Saturday 5 July 2014

Book ~ "Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure" (2011) Diane Kelly

From Goodreads ~ Tax cheats, beware: The Treasury Department’s Criminal Investigations Division has a new special agent on its payroll. A recovering tomboy with a head for numbers, Tara’s fast becoming the Annie Oakley of the IRS - kicking ass, taking social security numbers and keeping the world safe for honest taxpayers. Or else. 

Tara’s latest mission finds her in hot pursuit of ice-cream vendor Joseph “Joe Cool” Cullen. Along with frozen treats he’s selling narcotics - and failing to report his ill-gotten gains on his tax returns. Over Tara’s dead body. Then there’s Michael Gryder, who appears to be operating a Ponzi scheme … with banker Stan Shelton … whose lake house is being landscaped by Brett Ellington … who happens to be dating Tara. If following that money trail isn’t tough enough, now Tara must face a new conundrum: Should she invest her trust in Brett - or put him behind bars? New love always comes at a cost but justice? Priceless.

Tara was a CPA who wanted a more exciting job so got hired as an IRS special agent.  Her job is to investigate people who aren't paying as much tax as they should.  She is teamed with Christina, a DEA agent, to conduct surveillance on Joe Cool, an ice cream vendor who is suspected of selling more than ice cream from his truck.  Going undercover as trashy chicks, they move into a condemned house on Joe's route and work on trapping him.

In the meantime, Tara meets Brett who is a landscaper and they start dating.  Then Tara suspects that one of Brett's clients, a banker, has a Ponzi investment scheme going on with a shady colleague and Tara starts to investigate.  Her concern is that Brett may be involved in the scheme.  This doesn't bode well when one is starting in a new relationship.

This is the second book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing style ... it was funny and sarcastic.  It is written in first person perspective from Tara's point of view.  As a head's up, there is some swearing and explicit adult situations.

I liked Tara.  Growing up, she learned how to shoot a gun and defend herself. As Tara gets into her job, she starts to doubt that this is the line of work for her ... maybe she'd be better off sitting in a safe cubicle as a CPA.  Brett is a nice guy who becomes confused as to why Tara is suddenly pushing him back a bit (he doesn't know that she suspects him of being involved in the Ponzi scheme and she can't tip her hand by talking about it with him just in case).  They are both animal lovers ... Tara has a couple cats and Brett has a dog.  Christina and Eddie are Tara's partners and the provide some funny scenes.  Dr. Ajay is a hoot!

This is the first of the Tara Holloway series and I look forward to reading the others (#8 is due out next year).

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

Chris is a tax accountant, so I bet he would like this one.