Monday, August 1, 2016

Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter, by Diane Kelly

St. Martin's Press, ISBN 9781250094827, August 2016

Tara Holloway is an IRS special agent, and she's on the trail of a tax dodger. Florence Cash, host of Flo Cash's Cash Flow Show, and owner of the station it runs on, has been reporting remarkably low income for years. The station's ad revenue is also oddly low, and the number of paying advertisers reported is quite low compared to the number of advertisers Tara hears on the air. This is all especially puzzling since, before she inherited the station from her father, Flo Cash was collecting a six-figure salary, and the station ad revenues were very healthy indeed.

Given all the reported numbers, it's hard to see how the station is even still afloat, even with Cash taking a minimum wage salary, much less with Cash living her very comfortable lifestyle. Where is the money coming from?

Meanwhile, Tara has another case also taking her attention, albeit with much less money involved. Three women have reported that they same man, whom they all met on an online dating site, has cheated them of $2,000 each, and disappeared. It' not much money, form the IRS perspective, and if she can find him and prove it he'll still probably get a slap on the wrist, but Tara hates predators who prey on lonely women like this. If she can find more victims, though, he could face serious penalties.

There's also an ongoing romance with another special agent, and the question of whether their demanding but respected boss is going to retire and who will succeed her.

The chase for the perps gets rather more physical than I would think is typical, but honestly, I have no idea what is typical for IRS special agents, and it is set in Dallas. Doesn't matter, though (unless you're an IRS special agent and your profession is being misrepresented); it's fun, fast-moving, and  comes to a satisfying conclusion.

A good beach read.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.