She applied the Page 69 Test to Darker Than Any Shadow, the second novel in the Tai Randolph series, and reported the following:
Q: So we’re looking at page 69 of Darker Than Any Shadow — any sex on this page?Learn more about the book and author at Tina Whittle's website and blog.
A: No, the sex is on page 67. And 177. But nothing here, sorry.
Q: How about gunplay?
A: That’s later, when the python shows up.
Q: So who is this guy asking the question at the top of page 69: “Where should we start?”
A: That’s Trey Seaver, one of my protagonists. In this scene, he’s clean up a restaurant after a suspicious fire wrecked the place and a malicious poet met an untimely and brutal death.
Q: And this is where your other protagonist comes in?
A: Tai Randolph, yes. She’s helping too, but while Trey is altruistically shouldering a broom, Tai is sneaking past the police tape to investigate the crime scene.
Q: So why is this an important scene?
A: It’s a quick glimpse into the personalities of Trey and Tai — now lovers, but still at cross purposes most of the time. A former SWAT officer with the Atlanta police force, Trey is a corporate security agent — he’s usually Armani-clad, impeccably groomed, and utterly rule-driven. Tai is a slightly frazzled Low Country redneck, trying to reinvent her life through an unexpected inheritance — a Confederate-themed gun shop. She’s smart, sneaky, and too curious for her own good. They make a complementary if contentious pair, both in romance and crime-solving.
As Tai explains, watching Trey poke about the water-soaked restaurant, “I wasn’t sure what he was looking for, but I knew his process—start at the beginning. My process was different. I started by finding something with a lid on it. Then I pulled the lid off.”
Q: And the crime that she pulls the lid off?
A: Murder most foul. Take a bunch of cut-throat performance poets, add money and glory, toss in some blackmail...
A: Trust me, they’re not your stereotypical “daffodils and fluffy cloud” poets.
Q: I’m still not getting how a python fits into all this.
A: Just read the book.