Death, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice Cream Review
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It seems as though accountants have gotten a bad rap. In most books and movies, accountants are portrayed as book smart and dull. They’re nerdy and socially awkward, and they spend their lives crunching numbers while sitting behind an ugly metal desk. But there’s nothing dull about the gun-toting accountant in Diane Kelly’s Death, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice Cream.

The sixth book in Kelly’s Tara Holloway series finds the IRS special agent morosely searching the classified ads for a new job. After her last case ended in a shootout, the IRS decided to let her go. Now, Tara’s untouchable; not even her old accounting firm will hire her back. To make matters worse, she’s being sued for assault—and, at the same time, the Department of Justice is also building an excessive force case against her.

Fortunately, Tara’s former boss, Lu “The Lobo” Lobozinski, is able to pull some strings to get her a job in the IRS’s auditing department. But the monotony of auditing small businesses can’t distract her from the thought of a possible prison sentence.

Death, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice Cream isn’t your typical cozy mystery. It may be light-hearted and fun (and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, too), but Tara’s work with the IRS means that the story isn’t just brainless fluff. On one page, you might follow Tara as she consults with a shopping mall Santa regarding her guilt or innocence—but, on the next page, you could just find yourself learning about various tax laws and how they relate to international crime. Still, Kelly keeps it all well balanced, so the story is smart but not overwhelming.

In much the same way, Tara Holloway is not your typical accountant. She may be a full-time number cruncher, but she’s anything but dull—and she’s just as skilled with a rifle as she is with a calculator. For that reason, her adventures are a whole lot more thrilling—and death-defying—than you might expect. While the court case continues in the background, Tara finds herself investigating a college rival at a candy company and tracking down discrepancies at a dentists’ office—seemingly harmless work that nevertheless ends Tara in all kinds of hot water.

Of course, if you haven’t read Kelly’s earlier Tara Holloway novels, this probably isn’t the best place to start. Death, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice Cream is basically a continuation of the previous novel, Death, Taxes, and Hot Pink Leg Warmers, so newcomers might sometimes find themselves lost in the details of Tara’s last case—especially where the lawsuits are concerned. Still, Kelly does an impressive job of getting readers caught up on the story—and the new storylines help, too. So while starting the series with book six isn’t ideal, you’ll still be able to follow most of the action.

Death, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice Cream is full of surprises—almost all of them pleasant ones. It’s clever and fun-filled, and it’s sure to give you a whole new respect for accountants. So while this book may not be the best introduction to the series, its spunky, number-crunching heroine is one IRS agent that you’ll actually want to meet.

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