Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Day Mysteries: April 15

I thought there would be a lot of mysteries that focus on Tax Day: April 15, or at least the IRS, but I couldn't remember any specifically. Yes, there are several that deal with Finance, and high finance at that, but what about the average Joe filing his taxes on April 15. Surely it's enough to commit murder.

So I began a search. The first title that popped up was A Little Rebellion: April 15 Surprise by Rodney Sexton published by Writers Club Press (2000) an iUniverse book.. remember them? .. . Not having read it, I thought I'd read the Editorial Review:

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 itself.

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?

Then I remembered David Dodge's Death and Taxes--an oldie but goodie (1941). One of the 'forgotten' books, but one that hits home. 

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.

A further search for other mysteries uncovered a few other titles maybe a bit further afield but with an IRS theme. Not sure I want the IRS reading my blog, so I decided to take a pass.

Anyone have a favorite crime fiction novel with a Tax Day theme?


Barbara Hussey said...

Since death and taxes do tend to pop up in the same sentence, I would have thought there would be more.

Barbara Hussey

Anonymous said...

A new edition of David Dodge's Death and Taxes has just been published by Bruin Books. Available now on Amazon:

Randal Brandt

Janet Rudolph said...

That's great, Randal, thanks for sharing