December 2019 Rave Review by Jean E. Eustance

RAVE REVIEWS BY JEAN E. EUSTANCE                      December 2019

Just in time for Christmas, we have three books by David Rosenfelt, with adorable dogs on the covers.  Deck the Hounds features a sleeping litter of golden retriever puppies, and each puppy is wearing a Santa hat. The Twelve Dogs of Christmas is equally adorable, and someone saw it when I had it, and she took it right out of my hands.  The newest book by Rosenfelt is Dachshund Through the Snow, instead of “Dashing Through the Snow.” Look for them in the Adult Services section of the Pine Bush Area Public Library.

David Rosenfelt has a whole slew of books about his character, Andy Carpenter, who is an attorney defending the good guy (who ever he is) in court. These books feature adorable dogs on the covers, which may have nothing to do with the contents, but hey, they sell the books. This is not an accident. We also have the book Dogtripping, which is not fiction.  Dogtripping is in the non-fiction section, near the rest of the books about dogs and dog training.

In it, David Rosenfelt wrote, “I had decided I wanted to try other things, and since the books were selling only moderately well, the sixth in the series, Play Dead, was going to be the last one. That book more directly involved a dog in the plot, and the publisher decided to put a gold retriever on the cover.  And sales went through the roof, or at least my version of a sales roof. People would e-mail me with the same message: they loved the book, but were embarrassed to say that they bought it only for the dog on the cover.”

So now you know. Despite the litter of puppies on the cover, Deck the Hounds has a grownup golden retriever in it, who defends a homeless man and who bites his attacker. The dog ends up in Andy Carpenter’s dog rescue foundation, and the man ends up in court, on trial for a murder he did not commit.  The big question is, can Andy prove his client’s innocence, and get him off the hook and reunite him with his dog?  Hands up, the first to guess the answer.

I read Deck the Hounds but I got a real charge out of Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure.  David Rosenfelt and his wife Debbie ran the Tara Foundation in California, and needed to move somewhere else, to a place which did not have annual wildfires. They bought a house in Maine, in a remote area where there are few neighbors to be disturbed by the sound of 25 dogs all barking at once. They packed 25 rescued dogs into three rented RVs and the whole kit and caboodle was named, not Winnebago, but Woofabago. They somehow found 11 other people who were as crazy as themselves, to look after the dogs and to help drive, and they set off cross country from California to Maine. And they made it!  Got everybody there, safely.

The book is about the trip, the prep for the trip, and the rest of life—ie. Before the trips when they were acquiring more than 25 dogs, because Debbie and David Rosenfelt ran the Tara Foundation. This is a rescue operation, mainly aimed at the golden retrievers who are a fashion statement in California. But the book is about a lot of different dogs, whom they have saved. They found homes for many of them, but some they just had to keep and take to Maine.

The chapters are short and reading them is like eating corn chips. “Oh, just one more.” I read the book twice, and each time I tried to finish it in one day, although that just isn’t possible. The second time, I knew how it turned out, and did not need to read it all in one go, but I wanted to do so, anyway. David Rosenfelt can write the equivalent of corn chips. You want to just keep cramming it in.

I did not feel that way about his Andy Carpenter books, but I did gobble down Dogtripping just as fast as I could go. You will too. Look for it in non-fiction, upstairs in the Pine Bush Area Public Library. You’ll woof it down.



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