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Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure by Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure: A Tara Holloway Novel
St.Martins, 384p, Isbn-0312551266

IRS very Special Agent Tara Holloway is out to nab every tax-cheating sob in the Dallas metroplex area, a job that's surprisingly not as safe and dreary as one might imagine. She's in the thick of things, literally kicking ass and shooting off bullets to keep the tax-evading hordes in line, all the while trying to keep her perfect French manicure intact.

While in the race to net her boss that magic number of $1million in recovered taxes, Tara gets involved romantically with a guy who seems perfect. If only he kept company with men who didn't have a history of cheating innocent people of their hard-earned bucks. Will Tara's perfect manicure survive the resulting war between her heart and her head?

I rather liked this story. Not only is it sassy and sexy and gave me a lot of tips on how not to get on IRS' bad side (lol), but it's also set in one of my favorite places, Dallas. Having lived near the Big D for quite a while, I was able to follow the intrepid heroine in my mind's map as she goes around catching bad guys and creating romantic havoc. Not quite up to Stephanie Plum's weight, but heading there!

The book starts out energetically, but there's a part about a drug sting which is so long that it soon borderlines on boring and the story starts to sag in those parts, despite Tara's entertaining romantic entanglements and subsequent financial shenanigans. Now those are really interesting, if a tad bewildering to all of us non-financially types. I quite liked how it ended with literally a bang, a big, very apt Texas-style Bang, I should say!

I certainly wouldn't mind read more about this very special IRS agent in the future.

Note - This book was received for review/feature consideration.
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