Friday, July 20, 2007

The Sirens Sang of Murder

The Sirens Sang of Murder

Sarah Caudwell

Date: 09 September, 1990   —   $5.99   —   Book

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Fiction, Mystery

While Americans hate taxes, very rarely do we think of them as a framework for murder. At the time of this novel's writing, however, the top tax rate in England was over 90%— I'm not kidding*—which leads to all manner of crazy tax-dodging schemes. In this case, the dodge is a trust, and the beneficiaries thereof don't have their names attached, because of the laws surrounding it.

Problem is that the names of the beneficiaries have been lost... and the people who might stand to benefit could be anybody. Anybody including a murderer who has started picking off the lawyers involved in the trust, which includes one of Professor Tamar's young colleagues.

This is a marvelously silly addition to the Tamar mysteries, and a great joy to read.

*The top rate in the US in the early 1950s was likewise 90%. When the Sixteenth Amendment was passed, there was a movement to put a cap of a maximum 1% on the tax rate, which was scuttled because they thought that if they did that, that somebody would actually raise taxes that high. Think carefully when crafting your laws, folks.

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