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.

Tina Whittle's website is

The Dangerous Edge of Things by Tina Whittle. Poisoned Pen Press, ©2011. ISBN 9781590588178 (hardcover), 250p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I bought my copy of the book.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love the fact that Tai has to *learn* how to handle guns to deal with the situation she's in. Sometimes heroines are just too perfect and seem to have it all together. This book sounds interesting because what's happening to Tai is a mystery as much as the murder of the woman.

Lesa said...

You're totally right, Elizabeth. And, Tina wrote it as a Tai Randolph mystery, although she said just as many people are intrigued with Trey Seaver. It really is Tai's story, with another fascinating character.

Joe Barone said...

This book sounds interesting, but unfortunately (unless I just couldn't find it) the book is not presently in NOOK or iPad app form. Even if a book interests me, I am not as inclined to buy it if I can't get it electronically. We are retired and have little space for a lot of hardcover and paperback books. For me, electronic books are so much easier to buy, read and store. I wish publishers provided an electronic option (Kindle, Nook or more generic format) for all their books.

Lesa said...


My understanding is Poisoned Pen is in the middle of a major change so it should be available soon as an electronic option.

Janet C said...

I have this one on order and now I'm even more eager for it to arrive.

Lesa said...

Great, Janet! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Donis Casey said...

The really fascinating thing about this book for me was that Trey is struggling with a traumatic brain injury that in a way has given him the power to be a "human lie detector". I really hope Tina carries on with this as a series, because I'd love to see how Trey and Tai deal with their respective difficulties and their relationship with each other.

Lesa said...

I agree, Donis. Great characters, aren't they? Yes, I can see there might be some troubles in their future, with Trey's problems. Could make for terrific scenes.

Laura C. said...

I just finished reading The Dangerous Edge of Things. I loved it. Great characters and a fresh story. Lesa, I agree that Tai Randolph is a much more intelligent character than Stephanie Plum...but still very funny.

Lesa said...

It does contain great characters & a fresh story, doesn't it, Laura? I liked Tai, and the other characters. Looking forward to future books by her.