Tag Archives: Diane Kelly

My Musing ~ Death, Taxes, and Pecan Pie by Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes, and Pecan Pie by Diane Kelly is the latest novella in the “Tara Holloway” romantic mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, October 2017

People are going a little nutty in this new case for IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway!

Tara is looking for a fun, relaxing time with her family at Pecan Palooza: a full-day festival dedicated to celebrating the nut that put the tiny town of Pecan Crossing on the map. Between a parade, carnival games, rides, the Pecan Princess pageant, and several pecan bake-offs, Tara wants quality time with her fiancé Nick before their upcoming nuptials.

But when a mysterious woman in a hat shows some suspicious behavior and the bake-off winners don’t look that surprised when they win…could the competitions be rigged? Despite the lack of evidence, Tara is determined to dethrone the cheaters and make sure the actual winners can have their pie and eat it too.

A quick glance turns into more when Tara suspects something nefarious with the judging of several food contest, especially when it was clear who should have won. Needing evidence, Tara with help from her family are on a mission and of course once you get Tara involved, there will be a whole lot of action. This was a fun read that had me laughing at some of the antics in this delightfully humorous tale. The author does a great job in presenting this light whodunit with great play-by-play action and dialogue to keep me engaged in all that was happening. This is a prelude to the next full-length novel in the Tara Holloway series.

A day in the life with IRS Special Agent Eddie Bardin by Diane Kelly

death-taxes-and-sweet-potato-friesHello, taxpayers. I’m Eddie Bardin, a Senior Special Agent for the IRS Criminal Investigations Division in Dallas, Texas. We’re the feds who go after tax cheats. Our boss is retiring in just a few weeks, and I’ll be stepping up to the position of co-director of the department. Bigger paycheck. Bigger office. Bigger headaches. But you’ve got to take the bad with the good, right?

What’s my typical day like? Well, that depends. When I’m not working alongside Special Agent Tara Holloway, things are pretty routine. Reviewing spreadsheets and financial records. Interviewing tax evaders and witnesses. Tracking down money trails. But when I’m partnered with Tara? Heck. That’s a whole ‘nother story.

I suppose it wouldn’t be fair to say that Tara is bad luck. But I will say trouble always finds her. Unfortunately, I’ve been along for the ride on more than one occasion when trouble showed up. On one of our early cases I ended up in the ER with a bullet in my skull. Another time Tara and I were nearly blown up by an improvised bomb. Needless to say, I stay on my toes whenever I’m working with her. And I always make sure I’ve got my gun at the ready.

This time around, Tara is helping the Border Patrol track Salvador Hidalgo, a human smuggler or “coyote” who’s abandoned desperate people in the west Texas desert. The Border Patrol agents have found several corpses in Big Bend, a rugged national park that lies just north of the Rio Grande river. There’s also evidence implicating Hidalgo in kidnappings for ransom. Three sisters are missing as we speak, their ransom due in mere days. I can tell the case is eating Tara alive. Tara, in turn, has been eating sweet potato fries by the truckload. If she’s not careful, she won’t be able to fit into her wedding dress come October. That’s when she and Special Agent Nick Pratt will be tying the knot. To make matters more interesting, the case has led her to her ex, Brett, who might have some helpful information. Talk about awkward! Of course I’m trying my hardest not to get in the middle of things.

I’ve also been helping Tara track down an as-yet-unidentified criminal who issued bogus 1099’s to a number of victims, reporting cash prize winnings that were never paid. The scheme has caused confusion at the IRS and angered the victims, so much so that one of them has sic’d a senator on us. Nothing like Congress breathing down your neck to add some pressure.

Come spend some time with me and the rest of the gang at IRS Criminal Investigations. You might be surprised how fun—and dangerous—being a financial detective can be.


You can read more about Eddie in DEATH, TAXES, AND SWEET POTATO FRIES, the 11th book in the Tara Holloway humorous mystery series.

SHE HAS AN APPETITE FOR JUSTICE.
But this time IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway is in over her head—and challenging every dietary law in the book. . .

When the IRS is tasked with assisting the border patrol in pursuing unscrupulous “coyotes” who’ve transported illegal immigrants across the border, Tara finds herself at odds. Not only must she investigate Brett Ellington, her old flame whose landscaping business employs such workers, but now Tara has to convince her new romantic partner in crime, Nick Pratt, that she doesn’t still carry a torch for Brett.

Now, in addition to proving her love to her own fiancé, Tara is on the hunt for a trail of bogus 1099s in the Dallas area. Someone, somewhere is using the IRS as a pawn in a cunning game of revenge. Will Tara be able to identify the culprit making the false tax reports—before her sweet-potato-fry addiction forces her to get her engagement ring resized? That is, if jealousy doesn’t get the best of Nick first.

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
A former Assistant Attorney General and tax advisor, Diane Kelly inadvertently worked with white-collar criminals. Lest she end up in jail, Diane decided self-employment was a good idea. Her fingers hit the keyboard and thus began her Death and Taxes romantic mystery series. A graduate of her hometown’s Citizen Police Academy, Diane Kelly also writes the hilarious K-9 cop Paw Enforcement series. Sign up for Diane’s newsletter at www.dianekelly.com, find her on Facebook, and on Twitter @dianekellybooks.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Five people selected at random will win a copy of Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries, either Kindle/Nook (open to everyone) or paperback (U.S. residents only), winner’s choice. Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends February 5, 2017. Good luck everyone!

Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries is available at retail and online booksellers.

A Day in the Life of Detective Audrey Jackson by Diane Kelly

above-the-pawOccupation: Fort Worth Police Department Detective

Hello, there. I’m Audrey Jackson, a seasoned detective with the Fort Worth, Texas Police Department. I sport mocha skin, perky braids, and a don’t-even-think-about-lying-to-me attitude. Like most people in law enforcement, I’ve got much more workload than I’ve got time. Lucky for me, rookie officer Megan Luz aspires to follow in my footsteps and is always willing to help me out. Some of her fellow officers call her a suck-up. I call her a godsend.

We’ve had a rash of college students who’ve ended up in the ER lately after taking “Molly.” You might know the drug as MDMA or ecstasy. It was popular back in the 1980’s and recently made a resurgence. Like clothing and hairdos, drugs tend to go in and out of style. Go figure. One of the victims collapsed at the Panther Pavilion Fourth of July celebration, where senatorial candidates Montgomery Sutton and Esperanza Espinoza had given speeches to the crowd. Drugs and politics. Two dirty businesses, huh?

Who’s selling the drugs is anyone’s guess. But given that several of the victims live in the same dorm at a local university, I figure the best bet for solving this case is to send Megan and her K-9 partner Brigit to the school undercover. Though Megan is in her mid-twenties, with some extra makeup and girlie outfits she’ll be able to pull off her new identity as a college kid. Brigit’s posing as a service dog trained to alert Megan to oncoming epileptic seizures.

As Megan and Brigit feed me the clues, we’ll work together to nail down the culprit. It won’t be easy. The victims don’t want to talk and the dealer has taken pains to remain anonymous. But three determined ladies like me, Megan, and Brigit know nobody is above the law. We won’t stop until the guilty party is behind bars.


Above The Paw is the fifth book in the Paw Enforcement mystery series, published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks, December 2016.

The crime-fighting duo of Megan Luz and her K-9 is back―and on the prowl. . .

WILL THEY DIG UP THE TRUTH?
When a rash of college students falls seriously ill after ingesting Molly, a “club drug” also known as ecstasy, Officer Megan Luz and her K-9 partner Brigit are tasked with tracking down the dealers. Going undercover at the university leads Megan closer and closer to infiltrating the drug trafficking ring. But when the investigation implicates her former partner and workplace nemesis, Officer Derek Mackey, Megan’s powers of discernment are put to the test.

OR ARE THEY BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE?
Thwarted when the Feds seize control of the investigation and frustrated by the lack of attention the DEA is putting into the case, Megan continues her own unofficial investigation with Brigit’s help. But when the trail leads them in an unexpected and dangerous direction, Megan and Brigit find their own lives at risk. Can the K-9 team take down those in power? Or are some criminals simply above the law―and paw?

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
A former tax advisor and assistant attorney general for the state of Texas, Diane Kelly is no stranger to white-collar crime. She realized her experiences would make great fodder for novels and thus began her award-winning Death and Taxes romantic mystery series. A graduate of her city’s Citizens Police Academy, Diane also writes the hilarious K-9 cop Paw Enforcement series. Find her online at www.dianekelly.com, on Twitter @dianekellybooks, and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Five people (USA residents only) selected at random will receive a print copy of Above The Paw. Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends December 15, 2016. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life of Alicia Shenkman by Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes, and a Satin GarterHi, everyone! I’m Alicia Shenkman, a CPA with Martin & McGee in Dallas, Texas. Most often I play the sidekick, roommate, and BFF to IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway, star of the funny Tara Holloway romantic mystery series. But I’m happy to say that I play a much bigger role in the latest release, Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter. I’m getting married! And with Tara as my maid of honor, you know things are going to get crazy.

While I’ve been busy getting ready for my big day, Tara’s been helping me track down the perfect garter to wear at the event. She’s also been working a couple of big criminal tax fraud cases for the IRS. She’s going after Florence Cash, host of the Flo Cash Cash Flow Show on KCSH radio. Flo’s tax returns have raised some pretty big questions and, if I know Tara, she won’t stop until she gets some answers. She’s also going after a catfisher who’s been pursuing lonely women on the internet and ripping them off for thousands of dollars. Problem is, he’s an elusive type, and tracking him down is proving to be quite a challenge.

While I admire Tara’s chutzpah, I’m content with my steady job at the CPA firm. I have a nice office, friendly coworkers, and interesting work. And, unlike Tara, I’ve never ended up at the wrong end of a gun with bullets flying. Good thing, too, because my taste in shoes runs toward high heels and sling-backs, not exactly made for quick getaways. So while Tara pursues truth, justice, and Uncle Sam’s tax dollars, I’ll continue to advise my clients on the best ways to minimize their tax bills-without risking Tara’s wrath.

As my wedding day approaches, I can’t help but hope that Tara will be the next one down the aisle. She and her coworker Nick have been dating for several months now, and it’s clear the two belong together. I just might have to take a peek over my shoulder and try to aim my bouquet in her direction . . .


Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter is the 10th book in the Tara Holloway mystery series, published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks, August 2016.

FOR RICHER OR POORER, IN BUSINESS AND IN STEALTH.

Can IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway break up a clever ring of tax cheats who love money, dishonor the IRS, and disobey the laws of justice?

When Tara agreed to be her best friend’s maid of honor, she knew it would be a ton of work. But planning a bachelorette party is a piece of (wedding) cake compared to her latest mission for the IRS. Her target is radio host Florence “Flo” Cash, star of “The Flo Cash Cash Flow Show.” Not only has Flo been giving her listeners shady tax advice, she’s set up an elaborate barter system that leaves Uncle Sam out of the equation—and Tara tied in knots. . .

While Flo flouts the IRS at every turn, Tara has yet another case to tackle: a catfishing Casanova who’s relieved several lonely ladies of their cash, credit cards, and dignity. When her best friend’s big day arrives, it’s all Tara can do to keep from crying uncle. But when Tara snatches the bridal bouquet and her boyfriend Nick catches the satin garter, could Tara’s days of filing single tax returns be over?

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
A former tax advisor and assistant attorney general for the state of Texas, Diane Kelly is no stranger to white-collar crime. She realized her experiences would make great fodder for novels and thus began her award-winning Death and Taxes romantic mystery series. A graduate of her city’s Citizens Police Academy, Diane also writes the hilarious K-9 cop Paw Enforcement series. Find her online at www.dianekelly.com, on Twitter @dianekellybooks, and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win either a print (US entries only, please) or Kindle/Nook edition (open to everyone) of Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter. Five lucky winners will be randomly selected. The giveaway will end August 7, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

My Musing ~ Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter by Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter by Diane Kelly is the 10th book in the “Tara Holloway” humorous mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, August 2016

Death, Taxes, and a Satin GarterFOR RICHER OR POORER, IN BUSINESS AND IN STEALTH.

Can IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway break up a clever ring of tax cheats who love money, dishonor the IRS, and disobey the laws of justice?

When Tara agreed to be her best friend’s maid of honor, she knew it would be a ton of work. But planning a bachelorette party is a piece of (wedding) cake compared to her latest mission for the IRS. Her target is radio host Florence “Flo” Cash, star of “The Flo Cash Cash Flow Show.” Not only has Flo been giving her listeners shady tax advice, she’s set up an elaborate barter system that leaves Uncle Sam out of the equation-and Tara tied in knots. . .

While Flo flouts the IRS at every turn, Tara has yet another case to tackle: a catfishing Casanova who’s relieved several lonely ladies of their cash, credit cards, and dignity. When her best friend’s big day arrives, it’s all Tara can do to keep from crying uncle. But when Tara snatches the bridal bouquet and her boyfriend Nick catches the satin garter, could Tara’s days of filing single tax returns be over?

I love this series and I especially love the titles that tie into what the story is about. In this case, Tara is after a catfisher and a businesswoman while preparing for her best friend’s wedding. When Tara is on the case, I know that I will be in for a rip-roaring and hilariously good time. Tara is a dynamo that comes in a small package and the people she’s after, never knew what hit them until it’s over.

This fast-paced and action filled drama was a fun book that I could not put down as I had to know how this will all play out. From the first page, I was completely engrossed in all that was happening from the moment Tara began her investigation into the two case. The author does a great job in how she sets up the story with a simple task but you know with Tara at the helm, it will involve ingenuity and fierce determination to apprehend these culprits. I love the author’s writing style and the ease in how the story flows from chapter to chapter keeping me engaged in the glorious details in the telling of this tale. A fun book that kept me in stitches and I can’t wait to read the next book and see what cases will have Tara pulling out her barrel of arsenal.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) book from author.

My Musing ~ Death, Taxes, and Cheap Sunglasses by Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes, and Cheap SunglassesDeath, Taxes, and Cheap Sunglasses by Diane Kelly is the 10th book in the “Tara Holloway” romantic mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

SHE LOVES HER WORK–CASE CLOSED.

IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway can calculate tax penalties to the penny. But seeing the world of white-collar crime through rose-colored glasses? Priceless.

Tara’s career comes with a lot of pros and cons–which is a nice way of saying that she’s kick-a$$ in her fight against professional con-artists. And she’s tough enough to deal with all the money-launderers, tax-evaders, and other such criminals who cross her path. . .Until her own boyfriend, Nick, joins their leagues. Now all bets are off.

Nick is about to go deep undercover–and the stakes are higher than Tara could have ever imagined. It’s all part of a joint task force with the DEA to bring down a powerful, violent drug cartel. It’s going to take more than a pair of dime store shades for Tara to bring their dark deeds to light. Can she help Nick without blowing his cover. . .and ending up in harm’s way herself?

I love this series. Tara is one gutsy heroine who takes her job as an IRS Special Agent and when she is on the case of a tax cheat, nothing will deter her, well maybe one or two will, until she catches her *man*. This fast paced and non-stop action drama entertained me from the first page grabbing my attention immediately. I love the style and format of how this story is presented, letting us feel what Tara feels as she goes about her daily job. From the art gallery to the toga party to the sanctuary, all of this had me quickly turning the pages to see what happens next. Adding the cheap sunglasses skits to the storyline was perfect. This was a great read and I can’t wait to see what cases Tara and her colleagues tackles next. I’m sure it will be a hoot.

A Day in the Life of DEA Agent Christina Marquez by Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes, and Cheap SunglassesHey, there. I’m Christina Marquez, a bad-ass agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Dallas, Texas. I go after drug dealers with a Glock in one hand, a mascara wand in the other. Who says you can’t look good when taking down bad guys?

You may remember me from earlier cases I worked with IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway. Because those who sell drugs rarely report their ill-gotten gains to Uncle Sam, the DEA and IRS often work hand-in-hand to go after drug dealers. If we can nail the bad guys for both drug crimes and tax evasion, we can keep them behind bars as long as possible and make the world safer for law-abiding citizens like you.

Together, Tara and I have taken down a drug-dealing ice cream man, a killer running a cross-border crime ring, and the owner of a strip club who was both a pimp and a drug distributor. With our lip gloss and painted fingernails, Tara and I might not look so tough. But make no mistake. We always get our man.

Right now, I’m going deep undercover with Nick Pratt, a senior special agent with the IRS who also just happens to be Tara’s boyfriend. I know it will be hard for Tara and Nick to be apart. The two are crazy for each other. But they’re dedicated law enforcement agents. Duty calls before booty calls.

Nick and I will be deep undercover and unable to communicate regularly with Tara or anyone else from our real lives. But what if we run into trouble? I have to admit, as brave as I try to be, infiltrating this cartel has me terrified. Especially since this branch is headed up by El Cuchillo–translation: The Knife. He’s slashed more throats than we can count.

What if El Cuchillo figures out we’re feds? I can only imagine what he’d do to us . . .


You can read more about Christina and Nick’s undercover assignment in Death, Taxes, and Cheap Sunglasses, the 8th book in the “Tara Holloway” romantic mystery series, published by St. Martin’s Press. The first book in the series is Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 19 for the chance to win a copy of Death, Taxes, and Cheap Sunglasses. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Two lucky commenters will be randomly selected. Winners will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
A former Assistant Attorney General and tax advisor, Diane Kelly inadvertently worked with white-collar criminals. Lest she end up in jail, Diane decided self-employment was a good idea. Her fingers hit the keyboard and thus began her award-winning Death and Taxes romantic mystery series. A graduate of her hometown’s Citizen Police Academy, Diane Kelly also writes the hilarious K-9 cop Paw Enforcement series. Sign up for Diane’s newsletter at www.dianekelly.com. “Like” Diane on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

A Day in the Life with Megan Luz by Diane Kelly

Paw and OrderOccupation: Fort Worth Police Officer

As part of a K-9 team, my day starts with feeding my furry, four-footed partner Brigit and taking her outside for a quick walk. The two of us not only work together, but we live together, too. The arrangement is all part of solidifying our “pack.”

Though I bought a nice, comfy bed for Brigit, she only uses it when lounging in front of the television watching Animal Planet. The rest of the time she insists on sleeping on my futon with me. Yeah, the two of us are still working out our place in the pack. That’s what happens when two smart, stubborn females are paired together. Both of us want to be the alpha.

Despite our constant head-butting off duty, on duty the two of us make an unbeatable team. While I can put clues together, handcuff a suspect, and recite Miranda rights, Brigit can chase and tackle fleeing suspects I’d never be able to catch. She can also sniff them out, too, when they try to hide.

Chief Garelik reassigned me and Brigit from our usual beat to work the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. The annual three-week event attracts every rowdy shit-kicker in a hundred-mile radius, and livestock dealers from even farther away. Attending the event as a civilian can be fun. Working it as a cop is not. Too many drunks. Too much noise. Too many feet that could step on my partner’s paws. Besides, Brigit keeps eyeing the goats and pigs and chickens in the livestock barns and licking her lips. If I don’t keep a tight enough grip on her leash, she just might jump into a pen, take down a Brahma bull, and enjoy a rare steak.

Unfortunately, while most people attend the rodeo to see the animals, listen the bands, and ride the rides or play the games at the midway, someone has been using the event as an opportunity to snatch purses and pick pockets. Brigit and I have kept our noses to the ground—her, literally and me, figuratively. So far, we’ve been unable to nail the culprit, but I have no doubt we’ll figure things out. The two of us have dogged determination.

Meanwhile, we’ve been having some fun with Clint McCutcheon, a mounted deputy with the Tarrant Country Sheriff’s Department who’s also been assigned to work the event. I know, I know. If I want things to work out with Seth, the bomb squad officer, I shouldn’t be flirting with Clint, accepting his advances. But Seth broke my heart last fall and if he thinks he can get me back without working for it, he’s got another thing coming. Besides, a little jealousy might teach him not to take me for granted.

So, all in all, my days are one-part patrol, one-part crime-solving, and one part romance. A good balance, wouldn’t you say?


I hope you’ll enjoy my adventures in Paw and Order, the second book in the “Paw Enforcement” mystery series, published by St. Martin’s Press. And look for book #3, Laying Down the Paw, next August. The first book in the series is Paw Enforcement.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on January 5 for the chance to win a copy of PAW AND ORDER. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

About the author
A former tax advisor, Diane Kelly inadvertently worked with white-collar criminals. Lest she end up in an orange jumpsuit, Diane decided self-employment would be a good idea. Her fingers hit the keyboard and thus began her “Death and Taxes” romantic mystery series. A graduate of her hometown’s Citizen Police Academy, Diane Kelly also writes the hilarious K-9 cop “Paw Enforcement” series.

Diane’s books have been awarded the prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award and a Reviewers Choice Award.

Be the first to receive book news by signing up for Diane’s newsletter at www.dianekelly.com. “Like” Diane on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

My Musing ~ Paw and Order by Diane Kelly

Paw and OrderPaw and Order by Diane Kelly is the second book in the “Paw Enforcement” mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, December 2014

Police officer Megan Luz and her loyal K-9 partner Brigit are back on the beat—and under the gun—when the local rodeo show goes to the dogs. . .

OUT OF THE DOGHOUSE
After capturing the notorious Fort Worth “Tunabomber,” Megan and Brigit are practically celebrities. Which is why the police chief lassoed them into doing rodeo duty —mostly as a public relations stunt for the department. Megan’s not a fan of calf roping, bull riding, or goat milking contests. But when a thief appears to be working the circuit, her trusty K-9 partner starts sniffing for clues. . .

INTO THE FIRE HYDRANT
The culprit is “Robin Hood,” a young Texas golddigger who steals from the rich to give to the poor—namely, herself. With Brigit hot on the trail, Megan has to juggle her on-again off-again reputation in the FWPD with her on-again off-again relationship with sexy bomb-squader Seth Rutledge. This time, Megan is determined to rope in her suspect and her man…before chaos, and/or her trusted furry partner, is unleashed.

Megan, who has higher aspiration within the police department, is on point with her K9 partner, Brigit, as they track a thief on the rodeo grounds. I like the approach the author takes in the telling of this drama, ala Columbo. . .we know who is behind the theft, it’s following Megan as she put all the pieces together to capture her prey that kept me reading on. I also enjoyed how Megan’s and Seth’s personal relationship played out in this book as it was very entertaining. This is a fun read and I love Megan’s internal dialogue and Brigit’s who has an ulterior motive as to the shenanigans she displays at the expense of Megan’s closet. I’m looking forward to the next book in this terrific series.