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Kick off a new year with great reads!

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A welcome second chance… Or a recipe for disaster?


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It might be impossible to put out these flames…Good thing this cowboy can handle the sparks.


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Dead To Me.


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Rip Roaring Regency Romp


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Healing his physical wounds is just the beginning…


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After suffering a horrific injury that threatens to end his career, Baden Oulett is about to learn that sometimes a fresh start is just what the doctor ordered.


Excerpt of Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure by Diane Kelly

Purchase


Death and Taxes #1
St. Martin's Press
November 2011
On Sale: November 1, 2011
Featuring: Tara Holloway; Eddie Bardin; Brett Ellington
384 pages
ISBN: 0312551266
EAN: 9780312551261
Kindle: B005BOQAXQ
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Romance Suspense

Also by Diane Kelly:

Batten Down the Belfry, March 2022
Paperback
Getaway With Murder, November 2021
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
The Moonshine Shack Murder, July 2021
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book / audiobook
Murder With a View, February 2021
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Bending the Paw, October 2020
Paperback / e-Book
Dead in the Doorway, April 2020
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Paw of the Jungle, December 2019
Paperback / e-Book
Dead as a Door Knocker, February 2019
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
The Long Paw of the Law, November 2018
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, and a Shotgun Wedding, November 2017
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Enforcing the Paw, July 2017
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries, February 2017
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Above the Paw, December 2016
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter, August 2016
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Against the Paw, May 2016
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, And A Chocolate Cannoli, October 2015
Paperback / e-Book
Laying Down the Paw, August 2015
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, and Cheap Sunglasses, March 2015
Paperback / e-Book
Paw and Order, January 2015
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, and Silver Spurs, August 2014
Paperback / e-Book
Paw Enforcement, June 2014
Paperback / e-Book
Five Gold Smuggling Rings, December 2013
e-Book
Death, Taxes, and Mistletoe Mayhem, November 2013
e-Book
Death, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice Cream, October 2013
Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, and Hot Pink Leg Warmers, June 2013
Paperback / e-Book
Love, Luck, And Little Green Men, February 2013
Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, and Peach Sangria, February 2013
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, and a Sequined Clutch, November 2012
e-Book
Death, Taxes, and Extra-Hold Hairspray, July 2012
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, And A Skinny No-Whip Latte, March 2012
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure, November 2011
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book

Excerpt of Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure by Diane Kelly

Some People Just Need Shooting

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 permanent state of erectile dysfunction with which the toy designers at Mattel had cursed him. I knew a little more about sex than most girls, what with growing up in the country and all. The first time I saw our neighbor’s Black Angus bull mount an unsuspecting heifer, my two older brothers explained it all to me.

"He’s getting him some," they’d said.

"Some what?" I’d asked.

"Nookie."

We watched through the barbed wire fence until the strange ordeal was over. Frankly, the process looked somewhat uncomfortable for the cow, who continued to chew her cud throughout the entire encounter. But when the bull dismounted, nuzzled her chin, and wandered away, I swore I saw a smile on that cow’s face and a look of quiet contentment in her eyes. She was in love.

I’d been in search of that same feeling for myself ever since.

My partner and I had spent the afternoon huddled at a cluttered desk in the back office of an auto parts store perusing the owner’s financial records, searching for evidence of tax fraud. Yeah, you got me. I work for the IRS. Not exactly the kind of career that makes a person popular at cocktail parties. But those brave enough to get to know me learn I’m actually a nice person, fun even, and they have nothing to fear. I have better things to do than nickel and dime taxpayers whose worst crime was inflating the value of the Glen Campbell albums they donated to Goodwill.

"I’ll be right back, Tara." My partner smoothed the front of his starched white button-down as he stood from the folding chair. Eddie Bardin was tall, lean, and African-American, but having been raised in the upper-middle-class, predominately white Dallas suburbs, he had a hard time connecting to his roots. He’d had nothing to overcome, unless you counted his affinity for Phil Collins’ music, Heineken beer, and khaki chinos, tastes which he had yet to conquer. Eddie was more L.L. Bean than L.L. Cool J.

I nodded to Eddie and tucked an errant strand of my chestnut hair behind my ear. Turning back to the spreadsheet in front of me, I flicked aside the greasy burger and onion ring wrappers the store’s owner, Jack Battaglia, had left on the desk after lunch. I couldn’t make heads or tails out of the numbers on the page. Battaglia didn’t know jack about keeping books and, judging from his puny salaries account, he’d been too cheap to hire a professional.

A few seconds after Eddie left the room, the door to the office banged open. Battaglia loomed in the doorway, his husky body filling the narrow space. He wore a look of purpose and his store’s trademark bright green jumpsuit, the cheerful color at odds with the open box cutter clutched in his furry-knuckled fist.

"Hey!" Instinctively, I leapt from my seat, the metal chair falling over behind me and clanging to the floor.

Battaglia lunged at me. My heart whirled in my chest. There was no time to pull my gun. The best I could do was throw out my right arm to deflect his attempt to plunge the blade into my jugular. The sharp blade slid across my forearm, just above my wrist, but with so much adrenaline rocketing through my system, I felt no immediate pain. If not for the blood seeping through the sleeve of my navy nylon raid jacket, I wouldn’t have even known I’d been cut. Underneath was my favorite pink silk blouse, a coup of a find on the clearance rack at Neiman Marcus Last Call, now sliced open, the blood-soaked material gaping to reveal a short but deep gash.

My jaw clamped tighter than a chastity belt on a pubescent princess. This jerk was going down.

My block had knocked him to the side. Taking advantage of our relative positioning, I threw a roundhouse kick to Battaglia’s stomach, my steel-toed cherry-red Doc Martens sinking into his soft paunch. The shoes were the perfect combination of utility and style, another great find at a two-for-one sale at the Galleria.

The kick didn’t take the beer-bellied bastard out of commission, but at least it sent him backwards a few feet, putting a little more distance between us. A look of surprise flashed across Battaglia’s face as he stumbled backward. He clearly hadn’t expected a skinny, five-foot-two-inch bookish woman to put up such a fierce fight.

Neener-neener.

He regained his footing just as I yanked my Glock from my hip holster. I pointed the gun at his face, a couple drops of blood running down my arm and dropping to the scuffed gray tile floor. "Put the box cutter down."

He stiffened, his face turning purple with fury. "Shit. IRS agents carry guns now?"

Although people were familiar with tax auditors, the concept of a Special Agent--a tax cop--eluded most. But we’d been busting tax cheats for decades. Heck, when no other law enforcement agency could get a charge to stick, we were the ones to finally bring down Al Capone. And if we could nab a tough guy like Capone, this pudgy twerp didn’t stand a chance.

By our best estimate, Battaglia had cheated the federal government and honest Americans out of at least eighty grand and didn’t seem too happy when Eddie and I’d shown up to collect. Now, with my partner on a potty break, Battaglia was treating me like I was a shrimp and he was a chef at Benihana.

Excerpt from Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure by Diane Kelly
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