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4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burke Never Disappoints Sept. 9 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read blurbs on books... They can be useful; some blurbs are from obscure publications; some are from authors who appear to be doing a favor to someone. But if I see a blurb from an author who rarely blurbs, and whom I respect, I will buy the book on that basis alone.
Walker Percy gave this book a strong favorable review. I bought the book, the 1st Burke book I read, and have bought everything by Burke since.
Burke's books address questions of morality, and how a moral person behaves in an immoral world. They are full of compassion and of passion. I cannot recommend him too highly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great writing, gripping story June 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Over and above anything else, the first thing that struck me about James Lee Burke's "Black Cherry Blues" was the quality of the writing. Burke has an incredibly ability to beautifully describe his settings, making small town Louisiana and rural Montana vividly real to the reader. His descriptions are so good that I would often have to suppress the urge to have a late night snack after having my appetite whet when reading about something so basic as what Dave and his daughter made for dinner. Take away the whole suspense/mystery/thriller aspects of this novel, and it would almost still be worth reading just for Burke's descriptive abilities.
The plot itself is the classic "innocent man falsely accused" story. Dave Robicheaux, who is trying to live a quiet, simple life running a boat dock/bait shop and raising his daughter in New Iberia, LA, begrudgingly helps out an old college friend who is involved with some unscrupulous individuals. This leads to a series of events involving ominous threats towards Dave's daughter, Alafair, and culminates in Robicheaux being accused of a murder he didn't commit. The majority of the book takes place after Robicheaux heads to Montana to attempt to clear his name before his trial begins.
Burke seems to take great care in formulating his plot to make sure all his bases are covered. One small thing he did in this book that I really appreciated was to actually attempt to logically explain some of those bizarre coincidences that happen so often in suspense novels that immediately take me out of the novel because they come off as so unrealistic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars From Louisiana All the Way To Montana June 16 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the third book in the Dave Robicheaux series and, once again, it fairly drips with melancholy as Dave is still gripped with guilt and remorse over the death of his wife. Fortunately, this mood is tempered by his adopted daughter Alafair, who he first took care of in Heaven's Prisoners. She has provided a spark for his affections and has bestowed on him a much needed reason t act more responsibly.
Dave is drawn into danger, which in turn endangers Alafair, after a chance meeting with an old college room-mate named Dixie Lee Pugh, who is now a washed up jazz musician. Dixie Lee feels he is in some trouble after overhearing a couple of men discussing a murder and wants Dave to investigate. He only actually becomes involved after failing to control his temper which lands him in trouble with the law. To get himself out of this trouble he moves temporarily to Montana which is the setting for the bulk of the story. He takes Alafair with him rather than leaving her with his relatives, underlining his new found sense of responsibility.
James Lee Burke does a wonderful job of capturing the mood of a setting and incorporating it into the story. The Louisiana setting of this and his earlier books proved his affinity with the area with special highlights given to the cuisine. A new facet was uncovered be his wondrous descriptions of the Bitterroot Valley and surrounding locales in Montana.
Having now read the first three books in the Dave Robicheaux series I've found that my appetite for more has been whetted. His forthright style and general toughness in the face of adversity makes him a character who is easy to cheer for.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A first-rate piece of storytelling. Nov. 20 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dave Robicheaux, an ex-cop, lives in New Iberia, Louisiana. His wife was murdered by an unknown killer one year ago. Dave lives with an adopted Indian child named Alafair. He owns a bait shop and so far, has a clean record. One night he decides to go for coffee at a local cafe. He meets an old friend,who use to be a country singer, named Dixie Lee Pugh. While talking to him, he finds that Dixie has been into some trouble. After being acused of killing a young man, his house burns down along with his wife. People think that it was Dixie who killed those people but he knows who it really was. Two bad men named Harry Mapes and John Vidrine. Dave decides to help out an old friend so one night, he shows at Mapes and Vidrines hotel room. When Dave begins asking questions, they get suspicious and there is a scuffle. In the end of the scuffle, one man turns out dead. That man is Vidrine. Dave is being accused for the murder and Mapes is the only person to testify against him. If Dave can prove that it was Mapes who had killed those people in Montana before his trial, he'll be let off.So Dave moves to Montana with his little girl, and soon gets into more trouble when he makes the wrong accusations.
This is a great book. This book is a compelling mystery and I can't tell you any more about the book or else it'll give it away. So read the book to find out who killed who and if Dave gets let off the hook.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Cletus
Interesting to be introduced to Clete. I wish sometimes I read these in order. Character development strong as usual. Good read.
Published 1 month ago by Penny
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best
I've read them all and this one is still the best in the Robichaux series. Start with this one. Geaux Tigers!
Published on June 23 2004 by Hank
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the first one, but the quite possibly the best in series
One reviewer is off by a couple, Black Cherry Blues is the third in the series with Dave.
First one is Neon Rain, second one is Heaven's Prisoners (which was made into a... Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by Mike V.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Edgar Award was well-deserved.
The mystique of Dave Robicheaux continues in this book, the 3rd installment of the series. Throughout the book you can feel Dave's pain as he remembers Annie, who died in Heaven's... Read more
Published on May 2 2004 by Brad Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
For every Dave Robicheaux fan, a must read. Typical weave of multiple threads like all previous James Lee Burke stories!
Published on Jan. 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Soulful Hard Boiled Mysteries
Burke's Robicheaux is a unique entry in this genre for at least two reasons: first, the writing in the series is both hard boiled and literary -- to some degree, burke is a bit... Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2003 by Gordon Rios
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing
I was excited when I picked up this book because I had heard good things about Burke and the Robicheaux novels. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2003 by "commodorenutt"
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing
I was excited when I picked up this book because I had heard good things about Burke and the Robicheaux novels. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2003 by "commodorenutt"
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of a great series
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2003 by Larry Scantlebury
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable
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. Read more
Published on June 17 2002 by Denise
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