Friday, August 21, 2009

New Tricks by David Rosenfelt

New Tricks by David Rosenfelt
Copyright 2009
Grand Central Publishing - Fiction/Mystery
309 pages
David Rosenfelt's Website

I'm going to use the cover blurb on this one because I think it's nicely written and a decent synopsis that doesn't give anything away:

Attorney Andy Carpenter is about to represesnt an adorable Bernese mountain dog puppy, whose owner was brutally murdered, in a custody fight. Few can rival Andy's affection for dogs, and he will do whatever it takes to insure that this little pup doesn't fall into the wrong hands. But his playful new friend possesses a deadly and valuable secret that a number of people are willing to resort to violence to obtain. It will take more than Andy's usual courtroom theatrics to save this dog, including a little help from his beloved golden retriever, Tara. Andy soon discovers that everyone around him is in danger, including his longtime girlfriend, Laurie, and he will have to come up with some high-risk new tricks to save those he holds most dear.

I love David Rosentfelt. I think this is the third Andy Carpenter mystery I've read (blame SuziQ, who piqued my interest and got me going when she assured me that they're not of the nightmare-inducing variety). I've missed at least two titles but this book stands alone well. Where necessary, the author quickly fills in relevant information from past novels without going overboard. As usual, Andy's trademark wit and refusal to follow the rules makes things fun. And, Rosenfelt even tossed in a nice explosion. I love it when authors blow things up.

The mystery was a lot more complex than I expected it to be and I enjoyed that. It wasn't confusing -- I'm not really the puzzle-solving kind, so too many strands tend to annoy me; but, New Tricks was just about right. And, I absolutely love the author's affectionate portrayal of dogs.

4/5 - Very good. Solid storyline, great characters, lots of action and humor.

Thanks to Miriam at Hatchette for the review copy!

Bit of utter coolness: I'm only temporarily driving three teenagers to the pool, since one of them has been grounded and she'll be back to driving herself, next week, but at the moment I am driving a car full of teenagers who are all avid readers. The conversations on the way to the pool have been lively and fun. They tend to lean toward fantasy and paranormal fiction (Eragon, Twilight and the Harry Potter books are favorites) and all three admit to reading favorite books to tattered shreds. It would actually be nice if the drive to the pool was a wee bit longer, just for the sake of listening to the kids talk.

Pondering, this week: Have you ever wondered why the British have the cutest slang words with the worst meanings? I mean . . . bugger sounds so adorable till you know what it means. There is a part of me that wants to be able to say, "Bugger off!" simply because I like the sound of the word, but darned if it isn't about the nastiest cute-sounding curse word. And, of course, there are lots more cute, awful British words. However, I don't think I'll mention any more because who knows what kind of delightful hits the word "bugger" will inspire.

Just walked in:

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Letters from Rapunzel by Sara Lewis Holmes, and
Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz (all from Paperback Swap)

Gotta go. My cat needs the computer. She has some important twittering to do. Seriously.


  1. SuziQ got me interested in these books, too, but I haven't gotten around to read a single copy yet. They're on my list, though!

    Ask the three teenagers/swimmers if they've read The Hunger Games. From what the sounds of it, they might enjoy that series.

    I am so looking forward to this weekend! We don't have anything planned. I hope to sit around and catch up on blogs, emails, photography, and maybe a little housework.

  2. Les,

    You should definitely read them. I think I've read three of the Andy Carpenter books. You'll love his golden retriever, Tara.

    I'll ask the kids. I know mine hasn't read Hunger Games. I've got a copy that I need to read. When I picked it up, it just didn't grab me. I'm hoping it'll work on the second try.

    Oh, I'm so envious. We have a swim meet, tomorrow, and Daniel's coming for a visit . . . but I'm not even sure when he's going to arrive. I'd like to just have en empty weekend but I won't have one for another couple of months -- till swim season ends.

  3. So glad to see New Tricks is so good - I hope to read it soon.

  4. I love the Andy Carpenter books. I'll have to pick up David Rosenfelt's newest (naming them both so that it's obvious that I have not confused the character w/the author ;)

    And how uber cool is your carpool? I love that.

    Ah, British slang. Why do they like to teach it to unsuspecting Californians who frequent a Brit pub?

  5. That's so cool that you're driving a bunch of teenage readers around! It's great just to know that teenagers are still actually reading :p I'd want the drive to be a little bit longer too if I were you. I wish I had people to talk books with IRL, but sadly, none of my friends read really :( Isn't that awful? You should totally drive down here on Monday and come meet Debi and I and we can all talk books together :p I was actually considering coming to see you during the first week of September...I took a week off of work and wanted to go on a little road trip. I have to see how much I can get done though.

    And like you, I'm in love with British slang. Always have been. When I was a little kid, I used to pretend I was British and say "bloody" everything :p And talk about crumpets a lot.

  6. New Tricks sounds absolutely nice. I love dogs and I will like that! It is great to listen to teen talk! it is refreshing ain't it!

    Bugger -- haha! we use it here in India as well. Not a very bad curse word... but a curse word indeed :D

    LOL @ your cat tweeting :)

  7. Kathy,

    I hope you love it!


    I was trying to do that, too -- name both the character and the author because it's easy to mix them up.

    The funny thing about our carpool is that the kids just showed up and climbed in. Or, close -- one has been riding with us for two years, so she knew it would be no big deal and we'd happily let her tag along when she got herself grounded. The other fellow just showed up and said, "Can I ride with you?" They're so cute.

    They teach you? I want to go to a British California pub. Or a California British pub. How fun.

  8. Chris,

    It's been fun. I don't know if we'll any tag-alongs, next week, but I've loved having them along. They're an energetic bunch! It is definitely great to know there are kids who are such avid readers (besides my own, who couldn't help it because I've pretty much turned our house into a library). My reading friends have all moved away. They always do that -- if they read, they stay in Vburg for no more than a year or two. Sucks.

    Oooooh, I wish I could drive down to meet you and Debi!!!! That would be such fun! You should definitely come up here in September.

    LOL! I can imagine you walking around "playing British". I think everyone in this household has done that at some point, with the exception of my stolid husband -- who probably thinks his family is insane. Kiddo had me reading a short comic, last night, and instead of politely reading it to myself, I read aloud and gave all the characters different voices and accents, like I used to do when he was a little munchkin. He didn't say, "Please stop, Mom!", so I guess I did okay!


    If you like dogs, I'm sure you'll love New Tricks. David Rosenfelt's dog characters are such fun.

    The teenagers are definitely refreshing! They're so much less restrained than adults. I love being around all that energy.

    Bugger's always been my favorite slang word, but I don't know if I've uttered it aloud since I found out what it means (at least in Great Britain!).

    My cat has 81 followers! How funny is that? I love it.

  9. Oh, Nancy, I loved Letters from Rapunzel. I found Sara's blog and "talked" to her. She's great. Here are the Rapunzel posts on her blog:

  10. I really like the cover... :)

  11. I like this author a lot and am looking forward to this one. good review; thanks

  12. You should totally come!! Hop in your car and drive down here tomorrow :) We'll be out all day. Let me know if you really want to..shoot me an email and I'll give you my cell ;)

  13. Bonnie,

    Thanks for the link! I'll check that out in a bit. I wonder if your blog is where I got the recommendation. I know the book was on my wish list for quite a while.


    Isn't it cute? Whoever photographed that cover did a great job of capturing a couple of dogs' personalities, didn't s/he?


    Me, too! I love a character with a great sense of humor and Andy Carpenter is a hoot. Hope you enjoy it!


    You won't believe this . . . my husband is actually taking the week off so we can get some home repairs and such done, around the house. Of all the timing. There's no way I can leave, but my thoughts will be in New Orleans. I know you guys will have a terrific time!!

  14. Wow, a new Andy Carpenter book. It's about time. Love the cover and the series.

    I loved driving my nieces around for that reason. They were so much fun to listen to!

    Have a great week, my dear.


  15. CJ,

    I knew you'd love that cover (and, of course, I already knew you're a fan of the series!). Has it been a long time between books? I'm so slow. I haven't kept up at all.

    Hubby just drove kiddo and three girls to a pool party. He said, "I am so glad we had boys. Girls are weird!" LOL I love being around teenage girls (and guys), myself. I think they're loads of fun. I might have thought otherwise if I had to live with them 24/7, though.

    Thanks! You, too!!

  16. I love dogs but always cringe when I hear about dog books--they tend to be a wee bit cheesy. This sounds like it's not--hooray! And yes, bugger is such a fun/cute sounding word. I also like the sound of lift, snog, shag (oh my!), boot, bonnet and take-away. Man, those Brits are cool!

  17. Rosemary,

    Yeah, that can definitely be the case. Rosenfelt is apparently a bit dog crazy and he does an excellent job of describing dog personalities without going overboard. Ha! Another serious Anglophile!! Yep, those Brits are way cool. :)

  18. I received this one as well, but won't be able to get to it until I catch up in the series! I'm looking forward to it, though. It's great to see a 4/5! :)

  19. Joy,

    It wouldn't hurt a bit to read this one out of order, actually. But, I know a lot of people can't stand to do that! It's a fun book. :)

  20. I have Play Dead in my TBR pile--never read any by this author. Glad you like them.

    I hated How I Live Now.


  21. Melissa,

    I think you'll like David Rosenfelt. I really waffled on How I Live Now because it's gotten such polarized reviews, but it has some elements I like. We'll see! I'll let you know what I think of it, probably around 2020.

  22. It seems to me to have been a very long time between books but I can't say just how long.

    And wait just a minute here - kiddo and THREE girls?? Something seems off in those numbers! lol.


  23. CJ,

    I guess that's one benefit of reading out of order -- you don't have to wait.

    There was a church event and the bus filled up, so hubby took kiddo and three girls. They just happened to be the overflow. :)

  24. I will willingly and happily take the credit (blame?) for getting you interested in this series. Both The Hubster and I have enjoyed the ones we've read so far. I have Play Dead (the one before New Tricks) on my desk and should be reading it soon. I just love Andy and of course Tara - the best dog EVER!!

  25. SuziQ,

    We'll go with "credit" because I think it's a very fine thing you did, turning me on to David Rosenfelt's books. My husband and I don't read the same books very often, since he mostly reads history and business. That must be fun, sharing a favorite author with your spouse. Tara is such a great character!


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