Review of “Dead Center” by David Rosenfelt

This is book #5 of the stand-up comedy/mystery/dog-related legal procedural series featuring lawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever Tara.

In Dead Center, Andy’s girlfriend Laurie Collins has left Paterson, New Jersey to take her “dream job” on the police force of her old home town in Findlay, Wisconsin. Although she hasn’t seen Andy in four months, she calls and asks him as a favor to come out there and defend a friend of her family, Jeremy Davidson. Jeremy has been charged with the double murder of his girlfriend Liz and her girlfriend Sheryl. The bodies were found in a shallow grave on his property. Blood flecks were spattered in Jeremy’s car. Jeremy’s guilt seems so obvious that ordinarily Andy wouldn’t take the case, but he wants to see Laurie again, and so he and his golden retriever Tara make the drive to Wisconsin.

Liz and Sheryl were members of a bizarre religious cult located in Center City, about ten miles from Findlay. The people of this faith have no desire for interference from, or information sharing with, the outside world. Thus, Andy needs help, and he brings some others from his team up to Findlay to help out. Soon they are all in danger. On the bright side however, Laurie seems more conflicted than ever about whether she really wants to live apart from Andy.

Evaluation: One gets the impression that this plot was designed to showcase funny remarks about Wisconsin, and if you’ve ever lived there (as I have) you will get a big kick out of this book. Even aside from the jokes about winters and cheese, however, these humorous mysteries from Rosenfelt never fail to entertain me. I don’t see a Pulitzer in the author’s future, but I do see a lot of loyal readers like myself who love having a witty, diverting read.

Rating: 3.5/5

Published by Mysterious Press, 2006

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10 Responses to Review of “Dead Center” by David Rosenfelt

  1. Margot says:

    I hope there’s at least one joke about mosquitos being the Wisconsin State Bird. I’ll read this one just for the Wisconsin angle but the plot also sounds good.

  2. BermudaOnion says:

    I’ve only read on of Rosenfelt’s books but I really enjoyed it too. I want to explore more of this series.

  3. Staci says:

    I’ve never even heard of this series before…sounds like it could be fun! 😀

  4. Jenners says:

    This has got to be the goofiest but most alluring book description ever.

  5. Julie P. says:

    I think you summed it up perfectly. These books are just fun.

  6. I think I’ve seen you mention these books before. I have to add this author to my list. I love a good comedy mystery.

  7. Darlene says:

    I’ve never heard of this series before but it’s gotta be good if he’s got a dog as a helper!

  8. why are people always leaving NJ?

  9. zibilee says:

    I am always fascinated by reads that feature bizarre cults, and even though I have never lived in Wisconsin, this sounds like something I might enjoy. I am glad that you liked it so much, and think you wrote a really great review on it.

  10. i do like this author, but it’s been a while since I read one of his books. Time to catch up –this xummer hopefully.

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