Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review: "Death, Taxes and a French Manicure: A Tara Holloway Novel" By Diane Kelly (Reviewed by Caroline Clemmons)

I am very pleased to welcome fellow Texan and author Caroline Clemmons to Kevin's Corner. Well known in the mystery and romance community, Caroline knows well what her readers want as well as what is good in the works from other authors. Hopefully, 2012 will see more reviews here from Caroline.

Review by Caroline Clemmons

Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure
A Tara Holloway Novel
By Diane Kelly

As the back copy warns, tax cheats beware. Tara Holloway is a gun carrying crack shot and she’s kicking ass in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Tara perfectly combines femininity and bulldog determination in pursuit of saving taxpayers from those who hide money offshore or under the counter. No tax cheat can fool her with a double set of books.

Tara’s boss, the Lobo, plans to retire once her amount of seized funds reaches a hundred million. The part of that Tara finds interesting is that the agent who pushes the amount to Lobo’s goal will receive a ten thousand dollar bonus.

Diane Kelly crafts a clever mystery centered around Tara’s adventures. Tara’s deadly when she’s teamed up with her regular partner, Eddie. But when Tara is temporarily teamed with DEA undercover agent Christina, the two women fuel one another’s eccentricities. The problem for Tara is whether or not the gorgeous Brent is a genuine hero worth letting her heart melt for or a sleaze she needs to send to the slammer. Diane’s excellent writing kept my opinion wavering to the end.

Let me quote a couple of passages to illustrate why I loved this book:

“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 permanence of erectile dysfunction with which the toy designers of Mattel had cursed him.”

“Ever notice how rich people don’t buy things? They acquire them.”

Joe had a goofy smile, an acne-pocked face, and the worst haircut I’d ever seen. “The guy wears a mullet?
Christina nodded. “We may have to kill him.”

This book kept me laughing, guessing, and then left me smiling with a sigh once I’d closed the book. Plus, it inspired me and I invested in my own French manicure.

Caroline Clemmons (c) 2011

Caroline Clemmons writes romance, mystery, and adventure. She and her husband live on five acres in rural North Central Texas with their menagerie of rescued pets. You can learn more about her at and

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