The Sword-Edged Blade
Tor, Jun 30 2009, $6.99
Retired sword jock soldier, Eddie LaCrosse sets up a private investigative practice in the small-town of Neceda, Muscoida. Ie was run down before a recent flood further devastated the homes of these bottom feeders of society that make up this town. Eddie knows the wealthy prefer his office be in these crappy towns so no one can see them confer with him.
King Felix of Balaton hires Eddie to discreetly investigate the disappearance of his daughter Princess Lila and bring her home. Eddie knows the monarch’s trusted wizards failed, which is why the king turns to a bottom feeder like him. As he searches for the missing princess, Eddie’s childhood friend King Philip of Arentia pleads with him to investigate the brutal murder of his heir; his wife Queen Rhiannon is the only suspect. Both royal cases tie back to Eddie’s own tragic past that he tries to forget by hiding in the mud of a bottom feeder.
This is a terrific sword and sorcery noir starring a sleuth with issues that arise during his inquiries in spite of his efforts to keep them buried. The story line is fast-paced and filled with plenty of action as both case investigations are interesting. However it is the world Alex Bledsoe drew as described by Eddie for hire that makes for a fun mystery fantasy.