Monday, March 21, 2016

More Andy Carpenter!

This is the third installment in the Andy Carpenter series 
written by David Rosenfelt.
Bury the Lead opens with Andy searching for his associate, Kevin Randall, in Kevin's "Lawdromat" where free legal advice is dispensed to customers "along with detergent and bleach." :) A woman is giving Andy "the eye" and he muses,
  "Truth be told, even if we were in a nightclub and the woman looked more like 
Halle than Boysen Berry, I doubt I could accurately gauge the situation. 
I'm no better than average-looking myself and thus have almost 
no experience with women giving me the eye. 
In fact, though I'm not in the habit of counting offered body parts, 
it's safe to say that over the years I've gotten the finger more than the eye." (1)
Yep! That's on the first page! Start me off laughing! I love it! 

Rosenfelt also gives us a bit of information about Jersey in each book, it seems. For instance, he is a die-hard sports fan, watching sports on TV for hours/days on end. Since our TV has been shut off in our house for over 15 years, I know nothing about TV stations, networks, etc. He fills us in on Jersey's woes...
  The most embarrassing part is that all the major TV stations that cover New jersey 
are based in New York. Ottumwa, Iowa, has its own network affiliates, but Jersey doesn't. 
It should thus come as no surprise that those same stations 
treat Jerseyites as second-class citizens. (4)
Awww... ;) Even Andy realizes that he really needs to get to work. He is independently wealthy after inheriting a previously undiscovered insane amount of money from his father's estate, so he doesn't have to work... (Yes, I am insanely jealous of this fictional protagonist! :)) Problem solved when Vince Sanders, "editor of what passes as the local newspaper in Paterson," calls...
I've known Vince for about a year. He's cantankerous and obnoxious on the surface,
but when you chip that away and dig deeper, you find him to be surly and disagreeable.
You probably could say Vince and I have become good friends, 
if your definition of "friends" isn't too rigid. We're not "Ya-Ya Brotherhood" types, 
but we hang out some in sports bars and trade insults, which fits my definition pretty well. (10)
Sounds like a "typical" male definition, doesn't it? ;) It made me laugh! Vince wants Andy to protect his star reporter, Daniel Cummings. 
I'm not understanding any of this. "So, you're going to pay me?"
"Pay you? Are you out of your mind?"
My friends share two common views about money. 
They think they don't have enough, and that I have too much. 
"This is what I do for a living, Vince. I'm a lawyer. 
I got an A in money grubbing in law school." (11)
Again...I'm laughing! 

Andy performs a bit of self-psychotherapy while on the road. 
On the way to meet with Daniel Cummings, I reflect on why I've been in a foul mood lately.
I'm not big on self-reflection, so I try to get this session over while sitting at one traffic light.
I quickly come up with four possibilities. One, I need to get back to some real work.
Two, I'm thirty-seven years old and beginning a mid-life crisis, whatever that is. 
Three, I miss Laurie terribly. And four, Laurie doesn't seem to miss me nearly as much. 
I don't know which of those is true, but the one I'm rooting against is number four. (23)
I admit to loving Rosenfelt's snarkiness! There is a killer loose and he appears to be using Daniel as his communication 'window to the world.' Daniel is discovered at the scene of the most recent murder nearly unconscious with a rather serious head-wound. Andy arrives...
"Captain Millen, my name is Andy Carpenter," I say, my voice deep and powerful so as to convey my authority. "I'm representing Mr. Cummings."
"Good for you." He doesn't seem to be cowed.
"My client is obviously injured."
"And Linda Padillo is obviously dead. So stop interrupting or I'll have you obviously removed."
He's speaking to me as if I am an annoying child. This is unacceptable and demeaning, 
but I back off, so as to avoid getting sent to my room for a time-out. (36)
Ha! Ha! However, it becomes more serious when Cummings is arrested for this crime. 
"I'm not going to lie to you, Daniel." My mind registers that I've started thinking of him as "Daniel," rather than "Cummings," because I need to get personally close to my clients. 
Then my mind registers that I am thinking of him as a client, which means I must at least be considering taking on the case. Sometimes my mind has a mind of its own. (50)
You guess correctly...more laughing from me! 

Vince reveals that Daniel is actually his biological child. 
Vince goes at the french fries with both hands; he's feeling a hell of a lot better. 
"I really surprised you, didn't I?" he asks, smiling for the first time.
I nod. "You sure did. I still can't believe it. You actually had sex with someone." (56)
Ah, yes, those insults! :)

From this point on, the 'case' becomes quite intense and twisted. Not only does the reader benefit from Rosenfelt's humor, but you get an A-one mystery along with it! Once your client has been arrested and is imprisoned, it is rather good news that the "serial killer" strikes again...however, Rosenfelt never hesitates to depict the ethical/moral dilemmas.
The first thing Daniel says when he's brought in is, 
"Is it all true? Did he really kill someone else?"
I confirm that it is in fact true and bring him up-to-date on where we stand. 
He takes it all in, a look of wonderment on his face. When I finish, he says, 
"It's weird: An innocent person dies and it makes our case." 
My opinion of him instantly goes up a very large notch; 
his reaction is exactly what mine should have been. (218)
As always, in the end Andy gets to the bottom of the case and discovers the true criminal. Though there are more criminals than you might imagine and he takes a helluva chance by enlisting some organized crime people to help. Whew! He is brave. Except perhaps when it comes to Laurie...
"Andy, are you asking me to marry you?"
Uh-oh. The direct approach. This is not my strong suit. 
[Which may account for the fact they aren't married? :)]
The fact is, it's not so much that I want to get married, but more that I want Laurie to want to.
"Would you say yes if I did?"
She smiles slightly. "Okay, I'll let you off the hook and answer your question without you having to ask it. No, I don't want to marry you. Not now."
I feel like somebody just hit me in the stomach with a seven-hundred pound snowball. "Why?"
"Andy, I love you. Right now I want to spend the rest of my life with you. 
I don't know if that will ever change; I hope it doesn't. 
But I've just never had a need to be married. If it's important to you, I'll do it. 
But it won't make me love you any more, 
because I couldn't love anyone any more than I love you." 
Tara barks, which I think is her way of telling me to keep my mouth shut and leave well enough alone.        I can't stifle a smile as I look up toward the sky and take a deep breath. 
"The air really feels great, doesn't it?" (261)
Awww...though I know, since I've already read the next book in the series, this idyllic time does not last...

I love Rosenfelt's writing and keep resisting reading the next book in the series because I have other books to read for book clubs, etc., first!
If you think this series might at all appeal to you, I strongly suggest you try it!


  1. What ever happened to the Kevin Randall character? He is not in Book#10 Leader of the Pack. There's another lawyer (Heit?). Also, in what book did Willie marry Sandra? I know they were together and then they were married. Was there ever a wedding detailed in any of the books?

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Good questions! I cannot recall any details of Willie and Sandra's wedding, and am uncertain exactly when they were married. I believe they are married in either book 3, Bury the Lead, or book 4, Sudden Death. Uncertain about Kevin Randall. Since I've only read the first 5 thus far, Kevin is still around. This is the disadvantage of reading library books, I no longer have the book around to refer back to. :)

  2. Willy married Sondra at the end of book 3, Bury the Lead. Willy and Sondra knew each other in high school and Sondra sometimes wrote to Willy when he was in prison. After Willy's release he did not make an effort to contact Sondra, but after she was shot in relation to the case, Andy and Lori wanted to find Sondra a job in a safe environment. Andy noticed Willy needed help and showed up with Sondra. They reconnected quickly and had a wedding at a pizzaria near the end of the book.

  3. But what happened to Kevin?

    1. I haven't been reading in this series for soooo long! I have no memory of that!