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Darker Than Any Shadow (Tai Randolph Series) Hardcover – March 6, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Tai Randolph Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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 (after 2011's The Dangerous Edge of Things). . . . 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

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, [who] wonders if Trey will ever be capable of returning her love and offering her a place in his highly systemized life.  The emotional depth of this second Tai Randolph Mystery argues favorably for the next installment in Whittle's series.
-- Carol Thomas, National Examiner

As mysteries goes, this is one of the most interesting and enjoyable books I have read in the genre. . . 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. It's a novel that is extremely easy to get into and you finish it before you know it. That's what makes a novel so great - you get lost in the world, the characters, the plot. Tina Whittle has achieved that with perfection.
-- Ian Caithness, Dead Ink

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 by Tina Whittle
-- Mary Beth Magee

"A brisk and smartly written entry in what is shaping up to be a winning series." —Booklist review of Darker Than Any Shadow

"A must-read if you dote on romance with a touch of wry and mystery with enough suspects to fill a football stadium." —Kirkus Reviews of Darker Than Any Shadow

"
Whittle brings back the intrepid gun dealer Tai (The Dangerous Edge of Things) 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 review of Darker Than Any Shadow

"Tai’s next adventure can’t come soon enough. She’s adorable, Trey is worthy of her and Whittle’s first foray into crime fiction is noteworthy." —Kirkus Reviews starred review of The Dangerous Edge of Things

 "In this exciting series debut, Whittle provides not only an original, well-constructed plot but also a cast of unforgettable characters all somewhat flawed by life. With comparisons to Meg Gardiner and Karin Slaughter, this will appeal to readers who enjoy unusual approaches to crime fiction. Can’t wait for the next one." —Library Journal starred review of The Dangerous Edge of Things

"Mystery fans will welcome wisecracking characters that aren't trite and a twisting plot that isn't tired." —Publishers Weekly starred review of The Dangerous Edge of Things

 

 

 

From the Author

Why set a murder mystery at a poetry competition?

Because that's where the professional performance poets are, and let me tell you, I've never met a more fascinating bunch of cutthroat geniuses in my life. I assure you that's a compliment, and that every performance poet I know would take it as such. These are not your English teacher's wandering-lonely-as-a-cloud poets - the poets are out for blood, and they use words as weapons, sliding and dicing and eviscerating with consonants and vowels. Imagine a duel where rhymes fly like bullets, and you've got a poetry slam. Add a little lust and a lot of fame and fortune, stir in a sultry Southern night in Atlanta, and you've got flashpoint.

That's why I set Darker Than Any Shadow at the stage of a poetry competition - because I couldn't think of a place more like to inspire a crime of passion.
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Product Details

  • Series: Tai Randolph Series
  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590585461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590585467
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,103,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the second installment in the remarkable and charming Tai Randolph series set in Atlanta.

Tai and her security expert boyfriend Trey agree to help out a friend at a high-stakes poetry slam competition in a downtown Atlanta club. In the midst of her friend's performance a fire breaks out in the bathroom, and in the confusion that follows Tai discovers the body of a murdered performer. Soon Tai is engaged in unraveling the mystery while at the same time struggling to understand her deepening relationship with the enigmatic Trey. The book literally sizzles with the banter and interplay among the characters as they weave their way through a clever yet fully convincing plot, leaving the reader wanting more.

Perhaps best of all, this is a book written to entertain by an author who takes her readers seriously, The protagonist, Tai Randolph, is full of wit and wry observations that are now an essential component of her character. These quips not only keep the reader chuckling but move the story forward, the sign of a fine writer. In fact, the author has a firm grasp on all elements of the craft of writing, including the larger arc of Tai and Trey's story. I want the next installment NOW!

If you have enjoyed Linda Barnes or Janet Evanovich, you will enjoy Tina Whittle.
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Format: Hardcover
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 protagonist informs and leavens what could otherwise have been a run-of-the-mill mystery. Indeed, the identity of the killer, while important to the story, was, to this reader, not as compelling as the characters, and the milieu.

The setting is Atlanta, Georgia, during the run-up to a major poetry slam competition. Some of the characters have known each other from childhood and others seem to have uncertain, even mysterious backgrounds. It's hot in Atlanta, and gun shop owner Tai Randolph is mentoring her long-time friend, rising poet, Rico. There are teams of competing poets as well as individual efforts and a surplus of egos swirling around as participants prepare. Then murder intrudes.

The relationship developing between our principal "investigator," amateur tho she is, Tai Randolph and her lover, Trey Seaver, is much more than casually interesting to observe. Seaver is a former cop with a high level of crisis and SWAT training, excellent skills and more than a little rigidity as regards the rules of life and the law. 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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
fascinating characters with a tight plot and relationships that make you think. this book is written at a higher level than a lot of books of this genre. the humor is funny but it also seems natural rather than pasted on for effect. i found myself highlighting some especially skillful turns of phrase. fun, engaging and very well written, in my opinion. highly recommended by me.
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Format: MP3 CD
Not a bad story. But the reader's southern accents are off and rather unpleasant. The writing is good however, the author IMO spends too much time doing the fashion show intro for characters meaning she spends too much time describing each article of clothing, hair color etc...
It would be best to read this book instead of listen to it with this Renee Raudman as the reader. I'll have to listen to other books by her before making a decisive review about her style.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
Guns and Poets. In this second in the series of Tai Randolph mysteries set in Atlanta, Tai Randolph's friend Trey Seaver, a former APD cop turned security maven is hired to run security at a national poetry recital contest. A fire breaks out, a poet dies and Tai's friend Rico is the main suspect. To the investigation goes Tai.

Who knew poets could be deadly.

I enjoyed this book and its quirky charcters. Well-written with an original plot.
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Format: Paperback
`"Technically true but deliberately evasive"' (page 103) is an appropriate description for Tai Randolph the owner of an Atlanta gun shop. Tai often skirts the edges of the truth as she looks for answers, while Trey Seaver, her boyfriend, is a security analyst who can extrapolate security scenarios and take down a human without a second thought.

In their second mystery, Tai's best friend, Rico, is participating in a national poetry slam and the competition is a killer. When Rico's accused of murder, Tai's at her `"technically true"' best searching for answers in ways that sometime run counter to Trey's rule-book.

This series does not disappoint and book two's setting, a poetry slam, was fascinating. I'm looking forward to her next book in the series, Blood, Ash and Bone, which is coming out in February 2013.

Beware of plot spoiler below:

For anyone who knows someone who is affected by a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), this series is a little bittersweet. The stories are mysteries, but they also follow Tai and Trey's romance as she learns how her boyfriend was changed by his injury and he begins to come out of his shell.

TBI can kill a person's sense of self, relationships, or transform them into unrecognizable territory. Such as Trey's estrangement from Garrity, who misses his buddy and still cares for him at a distance.

Without being overdone or slowing her pacing, Whittle provides nuggets on how the TBI changed Trey. There are glimpses of his old self, mixed with the new, and Tai's realization of what he has lost and gained at the same time. Tai and Trey fit well together, especially when they have to work at it.
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