Bark of Night is #19 of this stand-up comedy/mystery/dog-related legal procedural crime series. We have not read all of them, but it’s not a problem to follow the plots no matter which book you pick up.
Andy Carpenter, the main character, is a criminal defense attorney in Paterson, New Jersey who hates to work, but keeps taking on new litigation anyway, albeit reluctantly. Usually a case comes to his attention because of some involvement of a dog. Andy, who came into a lot of money from a previous win in court, prefers spending time with his dog rescue foundation to doing legal work, or any work at all, for that matter.
He is called in for a consultation by his dogs’ veterinarian, and Andy is terrified one of his dogs has a medical issue. But the vet wants Andy’s advice on another matter. A healthy French bulldog named Truman was dropped off several days earlier by a man paying a hefty fee to have Truman euthanized. Oddly, however, Truman has a chip indicating that the man who brought him in was not in fact the owner. Furthermore, the newspaper revealed Truman’s real owner had just been murdered. A young kid was arrested right away for the crime and is about to face a jury in what the prosecution thinks is a “slam-dunk” case. But Andy suspects the man who brought Truman in is the guilty party and that the kid was framed.
Thus, Andy once again gets pulled into taking on a client, and as is generally the case, it turns into something much bigger than anyone suspected. In fact, other suspicious and possibly related deaths follow. The good news is, Andy’s client is clearly innocent since he is in jail. The bad news is, Andy and his unorthodox team have to figure out what has been going on and who the real guilty party is before the verdict in his client’s case can be returned.
Evaluation: What could be more fun than Andy’s self-deprecating snarky commentary on everyone and everything? All of the author’s books in this series are quick reads and uniformly enjoyable.
Published by Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, 2019