Sunday 10 January 2016

Book ~ "Death, Taxes, and a Chocolate Cannoli" (2015) Diane Kelly

From Goodreads ~ He's no Tony Soprano. Still, local crime boss Giustino "Tino" Fabrizio is one shady character that Tara Holloway would love to see behind bars. He operates a security business - or so he claims on his tax forms - but his clients don't feel so secure when it's time to pay up. Problem is, no one can get close enough to nail this wiseguy for extortion. No one, that is, except Tara.

Going undercover, Tara lands a waitress job at Benedetta's Bistro - which is owned and operated by Tino's wife. Being surrounded by cream-filled cannolis could be hazardous to Tara's waistline, even though the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right? Only thing Tara can't afford to do now is blow her cover. Because serving Tino his just desserts will surely come with a price.

The FBI are trying to bring down Tino Fabrizio, a crime boss who had moved from Chicago to Texas.  They ask the IRS to help and Tara is the Special Agent in charge of the IRS team.  Tino owns a security business and it's suspected that he also robs his clients and/or forces them to give him extra money to avoid something unpleasant happening to them or their families.  Some of his staff have disappeared or turned up dead in a violent way.

Tara goes undercover as a waitress in Tino's wife's restaurant, which is next door to Tino's security company.  This way, Tara can see if Benedetta, his wife, is also involved and it potentially provides access to Tino's office.  Nick, Tara's boyfriend who is also an IRS agent, sets up a business across from Tino and Benedetta's businesses so he can keep an eye on them.

In addition, Tara is investigating a case for three elderly men who had been ripped off by a travel agency.  They had been approached to go on a casino trip and had given a deposit in cash.  The guy didn't show up on the day it was supposed to happen and not surprising has disappeared.

I enjoyed this book.  I liked the writing style ... it was funny and sarcastic. It is written in first person perspective from Tara's point of view.  I like the characters.  Tara and Nick are good together.  Other characters are quirky and comical (like Tara's boss, Lu).

It is the ninth book in the Tara Holloway series (I've read the previous ones) and the eleventh book I've read by this author.  It works as a stand alone as there was enough information from the past ones so you know what's going on.

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