A Surprise Mystery
A Surprise Mystery avatar

I picked up Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe on a whim. I usually don’t like “private eye” stories much, but this one turned out to be different. Bledsoe used the Arthurian story of Queen Guinevere and the apple. In the original Malory version, Guinevere is accused of attempting to murder Gawain by offering him a poisoned apple.

Dark Jenny by Alex BledsoeInstead of just retelling the story as it was told by Malory, Bledsoe turns the tale into a mystery in which the hero, a private sword jockey (aka private eye), gets involved in a plot to destroy a kingdom ruled by Marcus Drake (the parallel of Arthur). Someone frames the queen, Jennifer (Guinevere), by poisoning an apple meant for Gillian (Gawaine). You get the picture?

There are a few twists here. First of all, Elliot Spears (Lancelot) is really in love with Jennifer’s look-alike secret half-sister, Dark Jenny, not with the queen. Medraft (Mordred) is killed by Marcus at the end but he does not kill Drake. Instead, Drake is killed by a snake bite on the day of the battle.

All in all, the book is fast-paced and unusual in its unexpected parallels to Arthurian legend. You may want to give it a try.

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

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