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Black Cherry Blues: A Dave Robicheaux Novel Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Dave Robicheaux
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reissue edition (November 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062206745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062206749
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this winner of the 1990 Edgar Award for best mystery novel, Dave Robicheaux, a former New Orleans policeman, is pursued by a psychopath and flees his home on the Bayou Teche, in the heart of Louisiana, to find a new life in Montana. After settling near the Blackfoot River Canyon, Robicheaux finds himself smack dab in the middle of an illegal Mafia takeover of Indian lands. As he struggles to expose the truth, he must face some hard facts about himself, especially after the appearance of an old Cajun friend, Dixie Lee Pughe. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Burke pits a land-hungry oil company against a Blackfeet Indian reservation in a stunning novel that takes detective fiction into new imaginative realms. His Cajun sleuth, Dave Robicheaux, an ex-New Orleans cop featured in two previous novels, attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, has recurrent nightmares about his murdered wife, and cares for an adopted El Salvadoran refugee girl. When two American Indian activists disappear, Robicheaux's dogged investigation not only sets him on a collision course with Mafia thugs and oil interests, but also leads him into a romance with Darlene American Horse, his ex-partner's girlfriend. All the main characters in this darkly beautiful, lyric saga carry heavy emotional baggage, and Robicheaux's sleuthing is a simultaneous exorcism of demons of grief, loss, fear, rage, vengeance. Burke's fictional terrain--stretching from the Louisiana bayous to Montana's red cliffs and pine-dotted hills--is uniquely his own, yet also a microcosm of a multi-ethnic America. He writes from the heart and the gut. 35,000 first printing; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Doug Vaughn HALL OF FAME on May 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read James Lee Burke's entire Dave Robicheaux series, I have to say that this novel, which introduced the flawed ex-cop with the mystical bent, is still one of the best. There are several things about this book that hit me as unique and made me want to return every time Burke served up another helping; the first is that Burke's ability with description and locale are unparalled, the second is the depth of character he was able to give Robicheaux by focusing on his personal demons (drink, violence and inner torment from loss and regret), and third is the 'mystical' element that informs each book - sometimes more than others - and allows the plot to be advanced by such devices as messages in dreams and intimations of a 'higher power.' Since Burke himself is a recovering alcoholic he is able to make this side of Dave's life quite real and moving.
This book (which won the Edgar Award in 1990) differs from later ones in the series in that Dave strays far afield from the rural Louisiana coast setting readers normally associate with him. But he is also, in the beginning, a more complex and interesting character. As the series progresses he becomes stiffer and more self righteous. Here he is unsure of himself and trying to come to grips with a life that has him on the ropes.
This is some of Burke's best writing and I would highly recommend it to mystery fans who have never tasted this rich Louisiana stew. It is unique and memorable.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By jeanne-scott on June 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
James Lee Burke has written a wonderful novel in this one. The characters are tough and full of vitality. As always his locations are so well portrayed you feel,see, taste and smell the details. Robicheaux, the ex-cop is coping with the murder of his wife, his service in Vietnam, being a recovering alcoholic, he is being blamed for a murder and he fears for the life of his adopted daughter. He is on the run from New Orleans to beautiful Montana. This is a wonderful book that surprises you with Robicheaux's philosophy. "...because I believe that God is not limited by time and space as we are, I believe that perhaps he can influence the past....and I begin to dwell on the unbearable suffering that people probably experienced before their deaths,I ask God to retroactively relieve their pain, to be with them in mind and body, to numb their senses, to cool whatever flame licked at their eyes in their final moments." James Lee Burke can stun you with his craft. This is a must read!
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "irongiant" on May 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of all James Lee Burke's wonderful books, this was his first commercial success and remains his best single novel. It is a gritty mystery set in Louisiana which introduces us to Dave Robicheaux, a flawed but intelligent and good-hearted lead character.
Burke is a wonderful writer for two main reasons. First, his characters are well-written; they are memorable, realistic, and intriguing. Their dialogue absolutely CRACKLES.
Secondly, no reader can be unaffected by his descriptions- poetic even in the most grisly scenes. Seeing these scenes through Robicheaux's eyes, scenes as well-crafted as only Burke can do, we realize the depth and beauty of Robicheaux's mind.
Black Cherry Blues is less a Mystery Novel and more a Literary Work, an ideal way to spend an evening.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
These are literally books you have to finish and hard to put down. JLB's descriptive powers are awsome. I am trying to catch up on his earlier works now in print. One character trait seems to run through all of them. The main characters are compelled to act in ways that are rarely in their ultimate best interests and often threaten both them and all those around them. Dave Robicheaux's inability to halt himself in the pursuit of "honor" is an interesting take on the alcoholic's egocentrism. I find myself admiring him and, at the same time, hating him for his relentless attmpts to maintain his dignity and right all wrongs, whatever the cost. I am fascinated by JLB's ability to make every scene real in my mind. There aren't many authors who can create atmosphere like Burke.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Denise on June 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I hadn't read anything that evocative in a long time. The opener (which I understand is a bit from "Heaven's Prisoners," grabbed me by the throat. I was reminded of "The Angels Fell" by Erik Rush, which pulls you in over the first few pages just like "Blues." JLB is definitely the best!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Larry Scantlebury on February 18, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If Spenser is introspective and articulate, Dave Robicheaux is haunted with his vision. And visions. If Elvis Cole is funny and irreverant, Dave is sad and wry. If Patrick Kenzie is haunted by his catholicism, Dave can't forget his alcoholism.
But most of all, Dave Robicheaux speaks in metaphors and aliteration. James Burke is the Poet Laureate of detective writing. The plots are intricate, the friends have tarnished feet along with the hero, and the bad guys, well, they're really bad.
All of the series is beautifully crafted. Mistakes he made, loves he cherishes, loyalties he prays for, all of these are part of the man.
Black Chery Blues is the beginning of a great series. Start with this one and read them all. You won't be disappointed. James Lee Burke is one of the best. He'll be on your shelf with Lehane, LeCarre, Parker and Crais, and all the rest.
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More About the Author

James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, is the author of twenty-three previous novels, including such New York Times bestsellers as Bitterroot, Purple Cane Road, Cimarron Rose, Jolie Blon's Bounce, and Dixie City Jam. He lives in Missoula, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana.

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Black Cherry Blues: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
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