DEATH, TAXES, AND CHEAP SUNGLASSES – Diane Kelly
A Tara Holloway Novel
Dallas, Texas – Present Day
In the past year since she started working for the IRS as a special agent assigned to collecting unpaid taxes, Tara has been shot at, worked undercover in dangerous assignments, and knocked unconscious, but one thing always remained the same: Tara Holloway always gets her man (or woman). Tara is currently in a relationship with fellow agent Nick Pratt and is hoping for a ring very soon, but the last thing she expects is that he has to go deeply undercover to ferret out a murderous drug lord. To get her mind off missing (and worrying about) Nick, she throws herself into her latest cases.
An art museum claims to be a nonprofit entity run by a family, but is it really a front to hide profits that are funneled to them? Tara and her partner, Eddie, pay a visit to the museum and know something is up when they get a load of the “art” exhibits. In fact, a couple of them look like a kid made them, and an investigation soon reveals that one of the artists is in fact the toddler grandson of the museum curator. Now Tara and Eddie have to prove the operation is a scam.
Meanwhile, a pair of brothers run what they claim to be is an animal sanctuary on which they report little income, and it's up to Tara to prove there is something else going on. The men aren't cooperative (naturally) and the animals appear to be in a near neglected state, but are they in fact providing stock for a nearby “controlled game shoot” and hiding income? Tara figures the only way she can undercover the truth is by going in and pretending to be a hunter, but to make it appear less suspicious, she asks her father to go with her as the big game hunter.
Another case that Tara is working on involves a phishing scam which appears to be operating locally since the perpetrators are making their withdrawals from Dallas area banks. She tries to figure out the common denominator that links all of the victims, and soon she pinpoints the area. Tara, with the help of another IRS special agent, lays out a trap for the criminal. Will they bite? Tara only hopes she gets the cases solved so she can find the time to buy a pair of decent sunglasses instead of the cheap ones she has to grab every time she loses them.
As readers of DEATH, TAXES, AND CHEAP SUNGLASSES can see, Tara is keeping busy, but her thoughts never run far from Nick. He secretly gave her an untraceable cell phone to keep in contact, knowing that if his true identity is revealed he could be killed. One night he contacts her and asks her to check out the whereabouts of one of the crime lord's lackeys. Tara goes one step further and is soon doing an extra investigation as to what may be going on in what appears a normal neighborhood. Tara keeps busy enough to help her through worrying about Nick, especially with her full caseload. As in all the Tara Holloway tales, Tara is not afraid to use her gun if she has to, or to stand tall against the bad guys even though she's only five foot two.
Like all of the previous books in the series, DEATH, TAXES, AND CHEAP SUNGLASSES is full of entertaining characters and laugh out loud scenes that keep readers enthralled through one misadventure after another. Tara always gets who she's after and will do anything, even take a bop on the chin or dress in a toga to attend a frat party (yes, she did!) to nail a suspect. Her fearlessness makes Tara a heroine readers can't help but admire and wish (or hope) they could be as brave as she. Her ongoing adventures and romance with Nick is similar to the Janet Evanovich series, and the whole Tara Holloway series is one that I highly recommend.
Grab a comfy position and a copy of DEATH, TAXES, AND CHEAP SUNGLASSES and be prepared for some highly entertaining reading that will not only have you gripping the end of your chair, but laughing out loud.