Creole Belle

( 59 )

Overview


Dave Robicheaux is back, in a gorgeously written, visceral thriller by James Lee Burke, “the heavy weight champ, a great American novelist whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed” (Michael Connelly).

Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song “Creole Belle” ...

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Creole Belle (Dave Robicheaux Series #19)

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Overview


Dave Robicheaux is back, in a gorgeously written, visceral thriller by James Lee Burke, “the heavy weight champ, a great American novelist whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed” (Michael Connelly).

Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song “Creole Belle” on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf. Meanwhile, there has been an oil well blowout on the Gulf, threatening the cherished environs of the bayous.

Creole Belle is James Lee Burke at his very best, with beloved series hero Dave Robicheaux leading the charge against the destruction of both the land and the people he has sworn to protect.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In a recovery unit in New Orleans, where we left him in The Glass Rainbow, Dave Robicheaux is visited by Tee Jolie Melton, who brings him an iPod including the song "Creole Belle"—and promptly disappears. Dave goes looking for her but instead finds her sister, encased in a block of ice floating (and likely melting fast) in the gulf. Then there's an oil-rig blowout. Get multiples.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594136566
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Series: Dave Robicheaux Series
  • Pages: 827
  • Sales rank: 775,972
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the author of thirty previous novels and two collections of short stories, including such New York Times bestsellers as The Glass RainbowSwan Peak, The Tin Roof Blowdown, Last Car to Elysian Fields and Rain Gods.  He lives in Missoula, Montana.
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    1. Hometown:
      New Iberia, Louisiana and Missoula, Montana
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 5, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Houston, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Missouri, 1959; M.A., University of Missouri, 1960
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 12, 2012

    Normally I worship the words James Lee Burke writes and wish eac

    Normally I worship the words James Lee Burke writes and wish each book would never end. His latest, Creole Belle, feels, and reads, very differently to me and I fought feelings of disappointment throughout. The book is preachy, and philosophically morose without the balance of his usual dry and cutting humor. It feels like a dying man's reflections on his disappointing life. There is a noticeable lack of warmth between the main character, Dave, and his wife, Molly. And, having just read a novel by his real-life daughter, Alafair, the character of his fictional daughter does not seem well imagined. In fact, the whole story feels sadly autobiographical, though that could just be my own imagination. Also, while I know some people never change, or grow up, as an RN it seems to me that Clete's liver, if not his unhinged self-destructiveness, should have done him in a long time ago. Dave's indulgence of him has become just burdensome for Dave and wearying for the reader. Finally, somehow I missed reading "The Glass Rainbow" but I really miss the Robicheaux's life on the bayou with the bait shop and Baptiste. There was something healing there, amid the chaos of the story, that was both atmospheric and stabilizing. This "chapter" of the series just didn't thrill me like the others.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors. I thought he had

    James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors. I thought he had slipped ever so slightly in The Glass Rainbow, but he is back for sure in Creole Belle. He is the kind of writer who is in no hurry, as he takes his time to create a scene, to describe and build his characters, and to lead the plot along. But it rarely feels slow. I enjoy taking my time to read him, to savor his words, his artistry, and even the poetic feeling I get from reading his verbal construction. Creole Belle had quite a bit going in the plot department, and sometimes I thought it might be too much. But the reward for it was great. I felt that the climax of the novel was as intense as any I have read. So much of his focus is on the evil that men do, but mortality is taking an ever more prominent place in his writing. I write this review in simple admiration of a great American author.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2012

    I read a lot of different types of novels but I love love love J

    I read a lot of different types of novels but I love love love James Lee Burke.....can't wait for the next release...his books make the time spent reading them an escape to another world....the characters are real and you get so involved with their lives.....5 plus plus plus stars on all his novels...

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    I have read all of James Lee Burke's books and this is another g

    I have read all of James Lee Burke's books and this is another great novel. Great characters and storyline once again. Looking forward to the next one.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    I love James Lee Burke!

    Being a native of Southern Louisiana, I can vividly imagine every setting he describes. I'm never disappointed with any of Mr.Burke's books. Long live DAVE AND CLETE!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2012

    Too much moralizing and parenthetical thoughts, particularly dur

    Too much moralizing and parenthetical thoughts, particularly during action sequences tries the patience of the reader. The plot is ill defined and never really resolved, although we end up with the bad guys getting their due. I read this book on the published recommendation of Michael Connelly my favorite author and did not see in it what he saw. I guess satisfactrion is in the mind of the reader and this book tried my patience and was and overall letdown.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    I am a huge James Lee Burke fan. After The Glass Rainbow, I was

    I am a huge James Lee Burke fan. After The Glass Rainbow, I was looking
    forward to his next book. After reading Creole Belle, I'm disappoined.
    I feel the novel was overcharacterized, too many subplots, and in some
    instances, self-indulgent. The last third of the novel was like a
    Hollywood buddy-movie, which in itself did not complement the preceding
    events that kept me reading. Even the Epilogue was too contrived,
    leaving the characters somewhat hollow. However, I will be one of the
    fiirst to purchase his next book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2013

    B urke's prose immerses one in the bayous and corruption of the

    B urke's prose immerses one in the bayous and corruption of the of greater New Orleans. Both Dave Robicheaux, now attached to a local police department, and his pal Clete Purcel, PI, were drummed out of New Orleans Police Department, unjustly as it seems. Both of these men are haunted by ghosts from Viet Nam, from their unhappy childhoods, from run-ins with corrupt cops and powerful but evil men, and especially by the lure of the bottle. Clete succombs repeatedly. Robicheaux resists with the help of his wife and adopted daughter.

    Burke's prose is stunning in describing bayou country with its live oaks, and fields of sugar cane, its rainstorms and its heat, its Creoles and Blacks, and its foods. In another writer all this description would turn me off but through Burke I am transported to the scene. I must say that as the book progressed, I did get tired of his lengthy descriptions and homilies on good and evil.

    His prose is also stunning in describing character, most of whom are very quirky and mostly either evil or haunted by human failures. And here is where I part company with his description. There is just too much dark and brooding evil unrelieved by a few saintly characters or even ordinary good men. It's as if the whole of Louisiana broods under a miasma of degeneracy and corruption. While the scenery, through his pen, might draw me to the area, the portrayed malevolence would have me avoiding the state all together.

    Another characteristic of a Burke novel, that in others might put me off, is the way he threads philosophical musings through his prose. Some are interesting and true but all provoke thought. "Age is a peculiar kind of thief. It slips up on you and steps inside your skin and is so quiet and methodical in its work that you never realize it has stolen your youth until you look into the mirror. (p. 204) "For me the greatest riddle involves the nature of evil. Is there indeed a diabolic force at work...?" (p. 239) "Talent isn't earned, it's given. It's like getting hit by lightning in the middle of a wet pasture. People don't sign up for it." (p. 263) "Meditations upon mortality become cheap stuff and offer little succor when it comes to dealing with evil. The latter is not an abstraction, and ignoring it is to become its victim. The earth abides forever, but s does the canker inside the rose, and the canker never sleeps." (p. 295) "Theologians and philosophers try to understand and explain the nature of God with varying degrees of success and failure. I admire their efforts. But I've never come to an understanding of man's nature, much less God's." (p. 358)

    Throughout we also find biblical illusions, which is genuine and heartening in such a successful writer, given that our whole civilization is permeated with the Bible whatever its detractors try to do to excise it

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    Possibly the best Dave Robicheaux book

    James Lee Burke has done it again, only better! Dave and Clete find themselves with some really bad problems, and, in the end, solve them their usual way. But, along the way is some of the author's outstanding lyrical writing, philosophical and political musings. If you finish this bood without tears in your eyes you need to read it again, only slower.

    Having read the whole Robicheaux series, the characters are all good friends now, and watching them grow through the years has been a great experience. And, as JFK said, ich bin ein New Orleaner.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Skip this one.

    My book club decided to read this book, but I'm sure it will regret that decision. This book is not well written and is usually confusing with no master plot. When finished, you still do not know what the big conspiracy was all about. Characters change from bad to good to bad without credible support with facts. Dave and his friend often become aggressive and offensive without justification of the the acts or the law. Steer away from this loosely written book and save your time; there are too many other authors who write the same genre with more plausible resutls. This is the first book I've read from James Lee Burke, and as a result, it will be my last.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2012

    James Lee Burke is an excellent writer. This book was excellent

    James Lee Burke is an excellent writer. This book was excellent but I do miss his days on the Bayou with Bootsie, Alafair, Batiste and of course Clete. You could feel the emotion between Dave and Bootsie. I think the character Molly needs something to make her more real to the readers. However, James Lee Burke forever!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2012

    A Dilemma...

    ...that is what I have in trying to rate this book. As always, Mr. Burke shows that he is easily one of the premier writers in the business today. His sense of style, prose and story-telling is unmatched; his descriptiveness of pastoral scenes second to none. His characters and their demons, his view on life, are all written in such an engaging and intense manner, it's hard to put his books down until finished. And then you can't wait for the next one. However, there's also the bad. Once again, Mr Burke pushes his left wing view of the world, though not as obnoxiously as he did in Feast Day of Fools. In this book, the bogeyman is the eeeevil oil companies and the rich. Which is kind of farcical, given Mr Burke's own millions, and his character's fondness for gas-guzzling pickup trucks. Mr. Burke writes of those "who steal our elections, commit war crimes, pollute the water we drink and the air we breathe." In other words, it's all Bush's fault. Yawn. Funny, his books most all take place in Louisiana, which has been run almost soley by Democrats for decades. Mr Burke makes no mention of that. Even more important from a literature standpoint, his storyline enters comic book territory with its ultimate conclusion and description of his villians. Not very believable, and it detracks from his obvious skill at writing and storytelling. Perhaps Mr Burke describes himself the best, when he writes that for the very rich (as he truly is), "their tastes are often superficial, their interests vain and self-centered."

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    Burkes best yet!

    I have read every James Lee Burke and this is his best yet. Please Mr. Burke, don't make us wait so long for your next one.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Burke could have reduced the size of this book by about a third

    Burke could have reduced the size of this book by about a third if he limited Dave Robicheaux's continuous "philosophical rants" on the state of the human condition, good vs evil, and the ecological decline in Louisiana. Very tiresome.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Don's review

    Really a good book!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Fantastic

    No modern writer can write descrptive prose like James Burke He makes me see places i have never been

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    Read this from library loan

    But if bought would be a two and archived. As a fast food would be a day old dunkin doughnot and lukewarm coffee as i ssid before if you read it thru its a three star got to one chapter a two but bought and one chapter a onr. This is obvious writer burn out or throw catds up and pick out a couple of plots

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Loving it!

    I am only a bit over half way but it has kept my attention. Burke does get a bit carried away with over demonstrative descriptions to the point of absurd and, I guess his previous alcohol abuse and Viet Nam references. I am a viet vet and I even get tired of it. Great story so far though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    To(o) stupid and beyond!

    This author has the ability to write colorful descriptions and the setting is a new part of the world for me. So, I started out hopeful that this series would provide a wonderful new world in which to dwell. Evetually the plot became confused and directionless. The villains, which constituted ost of the world other than the main characters, had no more complexity than a Snidley Wiplash cartoon. The author chose to understand and forgive the main characters for their many failings, including murder for hire, but is very selective in who should be graced in such a way. The book is filled with superficial, moralistic preaching by an author who vainly believes he understands far,far more than he does. In my view, he hasn'T even identified the correct questions to ask. Eventually, this book became annoying and I just wanted to finish it so I could get rid of it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Burke at his very best !!!

    Burke at his very best !!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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