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Alex Bledsoe

Alex Bledsoe grew up in west Tennessee an hour north of Graceland (home of Elvis) and twenty minutes from Nutbush (birthplace of Tina Turner). He’s been a reporter, editor, photographer and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. Now he lives in a Wisconsin town famous for trolls, writes before six in the morning and tries to teach his kids to act like they’ve been to town before.

Here’s Rob’s interview with Alex Bledsoe.


Rob Chats with Alex Bledsoe

Retired reviewer Robert Rhodes recently had a chat with Alex Bledsoe, author of the EDDIE LACROSSE MYSTERIES and the MEMPHIS VAMPIRES novels. His third EDDIE LACROSSE novel, Dark Jenny, will be available in print (Tor) and audio (Blackstone Audio) next week. Tor has generously offered a couple of copies of Dark Jenny for FanLit readers who live in the United States. If you'd like one, just leave a comment below and we'll randomly choose two winners. Be sure to check back next Tuesday to see if you're a winner.

Robert Rhodes: I've had the pleasure of reading ( Read More

The Sword-Edged Blonde: Bledsoe is a natural storyteller

The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe

A foaming tankard for public libraries. If mine hadn't featured Alex Bledsoe's engrossing debut novel, The Sword-Edged Blonde, I doubt I'd have ever discovered it.

Granted, I only discovered it because of the quasi-garish cover and title (neither of which has much to do with the actual story), picking it up just to shake my head at one more piece of fantasy trash. But then I read the cover blurbs from Charles de Lint and Orson Scott Card, which were positive enough to overcome my natural revulsion to pulp detective stories in fantasy settings (which usually aren't half as clever as their creators think). The author should buy them tankards, too.

The plot of the The Sword-Ed... Read More

Burn Me Deadly: If you don’t listen to audiobooks, it’s time to start

Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe

Note: This rating reflects my happiness with the audio version of Burn Me Deadly. Four stars for the print version. Listen to a sample of this audiobook here.

Ah, the combination of Alex Bledsoe (the author), Eddie LaCrosse (the hero) and Stefan Rudnicki (the reader) — it doesn’t get much better than that!

Burn Me Deadly is the sequel to The Sword-Edged Blonde, which I adored, and since Mr. Bledsoe has been picked up by Read More

Dark Jenny: Eddie is an awesome hero

Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe

"I remembered the way her hair smelled as she wrenched my fingers back into place."

While drinking a beer with his girlfriend on a snowy day in Angelina’s Tavern, middle-aged sword-jockey Eddie LaCrosse gets a strange delivery: a coffin. This unusual event sparks some interest in Angelina’s lethargic patrons, and soon they’re all gathered around while Eddie regales them with the story of how he came to be the recipient of such an odd gift and, more importantly, who’s in it.

If you haven’t read one of Alex Bledsoe’s Eddie LaCrosse Mysteries yet, go ahead and try this one — you don’t need to have read The Sword-Edged Blonde or Burn Me Deadly to enjoy Dark Jenny (though I should say t... Read More

Wake of the Bloody Angel: I adore Eddie LaCrosse

Wake 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-tur... Read More

He Drank, and Saw the Spider: Eddie’s back

He Drank, and Saw the Spider by Alex Bledsoe

Eddie LaCrosse and his tough girlfriend, Liz, are back in Eddie’s fifth adventure by Alex Bledsoe. I’ve enjoyed each one of these stories, especially the audiobook versions produced by Blackstone Audio. The narrator, Stefan Rudnicki, has become the voice of Eddie LaCrosse for me — strong and gruff, but also sweet and sensitive.

The EDDIE LACROSSE books don’t have to be read in order — you could even start with this one — but each book fills in a little more of Eddie’s background and there is an overall story arc, mostly dealing with Eddie’s love life, so reading them in order would probably be ideal. Besides, each story is worthy to be read, so why not read them in order if you can?

In the prologue of He Drank, and Saw the Spider, we meet Eddie when he was 16 years younger. After abandoning his mercenary job, he saves an infant girl from a bear. (... Read More

The Hum and the Shiver: Demonstrates Bledsoe’s versatility

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

The Tufa are a clan of black-haired natives who live in the Smoky Mountains. They keep to themselves, stay close to home, and have some strange beliefs and mysterious habits. Much to the disappointment of Craig Chess, the enthusiastic young Methodist preacher, every single one of them refuses to come to church.

Chess gets to know the Tufa a little better when Private Bronwyn Hyatt returns to Cloud County as a war hero. She was captured and tortured in Iraq and has come home to recover. All of America is worshipping Bronwyn, but the Tufa don’t seem impressed. They’re much more concerned about the death omens they’ve been noticing recently and the ghost that’s been waiting for Bronwyn. A death in the Hyatt family could affect the entire future of the Tufa tribe. Will Bronwyn step up and take her place in the Tufa clan, or will she continue to be the rebellious troublemaker she was befor... Read More

Wisp of a Thing: A lovely haunting fairy tale

Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe

Wisp of a Thing (2013) is Alex Bledsoe’s second stand-alone novel about the Tufa, an ancient race of magically gifted swarthy rural folk who live in the Smoky Mountains of Cloud County, Tennessee and may have descended from the Tuatha Dé Danann. You don’t need to read the first book, The Hum and the Shiver, though it’s worth your while and you’ll get a little more out of Wisp of a Thing if you recognize a couple of characters who make cameo appearances in this second book.

This story focuses on Rob Quillen, a musician who became popular after the country watched him experience a personal tragedy on a national TV reality show. Rob has come to Cloud County because a mysterious man told him that’s where he can find a song of healing. He kn... Read More

Long Black Curl: Music is magic

Long Black Curl by Alex Bledsoe

Long Black Curl is the third novel in Alex Bledsoe’s TUFA series. You don’t need to read the previous books, The Hum and the Shiver and Wisp of a Thing; Long Black Curl can stand alone because its three main characters are new to the series. However, most of the other characters are from the previous books, so you’ll be missing some background on them if you haven’t read them. For maximum enjoyment, read them first.

Bledsoe’s TUFA books are about a tribe of swarthy backwoods folks who live in the Smokey Mountains. If you wer... Read More

Chapel of Ease: A romantic ghost story

Chapel of Ease by Alex Bledsoe

I love that each of the novels in Alex Bledsoe’s TUFA series can stand alone. They are all set (at least partly) in the same area of Appalachia and have overlapping characters, but they each tell a self-contained story. They can be read in any order, though it would probably be ideal to read them in publication order: The Hum and the Shiver, Wisp of a Thing, Long Black Curl and now, Chapel of Ease (2016).

Chapel of Ease begins in New York City. Our hero, M... Read More

Gather Her Round: A TUFA horror story

Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe

Gather Her Round (2017) is Alex Bledsoe’s fifth stand-alone TUFA novel. Though each of these stories has mostly the same setting and some of the same characters, and though they tend to have some of the same major plot elements (e.g., the appearance of ghosts, a musical performance, a murder mystery, an outsider who stumbles upon their tiny strange community), they are surprisingly different in tone. They can be read in any order and you don’t need any previous TUFA knowledge to enjoy Gather Her Round though it may help to know that the Tufa are a race of close-knit secretive folk who descended from the Tuatha Dé Danann and, sometime in the past, came to live in the rural mountainous region of Appalachia. Many of them are musicians and ... Read More

The Faeries of Sadieville: A lovely ending to the TUFA series

The Faeries of Sadieville by Alex Bledsoe

The Faeries of Sadieville (2018) is the final novel in Alex Bledsoe’s TUFA series. You’ll get more out of it if you’re read the previous TUFA novels, but it’s not strictly necessary to do so since each novel features a stand-alone story with overlapping characters.

In The Faeries of Sadieville we meet two graduate students who are dating each other; Justin, from the English department, is studying how folk music came to Appalachia, and Veronica is getting a Masters in parapsychology from the psychology department. (Excuse me for just a moment while I interrupt this review to put on my psychology professor hat, slip behind the podium, and declare with authority that no self-respecting psychology department in t... Read More

Magazine Monday: Apex Magazine, Issues 31 through 33

Apex Magazine is a monthly e-magazine that publishes two short stories, one reprint story, a nonfiction piece and an interview in each issue, together with the occasional poem. In the three issues I read, the reprint fiction tended to outshine the original fiction -- which doesn’t mean the original fiction was bad, just that it couldn’t quite live up to the standard set by the well-chosen older stories. The interviews are thoughtful and generally go well beyond the usual topics, either to discuss the author’s work in considerable detail or to go into areas not normally explored in most interviews. The nonfiction is variable in topic but uniformly strong work. A subscription to Apex Magazine seems to be worth the $19.95 per year asking price, though the most recent issue suggests some caution.

In the December 2011 issue (No. 31), the editor-in-chief, Lynne M. Thomas, explains in her notes (a column... Read More

SHORTS: Christopher, Bledsoe, McIntosh, Wallace, Brooke and Brown

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about.

“Brisk Money” by Adam Christopher (2014, $0.99 for Kindle, free at

Ray is an electromatic man — a full-metal private investigator in 1960s Los Angeles — with a functional memory which must be reset every twenty-four hours. He relies on his assistant, Ada, an artificial intelligence who lives in a bank of computers, to keep him up-to-date on jobs, assignments, and information that isn’t hard-wired into his behavioral circuits. When Ray starts seeing flashes of memo... Read More

SHORTS: Yu, Rosenblum, Bledsoe, Jemisin

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about.

“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu (2011, free at Clarkesworld, $2.99 Kindle magazine issue). 2012 Hugo award nominee and 2011 Nebula award nominee (short story)

The village of Yiwei has an uneasy truce with the many paper wasps that live in and around the village, until one day, when a boy throws a rock at a wasp’s nest, causes it to fall to the ground, and is badly stung. His angry mother scalds the fallen nest and kills the wasps ins... Read More

FanLit Asks… About style

We often post our chats with authors on Tuesdays, but we're trying something new today. Instead of asking one author several questions, we've asked several authors just one question. Please leave a comment and let us know how you like this format. We'll choose one commenter to win a copy of Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver on audio CDs (or something else from our stacks).

Question: Which speculative fiction writer has had the greatest influence on your own writing style and what, specifically, do you find most inspirational about that writer’s style?

Daniel Abraham / M.L.N. Hanover: Read More

More speculative fiction from Alex Bledsoe

Memphis Vampires — (2009-2010) When smooth continental vampire Rudolfo Zginski is staked in 1915, it should be the end of him. But he resurrects in Memphis sixty years later to find a world he must quickly master, and more peril than he ever expected. In addition to the automobiles, polyester fashions and racial tensions of 1975, he encounters four new vampires who know their nature only from the movies, and must evade a trap set for him half a century earlier that might ensnare them all…

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Firefly Witch — (2012-2014) Publisher: In these three short stories a small-town reporter meets a beautiful witch who shows him how mysterious, and dangerous, the world can truly be. When small-town reporter Ry Tully meets the woman of his dreams, he has no idea what he’s getting into. Tanna is blind, but when fireflies are around, she can see. She’s a graduate student in parapsychology, and psychic herself. She’s also a second-degree Wiccan priestess — a witch. And her primary duty is to help those in need, whether living, dead, or otherwise. Will Ry be able to forge a relationship with a woman so different from anyone he’s known? Will Tanna rise to the challenges of both her new love, and her chosen path? And will the dark corners of the world be ready for the Firefly Witch?

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