Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Open and Shut (Andy Carpenter #1)” as Want to Read:
Open and Shut (Andy Carpenter #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Open and Shut

(Andy Carpenter #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  9,710 ratings  ·  1,157 reviews
"There is nothing like a golden retriever. I know, I know, it's a big planet with a lot of wonderful things, but golden retrievers are the absolute best. Mine is named Tara . . . The only problem she has ever caused is that I spend so much time with her in the mornings that I am almost invariably late for work."

Whether dueling with new forensics or the local old boys' net
Paperback, 292 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2002)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Open and Shut, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Bianca No... it's a cozy-mystery. There is a murder victim or two but there are no gruesome details.…moreNo... it's a cozy-mystery. There is a murder victim or two but there are no gruesome details.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,710 ratings  ·  1,157 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Open and Shut (Andy Carpenter #1)
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This is the first in a legal thriller series that I’m sure I will continue to enjoy if this first book is any indication. This story is funny – the writing is witty and smart. In fact, Andy Carpenter, a defense lawyer, is a bit of a cut-up and on occasion it gets him into trouble – particularly with judges.

Andy’s father, a previous prosecutor, tells his son to check into a case that put Willie, a young black man, into prison for the past seven years and who is now on death row. Shortly afterward
More Sue Grafton than John Grisham, this courtroom drama with a private eye feel has a high level of "smart-assery" that at times made me laugh out loud and definitely kept me turning pages. I have high hopes for this series! ...more
Jul 18, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This hardcover edition is the first Mysterious Press edition.
I am not usually someone who likes reading about lawyers and courtroom dramas. My years watching Law and Order was strictly for the investigation and the hunky cops in uniform. I decided to read Open and Shut purely because of the fact that there is a dog character and the author is obviously an animal lover(I mean...27 dogs?! Holy cow). I was quickly hooked by the first few pages. Andy Carpenter is a sarcastic lawyer who often crosses the lines to make a point in the courtroom and he will do an ...more
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
I requested this book on Overdrive because I read the author's two memoirs about his dogs and I love supporting dog people and was hoping his fictional series would be fun. Someone told me his dog is in all the books and that fact made me request it. However, I am simply not a fan of the legal drama. And this is one of those and I was snoozing through some of the courtroom bits. His dog Tara plays a wee, tiny role and didn't have much character. She puts her head on his lap, he pats her head, ta ...more
This was better than I thought it would be at first. It's got a broad streak of humor which was a bit irritating, then grew on me, perhaps because the reader did it so well. The main character is a lawyer, not the heroic type, but he does stick through thick & thin. The problem was a twisty one & wound up well. While there's certainly room to continue the series, there wasn't any cliff hanger.

I'd like to give this 4 stars because it's the beginning of a good series & I usually bump the first boo
Julie (JuJu)
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 3.5 ⭐️ legal mystery. Me and my husband listened to the audio of this on a road trip and I thought the narrator did a great job! Because of the great narration, and Andy’s sarcastic humor—which I also loved—I’ve rounded up!
Marty Fried
I'm so happy to have discovered this series (thanks Barbara). Good humor mixed with an entertaining story is one of my guilty pleasures. In this book, the humor starts out strong, and the story kind of sneaks up from behind, starting out slow and seemingly benign, but eventually exploding into a complex case with lots of action and twists.

Andy Carpenter is a wise guy, but not quite as bad as others like Spenser. And he has a great partner/girlfriend that is just as capable in both humor and dete
May 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is entertaining. I'll give it that much. But there were several things about this novel that just didn't work (at least for me).
I seem to be in the minority, but I didn't like the protagonist, Andy Carpenter. For starters, almost immediately you find out that he is married, but sleeping with a co-worker. He attempts reconciliation with his wife, but you can tell it is a very half hearted attempt. His constant attempts at humor throughout the first person narrative, are at times funny,
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is book one of the Andy Carpenter lawyer series that read like part crime novels and part standup comedy routines.

Evaluation: This is not only a really good crime novel, but a very, very funny book. I read this because I stumbled into the series at the end with the book Dog Tags, and knew at once this series was worth going back to the beginning, in spite of my obsessive/compulsive horror at going backwards in a series. But I love this guy! I can’t wait to read more!
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note: I've read a few of this series out of order. Decided to start from the beginning to find out some back story.

I enjoy the character of Andy Carpenter. I find him humorous, warm, friendly and vulnerable. Having read 3 later books in this series, it was nice to come to the beginning and get a few answers to questions I've picked up.
A really fun, feel-good book, with a dog. Tara is a wonderful side-kick.
May 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2002-reads

We’ve all heard of an “open and shut” case. That’s when the evidence is so incontrovertible that the accused is convicted without a moment’s hesitation on the part of the judicial system. But what if the “open and shut” case has a crack in it? Is it possible that a person could somehow be wrongly convicted even in the face of overwhelming evidence against them?

That’s the situation that attorney Andy Carpenter faces. His father, a well-respected former district attorney, asks him to ha
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am coming to the series late. At this time, there are 22 books in the series and this is book 1. I enjoyed it very much.

Many reviewers have given a synopsis of the plot so I am going to say what I like about the book. There were many things, I liked. I liked the character of Andy Carpenter who is a defense lawyer. He has undertaken a case that does seem open and shut against his client. I liked his sense of humor. He strives to do the right thing. He is an animal lover. He lives with his gold
OPEN AND SHUT (Legal Thriller) – G
David Rosenfelt – 1st book
Mysterious Press/Warner Books, 2002 – Hardcover
His father, a retired district attorney, asks without an explanation New Jersey Attorney Andy Carpenter to take on the appeals case of death row inmate Willie Miller, whom he had prosecuted. Andy’s father dies a few days later and leaves an inheritance of over $22 million, about which Andy had never known. When he discovers an old photo in his father’s possessions that seems to have a conne
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Full review: Must read Rosenfelt's others now. This was excellent! I really like Andy, love Tara and Laurie. Much pity for many of the other characters for all the greed and victimization. I can appreciate Rosenfelt's theory that though the justice system isn't perfect, hopefully it helps more than it hurts. Though this doesn't consider the fact that you can typically get as much "justice" as you can afford...sad but true. Great writing and an enthrallin ...more
Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt is the first book in the Andy Carpenter Mystery series. Defence Attorney Andy carpenter is asked to take on a case by his father, a retired D.A., just before his death. He believes a man currently on death row was wrongly convicted and as Andy investigates, finds links to his fathers past. A nice start to the series. At first I found Andy's jokes and flipancy a bit annoying but as the book progressed, I enjoyed it more. Would have loved to see more of Tara. ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I like a sarcastic intelligent type of humor, and defense attorney Andy Carpenter fits that to a tee. The story and courtroom details are fast moving and suspenseful. I will read more of this series.
Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt.

Andy's Dad taught him all there was to know about being a lawyer...a good lawyer. Then one day his Dad asked him to defend a man who he had sent to death row 7 years ago for killing a woman. This was indeed one of the strangest requests his Dad ever made but Andy would answer his Dad's request and go and meet this man, Willie Miller.

At the same time Andy's social life is taking some turns he didn't know were coming. His wife who he has been separated from shows
Rex Fuller
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sarcasm is the mode of telling this pretty darn good legal suspense story. Rosenfelt may not be a lawyer, and it shows a little bit. But to quibble about what he gets wrong foolishly ignores the far greater proportion that he gets right. It rings true as the gavel's bang. The main character Andy Carpenter wise-cracks his way through life and into the re-trial of a murder case reversed on appeal. As the story moves into the courtroom the smart-alec tone necessarily and mercifully tones down. The ...more
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, reviewed, mystery
I’ve read a few of the later entries in this series and enjoyed their humor and tightly plotted mysteries. So I picked up the first book just to get an introduction to the characters, keeping in mind it might not measure up to what I was used to. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. It was every bit as well-written as the later books and the glib humor and sarcasm along with more than a little suspense made this courtroom procedural/mystery hard to put down. 4 ½ stars
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Fairly interesting, but a tad long-winded with court testimony. I know, Carpenter is an attorney afterall. Best of all, some justice prevails but not for the man falsely doing 7 years while others roam free. 6 of 10 stars
Fredrick Danysh
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Andy Carpenter is asked his father to take on the death row appeal of a man DA Carpenter. When Andy's father drops dead, Andy learns many unpleasant and thus puts his own life in danger. A gid mystery raed. ...more
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, library, mystery, x2013
I was drawn to this series because of the mention of a golden retriever. What's not to like about a book that includes a golden? But then I find our lead character, Andy Carpenter, to be not only a smart aleck but (horrors) also a devout New York Yankees and Giants fan. How could I ever warm up to this character? Well, I did and will start down the trail of yet another series....

On sports rivalries: Today, the Yankees are playing the Red Sox. I used to hate the Red Sox, just like I hated the Ori
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, serial-mystery
In David Rosenfelt's Open and Shut, the first installment in the Andy Carpenter legal mystery series, this debut has plenty of twists and turns along the way in this compelling novel. For Andy Carpenter, it all started when his father asks him to perform a retrial for one of his clients who was going on Death row. When his father died, he discovered a windfall of money and a mystery photograph. When Andy took on the case to defend Willie Miller's innocence, a couple of people would do anything t ...more
mindful.librarian ☀️
My new-to-me-but-not new series obsession - I wish I could binge read them, but book 2 has a hold on it in Libby, so alas, I'll have to wait for more hilarious Andy Carpenter legal antics. This was the best kind of legal mystery - serious about law, but so dryly amusing that I kept almost spitting out my coffee laughing while reading. It reminds me of the Sue Grafton and Robert B. Parker I used to inhale while in high school and early college. As soon as I can get my hands on book 2, I'm ON IT. ...more
May 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago and enjoyed listening to the audio, ably narrated by Grover Gardner. This is the first book which introduces us to lawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara. Andy is defending Willie Miller, who has spent 7 years incarcerated on death row for a crime Andy is sure he was framed for by powerful people who will stop at nothing to conceal the truth.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a new author for me. I liked that on of the minor characters is a golden retriever dog. The book was believable and entertaining. I have already started listening to the next book that the author wrote using some of the same characters. I will suggest this audio to some of my patrons at the Library.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think I should skip courtroom dramas. It's hit or miss for me, and this one was a miss. I didn't like the main character, Andy; he was too sarcastic and unlikable . The story was okay. Maybe I would have enjoyed it if I had liked Andy. I did like the sports and dogs in this book. They were the only things that I liked. ...more
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Von Perine
4.5 stars. This book hooked me right away and I didn't want to put it down. Sarcastic humor, interesting, likable characters, and several interlocking storylines. Not quite five-star material, but I really enjoyed it. It's the first of a series to which I'll be returning, for sure. ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Great summer read....
...time to start #2 in the series Andy Carpenter mysteries!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: 0446612537 (ISBN13: 9780446612531) 3 24 Feb 07, 2013 09:07AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Of Mutts and Men (Chet and Bernie Mystery #10)
  • Walk the Wire (Amos Decker, #6)
  • A Beach House To Die For (Costa Rica Beach Cozy Mysteries Book 1)
  • The Law of Innocence (Mickey Haller, #6; Harry Bosch Universe #34)
  • All the Devils Are Here (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #16)
  • Daylight (Atlee Pine, #3)
  • Fortune and Glory (Stephanie Plum, #27)
  • Game of Dog Bones (A Melanie Travis Mystery Book 25)
  • The Gift of the Magpie (Meg Lanslow, #28)
  • Credible Threat (Ali Reynolds, #15)
  • The Dog Who Knew Too Much (A Chet and Bernie Mystery, #4)
  • Paw and Order (A Chet and Bernie Mystery, #7)
  • Hanging Falls (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #6)
  • Dog on It (A Chet and Bernie Mystery, #1)
  • Stalking Ground (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #2)
  • To Fetch a Thief (A Chet and Bernie Mystery, #3)
  • A Fistful of Collars (A Chet and Bernie Mystery, #5)
  • Grave Instinct (K-9 Mystery #1)
See similar books…
I am a novelist with 27 dogs.

I have gotten to this dubious position with absolutely no planning, and at no stage in my life could I have predicted it. But here I am.

My childhood was relentlessly normal. The middle of three brothers, loving parents, a middle-class home in Paterson, New Jersey. We played sports, studied sporadically. laughed around the dinner table, and generally had a good time. By

Other books in the series

Andy Carpenter (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • First Degree (Andy Carpenter #2)
  • Bury the Lead (Andy Carpenter #3)
  • Sudden Death (Andy Carpenter #4)
  • Dead Center (Andy Carpenter #5)
  • Play Dead (Andy Carpenter #6)
  • New Tricks (Andy Carpenter #7)
  • Dog Tags (Andy Carpenter #8)
  • One Dog Night (Andy Carpenter #9)
  • Leader of the Pack (Andy Carpenter #10)
  • Unleashed (Andy Carpenter #11)

Related Articles

Sometimes the monster in your life looks a lot like you. Or exactly like you, but better.   This is the case of Evelyn Caldwell. An...
41 likes · 5 comments
“I believe we have two lives. The life we learn with, and the life we live with after that.” 5 likes
“You don't have to be a college graduate to murder someone.” “Thank you for making the jury aware of that, Lieutenant. I'm sure they had no idea.” 4 likes
More quotes…