Wake of the Bloody Angel: I adore Eddie LaCrosse

Eddie Lacrosse Mystery book review 4. Wake of the Bloody Angelfantasy book reviews Alex Bledsoe Eddie LaCrosse Mysteries 4. Wake of the Blood AngelWake of the Bloody Angel by Alex Bledsoe

Wake of the Bloody Angel is the fourth novel in Alex Bledsoe’s EDDIE LACROSSE MYSTERIES series. Like its predecessors, it crosses traditional noir crime fiction with well-known tropes from fantasy literature. Not an easy thing to do well, I’d think, but Alex Bledsoe makes it work. In the previous novels, we’ve met some manifestation of Epona the horse goddess, Rhiannon from the Mabinogi, dragons, and the Arthurian Legends. I’m not going to tell you who/what we meet in Wake of the Bloody Angel because that would spoil the big mystery — I’ll just say I didn’t see it coming.

This time, Eddie is hired by Angelina, the beautiful middle-aged woman who owns the tavern below Eddie’s office, to find her old lover — a pirate she hasn’t seen in 20 years. Eddie and Jane, a buxom swordswoman who’s an ex-pirate-turned-pirate-hunter, set out on the high seas to find him. Needless to say, they find a lot more than they bargained for.

If you’ve liked Bledsoe’s crime/fantasy mashups before, you’ll be pleased with this latest installment. Eddie LaCrosse continues to be a terrific hero — he’s mature (a nice change from the naïve farmboy with a Destiny), masculine, smart, and tough, but he’s also gentle and caring. If anything, Eddie’s a little too noble to be believed at times, but I adore him. Each of the EDDIE LACROSSE books is well-paced, well-plotted, and has just the right amount of humor to ease the tension. Wake of the Bloody Angel has a healthy dose of horror, too.

Tor picked up Alex Bledsoe after his first novel was so well received, but this is a series that I insist on reading in audio format (Blackstone Audio) because I’ve got a crush on Stefan Rudnicki, the narrator. His voice is absolutely perfect for Eddie LaCrosse and, once again, he delivers an excellent performance with Wake of the Bloody Angel.

Each of the EDDIE LACROSSE MYSTERIES can stand alone, but if you have the opportunity to read them in order, that would be ideal.


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KAT HOOPER is a professor at the University of North Florida where she teaches neuroscience, psychology, and research methods courses. She occasionally gets paid to review scientific textbooks, but reviewing speculative fiction is much more fun. Kat lives with her husband and their children in Jacksonville Florida.

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5 comments

  1. I might have to give this author another try. I read one of his fantasy books. What was it. The Sword Edged Blonde. It was just an okay read for me. Nothing wrong with it, but not so compelling I felt I had to read another. I like this type of story, but sometimes it takes a while for a character to grow on me.

  2. Mr. Bledsoe is a great writer, but I think in this series the reader really has to connect with Eddie. If you don’t, you may not be willing to let Mr. Bledsoe get away with some of his plot mechanisms which are a little (purposely) corny at times. Personally, I think it’s great fun, but I can see why others wouldn’t have patience for it. I can’t give you specifics without spoiling the plots, but it has to do with the way he uses well established fantasy or literary myths/legends/tropes in the stories.

  3. Well, yeah, that may have been the problem with the one I read. I thought it got a bit “lazy” at the end. I generally “get” pastiche and I LOVE humor, but there’s a fine line. Eddie started out particularly strong for me, but I thought the plot itself was weak. (Memory a bit vague too as it’s been a while since I read it.)

  4. I really enjoyed, Sword-edged Blonde, more than I thought I would. ( I wouldn’t have even read it, if I hadn’t read Kat’s review).
    I really want to catch-up on the rest of the books in this series.

  5. Fortunately, Greg, they can all stand alone, so you don’t have to re-read to catch up.

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