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Creole Belle (Dave Robicheaux) Paperback – Large Print, August 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Dave Robicheaux
  • Paperback: 835 pages
  • Publisher: Wheeler Publishing; Lrg edition (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141044953X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410449535
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (666 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,397,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This tale plays out much like "The Glass Rainbow--"intimations of mortality; melancholic musing on the pillaging of once-Edenic South Louisiana; cathartic, guns-blazing climax--but, as always, Burke brings something new to the table . . . Dave and Clete may still be unbowed, but they are certainly broken--and all the more interesting for it."--"Booklist" (starred review) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About 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 more than thirty previous novels and two collections of short stories, including such New York Times bestsellers as Light of the WorldCreole Belle, Swan Peak, The Tin Roof Blowdown, and Feast Day of Fools. He lives in Missoula, Montana. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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.

Customer Reviews

One of James Lee Burke's best yet!
Nancy Henry
The good news is that CREOLE BELLE by James Lee Burke is a new Dave Robicheaux novel.
Bookreporter
Burke is a literary and descriptive master writing at his peak.
Ralph George

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 132 people found the following review helpful By P. McGraw on July 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm adding this review in response to a review by "cedwint" who is disappointed that James Lee Burke descends into poetic description, political commentary, and elaborate segues into background stories to help us know his characters better.

I've read a lot of this genre, and I keep coming back to Burke because of his detours. I love to see this poverty-striken part of Louisiana through his eyes; we have even visited New Iberia, Bayou Teche, St. Martinsville, Jeanrette, etc. because Burke's prose is so alluring. We knew it was romanticized, but it is part of the folly of Dave Robicheaux (and probably Burke) to be a bit of a dreamer and to see things through a haze of nostalgia. I love it that he writes about his cat and his three legged raccoon. I love it that he speaks up for the impoverished and the oppressed and gives them dignity in his novels. I love it that he takes on some of the big heavy hitters, the big time criminals - politicians and drug dealers and human traffickers and oil company executives - who are the bullies of modern society, using money and power to keep the average decent citizen powerless. I read Burke because it isn't just plot, his writing takes me to a place I've never been and makes it feel like home. Burke calls out the big guys, scorns their pretensions and heaps contempt on their arrogance.

Creole Belle is not unlike the preceding Dave Robicheaux books, I agree. James Lee Burke has an axe to grind, and I am happy to pay for my James Lee Burke books to help him grind that axe. :-)
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75 of 80 people found the following review helpful By NoGoodDeed on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Recovering in the hospital from the life-threatening injuries he received at the end of "The Glass Rainbow" Dave Robicheaux is visited in what seems like a morphine dream by a Cajun singer called Tee Jolie Melton, who leaves him an iPod featuring the song "My Creole Belle," a haunting piece of music which comes to obsess Dave. Upon his release, the New Iberia detective learns that Tee Jolie's sister Blue has washed up dead on the Gulf shore encased in a huge block of ice.

Dave's friend Clete Purcel is drawn to a different young woman, named Gretchen, whom he believes is his long lost daughter, and whom he fears might be the assassin behind the killings of several local criminals with mob ties. Working together Dave and Clete discover connections to a broader conspiracy involving sex trafficking, art theft and unscrupulous oil industry executives.

In "Creole Belle," all of James Lee Burke's trademark talents are on prodigious display: his lyrical prose, his poetic rendering of both landscape and character, and his ability to weave current events seamlessly into the story (in this case the Gulf oil spill.) There has been a distinct sense of finality to these last few Robicheaux novels, as both character and writer age, and I love the elegiac melancholy with which Dave's and Clete's kinship is rendered, which also manages to be celebratory. They (and we, at least while we are immersed in Burke's wonderful words) are hurtling toward the bright light of some great and final truth and each mission seems to bring them closer to redemption, even as violence and darkness threatens to pull them back. Here's hoping they both eventually ring that "belle." But not too soon.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on August 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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.
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on July 24, 2012
Format: Audio CD
The good news is that CREOLE BELLE by James Lee Burke is a new Dave Robicheaux novel. The issue of whether or not there would be another after THE GLASS RAINBOW was in doubt, given its deadly and somewhat ambiguous ending, as haunting a conclusion as one is likely to have read. The great news is that CREOLE BELLE, which is by turns haunting, poetic, violent, somber and inspiring, is one of Burke's best novels to date.

One does not sustain the type of damage that Dave Robicheaux did at the conclusion of THE GLASS RAINBOW without consequence. Thus CREOLE BELLE opens with Dave recuperating at a medical facility in New Orleans, his injuries alleviated with the dangerous mercies of a morphine drip that blends distant memory and fantasy with reality. His perceptions are thus in flux when he receives a visit from a young and beautiful woman named Tee Jolie Melton, a good soul whose life is nonetheless a walking car wreck.

Dave had encountered and attempted to assist her on numerous occasions while both on and off duty as a detective with the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Department. When she leaves him an iPod with his favorite tunes, including "Jolie Blon" and "My Creole Belle," he believes it to be an act of kindness and nothing more. What he subsequently learns, however, is that Tee Jolie and her sister Blue had disappeared weeks before her appearance at his bedside.

After his release from the hospital, Dave begins to receive late-night calls from Tee Jolie, who alludes to being held against her will. Yet these phone calls appear to be a product of his imagination as well. His family and associates are concerned that he is experiencing fever dreams at best and the aftereffects of morphine withdrawal at worst.
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