Dog trots in earlier than expected

Friday, February 17, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 7

I hate when this happens. Last week, I concluded the column with remarks indicating that Dog Tags was the last David Rosenfelt Andy Carpenter-novel in print. I even went so far as to write that One Dog Night, novel nine in the Andy series, “is due out later this year.”

Wrong! One Dog Night was published last July. Obviously, I’ve not checked it out of the library yet. I owe you a blurb on Dog Tags, but first let me share some viewer mail. From the Memphis area, Carole Hanna writes:

“I saw your article in the Memphis Daily News and felt compelled to write to you. I discovered the works of David Rosenfelt when I bought one of his books and quickly became a fan. It’s so nice to hear that you have interacted with him and that he is as witty in real life as he is in his books.”

She was referring to Rosenfelt’s note to me saying that his work is not intellectual enough to be considered intellectual property, that the term “schlock property” might more aptly apply. But I interrupt. Ms. Hanna’s note continues:

“Reading him is pure pleasure, and I’m glad you are letting others know. I worked for a law firm for several years, but I can’t imagine any of the attorneys having the insight to teach from the viewpoint of a popular author the way you are doing. I applaud your ingenuity and envy your students the privilege of learning from you.”

It’s a good thing this column is not interactive, like Skype and all that. Else, you’d be seeing my red face and swollen head. If not from embarrassment and false humility, then from the tomatoes thrown by the lawyers she used to work with. But there’s more:

“I’m sure they will also become fans of Mr. Rosenfelt and share his books with others. This is how we all find out about authors who might otherwise remain unknown to us. I can’t say enough good things about your approach to teaching and passing along your enthusiasm for the things you enjoy yourself. You deserve an A+.”

I feel as though I should pause here to assure you: I did not plant Ms. Hanna out there in Readership Land. And let me also modestly proclaim that my law students may well disagree with her. But it was very nice to receive her note, and I thank her for it.

In Dog Tags, Andy Carpenter again takes on a case involving a canine. A highly-trained German shepherd owned by an ex-cop turned thief, it is impounded when his owner gets charged with murder. Andy is retained to get the dog set free, and that leads him to represent the owner as well.

Rosenfelt’s imagination must have run close to amok in the writing of this book, as it has FBI and military angles, multiple hit men, serial killing, investment banking, suspected jury tampering, and a judge with a sense of humor. Don’t miss it.

Meanwhile, remember my resolution about reading Lio, the cartoon strip? I’m thinking about giving it up for Valentine’s Day. And then again for Lent. Are there any Lio fans out there who’d like to try to convince me it’s funny?

Vic Fleming is a district court judge in Little Rock, Ark., where he also teaches at the William H. Bowen School of Law. Contact him at