Outfoxed: New Excerpt

Outfoxed (Andy Carpenter Series #14) by David Rosenfelt
Outfoxed (Andy Carpenter Series #14) by David Rosenfelt
Outfoxed by David Rosenfelt is the 14th book in the Andy Carpenter series (Available July 19, 2016).

Defense lawyer Andy Carpenter spends as much time as he can working on his true passion, the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization he runs. Lately, Andy has been especially involved in a county prison program where inmates help train dogs the Tara Foundation has rescued to make them more adoptable, benefiting both the dogs and the prisoners. One of the prisoners Andy has been working with is Brian Atkins, who has 18 months left on a 5-year term for fraud. Brian has been helping to train Boomer, an adorable fox terrier the Tara Foundation rescued from a neglectful owner. Brian and Boomer are clearly a terrific match. In fact, Andy hopes that Brian will adopt Boomer himself, once his sentence is up. But one day, Andy arrives at the prison to discover that Brian has used Boomer to make an ingenious escape, and man and dog are both in the wind. The next day, the man on whose testimony Brian was convicted is found murdered. Brian is caught and arrested for the crime, though he forcefully protests his innocence. Suddenly, Andy finds himself with a new client in Brian and a new dog in Boomer. And as he starts to dig deeper into the murder and the events leading up to it, Andy realizes he might be putting them all in far more danger than anyone had realized.

I’ve been enjoying work lately. I’d have to check my diary, but I think the last time I said that was never. Of course, the last time I wrote in a diary was also never, but that’s another story.

My change in job satisfaction is probably because I’m doing very different work these days. I’m a defense attorney, have been my whole life, but lately I’ve been successful in not taking on new clients, leaving me no one to defend. I like it that way; trials can be very trying.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve retired, it’s more like taking a year off, much in the way a baseball pitcher does when he blows out his elbow. I like to say that I haven’t had “Tommy John surgery,” it’s more like “F. Lee Bailey surgery.”

My current work involves dogs, which are pretty much my favorite things, living or otherwise, on the planet. My partner, Willie Miller, and I run the Tara Foundation, a dog rescue group in Haledon, New Jersey, that covers Paterson and surrounding communities.

I’ve been spending a great deal of time helping Willie and his wife, Sondra, handle the day-to-day activities of the foundation, work that I couldn’t do as a practicing lawyer, especially during trials. The days are enjoyable and rewarding, no more than when I watch a dog go to his or her new home with a terrific family.

And, best of all, I don’t have to cringe and wait for a jury to decide whether I did well or not. All I need to see is a wagging tail.

I’m also heading up a program called Prison Pals. Passaic County has followed the lead of a number of other communities around the country in bringing rescue dogs in need of training and socialization into prisons to be trained by the inmates.

It’s a win-win: the dogs get needed training and loving care, and the prisoners get the chance to interact and bond with some really great dogs.

Because I have a familiarity with the prison and criminal justice systems, and because I corun a dog rescue foundation, I was the county’s choice to run this program, and I was glad to accept. I am Andy Carpenter, spreader of human and canine happiness everywhere. And the truth is that I’ve enjoyed every second of it.

One of the inmates working in the program is Brian Atkins, who is also a client. His lawyer had been Nathan Cantwell, a legend in New Jersey legal circles for sixty years. I had dinner with Nathan a couple of years ago and he told me that he would never retire, that even though at that point he didn’t have many clients, the only way he would quit working would be by dying.

And dying is exactly what he did, three days later, at the age of eighty-seven. He had neglected to mention at the dinner that his will included a request for me to watch over his clients. Had he mentioned it, I would have pleaded for him to reconsider.

But Brian, at least, has been an easy client. He has served three years of a five-year term after being convicted of embezzlement and fraud, the victim being the software company that he cofounded. He’s in the minimum-security area of East Jersey State Prison, and he will be up for parole in four months. I have it on good authority that he’ll be granted that parole.

Today I’m bringing dogs and trainers to the prison, including the dog that Brian has been working with, an adorable fox terrier named Boomer. He clearly loves Boomer, and in a way it’s a shame that Boomer is almost done with the program and will be finding a permanent home. If the timing had been just a little different, he could have been Brian’s dog when he gets out. I really like Brian, so I’m looking forward to this conversation.

“Fred will be coming in, but I wanted to talk to you first,” I say, referring to Fred Cummings, the trainer who has been working with Brian and Boomer.

“So you’re not staying while Fred is here?” he asks, petting Boomer the whole time.

It seems like an odd question, but I say, “No, I’m meeting Laurie for lunch, and then we’ve got a parent-teacher meeting at the school. I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been pretty much assured you’ll be getting your parole. You’ll be out in no more than four months.”

He nods. “Good. Thanks.”

It seems like a strangely muted, unenthusiastic response, but my guess is he is just in “I’ll believe it when I see it” mode.

“You okay?” I ask.

“I’m fine, Andy. Thanks.”

“The parole hearing itself will be in three months, but it’s basically a formality. We’ll have time to prepare.”

“Okay … I understand.”

I’m not sensing any excitement here. “Any questions?” I ask.

“No. Thanks again.”


Copyright © 2016 David Rosenfelt.

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David Rosenfelt is the Edgar-nominated and Shamus Award-winning author of several stand-alones and a dozen Andy Carpenter novels, including Who Let the Dog Out?. After years living in California, he and his wife moved to Maine with twenty-five golden retrievers that they’ve rescued. Rosenfelt's hilarious account of this cross-country move, Dogtripping, and his moving memoir of the dog that inspired his love affair with dogs, Lessons from Tara, are published by St. Martin’s Press.


  1. Mary McDowell

    We call our Shepherd mix the “Food Nazi”. As soon as she hears her younger sister or brother rustling around the food bowls she runs to the bowls, they retreat and she lays in front of the bowls. When we see her with that look in her eye we attempt to corral her. Trust me, all three of our rescues get plenty to eat….Apollo just decides when the others get their share.

  2. Lindy Gatewood

    Our Cavalier is truely the Queen of the castle. In an attempt to get the our not-quite-so-bright mastiff, Sherlock, in trouble, she will go upstairs, gather some object from my daughter’s room, bring it down stairs and give it to Sherlock. She NEVER shares her toys, but he doesn’t suspects a thing!

  3. Paula Eriksen

    The only really funny/bad thing I can think about any of my dogs was my Dog Regan – she was a chocoholic and as you all know, dogs should never have chocolate. Unfortunately, one time I wasn’t home and I had left a big (72 oz) bag of chocolate chips on the kitchen counter (far enough back she shouldn’t have gotten them) but she did. I came home from my volunteer job at the library and she wasn’t at the door to meet me – very strange – walked through the house, and she wasn’t in the kitchen or family room or living room – but there in the LR – was an open bag of chocolate chips with about 3/4 of them gone – and a big pile of chocolate throw up on the carpet – found her in the bedroom, very sick – called the vet, got her in the car, and down to the vet – in the car she threw up a lot more chocolate (my car smelled like a candy bar) – she had carbon in her tummy twice during the day and night and survived to do it again about 6 months later. Then I learned my lesson – all chocolate was put away before I ever left the house. Not her fault – mine – but she was the one who suffered for it. She was a sweetheart – only had her 1-1/2 years (got her as a rescue when she was 10-1/2 and she died of bone cancer in her left front leg when she was just about 12. A sweetheart she was.

  4. Linda Schaeffer

    We rescued 2 Great Danes, a male and a Female a number of years ago. They have since died but we had them for 11 years which is almost unheard of for Great Danes. Great dogs, by the way. Their names were Cede, and Frazier. Cede was the female. We worried that Cede might get hurt by Frazier due to his size. He weighed 175# at his heaviest, but we didn’t have to worry very long, she put him in his place on more than one occasion. It was obvious who was the Alpha dog. She was also smarter.
    We provided various toys for them to play with but Cede always wanted whatever toy or bone Frazier was playing with. She would never take the toy away from him but she would watch him and if Frazier left the toy it was gone. So my husband was watching them play in the yard with their bones one day when he noticed Cede going over to the fence and barking. Of course, Frazier had to see who or what was on the other side so he left his bone and went over to the fence to see what was going on. Cede then ran over to his bone and stole it. Poor Frazier didn’t know what happen and didn’t realize that no one was on the other side of the fence. This happend more than one time, so my husband realized that Cede knew exactly what she was doing. But this is not surprising since she was the female and we can be devious when we need to. Miss those guys.

  5. Sally

    We were living in Florida and our Irish Setter Misty had developed a fear of thunder. We came home during a very heavy thunderstorm and called her, no bark and searched the house til we saw the louver shutters of our closet door shattered so she could get in the farthest corner of the closet and hide. I always tried to be home with her if possible after that and would sit with her and hold her until the thunder ended.

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