Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Death, Taxes And A Skinny No-Whip Latte-Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes And A Skinny No-Whip Latte

Diane Kelly

St. Martin’s, Feb 28 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780312551278

Treasury Department Criminal Investigation Team field operatives Tara Holloway and Eddie Bardin share a great partnership though they are total opposites. He is a married suburban dad who knows the difference between a metaphor and a simile and votes Republican though he is African-American; she is a single white inner city woman who is the one person education left behind.

Their current assignment is to bring brutal loan sharking and money laundering felon with Mexican connections Marcos Mendoza to justice. Though there is no direct proof, Mendoza is good for graveyard business as anyone doing business with him has a death wish; his associates’ body parts can be found in several states. He does not go after the two agents; instead he threatens Eddie’s family. To their shock, their superior removes them from the case because of what happened to superstar agent Nicholas Pratt; forced into exile to stay alive. On a diet that has her cranky, Tara goes after Mendoza with Pratt as her partner.

The latest Holloway police procedural (see Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure) is an enjoyable investigative thriller that balances humor with danger. Tara is the Lone Star State’s equivalent to Jersey’s Stephanie Plum as gets the job done while cracking jokes mostly about herself. The villain is as mean as one finds in a novel. Thus readers anticipate the gender battle, but the path to the confrontation is fun and perilous.

Harriet Klausner

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