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

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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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[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 (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,023,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up in west Tennessee an hour north of Graceland (home of Elvis) and twenty minutes from Nutbush (birthplace of Tina Turner). I've been a reporter, editor, photographer and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. I now live in a Wisconsin town famous for trolls, write before six in the morning and try to teach my three kids to act like they've been to town before. I'm the author of the Eddie LaCrosse high fantasy/hardboiled mysteries ("The Sword-Edged Blonde," "Burn Me Deadly," "Dark Jenny," "Wake of the Bloody Angel" and "He Drank, and Saw the Spider"), two novels about vampires in 1975 Memphis ("Blood Groove" and "The Girls with Games of Blood"), the Tufa novels ("The Hum and the Shiver," "Wisp of a Thing," and the upcoming "Long Black Curl") and the "Firefly Witch" short story ebook chapbooks.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Blake on June 15, 2011
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 this amazing take on the King Arthur story.

A must read, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Team Lewis on September 17, 2011
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Nolan VINE VOICE on May 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Telling a story in flashback, especially if the framing narration tells the ending is a very risky thing to do. It's like getting people to see a movie about "The Titanic" even though they know "the boat sank", or see a movie about the plot to kill Hitler even though they know it didn't work.

Of course both of those ideas are real movies, and *one* was successful, so it can be done.

Eddie LaCrosse is a sword for hire in a fantasy world not too unlike our middle-ages. There are a number of differences though. Medicine seems to be a good bit better, as is the lot of women, and Eddie's class of hired sword is closer to our conception of Private Eye than a simple mercenary (though those exist as well).

This is not the first Eddie LaCrosse story, something I was unaware of until I got into the book, and he already has something of a backstory, which is mostly not spelled out here. It's enough to know that he was raised in a noble family but for some reason has rejected his upbringing.

The story opens with the delivery of a casket to the modern-day Eddie, prompting him to relive (and relate to a rapt tavern audience) an adventure of some years ago.

At this point the story moves into a flashback and events and personages plainly inspired by the King Arthur and Camelot tales of our own world. Bledsoe doesn't try to pretend otherwise, and all the names are either anagrams or close cognates for those we are familiar with "Grand Bruan" for "Great Britain", "Nodlon" for "London", "Meagan" for "Morgan le Fay", "Jennifer" for "Guinivere" etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rhi on September 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
Once again Mr. Bledsoe has out done himself. I have read all of the Eddie Lacross books and while Burn Me Deadly, and Sword Edged Blond were both excellent books Dark Jenny is nearly beyond praise. Superb, delightful, stellar yeeeahh those don't quite do it. Dark Jenny is perhaps the most complete book I have ever read. There are few books these days that I am sorry to finish. Dark Jenny was one that left me with mixed feelings. On one hand I was sorry that the tale had to end, on the other hand the ending was very satisfying. This might sound nuts but a good book should be like a good meal, it fills you up while leaving you just a touch sad its over. Dark Jenny filled up my book craving nicely but now I'm getting hungry again. I hope Mr. Bledsoe continues to grace us with more delightful books.
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Format: Paperback
I've read the first two Eddie LaCrosse novels, and enjoyed his cynical but honorable voice threading plenty of humor past even the darkest moments of his adventures & mysteries. All that's still here, but I found this book left me with too bleak a feeling in the end. His first tale ended with a hopeful meeting, as he was adjusting to the realization that some amazing things were true, and the second ended with him together with Liz, their relationship becoming stronger through revealing some neglected truths. Here, the idealized kingdom is shown as a doomed failure, and obviously he doesn't end up with the lady he meets in the beginning. N.B. I'm deliberately staying very vague to avoid being spoiler-y, keeping in mind the whole of DJ is told as flashback. Anyway, readers of the previous volumes will definitely enjoy this equally well-told entry IF a fully downbeat ending won't spoil things too much for them.
P.S. There are a few points in the book where we jump back briefly to Eddie telling the story in Angelina's tavern. I wish the transitions had been more clearly identified, because the first few sentences kept making me do a double take to re-orient myself.
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