You want to hear about my typical day? Really?
I mean, I’m glad to share — nobody’s ever accused me of being shy — but most people ask about Trey. What’s it like having a former SWAT-ops boyfriend? Does he ever let you drive the Ferrari? What kind of gun does he carry?
For the record, he packs an immaculately maintained Heckler and Koch P7M8, and I am almost as good as he is with it. I have yet to drive the Ferrari, however — he gets nervous palpitations at the thought. And it is utterly awesome having a boyfriend with Special Ops skills, especially since he’s willing to teach me the tricks of the trade. Like how to perform a Krav Maga takedown or set up a surveillance system. Trey is a challenge (and I’m not just talking about his brain rearrangement) but he’s totally worth it. And I‘d say that even if he didn’t have those gorgeous blue eyes.
I’m finally beginning to get my bearings in my new hometown. Atlanta is a sprawling maze of construction, still smarting from the beatdown General Sherman handed it during the Civil War. It’s often stubbornly quaint — every other street is called Peachtree Something-Or-Other — but you‘d better conjure up some NASCAR mojo if you want to survive the freeways. Plus there’s money here — old money, new money, dirty money.
My days are pretty routine, assuming there are no fresh corpses on the ground (don‘t laugh — this happens to me far more often than the law of averages should allow). I am the half-owner and sole proprietor of Dexter’s Guns and More, in Kennesaw, just north of the metro area. I inherited it from my Uncle Dexter, who left it to me and my brother Eric, a corporate psychologist who wants nothing to do with it. He refers to my new career as “arms merchant for a bunch of rednecks.” He says this as if it’s an insult.
Anyway, most of my working hours are spent in the shop filling out ATF paperwork and trying to keep the books in the black. My customers come from all walks of life — hunters, cops, stay-at-home moms — but a large slice of the demographic belongs to the Confederate re-enactors in the area. One of my favorite tasks is tracking down authentic Civil War-era weapons and accessories for them. Especially underwear. I have a proprietary source who makes the finest circa-1860 reproduction long johns in the Southeast.
After work, I kick back at Trey’s place in Buckhead, watch the Midtown lights come out from his balcony. And if he’s off being Mr. Corporate Security Agent, I hang with Rico, my big beefy best friend with eyes like river rocks and skin like chocolate. Our nights aren’t quite as wild as they were growing up together in Savannah — we’re both semi-responsible adults now — but nobody keeps me grounded quite like Rico.
Well, there’s Garrity. Detective Garrity, Trey’s former partner and slightly-estranged best friend. That man has a heart as big as Stone Mountain, but he’s got a temper as red-hot as his hair. I can usually find him on the shop‘s doorstep, lecturing me, at length, on why I shouldn’t tamper with official investigations, question suspicious people, or use the phrase “life or death“ around Trey.
My new life keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure. If I had more time, I’d tell you about the murderous poets and the arson and the reticulated python. Rico says I should write a book. I might . . . as soon as things calm down. Which isn’t looking likely, unfortunately.
Meet the author
Tina Whittle is a mystery writer living and working in the Georgia Lowcountry. The Dangerous Edge of Things, her first novel, debuted February 2011 from Poisoned Pen Press, followed in March 2012 by DARKER THAN ANY SHADOW, the second in the “Tai Randolph” series. Described by Publisher’s Weekly as a “tight, suspenseful debut,“ this Atlanta-based series features gun shop owner Tai Randolph and corporate security agent Trey Seaver. You can find the author online at her official website — www.tinawhittle.com.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.