Tai Randolph is still adjusting to a newly inherited Confederate-themed gun shop when she gets a big shock: a murdered corpse in her brother's driveway. Worse, her respectable sibling has fled to the Bahamas, leaving her to deal with the homicide and questions from the Atlanta PD. Complicating her plan to clear the family name is Trey Seaver, field agent for an exclusive corporate security firm hired to investigate the crime. Trey, recovering from a car accident that left him cognitively and emotionally damaged, is fearless, focused, and - to Tai's dismay - utterly impervious to bribes, threats, and clever deceptions.
Tai's investigations lead from the cold-eyed glamour of Atlanta's adult entertainment scene to the gilded treachery of Tuxedo Road. Potential suspects abound. But it takes another murder - and threats to her own life - to make her realize that to solve this crime,she has to trust the most dangerous man she's ever met....
About the Author
Tina Whittle is a mystery writer living and working in the Georgia Lowcountry. The Dangerous Edge of Things, the first novel in her Tai Randolph series, debuted February 2011 from Poisoned Pen Press. Described in Publishers Weekly as a "tight, suspenseful debut," this Atlanta-based series has garnered starred reviews in Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal.
Read an Excerpt
The Dangerous Edge of ThingsA Tai Randolph Mystery
By Tina Whittle
Poisoned Pen PressCopyright © 2011 Tina Whittle
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDon't look left, I reminded myself. Look left and you throw up again. So I made myself look right, where I stared at an azalea bush until it blurred into a pink and green blob. Luckily for me, the police officer returned at that moment with a cardboard cup of water. I accepted it with shaking hands as he appraised me.
"Are you sure you're okay?"
I faked a smile. "Still shook up, but okay."
His nametag read Norris, and he was dark and squat and as official as a fire hydrant. He'd discovered me retching behind my brother's new forsythia and bustled off to fetch some water. Then he'd offered to track down some breath mints. I'd declined. What I wanted was a cigarette, and I wanted it fiercely.
It was the only thing I could think of that might get the dead girl out of my head.
I remembered strange details, like the rhinestone barrette just above her left ear, a clean metallic gleam in the dark clotted mass of her hair. A silver cuff bracelet encircling a slender white wrist. And the smell when I'd opened the car door—copper sour and stale, like the bottom of a meat drawer, with a tang of something dank and sewer-ish at the edges.
I took a sip of water and willed my hands steady. And I didn't look left, where the body still slumped over the steering wheel of the white Lexus, which was still parked across the street at the curb. Up and down the cul-de-sac, Atlanta police officers clustered with EMTs from both Grady and Crawford Long. I was a part of this scene too, secluded in the back of a patrol car, protected by a ring of yellow tape and nice Officer Norris, who was just beginning to get down to business.
He took out a pen and a small notebook. "It says here your name is ... Tai?"
I knew what he was thinking. Curly caramel blond hair, hazel eyes, pale freckled skin. Not a drop of Asian blood.
"It's a nickname. My real name is Teresa Ann Randolph. I can show you my driver's license if you want."
He wanted. I could tell he was getting suspicious, his tight appraisal cataloging my frowzy hair and unmade face, my tee-shirt and thrift store jeans. I didn't belong in this neighborhood of ivy-laced cottages and tidy window boxes, and he knew it.
"My Aunt Dotty started calling me Tai when I was a baby," I said, digging in my tote bag for my wallet. "She said it meant 'little drop of heaven,' which is totally made up, of course, but—"
"This is your brother's place, correct?" He consulted his notes. "Eric Randolph?"
"Do you live here too?"
I started to explain that I'd only been in Atlanta for a week, that I'd just moved up from Savannah, that I used to have a part-time job leading ghost tours, so I usually didn't get freaked out around dead people, or cops, except that the dead people in Savannah were crumbly and six feet under, and the cops were all related to me, but I liked Atlanta cops, so far anyway.
Luckily, I caught all that before it escaped my mouth. "I'm staying here until I find an apartment."
I handed over my license. Norris scrutinized it and handed it back. "Where's your brother?"
"He left this morning for a cruise to the Bahamas."
He narrowed his eyes and underlined the word "Bahamas." Twice. I scrambled to explain.
"It's for work, some pop therapy seminar-at-sea thing. Like Dr. Phil, only on a boat. I took him to the airport this morning for his flight to Miami."
"Was he behaving out of the ordinary?"
"You mean homicidal?"
The response came out peevish, not what I'd intended. Officer Norris kept his pen poised while I scraped wax off the cup with my fingernail. Why had I decided that this was the week to quit smoking?
"What I mean is, he seemed perfectly normal. A little tense, maybe, but nothing that would have anything to do with something like ... that."
I gestured toward the Lexus. Eric's Virginia Highland culde-sac was usually quiet, the only noise the distant murmur of North Highland traffic. It was a place of Arts and Crafts bungalows and kitschy specialty shops, a place where you strolled to the corner café for a petite serving of organic peach gelato. Not the kind of place where you stumbled into corpses on the curb.
"So your brother was tense?" Norris said.
Oh great, I thought. Now I'd done it. "Not tense like guilty," I corrected, "tense from worrying about passports and stuff. A perfectly innocent tense."
This was not the whole truth, but I didn't feel like explaining the rest, the part where we'd argued, the part where he'd told me to grow up and I'd told him to shove it. The part that would make any cop's nose twitch with interest. I knew it wasn't relevant and would only distract the police from what they should be doing, namely, finding out why there was a corpse across the street.
"You picked him up here, at the house?"
"No, at work, some place by Perimeter Mall. He's a PhD, you know, an industrial psychologist."
I had no idea why I added that last part. Perhaps I was trying to make Eric seem stable and ethical, not the kind of man who'd murder some woman and then flee the country. Officer Norris didn't seem concerned about his character, however. He remained focused on the timeline.
"So you picked him up at work, dropped him off at the airport, and came back here?"
"No, not immediately anyway. I went to the shop first."
I hesitated. It was looking like I didn't have a non-suspicious answer in me.
"Dexter's Guns and More," I finally said. "Up in Kennesaw. I'm the new owner."
Norris' eyes dipped to my chest, to the tee-shirt with Dexter's logo and the slogan "From My Cold Dead Hands" on it. I'd found a bag of them in my uncle's desk and pulled one on while I cleaned the storeroom, so not only was it politically incorrect, it was filthy with dust and cobwebs.
"Look, I know it sounds bad, me with a gun shop just forty-five minutes away and a murdered person on the curb, but it's entirely innocent."
I held up my cell phone and showed him a photo from that morning. There I was, standing in front of a display case chock full of dangerous things, a Confederate flag hanging brazenly behind me.
"Interesting," Norris said. His ebony features betrayed no emotion.
I tried again. The next shot didn't have any rebel paraphernalia in it, just the prominently displayed city ordinance requiring all Kennesaw citizens to own a gun. And me, beaming brightly. But it did have the time and date, proving that I was telling the truth about my whereabouts.
"Uncle Dexter left the place to me in his will. Well, he left it to my mother actually—she's his sister—but she's been dead for over a year now—my dad and Aunt Dotty too, a long time ago—and we were next in line, me and Eric, but Eric will have nothing to do with it, loathes the whole concept, so technically—"
"Can anyone verify your story?"
I took a deep breath. "Sorry. I run on when I'm nervous. My friend Rico was there, I'll give you his number."
Norris wrote down the information, which I knew was going to piss Rico off royally. Rico didn't like being asked to go on the record for anything; he never had, not even in high school. But he'd forgive me, just like I'd forgive him for not returning my four messages and three texts.
Norris turned the page. "Tell me how you found the body."
"I left the shop a little after four, got here sometime around five-thirty. I noticed the car right off, but I didn't think much of it, not until I went to the mailbox. That's when I saw the woman slumped over the steering wheel. So I went over and knocked on the window, and when she didn't look up, I opened the door. And that's when I saw the blood."
A camera flash popped as the crime scene photographer circled the car, stepping on the neighbor's pansies. Another cop placed squarish yellow markers on the concrete. Someone's radio squawked, staccato and abrupt.
Behind Norris, I saw two new arrivals duck under the tape, one male, one female. The woman was average height and athletic, with the kind of bleached straw hair and nut brown skin that come from too many hours in the sun. The man was only a little taller, with deep-cocoa skin and hair clipped close to his head. Both wore the same thing—charcoal pants and jackets, gold shields clipped at the belt.
APD detectives. They knew better than to step on the pansies.
"And you have no idea who she is?" Norris said.
"No. Do you?"
He seemed surprised at the question. "Would I be asking you if I did?"
"Of course you would, you're a cop. You ask all kinds of questions you already know the answer to."
I said it with a smile, and he smiled too, just a little, which was a relief. Not as big a relief as a Winston Light, mind you, but something.
Just then, I noticed a dark gray sedan pull up close to the crime scene tape. A sandy-haired business type pushed himself out —a stocky guy, with broad shoulders and a purposeful stride. One of the uniforms shook hands with him and pointed him toward the detectives.
Not a cop, I decided. Probably a GBI agent, maybe even a Fed. Which could only mean one thing—this dead girl I didn't know was somebody important.
The patrol officer led the detectives and the sandy-haired man under the yellow tape to the crime scene itself. The sandy-haired man peered inside, then shook his head. The female detective held up a plastic bag with something small and white inside. I squinted to get a look. And then, as if on cue, all three turned and looked at me. With interest.
Not a good thing.
My belly sloshed. And then the two detectives headed toward my patrol car, leaving the sandy-haired man at the crime scene to do things I didn't want to think about. I peeked at my cell phone. Nothing from Eric, nothing from Rico, nothing from anyone at all. Abandoned.
And then they were upon me.
"Ms. Randolph?" The male partner leaned down and extended his hand. His grip was dry and warm, but his eyes were skewers. "I'm Detective Ryan. This is my partner, Detective Vance."
The woman unfastened her gaze from the dead girl's car and swiveled her head my way. She reminded me of a hawk, right down to her small hook of a nose and round unblinking eyes. I fought the urge to get still and small.
Ryan smiled. "Is it all right if we talk inside?"
The way he phrased it wasn't a question.
My mind raced. I watched CSI, I knew what it meant to let a cop in your house with their little vials and black lights and rubber gloves. Should I demand a search warrant? Tell them to wait until I heard from Eric? Call a lawyer?
I thought all of these things, but what I said was, "Sure. Okay."
Chapter TwoEric's office was decorated with the military zeal that only a civilian could muster—navy carpet, gold brocade drapes, coat-of-arms wallpaper. Dueling pistols crossed above the loveseat and mock samurai swords above his desk, this bombastic creation as pitched and massive as a merchant schooner.
In the middle of the excess was one spot of hominess—an old family portrait on the wall, taken when I was barely eight, Eric on the edge of twenty. We were both dark blondes, but while he was tall and slim, I was short and compact, with Dad's broad shoulders. All I remembered from that day two decades ago was how excited I'd been to have us all together for once.
The detectives didn't care about Memory Lane, however. I waited in the doorway while Vance walked a slow circle around the office, as if she were printing it with her mind. Ryan stood by Eric's desk, looking pointedly at the stacks of papers and manila folders, including Eric's desk calendar.
"Did your brother have any appointments scheduled for this afternoon?"
"Why would he? He was leaving for the Bahamas."
Ryan eyed the calendar. I stepped forward and moved a notebook on top of it, but not before I'd caught a glimpse of the day's agenda—two items, both in the morning: Tai pick-up: 7:30, flight to Miami: 11:05. I wondered how much Ryan had scavenged from his brief perusal.
He smiled. "Maybe he forgot, made a mistake."
"My brother doesn't make that kind of mistake."
"Thorough guy, huh? Organized, a good planner?"
I folded my arms. "Yes, Eric's all those things. Why do you make it sound like that's a crime?"
"Not my intention. I'm just wondering why a young woman would come to his home office unless she had an appointment."
"What makes you think she was coming to see him? The car was parked across the street."
Vance flanked me from the left. "Because we found your brother's business card under the front seat."
The white square I'd seen in the plastic baggie. So Eric had known the dead girl. And she'd heard of him.
Through the picture window, I saw movement across the street as the EMTs loaded the body into the ambulance, threading past a crowd that had swelled to include a news crew. Bars of waning sunshine cut through the branches of the oak tree, slanting across the hood of the Lexus. The sandy-haired man watched from the sidelines, cell phone pressed to his ear.
I noticed Ryan looking at me then, his expression alert. Vance seemed to be cataloging everything in her periphery—leather reading chair, framed Kandinsky print, cut crystal whisky decanter—and using it to decide who my brother was, who I was, what had really happened. Like Norris, she'd decided I didn't fit. And she was right—I didn't. But that didn't make me, or my brother, a criminal, and I was determined to prove it.
"Is there anything else?"
Vance snapped her notebook shut. "We appreciate your cooperation, ma'am, but that probably does it for here."
Ryan nodded in agreement. "For here."
I felt a surge of relief. It was almost over. And then it hit me. "For here?"
Ryan nodded again.
"I know what that means. That means you're taking me downtown, doesn't it?"
Vance laughed. Ryan crooked a half-smile at me. "Oh yes, ma'am. You are definitely going downtown."
I sighed and dug in my pockets for a piece of nicotine gum. God, I wanted a cigarette.
* * *
Waiting in the interrogation room felt very much like being kept after school. Boxy and square, off-white and badly lit, it had the same smell as a principal's office—Pine Sol and plastic and industrial air conditioning—and the same sense of imminent unpleasantness.
Detective Ryan brought me coffee. Detective Vance turned on a video camera. And then I repeated a lot of the same information I'd told them before. But before I could explain once again how very little I knew, I actually learned something.
"Eliza Compton," Vance said, slapping a file folder on the desk. "That name sound familiar?"
So they had an ID. "I'm sorry, no."
"Did your brother ever mention knowing her?"
"Not even in some offhand casual way?"
I didn't tell them that Eric and I had spent the majority of our lives being offhand and casual. But now, thanks to the gun shop, our every conversation was tinged with exasperation of the most personal sort. Still, we were trying to get along, and I was ready to follow our relationship wherever it led.
Of course, if I'd had any idea it would lead to the APD interrogation room, I'd have been a little more hesitant.
Ryan shifted forward and put his elbows on the table. "Any idea why she might be leaving him a voicemail message?"
Ryan motioned to Vance, who pulled out a small digital recorder and hit play. The voice that came from the machine was female and young, with a deep Southern accent. Her words were clipped and nervous at the edges: "Dr. Randolph? It's Eliza. I'm sorry I couldn't make it last night. I tried, but there was a problem, a big problem. I'm headed over right now, though." Then a robotic voice announced the time: three-fifteen p.m.
Ryan looked at me. "You don't recognize her?"
"I don't know Eric's friends."
"She called him Dr. Randolph. Sounds like she's a client."
"I don't think he works with individuals any more, just businesses."
"If that's true, then why would she be meeting him at his home, and not at work?"
I started to say she wasn't really at his home, she was on the curb, but I dropped that idea. I'd heard rumors about Atlanta's finest from Rico—taser-gun waving, bad cop/bad cop scenarios—and decided pretty quick the last thing I wanted to be was an uncooperative witness.
Excerpted from The Dangerous Edge of Things by Tina Whittle Copyright © 2011 by Tina Whittle. Excerpted by permission of Poisoned Pen Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Atlanta gun shop owner Tai Randolph finds a dead young woman in a car. Suddenly, she's plunged into the murder, along with various members of a corporate security firm, and Tai's absent brother. Though there's an amateur sleuth, this book is edgier than a typical cozy.I really wanted to like this debut mystery. There are some interesting characters, for instance, but the plot was plodding, overly long and somewhat dry, and frankly, dull for me.Even so, this series has potential and I might continue with it, once the second book is released.
I read an advance reader's copy of this, later edits of the book might occur. Tai has just moved from Savannah to Atlanta after co-inheriting her uncle's gun shop, and promptly finds a dead young woman slumped over in a car parked in front of Tai's older brother's house. Tai's brother is away at a work seminar in the Bahamas, and had recent contact with the dead woman, so the police are looking in his direction. When her brother hires a security firm to protect Tai and to investigate the murder (I think), she impulsively catapults herself into also investigating the murder, finagling the police and security firm agents to further her goals. The handsome security agent assigned to her, former cop Trey Seaver, is a very appealing character; he is very intelligent and can focus with laser intensity and determine when people are lying, but suffered a traumatic brain injury and has very black and white responses according to a strict code of ethics and can't decipher other's emotions very well.I enjoyed the depiction of Tai's quirky personality, impulsiveness, boldness and wry wit, the development of Trey's character and the relationships between them and other characters. But, I found the story very convoluted - I'm still not sure what really happened - and I didn't find Tai's motivations believable. Maybe I just wasn't reading carefully enough. But, she has no background related to investigating (was a caretaker for her mom, and a tour guide), the police really don't seem to think her brother committed the murder, so you'd think she might leave detective work to, you know, the police or this high end security firm her wealthy brother hired. Plus she boldly rifles through everyone's files, steals evidence from the firm, lies to everyone to further her investigating, all without any explanations for these ethical character flaws. She wasn't raised by sociopaths, far as I can tell. If her motivation was supposed to be truth, justice, and righteous justice for the dead woman, it really didn't come across well. So, 3 stars for appealing characters, relationship building amongst them, and for decent writing; 1.5 stars for the mystery story and motivations.
Tai Randolph has inherited a gun shop, so she picks up her life and moves in with her brother while she's relocating, only to find a dead woman sitting outside her brother's house. Her brother, away at training, directs her to a hotel for her own safety, but Tai isn't so easily bossed around. When she returns to her brother's house after her police interview, she discovers a private security firm "cleaning up" details that might link her brother to the dead woman. And things only escalate from there. Trey Seavers is her "personal protection" agent, assigned to follow her around and keep her out of trouble. Trey, an ex-cop with a traumatic brain injury, is a very black and white kinda guy. His points of reference have changed since the accident, so he is strictly business in order to keep focused. Watching Tai is anything but a straightforward assignment, and she disrupts his orderly routines. The mystery escalates as more bodies fall in the wake of whatever is going on, and Ms. Whittle takes us on a wild ride of espionage, cover-ups and betrayal, presenting us with a host of guilty parties all eligible to be murder suspects. I especially liked the pairing of Tai, a somewhat free-spirited loose cannon, with the orderly, OCD Trey, the way they counterbalanced each other and complimented each other. A well laid out whodunit that kept me reading.
Every once in a while you read a book and wonder how in the world you hadn't read anything by this author before. The Dangerous Edge of Things was that kind of book for me. Tina Whittle has a smart, sassy voice that fills the page with vivid descriptions, a hot Atlanta setting, and a cast of characters that will keep you turning pages. By pairing her reluctant heroine with a brain-damaged partner, she's created a combo that makes you want to read the next book. Tai Randolph inherited a gun shop, but she discovers a dead body, and things escalate from there. Trey Seaver was injured in an accident, and although he's a to-die-for hunk of a guy, his brain doesn't work the way it used to, which frustrates him—and Tai. I was given a copy of the book with a request for an honest review.
Tina Whittle in her new book, “The Dangerous Edge of Things” Book One in the Tai Randolph Mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press introduces us to Tai Randolph. From the back cover: Tai Randolph thinks inheriting a Confederate-themed gun shop is her biggest headache — until she finds a murdered corpse in her brother’s driveway. Even worse, her supposedly respectable brother begins behaving in decidedly non-innocent ways, like fleeing to the Bahamas and leaving her with both a homicide in her lap and the pointed suspicions of the Atlanta PD directed her way. Suddenly, she has to worry about clearing her own name, not just that of her wayward sibling. Complicating her search for answers is Trey Seaver, field agent for Phoenix, an exclusive corporate security firm hired to investigate the crime. Trey is fearless, focused, and — much to Tai’s dismay — utterly impervious to bribes, threats and clever deceptions. Still in recovery from the car accident that left him cognitively and emotionally damaged, Trey has constructed a world of certainty and routine. He has powerful people to answer to, and the last thing he wants is an unpredictable stranger “detecting” on Phoenix turf. Tai’s inquiry leads her from the cold-eyed glamor of Atlanta’s adult entertainment scene to the gilded treachery of Tuxedo Road. Potential suspects abound, including violent stalkers, vengeful sisters, and a paparazzo with a taste for meth. But it takes another murder — and threats to her own life — to make Tai realize that to solve this crime, she has to trust the most dangerous man she’s ever met. This is a great way to start a mystery series and a great character to start with. Tai is not a Private Investigator, she is not a lawyer, matter of fact she is not any of those professions we have come to identify with mysteries. I suppose it is this not identifying that sets her, not only apart, but up for the challenge. What would you do if you came home one day and found a murdered person in the driveway? Now she has to get involved to clear her name with the police department because they think she did it. Since she doesn’t know, really, what she is doing she has to team up with Trey. This is quite a relationship as both of them are damaged characters. Danger, excitement and murder all figure into this highly complicated plot. “The Dangerous Edge of Things” is loaded with twists and turns that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. I am so glad I found Ms. Whittle and am so looking forward to the next book in this series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Poisoned Pen Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Tai Randolph has just inherited a gun shop from her politically incorrect uncle, when she finds a dead woman in her brother’s driveway. The Atlanta PD responds and Tai immediately finds herself a suspect in the woman’s death, along with her brother, who has left town. To clear her name and her brother’s, Tai immediately butts heads with Trey Seaver, a corporate security agent. To Trey, rules are a requirement. Except, when certain dangerous triggers occur. Tightly written with great surprises, not only does Whittle give us a wonderful mystery tied to the woman’s death at the beginning of the book, we also learn the reasons for Trey’s uniform life. Whittle leaves us eager to learn more about Tai and Trey, and their next adventure in Darker Than Any Shadow. I would have provided more details about the plot of The Dangerous Edge of Things, but I don’t want to spoil the surprises of this excellent kick off to a new series.
Awesome book love the main characters well written. Great and Awesome Tai and Trey are the best.
This was a fun read. Loved the characters, especially Rico and Trey. And I don't think Tai Randolph is anything like Stephanie Plum--she's smarter.
Tai Randolph has a problem-she's found a body in a car across the street from her brother's driveway. Add to that the unexpected presence of representatives from a local security firm pushing her around, and she's definitely having a bad day. Tina Whittle takes readers on a thrill-ride through the underside of corporate Atlanta in "The Dangerous Edge of Things," her debut novel from Poisoned Pen Press. Her heroine possesses strong opinions about a lot of things, not all of them based on fact. Tai has many lessons to learn along the way to the solution of the murder. Whittle's cast includes Trey Seaver, a former police officer working for Phoenix Corporate Services. He comes on like a stone man because of past injuries, but there's a heart inside the tough shell. Tai's brother Eric misses the excitement of the murder by being away on a cruise; his return brings more questions to the situation. Rico, an old friend of Tai's, provides moral and technical support as she investigates. Trey's former APD partner, politicians, socialites, a masseuse/mystic, strippers and all sorts of "company" goons interact with Tai as she tries to get to the truth. Oh, and she's inherited a gun shop but hasn't been approved yet to carry a gun. Plots and subplots intertwine in "Edge" and create one of those books that can make you lose track of time. Tai has left her "ghost tour" business to return to Atlanta because of the inheritance. She and Eric face off on a regular basis. Trey's brain injuries have left him with a different way of processing the world, challenging Tai's relationship skills. Eric is toeing the company line, even as he looks like a murder suspect. Secrets must be uncovered and the innocent vindicated, but can Tai and Trey accomplish the job in time to save their own lives? Whittle indicates that this book constitutes the first in a series. She's built a good platform from which to expand. Her characters possess sufficient complexity to bring the reader back without being so complicated that the reader gets confused. The relationships and situations are resolved to a satisfying point without coming to a dead end. There is some strong language interspersed in the story and a little bit of sexual overtones, but nothing outrageous. If you're looking for a new mystery author to follow, I recommend Tina Whittle. She tells a great Southern story while avoiding cloying stereotypes. I look forward to the next installment in the series. This review is based on a review copy of the book provided by the author.
If you want witty repartee, a wry world view, and a heroine with feet of clay, then Tai Randolph is your gal. We first meet Tai soon after she has discovered a dead woman in a parked car in front of her brother's house in a trendy section of Atlanta. Questioned by police, manipulated by her brother, forced to try and justify her indeterminate status, Tai ends up staying at a luxury hotel in Buckhead. There she meets Trey, an intriguing, handsome, and ultimately quite different security operative. Fighting her growing attraction to Trey, and realizing that the police investigation will go nowhere, Tai takes it upon herself to solve the young woman's death. The plot is clever, the main character is complex and well realized, but most importantly this is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. Tai Randolph's irreverent thoughts and observations will keep you chuckling though the most stressful of police interrogations. I can not recommend this book highly enough, and I impatiently await book number two
The Dangerous Edge of Things is one of the most original books I have ever read. The characters are from Georgia, but the dialogue is not dripping with southern cliches like "ya'll" and "ain't". It represents the melting pot that the south has become in 2011 with educated southerners with dignity, pride, and a flair for sophisticated hospitality. Tai, the heroin, is a strong female with a desire for the truth, and Trey is a man that knows what he is, literally, but has no emotional attachment to his future. This mystery novel keeps you guessing until the very end. The descriptive way that Tina set's the stage, you truly feel like your part of the story. I read the book so fast the first time, that I had to read it again just to see all the finer details that were so cleverly hidden to keep me guessing. I was almost surprised again the second time through. At times I laughed out loud which kept me wanting to see more. I would recommend this to women that want a strong feminine character, to men who want action (who can go wrong with a ferrari chase scene), and anyone who wants a great book that gets you out of the daily routine of everyday life. I can't wait for the next book.
Tai Randolph recently moved from Savannah to the Atlanta area as she her brother Eric inherited a gun store in the northern suburb of Kennesaw. Her sibling the psychologist goes on a cruise so she house sits his home. However, she notices a woman in a parked car across the street from the house. Tai goes to see if the woman is okay only to find her dead as someone shot the victim who also has Eric's business card. She calls the police who place the siblings on the top of their list of suspects due to the gun store and Eric's departure. Not one to sit idly by, Tai investigates at the same time experienced rivals from APD and private security detective Trey Seaver, hired by Eric to protect his sister, make inquiries. Trey has no long term memory since he had an on the job as a cop injury. Meanwhile Tai concludes she and her brother, when he comes home, are in trouble from an unknown adversary who may be willing to kill the siblings and she figures the cops and the private sleuth could not care whether she and Eric live except if it muddles their respective "lucid" case. The first Tai Randolph amateur sleuth is a terrific suspense thriller due to the cast especially the two terrific T, Tai and Trey. Each has personal issues that enhance a strong whodunit. Eric's exit adds to the fine Atlanta tale as his sister and his hired gun want to know why he suddenly left town; while the cops believe they know why he fled to the Caribbean. This is a winning murder mystery. Harriet Klausner