Burn Me Deadly
Tor, Sep 2009, $24.99
In sleazy downtrodden Neceda, self-employed private investigator with a sharp sword Eddie LaCrosse will do anything except murder for twenty-five pieces of gold. After finishing an inquiry for a paying customer, Eddie is riding back on his horse Lola to his seedy office over slimy Angelina’s Tavern.
However, this trek home is a bit different when he almost runs over a severely injured almost nude blonde. His head tells him to keep going as no good deed goes unpunished; but his lower head wins the debate. Eddie stops to help Laura Lesperitt, but soon is waylaid by some vicious thugs who torture him and Laura before knocking him out. When he regains consciousness, the outraged master swordsman sees in the moonlight the dead battered Laura lying near him. He is taken to the moon goddess hospital where his girlfriend freelance courier Liz Dumont tells him he is a mess who lost a week. Eddie owes three torturers payback even if that means as he learns dealing with a dragon cult tied to criminal gangs and the house of King Archibald; Liz is at his side helping him stand up though he knows he must tell her the secret about her twin sister that stands between them; alas that is for another time.
The second La Crosse medieval sword and sorcery Noir (see THE SWORD-EDGED BLONDE) pays obvious homage to Mickey Spillane with terrific action from the onset when the hero breaks his basic rule of non-involvement (except for a fee) and gives Laura a lift. Once he regains consciousness in spite of aching ribs and other bruises, Eddie knows three men deserve his pin point sword. Fans will enjoy this entertaining thriller as the hero finds vengeance Spillane style as Eddie (like Hammer) learns blondes can prove deadly.