Deeper Than the Grave

It’s taken almost a year, but Tai Randolph finally has her new life together. She’s running a semi-successful Atlanta gun shop catering to Civil War re-enactors. Her lover, the sexy if somewhat security-obsessed Trey Seaver, is sorting through his challenges. Most importantly, there’s not a single corpse on her horizon, and her previously haphazard existence is finally stable, secure . . . and utterly unsurprising.

Then a tornado scatters the skeletal remains of a Confederate hero, and Tai is asked to assist with the recovery effort. It’s a job her late Uncle Dexter would have relished, as does Tai, especially when she discovers a jumble of bones in the Kennesaw Mountain underbrush.

Her problem? The skeleton doesn’t belong to the missing soldier. Tai’s discovery reveals a more recent murder, with her deceased uncle leading the suspect list. As Tai struggles to clear Dexter’s name — and save the shop he left her — she digs up more than old bones. Deadly secrets also lie buried in the red Georgia clay.

Tai realizes there’s a murderer on the loose, a clever killer who has tried to conceal the crimes of the present in the stories of the past. As she risks her own life to unravel two mysteries — one from a previous century, one literally at her doorstep — Tai rediscovers her dangerous taste for murder and mayhem. Will she survive yet another foray into amateur sleuthing? Will Trey? Or will the Civil War add two modern-day casualties to its death toll?

Excerpt:
Trey’s mouth was at my ear, his chest solid against my back. “Slowly.”

“Got it.”

“Firm and gentle pressure.”

I sighed. “I have done this before, you know.”

“And yet you’re still snatching.” He adjusted my grip on the revolver so that the butt of the gun rested solidly in my left palm. “Take a breath. Half exhale. Then squeeze. One smooth motion.”

His voice was muted through the fancy electronic hearing protection muffs, but that hardly mattered – he was saying the exact same thing he always said. I wiggled my nose to adjust the safety goggles, sighted along the barrel. The revolver’s sights bobbed red against the target, a human-sized silhouette with concentric rings highlighting its heart. I took one deep breath in, trickled it halfway out. Then I dropped the barrel a smidgen and squeezed. The .38 kicked in my hand as a fresh bullet hole appeared at the target’s groin.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on July 16 for the chance to win one of the first three books (paperback or e-book) in the Tai Randolph mystery series. (US entries only, please.)

About the author
Tina Whittle’s Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver series — featuring intrepid gunshop owner Tai and her corporate security TinaWagent partner Trey — has garnered starred reviews in Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. Published by Poisoned Pen Press, this Atlanta-based series debuted with The Dangerous Edge of Things, followed by Darker Than Any Shadow (2012) and Blood, Ash and Bone (2013). The fourth book in the series — Deeper Than the Grave — releases in November 2014.

A nominee for Georgia Author of the Year in 2012, Whittle’s short fiction has appeared in The Savannah Literary Journal, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and Gulf Stream, which selected her story “Lost Causes and Other Reasons to Live” as the 2004 winner of their Mystery Fiction contest. When not writing or reading, she enjoys golf, sushi, tarot cards, and spending time with her family (one husband, one daughter, one neurotic Maltese and four bossy chickens).

You can find the author online at her official website — www.tinawhittle.com.

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