• The Sword-Edged Blonde

  • By: Alex Bledsoe
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,303 ratings)

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The Sword-Edged Blonde

By: Alex Bledsoe
Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
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Publisher's Summary

It should have been a case like any other: a missing princess, a king willing to pay in gold for her return. But before he realizes it, private investigator Eddie LaCrosse, a slightly shopworn sword jockey with a talent for discretion and detection, is swept up in a web of mystery and deceit involving a brutally murdered royal heir, a queen accused of an unspeakable crime, and the tragic past he thought he'd left behind.
©2007 Alex Bledsoe (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Stylish and self-assured: Raymond Chandler meets Raymond E. Feist." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fans of Glen Cook's Garrett novels or hard-boiled detective fiction will appreciate this well-crafted gem of a tale." (Library Journal)

What listeners say about The Sword-Edged Blonde

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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No Redeeming Qualities

I read a review before I started it that said "I hated it!" but didn't say why exactly and the book had a fairly good overall rating so I dismissed the review.

BUT

It takes a while to realize (halfway plus through) but I got there. I don't know if I'd say "I hated it!" but I definitely didn't like it and I definitely came away from it thinking "I would hate to be this author's wife...or daughter". All the women characters are written as shrews or whores or ugly or idiots or some combination thereof. Also, when ALL of the female character's physical attributes (with a sexual attractiveness rating vibe) are constantly described it's at a minimum tiresome and at a maximum offensive. The main character isn't likable. None of the characters are well written nor are the character relationships. Oh, and it seems like the author is obsessed with rape in a weird way. Full disclosure, I didn't finish it. I got 90% of the way through and decided that I didn't like the main character or the character he was supposed to be vindicating enough to care. Starting at about the middle of the book on I found myself liking it less and less and less.

80 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Raymon Chandler Meets Xena Warrior Princess

This is a great book if you have an 8 to 10 hour round trip drive with your spouse. For the guys, it's got cool sword action, hot red-heads carrying weapons, all wrapped up in a mystery set in a fantasy medieval world. The ladies will like the mystery and the romantic twits and the velvety smooth voice of narrator Stephan Rudniki (this is definately HIS role) - my wife melted in her chair when his deep mellow voice came out of our car stereo. It's a great relief from the good vs. evil quest fantasies that are so worn out in this genre. I'm ready for the second book!

Great fantasy with a great story and a shocking twist or two at the end, told in the style of Raymond Chandler novels.

27 people found this helpful

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What a surprise, enjoyed dark age detective

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.

23 people found this helpful

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OK followed by Dislike and ending in Hate Listen

I’m pretty sure the author had a bad break up or divorce half way threw making this book. I started the story enjoying the idea of a fantasy detective but it changed into masochistic wish fulfillment by the author. I finished the audiobook only to find out if there was a satisfying ending for the “mystery”, there was not.

16 people found this helpful

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excellent mystery/fantasy story

first of all, best narrator in the world.
2nd, very good story, even tho its short..8hrs..i mean wtf
good plot and twists, enjoyable and entertaining

8 people found this helpful

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Refreshing fantasy noir, my favorite reader

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.

8 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

PROBABLY, THE WORST BOOK EVER WRITTEN

TO SAY THAT THIS BOOK IS BAD, OR AWFUL,DOES NOT,DO JUSTICE TO THOSE WORDS.THE PLOT IF YOU CALL IT THAT,IS A PRIVATE EYE, IN A MYTHICAL WORLD,WITH GODESSES,SEEKING THE KILLER OF THE SON OF THE KING ,EVEN THE SPRINKLING OF SEX AND THE "4" LETTER WORD DOES NOT HELP.WHILE I KNOW THIS AUTHOR IS NEW, HE HAD BETTER KEEP HIS DAY JOB.DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK.I TRIED THREE TIMES TO LISTEN TO IT AND JUST GAVE UP.IT IS AN EMBARASSMENT AND A INSULT TO THE LISTENER, IT HAS NO REDEEMING QUALITIES AND I WOULD HAVE GIVEN A ZERO IF I COULD.

7 people found this helpful

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Automatic 5 star for making me lol

I heard Mishicotti (audio copy, not sure on the spelling) and it made me roll, as it's a village in Wisconsin (Mishicot). The burst of nostalgia was worth this rating

6 people found this helpful

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Love, love, love

I loved everything about this adventure! Just had to get the second book!!!! Get it. It's completely worth it! Best adventure in a long time!!!!

6 people found this helpful

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Yawn!!!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It's not a terrible story. I listened all the way through. I enjoyed the main character's sarcasm. There is good humor to be found in the book. It might be better to read than to listen to this one. Nonetheless, the narrator wasn't bad. The mystery concept was unique; however, it didn't really grab my attention like I hoped that it would.

What about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance did you like?

Good range of voices and ability to do both male and female characters.

Was The Sword-Edged Blonde worth the listening time?

I don't regret the purchase. I may even purchase another in the series. This is the first in the series that I have purchased and listened to. I think this one might improve as the series progresses. All the essential elements are present for a great series, it just hasn't gelled for me yet.

3 people found this helpful

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  • JillyB
  • 03-13-22

Weird

I’m still not sure how much I enjoyed this! However it was free to read, so don’t look a gift horse in the mouth …….. by the way have already downloaded book 2. I must admit I’m not too keen on the narrator, he sounds similar to the guy who reads the latest Bosch books - Titus Welliver - but without much intonation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • N. Bennett
  • 08-22-17

Two genres for the price of one.

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DebB
  • 12-30-15

Enjoyable, very listenable, good start to a series

I enjoyed this, looking forward to my regular hour at the gym, which is when I get to listen to my books, and have already taken a look at the next in the series - so all good! The story snags the interest straight off, and didn't really wane - I wanted to know what had happened, and how matters were going to be resolved for everyone. There's a supernatural element to the story that I, along with our hero, had problems believing - which I suppose demonstrates the quality of the writing - you're not offered a supernatural story and left to just accept it. Eddy, the hero certainly didn't, so it made my scepticism reasonable. That said, the bulk of the book is Eddie understanding and then dealing with the mystery, which he does by ordinary mundane methods, with no woo-woo involved! There's some flashback chapters to his past. but they are of relevance to the present day, so sit well in the flow of the story. The setting is classic mediaeval, horses, swords, tankards of ale sort of thing.

This is read by Stefan Rudnicki, who has the most wonderful, rich, deep dark voice, yet manages to read the various women characters equally well as he does the men.

I listened to Alex Bledsoe's Tufa books, also narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, which I've enjoyed, so am pleased to find more books to explore.

1 person found this helpful

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  • R. Card
  • 04-26-15

Very enjoyable

Any additional comments?

i came across this series after listening to and very much enjoying The Tufa Novels. I am half way through the Eddie LaCrosse Series now and am enjoying them just as much. Something a bit different, well described characters and enough twists to make it interesting without being so clever that you lose the plot! I definitely recommend this series and indeed the author - try the Tufa Novels too!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Telford44
  • 11-16-22

Great story, with a novel premise

This is a really unusual novel in that I've never come across a fantasy PI novel. I was sceptical, but it works. In reality the fantasy element almost disappeared into the background, and it became in many ways a straightforward PI story. Rather than being set in usual urban environment it was spread across a couple of kingdoms. Eddie starts off with one case, and then gets side tracked to help is old friend Phillip, the king of Arentia, where it appears to all that his wife has not only killed their son, but actually ate him as well. Naturally this causes a great deal of anger in the kingdom and despair for the king. Can Eddie find out the truth for his friend?
Will certainly read more by Alex Bledsoe on the back of this novel.
I thought the Stefan read the story well and really drew me into the story and enabled me to engage with the characters

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KittyKat
  • 08-17-22

Fantastic Book

Such a cool story. Kept me entranced throughout. Absolutely love the narrator! Worth a listen. I recommend. Good clean fun.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • FIONA CHRISTIE
  • 07-22-22

Great ending, surprisingly good

Great detective story, better than the description lead me to think it would be. Only found it because it was in my ‘recommended for you’ list. Thank you

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • user
  • 06-26-22

Truly enjoyable

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the next books in the series. Perfectly balanced with no stupid exaggerations, well designed characters, a real pleasure and fun to listen to and a captivating (and a bit creepy!) mistery. Definitely recommend!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 11-22-16

nice and enjoyable

a bit more light hearted and down to earth than what I expected despite the fantasy setting.