The Tax Man Cometh! I've done several posts over the years about Tax Day Mysteries. Surprisingly there are many that deal with Finance, and high finance at that, but not all that many that deal with about the average Joe filing his taxes on April 15. Surely it's
enough to commit murder. So here are a few mysteries that deal specifically with Tax Day.. and at the end of this post, an updated list of several accounting/accountant mysteries. And a reminder--if you haven't filed your taxes yet, be sure and send in for an extension!
San Francisco tax accountant James “Whit” Whitney is summoned home from a
vacation in Santa Cruz to help his partner, George MacLeod, recover a
hefty tax refund for a beautiful blonde client named Marian Wolff. When
he returns to his office, Whit finds MacLeod dead in the firm’s vault,
“with a small hole in the bridge of his nose.” In order to complete the
tax return and uncover the murderer, Whit becomes a reluctant detective
and nearly gets himself killed in the process. To prevent Whit’s murder,
if possible, the SFPD assigns him a bodyguard named Swede Larson. Whit
and Swede tangle with ex-bootleggers and Telegraph Hill gangsters in
their efforts to unravel the mystery, which climaxes with a shootout in
the Mission District and a dramatic car chase across the Bay Bridge.
Along the way, Whit resists the advances of Marian Wolff and begins a
romance with Kitty MacLeod, George’s widow.
Before becoming a novelist, David Dodge worked as a Certified Public Accountant. No
wonder his first fictional hero was also a tax man. A notable aspect of
the Whitney novels is the volume of information about taxes and
finances that Dodge effortlessly weaves into his plots. To read more
about David Dodge, go HERE.
Sue Dunlap's 7th Jill Smith mystery is also entitled Death and Taxes.
Until someone put a
poisoned needle in his bicycle seat, Phil Drem was the meanest, most
nit-picking IRS agent in Berkeley, California.
Detective Jill Smith began searching Berkeley's backwaters for the tax
man's killer, she found a different picture of Drem: a caring Drem,
whose once-beautiful wife was "allergic to the world" and whose friends
and enemies, old hippies and would-be entrepreneurs, enjoyed a
ghoulish pastime called The Death Game. Did the Death Game KO Drem? Was
someone's schedule a motive for murder? And what about a CPA who drove
a red Lotus ruthlessly and guaranteed his clients they'd never be
Only one thing is for sure, somewhere in Berkeley's
backwaters, a killer is still on the loose. And for a
detective who loves her city, doubts her lover, and has a knack for
solving the toughest of crimes, finding the truth is about as
inevitable as...Death And Taxes.
A continued search revealed one other title: A Little Rebellion: April 15 Surprise
by Rodney Sexton published by Writers Club Press (2000) an iUniverse
book. Not having read it, I thought I'd post the
After a client’s suicide and an unprecedented IRS attack on his tax
practice, Certified Public Accountant Karl Mendel plans what he hopes
will be the final solution to an income tax system out of control.
Assisted by close friends and professional associates, Mendel uses a
personal tragedy and his belief in American freedom to fuel his war on
what he refers to as the American KGB. With flying skills honed as a
Marine pilot in the Vietnam War Mendel takes to the air in his planned
assault on the U.S. income tax system. Help from Beatrice Gimble, a
former IRS programmer and current CPA partner of his best friend, Terry
Garcia, leads Karl inside the main computer facility run by the IRS.
Unaware that he is being watched by powers beyond the IRS, his “forced”
dealings with a Russian “mole” leads Karl and his partners into dangers
they had not considered and threatens the woman he loves more than life
About the Author: Rod Sexton is a practicing Certified Public Accountant living
near Houston, Texas with his wife. While in Vietnam, Sexton was
attached to the First Marine Air Wing. After active duty, he earned his
Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Taxation degrees. A
Little Rebellion is his first work of fiction.
Sure sounds like this fits the bill! Anyone read it? Any comments?
A further search for other mysteries uncovered a few other titles maybe a
bit further afield but with an accounting theme, so in honor of Tax Day, I thought I'd post a few Accounting-Accountant crime fiction titles.
ACCOUNTING FOR MURDER: A List
Paul Anthony: Old Accountants Never Die
Paul Bennett: Due Diligence, Collateral Damage, False Profits, The Money Race
Ann Bridge: The Numbered Account
David Dodge --in addition to Death and Taxes, he wrote three more novels
about San Francisco tax accountant James "Whit" Whitney: Shear the
Black Sheep, Bullets for the Bridegroom and It Ain't Hay.
Marjorie Eccles: Account Rendered and other Stories
Gail Farrelly: Beaned in Boston
Dick Francis: Risk
Kate Gallison: Unbalanced Accounts
John Grisham: Skipping Christmas
Ian Hamilton: The Water Rat of Wanchai
Carolyn Hart: A Settling of Accounts
James Montgomery Jackson: Bad Policy
Marshall Jevons: Murder at the Margin, The Fatal Equilibrium, A Deadly Indifference
Emma Lathen: Accounting for Murder
Linda Lovely: Final Accounting
Sharon Potts: In Their Blood
Peter Robinson: Final Account
Karen Hanson Stuyck: Held Accountable
William C. Whitbeck: To Account for Murder
M.K. Wren: Nothing's Certain but Death Short Story: "The Ides of Mike Magoon" in Ellery Queen's The Calendar of Crime (written when tax day was March 15, not April 15)
Anyone have a favorite mystery with a Tax Day theme? Any titles I've missed?