Death, Taxes, and a Shotgun Wedding (Tara Holloway #12) Review
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Since the first Tara Holloway mystery was published in 2011, author Diane Kelly has taken readers on a series of adventures that you might not expect from an IRS agent. And in the twelfth and final installment, Death, Taxes, and a Shotgun Wedding, all of Tara’s toughest cases come back to haunt her.

The story catches up with the tough and brainy IRS agent as she tries to juggle a rental scam case and the plans for her upcoming wedding. But when she goes to mail out the wedding invitations, she’s almost run down by a passing car—and that’s when the death threats begin showing up. Someone doesn’t want Tara to live to see her wedding day, and the threats cause her to look back at all of the criminals she’s put behind bars throughout her career to see who might be harboring a deadly grudge.

In her final Tara Holloway mystery, Kelly looks back on the entire series, reminiscing about all of the cases that Tara has solved along the way. As Tara tries to figure out who might be behind the death threats, she looks back on each case and each person she arrested throughout her career. The recap is pretty lengthy, and casual readers of the series may find it frustrating (and maybe a little confusing, too). For long-time fans, though, it’s a fun walk down memory lane—because not only does Tara look back on her cases, but she also checks in on many of the characters, visiting a few people in prison and a few family members, too. And it all plays out like a kind of “where are they now?” episode.

There’s definitely a lot going on in this series finale. While Tara is tracking down old lawbreakers and trying to stay alive long enough to get down the aisle, she’s also working out the final details of her upcoming wedding and driving for an Uber-like company after hours in an attempt to track down the rental scammer. There’s definitely never a dull moment here. It does, however, feel somewhat chaotic at times.

When the mysteries all come together, they’re not necessarily satisfying—and the motives and methods are rather questionable. But, in the end, all of the investigations and chases and kidnappings build to the series finale: a wild and crazy gathering of characters and cases that gives Tara a fitting send-off.

If you haven’t read earlier Tara Holloway mysteries, this definitely isn’t the place to start. But, for regular readers, it’s a fun-filled conclusion to a beloved series.

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