Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Monday, February 28, 2011
The Dangerous Edge of Things by Tina Whittle
Tina Whittle's debut mystery, The Dangerous Edge of Things, introduces two great characters,Tai Randolph and Trey Seaver. And, for the sake of the book and the author, I'm glad it received starred reviews in all of the major journals. I'd give it a starred review, too. I just can't agree with a quote from Kirkus Reviews, though. The quote on the front of the book says, " 'If you're wondering who can give Stephanie Plum a run for her money, meet Tai Randolph.'" That statement is just so wrong for Tai Randolph, and for this book.
Tai Randolph was giving tours of Savannah graveyards before she inherited a gun shop in Atlanta from her uncle. She was temporarily staying at her brother Eric's house there until she found a place of her own. But, a week after moving to Atlanta, she found a woman's body slumped over the seat in a car across from her brother's. Eric, an industrial psychologist, had just left on a cruise to the Bahamas, and Tai was facing police scrutiny on her own. She was new to town, didn't have a place to live, and owned a gun shop.
She wasn't happy to be part of a murder investigation, but even less happy when it turned out her brother knew the victim, and, without telling her, put Tai under surveillance by Phoenix Corporate Services , an elite security firm. And, she doesn't know what to make of the mysterious Trey Seaver, the man protecting her. But, Detective Dan Garrity, who worked with Trey when he was a cop, provided background. Following a car accident that killed his mother, Trey suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for five days, and when he woke he no longer knew how to properly act. He could only judge by right or wrong; there were no shades of grey for him. And, he had an uncanny ability to tell if people were lying, a skill that came in useful working for Phoenix.
Tai certainly needed someone she could trust. Her brother wasn't telling her anything. He knew the victim, who had mysterious connections to a powerful Atlanta couple. With their link to a politician and Phoenix, she felt there was something odd going on. And, Tai Randolph wasn't the type to sit still and let some pretty boy security guard take care of her. However, the more time she spent with Trey, the more she felt he might be one of the only honest people involved in this investigation.
I truly admire Tai Randolph, but she's certainly no Stephanie Plum. She's so much more streetwise and intelligent. She isn't one of those sleuths I despise, the ones referred to as TSTL, Too Stupid to Live. When Tai receives an anonymous phone call, asking for a meeting, she replies, "'Look. I don't know what kind of idiot you think I am, but I don't show up at midnight when some stranger tells me to "come alone."'" Loved that. And, when she asked her friend, Rico, to accompany her, she told him she couldn't be a girl detective without a gay best friend. Tai is a strong woman who is facing major changes in her life, including how she's going to handle her new role as a "liberal feminist gun show owner" in Atlanta. Tai isn't stupid. She isn't a bimbo, and she's willing to learn how to handle guns and how to protect herself. And, she may have to learn to handle her growing feelings for Trey Seaver.
Don't pick up Tina Whittle's The Dangerous Edge of Things expecting to read a Stephanie Plum novel. Pick it up if you want to read an intriguing mystery that introduces two fascinating, original characters. I hope Tai Randolph and Trey Seaver will have many adventures together.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
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