⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 Stars!)
Humour, Mystery, Romance
The Death & Taxes series features Tara Holloway, a kick-ass IRS agent cleaning the streets by putting tax-cheaters and bad guys behind bars. Along the way, there’s friendship, love and the occassional blunt-force trauma.
In Death, Taxes and Peach Sangria, heroine Tara Holloway tracks down a number of amusing litlte crooks while on the hunt for how criminals in America have been sending money overseas to support terrorism. The little crooks are hilarious. And the final solution was something I definitely didn’t see coming soon enough, but which I kicked myself for not seeing earlier. I guess that’s the measure of a good mystery, it keeps it a mystery until the end.
Death, Taxes and Peach Sangria, it must be said, is a fantastic title. And making the recipe for said peach sangria, which is printed in the book, is definitely on my to-do list. Right after: Read the rest of the series. I also gotta say, I’m loving the cover. The style, the colour – fantastic.
The book is well written, with a witty, dry sense of humour and a style that harkens back to classic private dick tone of voices. I was strongly reminded of the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones and Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst. All have heroines who are spunky, gutsy, brave, sometimes clumsy, sometimes kick-ass, trouble-making, heart-breaking and a lot of fun.
I had someone contact me recently about feedback on a novel he was writing. It was about a super rich billionaire who decided to play hero by helping other really rich people get their money back after they’d been screwed out of their money by ponzi schemes or other tricks. I wrote back and told him that maybe he should reconsider his premise. First, it was very unlikely that some super rich billionaire who was formerly the head of one of the world’s biggest companies was going to start a new company helping other rich people out. Second, there was absolutely no way readers were going to support the protagonist. Readers are averge or poor. Because rich people took their money. They’re not going to have any sympathy at all for some rich guy who was tricked out of his cash. They’re a lot more likely to say: fuck that guy, he got what he deserved.
I did sympathize with the author. The detective genre is a little stale; every book seems to be about murder. Money seems like a new angle, right? Unfortuntely, he went about it wrong. But Diane Kelly does it right. Her heroine and heroes are going after crooks who are screwing all of us, the readers, the good citizens, out of what they owe. Her protagnists are standing up for us, for the group, for the good. Real heroes. And I have to say, it’s a damn nice change that they aren’t just run-of-the-mill cops or private eyes. Well done, Diane!
And hey, anyone who can actually make you cheer for the IRS must be a wicked good author, right? 🙂