By David Rosenfelt
Publisher: St. Martin’s, 2022
Genre: Fiction/Murder Mystery
An unsolved double murder. A cold case. A crackerjack team of private investigators specializing in cold cases. Playing cards. Like, the king of clubs. A high school reunion where two friends vanish without a trace. Not a single clue that makes sense. At all. A retired cop, Corey Douglas, and his brilliant German shepherd, Simon Garfunkel. A scene stealer extraordinaire and the smartest member of the team by far, Simon is also recently retired from law enforcement. And Really Bad Dudes.
When high school brainiac-turned car salesman Chris Vogel departs his tenth high school reunion with former classmate Kim Baskin, neither of them think their car ride together will be their last. But it is in this fast-paced thriller by David Rosenfelt.
As the story gathers steam, we find out that there’s more than meets the eye with Vogel. Lots more. As in, the guy wasn’t just a drug user. He was also a drug pusher. With a gambling habit. In hock to some mobsters to the tune of 20 Large. Was Vogel playing both sides against the middle, also working with the DEA? Was he made? Did a deal go bad?
Then four other murders surface. All unsolved cold cases. In different states. With totally different M.Os. The only connection is a playing card. Are these cases related to the Vogel/Baskin disappearance? How?
Kimber: You know who’s going to solve this cold case, right? My paws are on the one with the Nose for Clues.
Well, of course.
What unfolds next isn’t just a fascinating back story and the bunny trails Douglas and his team of hot shot investigators hop down trying to solve a double murder mystery. There’s plenty of that. But unlike most murder mysteries, Citizen K-9 includes not only enough plot twists to rival the tilt-a-whirl at the country fair, it also goes pedal-to-the-medal with laugh-out-loud levity of the rapier wit and self-deprecating variety.
One of us – I won’t tell you who – laughed so hard in places, she squirted root beer out her nose. Kids, don’t try this at home.
We fingered the Guilty Party(ies) about halfway through. We just couldn’t tie them to a motive. That took longer.
The agile and active plot includes a hefty dose of sass and spunk along with well-rounded characters. The author doles out just enough “bread crumb” clues to keep you guessing. And turning pages.
Laden with levity and pithy observations about life, friends and relationships, and best of all – Simon – Citizen K-9 is quick, clever, and eminently entertaining. The writing style is nimble and as breezy as a windstorm over the Jersey shore. It’s both a nail biter and a funny bone tickler. That’s a pretty rare combination. But then, so is a magnificent German shepherd who can probably cha-cha to Cecilia. Or Homeward Bound.
“Great,” harrumphs Her Momness. “Now I’ve got Bridge Over Troubled Water in my head on autoplay.” Go figure.