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I picked up Alex Bledsoe's The Sword-Edged Blonde because it had just been released on audiobook and I was looking for something short, different, and fun. The Sword-Edged Blonde was exactly what I needed.
Eddie LaCrosse used to be a rich kid, but a tragic event drove him away from his past life and now he's a loner. He works as a detective, and he's really good at it. So, his old best friend, King Phil, hires him to solve a murder. Eddie soon realizes that the mystery is somehow tied up with his own past, so he finds himself confronting his most unpleasant memories as he tries to solve the strange case.
Eddie LaCrosse makes a great hero. He's a nobleman's son, so he's educated and has manners, he worked as a mercenary after he ran away from home, so he's an accomplished fighter, and now he's an aging rough-edged noir-style detective who doesn't take crap from anyone. But as the mystery and his past unfold, we find out that he's certainly not invulnerable.
The setting of The Sword-Edged Blonde was unusual. The lack of electricity, cars, and guns suggests an early time, but the character names (Janet, Stephanie, Kathy) seem out of place, as do words like ???debutante??? and model names for swords (The Edgemaster Series 3). This type of quirkiness is fine with me ??? I needed a break from the usual medieval-style fantasy.
Mr. Bledsoe's writing style was refreshing and had just the right feel for a noir detective story. It was clear and vivid and the dialogue sounded perfectly realistic ??? I was impressed with this caliber of writing coming from a new novelist (though, Mr Bledsoe has previously published dozens of short stories).
The plot of The Sword-Edged Blonde was fast and never lagged. Past and present were intermingled effectively.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
First, Stefan Rudniki, I find to always do a great job narrating. (and in this case he didn't let me down) The first book by Alex Bledsoe I've ever had pleasure to listen to. This I belive is a trilogy, and I can't wait to download the next two. Some laughs and twists and turns that will keep your interest. (If "Dresden Files" and "Night Side" series had a baby it would be "Eddie La Cross") the character in this series. A mature hard nosed detective, who's life has given him lemons and he made "apple juice". I'm getting the next two books in series right now, and can't wait to listen.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Sword-Edged Blonde in three words, what would they be?
Gumshoe with sword.
What did you like best about this story?
I like crime stories and I like fantasy so this was a great fit for me. The fact that the main character in the book is basically from a thirties pulp detective novel gives a great deal of levity to the whole book. But it's not a comedy, there are moments of poignancy and wonder and even horror.
Which character – as performed by Stefan Rudnicki – was your favourite?
His voice and delivery was perfect for the narrator, but he was good at all the characters irrespective of gender or class.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
A favour for a friend beings back old memories ... and horses.
Any additional comments?
Stefan Rudnicki is the best reader for this story. Sometimes I find an American accent a little incongruous for a fantasy book (that usually passes after a few minutes), but he was the perfect fit for this story, and I will almost certainly get more in this series because of Stefan's reading.
a bit more light hearted and down to earth than what I expected despite the fantasy setting.