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Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure

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Tara Holloway has got your number. A special agent on the IRSs payroll, shes dead-set on making sure that money crimes dont pay Tax cheats, beware: The Treasury Departments Criminal Investigations Division has a new special agent on its payroll. A recovering tomboy with a head for numbers, Taras fast becoming the Annie Oakley of the IRSkicking ass, taking social security Tara Holloway has got your number. A special agent on the IRS’s payroll, she’s dead-set on making sure that money crimes don’t pay… 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.


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Tara Holloway has got your number. A special agent on the IRSs payroll, shes dead-set on making sure that money crimes dont pay Tax cheats, beware: The Treasury Departments Criminal Investigations Division has a new special agent on its payroll. A recovering tomboy with a head for numbers, Taras fast becoming the Annie Oakley of the IRSkicking ass, taking social security Tara Holloway has got your number. A special agent on the IRS’s payroll, she’s dead-set on making sure that money crimes don’t pay… 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.

30 review for Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elle's Book Blog

    Release Date: November 2011 Genre: Cozy Mystery. Chick Lit. I enjoyed this book. Really, I did. But it took me an entire week to read it! This has nothing to do with the books length either as it's under 350 pages, and nothing to do with the plot or characters- both were great. I just had no desire to read it from start to finish and I didn't care when I had to put it down. Being in a major book slump hasn't helped and neither have the holidays and upcoming holidays. It's just my mood wasn't Release Date: November 2011 Genre: Cozy Mystery. Chick Lit. I enjoyed this book. Really, I did. But it took me an entire week to read it! This has nothing to do with the books length either as it's under 350 pages, and nothing to do with the plot or characters- both were great. I just had no desire to read it from start to finish and I didn't care when I had to put it down. Being in a major book slump hasn't helped and neither have the holidays and upcoming holidays. It's just my mood wasn't in it. Sigh... Had I really been in the mood to read this one I think I would have LOVED it. But for now, I'll go ahead and say it was good but not GREAT because it simply didn't captivate me the way I wanted it to. Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure is the first book in the Tara Holloway series. While it's not really a cozy mystery I think it's close enough to the genre to be categorized there. I would also say it's a bit chick lit and crime. Think Stephanie Plum but instead of being a bonds agent she is a IRS/tax agent. In this book, we meet Tara Holloway. The author does a wonderful job at bringing her to life as well as bringing us all knowledge of taxes, how the IRS works, and the kind of fraud that takes place. Overall, I think the authors knowledge was great and I certainly learned a lot as a reader but the problem was I didn't want to learn while I was reading. I wanted something cute, fun, and entertaining. However, what we get is a LOT of information and little entertainment. Tara being the heroine of the book/series is great. I really enjoyed her character and the way she pulled undercover work. Her sharp shooting was an additional bonus and I like how she has the smarts and brawn in a world were women are probably not as dominant as men. It is because of her that I intend to continue on in the series- I want to see what she gets into next! There is a bit of a romance in this one as well, which I really liked. Brett and Tara met unexpectedly at a party and really hit it off. However, Tara was in her mind so much that she didn't know whether she could trust Brett or not and this really got to me. Why can't we just TALK to our significant other about our concerns instead of ignoring it!?!? This irks me in all books and unfortunately took place in this one too. With that, I will say that the book was good and I do look forward to reading the second one based on the heroine herself. However, if there is too much information and less action and fun then I will not finish the series after that. Recommended Maybe. Closer to YES then NO. Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    From the first page to the last this was pure white trash. Not the kind that involves lawn implements, although a pink flamingo made a cameo appearance, but the kind that involves Kid Rock concerts, sucking on Buds, with half-naked women prancing around on stage and gyrating in cages with red thongs protecting the merchandise. Well, maybe not that extreme, but it felt pretty darn close, with red thongs and polka-dotted panties receiving more than just a cursory mention. Tara and Christina would From the first page to the last this was pure white trash. Not the kind that involves lawn implements, although a pink flamingo made a cameo appearance, but the kind that involves Kid Rock concerts, sucking on Buds, with half-naked women prancing around on stage and gyrating in cages with red thongs protecting the merchandise. Well, maybe not that extreme, but it felt pretty darn close, with red thongs and polka-dotted panties receiving more than just a cursory mention. Tara and Christina would make any redneck proud with sprayed hair at its fizziest max, derriere showing shorts, tube tops, spandex, and enough makeup for the stage. Both come with enough spunk and junk-in-the-trunk to chase away scam artists and pencil-thin drug dealers. The antics left zany in Pinky’s rearview mirror, the ice cream was always plentiful, and even the ones with money ended up being whores and miscreants. Britney and Chelsea proved to be the kind of women that made other trophy wives look good, with their ample, enhanced assets, bottled-blond hair, tight miniskirts, and enough drunken antics to rival certain childhood actresses, crotch flashing and yelling at the gardeners in nothing more than a pair of panties, after sleeping one off, notwithstanding. But the voice was what really made DEATH, TAXES, AND A FRENCH MANICURE work for me. The following is how the character first learns about sex (at the age of nine): I knew a little more about sex than most girls, what with growing up in the country and all. The first time I saw our neighbor’s Black Angus bull mount an unsuspecting heifer, my two older brothers explained it all to me. “He’s getting him some,” they’d said. “Some what?” I’d asked. “Nooky.” The mystery may have been a bit underdeveloped, the characters totally off-the-wall, and the frolics tipped my believability factor a bit over the edge, but Tara’s voice was friggin’ fantastic, and that’s most certainly why I kept reading. If you like your mystery romps trashy and larger than life (this is Texas after all), you may just find yourself enjoying this screwy read. Cross-posted at Robert's Reads

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pei

    Hated it and only finished to see if it gets any better. It didn't. Have you ever seen/heard/read someone/something where they just try too hard? This book is it. Every single sentence it tries so hard to be funny (or punny) and fails. Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure is written from a first-person POV. Tara, the main character, wants to appear to be a brave Southern gun-totting tough-talking IRS special agent but in reality is just a self-absorbed woman who manages to link EVERYTHING to how Hated it and only finished to see if it gets any better. It didn't. Have you ever seen/heard/read someone/something where they just try too hard? This book is it. Every single sentence it tries so hard to be funny (or punny) and fails. Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure is written from a first-person POV. Tara, the main character, wants to appear to be a brave Southern gun-totting tough-talking IRS special agent but in reality is just a self-absorbed woman who manages to link EVERYTHING to how great a shot she is, how great her French manicure is, what awesome abs she has, how much she works out, how great a shot she is, how her job is super-exciting, how much Brett wants her, oh and did I mention what a great shot she is? She brags throughout the whole book about how wonderful she is against everything that is stacked up against her (petite, brunette and small breasts apparently are just some of the bad things she has to overcome) and how she's not an ordinary girl because she's a great shot and a brave person and a special agent who will die for her country collecting taxes but yet she also goes for manicures and dress in sophisticated designer labels. (*puke*) The rest of the book is bitching about others in the most superficial way, and of course the baddies had to have physical deformities or mental retardation of some sort to make them look unappealing and all the hot, clever people are the good guys. Again, (*puke*). Oh, you wanted to know about the plot? She's investigating some stuff about an ice-cream man who deals drugs and some big hot-shot with a "shit-eating smile" who cons people with a pyramid scheme. Big yawn with not much suspense or mystery. If we eliminated all the cuss words and repetitive descriptions like the "shit-eating smile" and "acne pockmarked face" and get rid of the repetitions of "I'm such a great shot", there wouldn't actually be that much to read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Krissy

    Up until the very end of the book I would have just given it one star. The action scene at the end with the teaser for the next book (Death, Taxes, and a Skinny Latte) saved this one. I was amused by some parts of the book, but that amusement was wiped away by her writing style. Essentially this story has a (what could have been workable plot) that is drowned out by Kelly's descriptions. Throughout the book you get multiple descriptions on what people are wearing down to their accessories, Up until the very end of the book I would have just given it one star. The action scene at the end with the teaser for the next book (Death, Taxes, and a Skinny Latte) saved this one. I was amused by some parts of the book, but that amusement was wiped away by her writing style. Essentially this story has a (what could have been workable plot) that is drowned out by Kelly's descriptions. Throughout the book you get multiple descriptions on what people are wearing down to their accessories, manicure designs, tax law, and awkward sex scenes. And forgive me for sounding harsh but I thought the fixation throughout the book with the box cutter scene from the beginning was over done. Who knows, maybe the next one will be decent. I don't know that I would pick it up though.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chanta Rand

    This book had me from the first sentence: "When I was nine, I formed a Silly Putty pecker for my Ken doll, knowing he'd have no chance of fufilling Barbie's needs given the current state of erectile dysfunction with which the toy designers at Mattel had cursed him." That first sentence set the tone for the entire book. The heroine, Tara Holloway gave up a plush life with a plush job and a plush office to work for the IRS. She finds herself in a series of adventures trying to take down a This book had me from the first sentence: "When I was nine, I formed a Silly Putty pecker for my Ken doll, knowing he'd have no chance of fufilling Barbie's needs given the current state of erectile dysfunction with which the toy designers at Mattel had cursed him." That first sentence set the tone for the entire book. The heroine, Tara Holloway gave up a plush life with a plush job and a plush office to work for the IRS. She finds herself in a series of adventures trying to take down a drug-selling ice cream man. She carries a gun, but never dreams she'll have to use it because remember - she's working for the IRS. To make matters worse, she becomes suspicious that her new boyfriend is involved in some shady dealings. Then, she has to embark on her own perilous investigation to learn the truth. This book was filled with humor, action, colorful characters, and a great story. I'm looking forward to reading about Tara's other adventures.

  6. 4 out of 5

    VJ

    This is NOT a mystery. This is a romance/thriller. That being said...I liked the heroine somewhat, but didn't care for the story, the profanity, nor the fairly graphic sex scenes. Not my cup of tea. Goodreads definition of a cozy mystery is as follows in the next paragraph. This book most certainly does NOT qualify as a cozy mystery. "Cozies very rarely focus on sex, profanity or violence. The murders take place off stage, and are often relatively bloodless (e.g. poisoning), while sexual activity This is NOT a mystery. This is a romance/thriller. That being said...I liked the heroine somewhat, but didn't care for the story, the profanity, nor the fairly graphic sex scenes. Not my cup of tea. Goodreads definition of a cozy mystery is as follows in the next paragraph. This book most certainly does NOT qualify as a cozy mystery. "Cozies very rarely focus on sex, profanity or violence. The murders take place off stage, and are often relatively bloodless (e.g. poisoning), while sexual activity (if any) between characters is only ever gently implied and never directly addressed. The cozy mystery usually takes place in a small town or village. The small size of the setting makes it believable that all the suspects know each other. The amateur sleuth is usually a very likeable person who is able to get the community members to talk freely about each other. There is usually at least one very knowledgeable, nosy, yet reliable character in the book who is able to fill in all of the blanks, thus enabling the amateur sleuth to solve the case."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jammin Jenny

    This was a good book. I liked the narration and I liked the sex scenes with Brett and Tara. (view spoiler)[I was glad to find out that he was not involved in the conspiracy (hide spoiler)] . It's a good bit of fluff and a fun romance read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brooke ♥booklife4life♥

    Find this review, plus more, on my blog: Booklikes OR Blogger Basic Info Format: Paper back Pages/Length: 341pgs Genre: Cozy Mystery Reason For Reading: I wanted some cozy mystery in my life! At A Glance Love Triangle/Insta Love/Obsession?: Insta a bit Cliff Hanger: No Triggers: n/a Rating: 3.5 stars Score Sheet All out of ten Cover: 8 Plot: 8 Characters: 7 World Building: 7 Flow: 6 Series Congruity: n/a Writing: 7 Ending: 8 Total: 7 In Depth Best Part: The shoot out! Worst Part: Nails galore Thoughts Had: How Find this review, plus more, on my blog: Booklikes OR Blogger Basic Info Format: Paper back Pages/Length: 341pgs Genre: Cozy Mystery Reason For Reading: I wanted some cozy mystery in my life! At A Glance Love Triangle/Insta Love/Obsession?: Insta a bit Cliff Hanger: No Triggers: n/a Rating: 3.5 stars Score Sheet All out of ten Cover: 8 Plot: 8 Characters: 7 World Building: 7 Flow: 6 Series Congruity: n/a Writing: 7 Ending: 8 Total: 7 In Depth Best Part: The shoot out! Worst Part: Nails galore Thoughts Had: How many times can you get your fucking nails done?! How are you paying for all this?! UGH. Conclusion Continuing the Series: Yes Recommending: Sure Short Review: Nice cozy mystery about tax invasion... for real thou, it wasn't horrible. I like the MC, she reminds me of me, like when she said eff it to fixing up her yard. She does get her nails done like every day it seems, which annoyed the shit out of me. Brett was an okay love interest, he wasn't around much thou, she thought about him way more than she spent with him. The ice cream man part, kinda pointless, i mean yah, it added the nice side character of the DEA girl, but it was not needed. I'm eager to see how this series plays out. Misc. Book Boyfriend: Brett Best Friend Material: The DEA girl whose name i don't remember. (some friend i am) Review in GIF Form:

  9. 5 out of 5

    Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

    To all my friends, this is an out of the norm read for me, it's classified as a mystery, written in 1st person and is going to be series about one woman and her adventures as an IRS special agent, there is a romance that is secondary to the plot, all of which are things I typically stay away from....but get this I REALLY LIKED IT!!! If I had to compare it to something I would say the Stephanie Plum books. All I can say is....I've only read one SP book, BUT I will be reading more of the Death and To all my friends, this is an out of the norm read for me, it's classified as a mystery, written in 1st person and is going to be series about one woman and her adventures as an IRS special agent, there is a romance that is secondary to the plot, all of which are things I typically stay away from....but get this I REALLY LIKED IT!!! If I had to compare it to something I would say the Stephanie Plum books. All I can say is....I've only read one SP book, BUT I will be reading more of the Death and Taxes series =) No disrepect meant to the SP books, again, it's just not a style I like to read, but something about Diane Kelly's, Tara Holloway has grabbed my attention. To read my full review click here: http://www.guiltypleasuresbookreviews...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Raymond

    This girly book was chosen to read by our Decatur book club because someone thought they could get the North Texas area author to come to our meeting to do a signing at our meeting - I was prepared to despise the book; however, I thought it was entertaining! Who knew that the IRS agent has as many or more lives than any of her cats?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    Definitely not a cozy, being much more 'earthy' than acceptable to strictly cozy readers. However, it was a good one. Totally fascinated by the mc's occupation and the tax evaders and criminals that she and her partner(s) and coworkers go after. I'm curious to see where the story goes, so have the second book on the WL.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maureen DeLuca

    Not bad for a cozy. When I am in the mood for one, I will (one day) pick up the second one in this series and then decide if I go any further. There are time when I just need a cozy to de-sramble my brain!

  13. 4 out of 5

    SarahSmith

    I really enjoyed this book and am definitely looking forward to the way the story progresses. The author has a very promising future and I can't wait for the next in the series. The characters seemed very realistic and relate able. I liked that fact that the main character wasn't some dumb bubble head stumbling into situations unaware of her surroundings. The only thing I didn't like about the book was since it was a new series, without established characters, a lot of back story and I really enjoyed this book and am definitely looking forward to the way the story progresses. The author has a very promising future and I can't wait for the next in the series. The characters seemed very realistic and relate able. I liked that fact that the main character wasn't some dumb bubble head stumbling into situations unaware of her surroundings. The only thing I didn't like about the book was since it was a new series, without established characters, a lot of back story and explanations were needed. Although, to be fair this is true of pretty much all new series. I would have enjoyed to see the redneck woman come out of the main character a little bit more, especially since when the times it did I found myself laughing out loud.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Spencer

    This was a fun read. There's definitely a "Stephanie Plum of the IRS" vibe about the book, but I think I ended up liking Tara Holloway more than Stephanie. For starters, even though Tara gets into some off-the-wall capers, you can't miss the fact that she's smart and competent. So, as she finds her way through working on a stakeout of a drug-dealing ice cream man, starting a new romance and investigating a Ponzi scheme that keeps leading back to said new love interest, I enjoyed being along for This was a fun read. There's definitely a "Stephanie Plum of the IRS" vibe about the book, but I think I ended up liking Tara Holloway more than Stephanie. For starters, even though Tara gets into some off-the-wall capers, you can't miss the fact that she's smart and competent. So, as she finds her way through working on a stakeout of a drug-dealing ice cream man, starting a new romance and investigating a Ponzi scheme that keeps leading back to said new love interest, I enjoyed being along for the ride. The story is told in first person and while she has her ditzy moments, Tara is good company most of the time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This book would make a great beach read. The fast paced, smart writing takes you through a solid story with some twists. Tara Holloway could be the next Stephanie Plum if this this debut novel is any indication! Tara is a special agent for the Treasury Department's Criminal Investigations Division, by day. When she is off the clock, she is enjoying the finer things of life in Dallas, Texas. The next in the series is already in the oven. I see a great future for this character and this author!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary Gramlich

    Being the best is never an easy road to walk Tara Halloway is loving life and taking the bad guy's names to lock them up and throw away the key. As an IRS Agent, Tara's duty is to figure out the evasion and shut down the offenders, then throwing away the key. Tara's personal life is also looking fabulous with fellow agent Nick now entrenched in every part of her life expect the one place she wants him bed. Just a few more weeks and that will pan out as well when their self-imposed moratorium to Being the best is never an easy road to walk Tara Halloway is loving life and taking the bad guy's names to lock them up and throw away the key. As an IRS Agent, Tara's duty is to figure out the evasion and shut down the offenders, then throwing away the key. Tara's personal life is also looking fabulous with fellow agent Nick now entrenched in every part of her life expect the one place she wants him bed. Just a few more weeks and that will pan out as well when their self-imposed moratorium to consummate their relationship is over. Woo hoo baby! The main case Tara is working on now is an odd lot of swindlers and a just creepy drug dealing strip club owner. Tara plans to shut down the strip club with the best course of action having her go undercover in the club acting as their bookkeeper, using her assets to the best of her ability. The only upside to this case is she is working right by Nick, which is great except for the fact it is fueling her desires for him, dang it. The strip club owner is slick, more perceptive than expected, and eluding Tara and the team's continual attempts to figure out what he is up to. The closer they get to connecting the dots the farther away the dots get to being connected. The cases, which were separate in every way, may be coming to a fiery and out of control collision that only Tara could be involved with. No exploding trashcans are involved, but the fireworks will still be going off and probably a few gunshots as well no doubt. Diane Kelly has created a great cast of characters that mesh so expertly to tell each story and entertain the reader, which cannot be easy since it involves the IRS.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    A fantastic blend of humor, action, and romance. This book was able to capture many of the good elements of different genres, from chick-lit to mystery, so I would recommend it to almost anyone looking for a fun girly read that has more than just fluff. By far, my favorite aspect was the heroine, Tara Holloway. Yes, she was kick-ass, but it wasn't overdone like I get so tired of reading elsewhere. She was determined to get the job done, but she was also smart, cautious, and scared when she A fantastic blend of humor, action, and romance. This book was able to capture many of the good elements of different genres, from chick-lit to mystery, so I would recommend it to almost anyone looking for a fun girly read that has more than just fluff. By far, my favorite aspect was the heroine, Tara Holloway. Yes, she was kick-ass, but it wasn't overdone like I get so tired of reading elsewhere. She was determined to get the job done, but she was also smart, cautious, and scared when she should have been. Plus, I found the details of her job as an IRS special agent very intriguing. The drawback for me was a lack of development with the guy of interest, Brett. Most of the other characters were developed really well, I thought, but I felt a little short-changed on getting to know Brett. I just had to take Tara's word for it. Overall, I definitely enjoyed the read, and I have already added the next in the series to my to-read shelf. I won this as a first reads giveaway, so my thanks to Diane Kelly!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This is a combination romance/mystery. It has as the main character IRS special agent Tara Holloway. It's more in the cozy genre, but Tara is a good shot, former tomboy who wears designer labels (bought at steep discount), and sports a french manicure. This first book in the series has Tara paired up with a female DEA agent to take down a drug dealing ice cream vendor. It gives Tara a gal pal, but the really big case is Tara's pursuit of a slick guy who may be running a Ponzi scheme. It just so This is a combination romance/mystery. It has as the main character IRS special agent Tara Holloway. It's more in the cozy genre, but Tara is a good shot, former tomboy who wears designer labels (bought at steep discount), and sports a french manicure. This first book in the series has Tara paired up with a female DEA agent to take down a drug dealing ice cream vendor. It gives Tara a gal pal, but the really big case is Tara's pursuit of a slick guy who may be running a Ponzi scheme. It just so happens some of the evidence makes it look like Tara's new boyfriend may be part of the scheme. Is Brett a good guy, or is he a con artist too? That's what Tara must wrestle with in her personal life, while she untangles the maze of evidence against the bad guys in her professional life as IRS agent. This is a quick, enjoyable, "don't have to think too hard" read. I thought her characters believable for the genre.There's humor, there's sex, and a mystery. As satisfying as the chicken fried steaks and Mom's cherry pie that Tara's Texas mom serves up.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ami

    3.5 stars IRS Agent!! That is something new :). This is a cozy mystery, with IRS agent Tara Halloway as the heroine. I enjoy the premise. There aren't many mystery involving an IRS agent. Doesn't mean that Tara cannot kick the ass of those criminals who are doing tax evasion though. Growing up with guns and two older brothers make Tara familiar with guns. ALTHOUGH, I have to admit that I cringe when I read Tara's five year old niece shooting with BB gun. I know that it's 'culture' in Texas, but 3.5 stars IRS Agent!! That is something new :). This is a cozy mystery, with IRS agent Tara Halloway as the heroine. I enjoy the premise. There aren't many mystery involving an IRS agent. Doesn't mean that Tara cannot kick the ass of those criminals who are doing tax evasion though. Growing up with guns and two older brothers make Tara familiar with guns. ALTHOUGH, I have to admit that I cringe when I read Tara's five year old niece shooting with BB gun. I know that it's 'culture' in Texas, but I'm not one to approve of teaching kids with guns at such a young age. There are no dead bodies ... again, something new. And it doesn't take a long and agonizing plot for Tara and her love interest to get connected. Although there is a complication when Tara thinks that Brett (the love interest) is involved in a financial scam. All in all, it's enjoyable. HOWEVER, I'm not immediately jumping into the next books. Simply because I'm worried about the possibility of another man being introduced to Tara's life. AND, that kind of plot just annoys me to hell.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    IRS agent. That's new. My reviews are starting to sound alike: This was fun! This was a quick read! I liked the main characters as well as the side characters! I want to see what happens with them.   Having said all of that, what grabbed me in this book was Tara's occupation. Weak, I know. But I didn't feel bogged down in all the explanations. Maybe the talk of Ponzi schemes, Bernie Madoff, WorldCom and the like made it all easier to understand. I'm curious to see what happens with the next book and IRS agent. That's new. My reviews are starting to sound alike: This was fun! This was a quick read! I liked the main characters as well as the side characters! I want to see what happens with them.   Having said all of that, what grabbed me in this book was Tara's occupation. Weak, I know. But I didn't feel bogged down in all the explanations. Maybe the talk of Ponzi schemes, Bernie Madoff, WorldCom and the like made it all easier to understand. I'm curious to see what happens with the next book and how Tara is going to get out of whatever mess she gets into. I have a feeling Brett isn't going to last. I hope Christina comes back. Tara and Christina were fun together.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    This is the first in a series. It is told in first person by a woman who is an agent for the IRS. It is advertised as the IRS's answer to Stephanie Plum. I can see that. I will definitely read the next one when it comes out at the end of this month. First sentence: "When I was nine, I formed a Silly Putty pecker for my Ken doll, knowing he'd have no chance of fulfilling Barbie's needs given the permanent state of erectile dysfunction with which the toy designers at Mattel had cursed him." How This is the first in a series. It is told in first person by a woman who is an agent for the IRS. It is advertised as the IRS's answer to Stephanie Plum. I can see that. I will definitely read the next one when it comes out at the end of this month. First sentence: "When I was nine, I formed a Silly Putty pecker for my Ken doll, knowing he'd have no chance of fulfilling Barbie's needs given the permanent state of erectile dysfunction with which the toy designers at Mattel had cursed him." How could you not keep reading after that?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    While I am impressed with the uncommon premise - my first read about an IRS special agent - and I can see the similarities to the Plum series, I must say that the female sidekick in this story just doesn't even compare to Lulu! This book was OK, but I agree with another reader in that it seems like the author was trying a little too hard. I may or may not read the next in the series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Suzie Quint

    I would probably have liked this better if I weren't so burned out on Stephanie Plum. There are a number of similarities between this book and the Plum books, and I suspect anyone who likes one will like the other.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I absolutely loved this first book in the series and look forward to reading more. I really liked Tara and her adventures. The rest of the characters were fun as well and I loved the craziness of the cases she solved as an IRS special agent.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Linda 📚

    I really enjoyed this fast-paced mystery. It had suspense and romance. I"'m anxious to read the other books in the Tara Holloway series now!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Toledo (T.J.)

    I guess I'm not a cozy comfort mystery lover. Just a little too "girlie" for me, but a fun read none the less.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gail Koger

    Entertaining read Who knew internal revenue agents lead such exciting lives. Tara is a great character and there's never a dull moment.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Imjussayin

    Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure: Tara Holloway 1 Chronological order recommended In A Nutshell:Tara is a gun-toting southern girly girl who works for the IRS. That is the equivalent of the Inland Revenue. So, Tara, the tax collector is assigned a mission with a D.E.A officer. Not because she is a remarkable shot, which we learn early in the book but because she is female. And her feminine wiles are needed to catch the bad guys who include an icecream van man. I found it an ugly story, and it Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure: Tara Holloway 1 Chronological order recommended In A Nutshell:Tara is a gun-toting southern girly girl who works for the IRS. That is the equivalent of the Inland Revenue. So, Tara, the tax collector is assigned a mission with a D.E.A officer. Not because she is a remarkable shot, which we learn early in the book but because she is female. And her feminine wiles are needed to catch the bad guys who include an icecream van man. I found it an ugly story, and it is not a cosy mystery. Disappointing. The characters are one-dimensional stereotypes. The crooks are stupid, men so enamoured with breasts they cannot think and women need manicures, etc. There are vulgarities and unnecessarily graphic sex scenes. A disappointing read because I usually enjoy Diane Kelly's work. Connect with me on Twitter and FB See all my reviews Check out my blog on imjussayin Book Rating Sexual Content: 28 Language:15 Violent: 12A Would I read the next one or reread ?: I might try book 2 but it's not my list. My rating system (* = star) 0* Could not finish this book (waste of time) 1*Finished the book but didn't like it not fulfilled 2* Finished the book it was okay. 3* A good read worth your time. 4* An excellent read often with a novel concept or unusual plot. 5* A magnificent read. A prominent example of the genre.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I liked this book. Tara Holloway has got your number. A special agent on the IRSs payroll, shes dead-set on making sure that money crimes dont pay Tax cheats, beware: The Treasury Departments Criminal Investigations Division has a new special agent on its payroll. A recovering tomboy with a head for numbers, Taras fast becoming the Annie Oakley of the IRSkicking ass, taking social security numbers, and keeping the world safe for honest taxpayers. Or else. Taras latest mission finds her in hot I liked this book. Tara Holloway has got your number. A special agent on the IRS’s payroll, she’s dead-set on making sure that money crimes don’t pay… 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

  30. 5 out of 5

    Belinda

    Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure is a fun and exciting romp through the chaotic life of Tara Holloway, investigator for the IRS. Her skills as a crack shot come in handy much more often than she anticipates in her new career - a drastic change from her years as a CPA. Although it took me a long time to read this, it is not because of the book or the subject matter, which was entertaining the whole way through. If I have one small critique, it is the number of times Tara rehashes whether her Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure is a fun and exciting romp through the chaotic life of Tara Holloway, investigator for the IRS. Her skills as a crack shot come in handy much more often than she anticipates in her new career - a drastic change from her years as a CPA. Although it took me a long time to read this, it is not because of the book or the subject matter, which was entertaining the whole way through. If I have one small critique, it is the number of times Tara rehashes whether her boyfriend is a good guy or a bad guy - I mean, we get it. It seemed to have been mentioned perhaps a couple of more times than necessary. Other than that, it was a good cozy mystery read with a very satisfying and non-contrived ending. Nice when that happens and you don't feel the characters have been manipulated by the author to her desired ending. I have already recommended this book and would again. No spoilers here.

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