The new-love subplot with his female investigator, perhaps meant to lend manic Andy some gravitas, is just a distraction...

OPEN AND SHUT

Defense attorney Andy Carpenter just might be the biggest wiseacre to hit the genre since Archie Goodwin. His courtroom antics have already ticked off judges and juries throughout Passaic County, and he’d probably be in jail himself if not for the New Jersey legal system’s tremendous respect for Andy’s late father, ex-DA Nelson Carpenter. But now Andy’s become an irritant to someone still more dangerous than trial judge Walter “Hatchet” Henderson—someone willing to use threats, beatings, and bullets to keep Andy from inheriting his father's strange legacy: $22 million in an account no one knew about, a photo of Nelson in his 20s with three other young men, and a case that he prosecuted successfully seven years ago, now due for retrial on a technicality. And since Andy promised his father he’d defend Willie Miller in what looks like an open-and-shut case—the murder of Denise McGregor, whose body Willie was found standing over in an alley behind a bar, whose fingernails were lined with traces of Willie’s skin, and whose blood was smeared on a knife with Willie’s prints all over it—he’ll do just that, even if it imperils his shaky reconciliation with his wife Nicole, his livelihood, his reputation, and his life.

The new-love subplot with his female investigator, perhaps meant to lend manic Andy some gravitas, is just a distraction from the brisk dialogue, careful plotting, and solid spadework in Rosenfelt’s series opener.

Pub Date: May 9, 2002

ISBN: 0-89296-748-X

Page Count: 244

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2002

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Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

OUT OF RANGE

Crime-fighting Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett outdoes himself during a temporary transfer from sleepy Saddlestring to fashionable Jackson Hole.

Will Jensen, the Jackson game warden, was a great guy and a model warden, but once his wife left him six months ago, he spiraled into madness and suicide, and now Joe’s been called to replace him. The transition is anything but smooth. There’s no question of Joe’s family coming with him, so he’s reduced to hoping he can get a signal for the cell-phone calls he squeezes into his busy schedule. En route to his new posting, Joe has to pursue a marauding grizzly. He arrives to meet a formidable series of challenges. Cantankerous outfitter Smoke Van Horn wants to go on attracting elk with illegal salt licks without the new warden’s interference. Animal Liberation Network activist Pi Stevenson wants him to publicize her cause and adopt a vegan diet. Developer Don Ennis wants to open a housing development for millionaires who like their meat free of additives. Ennis’s trophy wife Stella simply wants Joe—and he wants her back. As he wrestles with these demands, and with a supervisor riled over Joe’s track record of destroying government property in pursuit of bad guys (Trophy Hunt, 2004, etc.), Joe slowly becomes convinced that Will did not kill himself.

Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

Pub Date: May 5, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-15291-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

A KILLER EDITION

Too much free time leads a New Hampshire bookseller into yet another case of murder.

Now that Tricia Miles has Pixie Poe and Mr. Everett practically running her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, she finds herself at loose ends. Her wealthy sister, Angelica, who in the guise of Nigela Ricita has invested heavily in making Stoneham a bookish tourist attraction, is entering the amateur competition for the Great Booktown Bake-Off. So Tricia, who’s recently taken up baking as a hobby, decides to join her and spends a lot of time looking for the perfect cupcake recipe. A visit to another bookstore leaves Tricia witnessing a nasty argument between owner Joyce Widman and next-door neighbor Vera Olson over the trimming of tree branches that hang over Joyce’s yard—also overheard by new town police officer Cindy Pearson. After Tricia accepts Joyce’s offer of some produce from her garden, they find Vera skewered by a pitchfork, and when Police Chief Grant Baker arrives, Joyce is his obvious suspect. Ever since Tricia moved to Stoneham, the homicide rate has skyrocketed (Poisoned Pages, 2018, etc.), and her history with Baker is fraught. She’s also become suspicious about the activities at Pets-A-Plenty, the animal shelter where Vera was a dedicated volunteer. Tricia’s offered her expertise to the board, but president Toby Kingston has been less than welcoming. With nothing but baking on her calendar, Tricia has plenty of time to investigate both the murder and her vague suspicions about the shelter. Plenty of small-town friendships and rivalries emerge in her quest for the truth.

An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0272-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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