The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Like sword-and-sorcery? Mysteries? Raymond Chandler? Sam Spade? Humphrey Bogart? If you answered "yes" to any of those (or even if you didn't), you should read this book. It's just that much fun to read- a fast-paced, solid mystery that does not disappoint.
The plot revolves around Eddie LaCrosse, an aging sword jockey for hire. He accepts a seemingly run of the mill job to locate a missing princess, which leads him to his homeland, a place he has avoided for many years due to the memories of his own past that remain there. But his childhood friend, Phil, now king, enlists Eddie's help to clear the queen's name. She has been accused of killing her own child, the heir to the throne. In the course of his investigation, Eddie must come face to face with the past he's tried to forget.
The story is narrated by Eddie, and the first person POV works quite well here. There are touches of humor, plenty of action and a complex enough plot to keep you reading. The mystery is well served. All the clues are there, and the ending builds from them nicely.
The real strength of the novel is the characters. They are real and believable, even if there are some bits that might seem a little far-fetched in the world building. (Parking tickets for horses?) But they are forgivable in the context of this story. There's a bit of romance, a bit of tragedy, a bit of revenge. Sometimes, characters make bad decisions, just like real people.
The plot moves along at a fast pace, making this an easy read. If you are looking for a good fantasy/mystery, with interesting characters and a decently complex plot, this is definitely a book to check out.
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