Review: Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte by Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte by Diane Kelly
Series: Tara Holloway (# 2)
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Pages: 336
Source:  book provided by the publisher

It’s all in a day’s work for Tara Holloway, the U.S. Treasury’s latest, greatest, soon-to-be skinniest weapon against the biggest, riches tax cheats in the nation…

When she joined the Criminal Investigations Division, Tara knew she’d be investigating some very real crooks. Forget about waitresses hiding tips form the IRS or babysitters not declaring income! Tara and her partner, Eddie, are going after one of the country’s richest, dirtiest felons. Being on a diet doesn’t help Tara’s mood much. Hopefully, by the time the investigation is over, she’ll be sitting somewhere in a string bikini, far, far away…

But first: Reality. Marcos Mendoza is a suspected loan shark with connections across the Mexican border. He’s never been accused of any crimes, yet his business associates have a history of disappearing…and resurfacing…in body bags. Will Tara risk life, limb, and the pursuit of filing a joint tax return with her maybe-serious boyfriend Brett? Fighting crime, like drinking a cup of coffee with low-fat milk and artificial sweetener, is often bittersweet…


Review: I love a good beach read – light-hearted, quirky characters, easy-going plot lines. These components all apply to Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte. The mystery is not a whodunit sort but more of a whenwillwegethim type. Tara Holloway is a crack-shot (she has my respect just for that), coffee-addicted, IRS investigator still trying to prove herself to both the agency and to herself.

However, there was one element that just set my teeth to hurting. The cutsie-pie comments. “Hot pants for my hot boyfriend.” “I’ll take you hot and the pizza cold.” Who talks like this? Really, have you ever uttered these words in the heat of romance? Fortunately they were few and far between, but comments like these tend to stop the pace of the story as I try to digest them, going back to see if I really read what I thought I read.

I also don’t like an overflow of information. Do I really need to know who ordered what for dinner? If it’s not pertinent to the story, then it’s just filler. (According to Strunk and White, “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences…”.)

In spite of these small issues, the book is delightful and amusing. I read this book in a half-a-day, lounging in the sun on my lanai. Truly, a good beach read.




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