The dog days of summer have arrived, and Tai Randolph is feeling the heat. Running her uncle’s gun shop is more demanding than she ever imagined. Her best friend Rico is competing for a national slam poetry title. And Atlanta is overrun with hundreds of fame-hungry performance poets clogging all the good bars.
She’s also got her brand-new relationship with corporate security agent Trey Seaver to deal with. SWAT-trained and rule-obsessed, Trey has a brain geared for statistics and flow charts, not romance. And while Tai finds him irresistibly fascinating, dating a human lie detector who can kill with his bare hands is a somewhat precarious endeavor.
And then just when she thinks she might get a handle on things, one of Rico’s fellow poets is murdered . . . and Rico becomes the prime suspect.
Tai pushes up her sleeves and comes to his defense with every trick in her book — a little lying here, a little snooping there. Trey wants her off the case immediately. So does Rico. Every poet in Atlanta has a secret, it seems, and one of them is willing to kill to keep theirs quiet. But someone else wants her on the job, someone dropping anonymous clues and clandestine tip-offs her way. Someone with an agenda that’s looking either positively heroic . . . or downright deadly.
Will Tai’s relationship with Trey survive another foray into amateur sleuthing? And even more importantly, will she?
Read an EXCERPT
Praise for Darker Than Any Shadow
“The appealing Atlanta odd couple of redneck gun shop operator Tai Randolph and Trey Seaver, a cop turned Armani-clad corporate security expert, enter the world of high-stakes poetry slams in Whittle’s exuberant second mystery. . . . A passel of colorful characters, more plot twists than the reticulated python who has a key cameo, and plenty of atmosphere make this one a winner.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“A poetry slam makes an unlikely blood sport, but when Tai Randolph is around, bodies seem to appear. . . . In the second in this series, after The Dangerous Edge of Things, feisty Tai shows her emotional side. A brisk and smartly written entry in what is shaping up to be a winning series.”—Michele Leber for Booklist
“Whittle brings back the intrepid gun dealer Tai in a dynamic sophomore outing. With its psychological edge, smoldering romantic tension, and the Atlanta setting, she’s got a unique and appealing series underway.”—Library Journal
“A must-read if you dote on romance with a touch of wry and mystery with enough suspects to fill a football stadium.” —Kirkus
“Darker than Any Shadow offers an intriguing mystery with plentiful suspects, but equally important to this novel is the developing relationship between Trey and Tai. . . . The emotional depth of this second Tai Randolph Mystery argues favorably for the next installment in Whittle’s series.” —Carol Nelson for The National Examiner
“People who enjoy thrillers, murder mysteries and detective novels will no doubt find themselves in good company with Tina Whittle’s novel, but those outside of that genre may very well surprise themselves in how easily they get into it. . . . That’s what makes a novel great – you get lost in the world, the characters, the plot. Tina Whittle has achieved that with perfection.” —Ian Caithness for Dead Ink
“The second entry in the author’s intriguing series featuring a gun shop owner and a corporate security officer is a winner. Heavily populated with interesting characters, the turbulent love affair between the protagonists informs and leavens what could otherwise have been a run-of-the-mill mystery. . . . The almost constant battles between the lovers as they try to accommodate each other is a fascinating piece of this very entertaining novel. I recommend it strongly.” —Carl Brookins
“The best murder mysteries unravel a complex set of circumstances to reveal a perfectly logical villain . . . . Whittle shows herself to be a deft plotter with outstanding unraveling skills. She maintains tension, with appropriate moments of relief. There’s nothing cozy about Darker Than Any Shadow, it’s edgy all the way. Notwithstanding the female protagonist, both male and female readers will enjoy the strong story, deep characterizations and inside look at competitive performance poetry, a world not often used in mainstream fiction. If you enjoy a good mystery, don’t miss Darker Than Any Shadow.” —Mary Beth Magee