences due to the overwhelming cliche inclusions of drama. As much as the redundancy of vulgarity. Once every blue moon, yes, I can accept that. Every single time a person opens their mouth or attempts to ruminate their thoughts? I think naught!

I felt letdown overall, as after having read Bailey’s answers to my Interview, I went in thinking that the story which would be presented would be one I could wrap my head around and enjoy. Clearly, not every book’s description foretells what is writ on the inside.

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The first half of this showcase is:

my author interview with Robert Bailey!

“The Professor” Virtual Book Tour Road Map

  1. 12 January: Q&A Feature @ The Page Turners Book Club
  2. 22 January: Interview @ Ominimystery News
  3. 24 January: Guest Post @ Dear Teen Me
  4. 26 January: Guest Post @ Bibliophilia, Please
  5. 27 January: Interview @ Infinite House of Books
  6. 29 January: Review @ Crystal’s Book Reviews
  7. 30 January: Interview @ Literary Lunes Publications
  8. 31 January: Guest Post & Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
  9. 1 February: Author Interview & Review @ Jorie Loves A Story
  10. Review @ Now is Gone
  11. Review @ My Bookshelf
  12. 15 February: “Read On” Live Web Chat Show at Crossroad Reviews

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm

Be sure to scope out my Bookish Upcoming Events to mark your calendars!!

{SOURCES:  Robert Bailey photograph & biography, Book Synopsis, Cover Art and the logo badge for JKS Communications were all provided by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm and used with permission. Author Interview badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Dear Teen Me from Author Robert Bailey (The Professor) – (


Posted Saturday, 1 February, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host, Debut Novel, Fly in the Ointment, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Legal Drama, Legal Thriller, Modern Day, Vulgarity in Literature