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Elmore Leonard

Comic Thriller “Death and Taxes” Pits an IRS Repo Squad Against the Mongolian Mob, Radioactive Cows and a Murderous Eunuch

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Mark Douglas is an IRS accountant, a former Marine content to hide out in his cubicle and audit suspicious tax returns. His latent thirst for action is satisfied by occasional forays into the field, armed with tear gas, a bull horn, and a rental truck to haul in whatever pays the back taxes of the most egregious evaders. Life is good for Mark. After long days at the office courting carpal tunnel syndrome, he joins his co-workers at their local watering hole to relive past glories deciphering fraudulent tax returns, ponder unexpected consequences of tax loopholes, and ogle busty barmaids. Mark’s boss, Lila, is a beautiful and sexy tax prodigy. One day, she discovers “odd jiggles” in three seemingly unconnected…

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Steven Gaines: ‘At What Age Should a Writer Stop Writing?’

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Last week, I was in a book store when I overheard three young men in their late-twenties making fun of the photo of Tom Wolfe on the back cover of his book Back to Blood. Sacrilege. Alas, the photo was a little silly. It was typical showman Wolfe, dressed in his trademark white suit and tie, a snazzy hat in hand. He’s 84 years old now, and he looked a bit more like a geezer in a costume instead of his usual debonair self. But who cares what Tom Wolfe looks like as long as it’s another great book? “I didn’t know he was still writing,” one of the guys sniffed. “He’s too old.” Too old? For what? So, in a Larry David…

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