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Dark Jenny (Eddie LaCrosse) Paperback – March 29, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bledsoe whips up a perfect blend of Arthurian legend and hard-boiled detecting in the third novel featuring "private sword jockey" Eddie LaCrosse (after 2009's Burn Me Deadly). While tracking a client's wayward husband on the island kingdom of Grand Bruan, which is ruled by King Marcus Drake and his Knights of the Double Tarn, LaCrosse falls under suspicion when a knight dies of a poisoned apple he snatched from a tray prepared specially by Queen Jennifer. Fortunately, the detective manages to convince the king's seneschal that he may not be guilty, and is asked to help identify the real criminal. The mystery and its ramifications for the Grand Bruan royals will seem familiar to readers of Thomas Malory, but Bledsoe skillfully combines humor, action, deduction, and emotion to make the material fresh and engaging for fans of both fantasy and noir. (Apr.)
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Review

“[Burn Me Deadly] gives every evidence that Bledsoe's combination of sword and sorcery with hard-boiled detection will have a long and successful run. . . . Bledsoe effortlessly draws readers into his created world and manages to stay true to both fantasy and mystery traditions.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A compelling story with fascinating characters--who are so witty and whose attitude is so wry that I laughed and cared.” ―Orson Scott Card on The Sword-Edged Blonde

“Both stylish and self-assured: Raymond Chandler meets Raymond E. Feist.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Sword-Edged Blonde

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Product Details

  • Series: Eddie LaCrosse (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765327430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765327437
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,994,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alex Bledsoe is one of my favorite authors, and I love his Eddie LaCrosse books most of all. The combination of sword and sorcery fantasy and noir detective novel is one of the most original, clever things I have ever seen, and Bledsoe pulls it off with panache and wit.

Eddie LaCrosse is a sword-jockey for hire and the books follow his various adventures. But the tale told on a winter's day of his travels years before to the island kingdom of Grand Braun hold an even more unusual theme than most...in this amazing take on the King Arthur story.

A must read, highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Eddie LaCrosse is a self described `Sword Jockey'. A former mercenary turned P.I (albeit middle-ages style), Eddie is hired to check up on a nobleman suspected of adultery. A turn of events however has our wise-cracking hero at the pointy end of a sword, manacles on his wrists and a lot of people calling for his execution.

At a reception for Queen Jennifer Drake, a murder is committed with Eddie and the Queen herself as the prime suspects. With his life at stake, Eddie jumps into the investigation determined to clear his own name and bring the killer to justice. But immediately, he finds this is not a clear cut act of murder but a more involved political gambit to discredit the Queen and the throne.

Bledsoe weaves a wonderful tale of political intrigue, action and the right amount of humor. Drawing loosely on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable, the story unfolds with some familiarity and plenty of surprising changes, twists and characters that keep you guessing until the very end. The dialog is witty, the action scenes are fast and well placed, and the characters leave you wanting for more. This book, even though the third in the LaCrosse series easily stands alone.

Dark Jenny is the perfect crossover for both lovers of the classic hardboiled detective novels of Micky Spillain as well as those who love the high adventure styling found within the Arthurian legends.

A great read!!

[...]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hard, gritty and very good detective story. This series packs a punch, and tells not just one story, but several. It builds on each previous book a bit, so it's recommended to read them in order, although you don't have to.
I rate this as highly as books from Jim Butcher (YMMV, though).
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Format: Paperback
Dark Jenny is my first book by Alex Bledsoe, which also means it’s my first book in the Eddie LaCrosse series. That series – whose main character is essentially a hard-boiled detective in a fantasy world – had a couple of books behind it already by the time Dark Jenny came out, which means that I’m definitely missing some references and backstory scattered throughout the book. And yet, by and large, I don’t think any of that quite mattered to me – what I got was a really engaging, fun, enjoyable adventure story, although one that drew a little too heavily on its sources for me.

Dark Jenny is mainly a bit of backstory on Eddie, who spends most of the book at a tavern recounting a story of his adventures for a captive audience. That story involves LaCrosse’s journey to Grand Braun, a now-peaceful country that’s ruled by King Marcus Drake. Drake took a wild country, one largely composed of battling tribes, and consolidated the rule into a throne, supported by the Knights of the Double Tarn. But when someone poisons one of the Knights, LaCrosse gets drawn into the situation, and has to unravel a complicated tale of power struggles, religion, trust, and honor.

If the setup for this novel sounds a little like King Arthur to you, well, it should. Bledsoe doesn’t really make much effort to pretend he’s not playing with Arthurian legends (even the novel’s epigraph foreshadows this nicely), and by and large, that’s okay. The whole idea of Dark Jenny is to realize that even legends have their shadows, and that no hero is truly a great person – we all have our shadows.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A retelling of the Arthur story from the perspective of a psuedo-private eye, this story suffers from distracting incongruities in the setting, characters, and language. The Eddie Lacrosse stories take place in an undistinguished, low-magic fantasy world, but the characters act and speak more like they're in a shallow version of post-WWII Los Angeles than a place with medieval values and social hierarchies. For example, the protagonist is constantly described by himself and everyone around him as a "sword jockey", an awkward label for a mercenary private agent that sounds more like 20th Century slang than something out of a feudal environment.

This book tries to follow the path laid by Glen Cook's popular Garrett, P.I. books. But where Cook's tongue is firmly in his cheek as he uses the fantasy setting to poke some fun at the hard-boiled detective genre, Bledsoe plays it mostly straight, which makes the incongruities stand out in harsh relief. Can't recommend it.
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