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Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel Hardcover – Jul 17 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (July 17 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451648138
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451648133
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #145,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Gripping.”—People Magazine

“Burke is the reigning champ of nostalgia noir. . . . To be sure, the destruction of a pristine natural environment is a thematic staple of the regional crime novel, but nobody can touch Burke in the lyrical expression of howling grief. . . . [Creole Belle is] a novel that shows how the sins of the fathers poison the ground their children walk on.”—The New York Times Book Review

“I think [James Lee] Burke is the best fiction writer in the country.”—Bill O’Reilly

“All the characters . . . are superbly drawn, and the plot is heart-pounding . . . sure to be embraced by author James Lee Burke's fans.”—The Washington Post

“Burke, 75, creates lyrical mysteries with what can only be described as deceptive ease. Whether it’s Robicheaux, stand-alone novels, or separate series starring Texas cousins Billy Bob and Hackberry Holland, the themes remain constant. Every novel Burke writes delves into moral ambiguity, the menaces of greed and violence, the degradation of people and land, the juxtaposition of natural beauty and man-made horror and, finally, the sublime joy of human love and loyalty.”The Christian Science Monitor

“Burke never goes wrong with his exquisite gift for taking us into the heart of Louisiana, its wetlands, small towns, the glory of old New Orleans and, as always, its checkered history. Combined with some of the finest characters ever to grace a page, that makes any Robicheaux novel a joy to read.” (The Globe and Mail (Canada))

“Like its 18 predecessors in Burke’s series, Creole Belle is a work of dark and radiant brilliance.”Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Reading James Lee Burke is a religious experience. …Creole Belle may be one of Burke's best; it is certainly one of his most complex. . . . Intense doesn't begin to describe a Burke story . . . Biblical . . . now that about does it.”—San Antonio Express

“The plot is fast-moving and thriller-tough, the bodies mount quickly, and the writing is lyrical and evocative . . . as laced with complications as the canals crosscutting Robicheaux's beloved, threatened wetlands.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune

"If all novelists were as thoughtful and nuanced as James Lee Burke, we could finally put to rest those groundless prejudices against genre fiction . . . the [Dave Robicheaux] books are works of dark art. At their unflinching best, they examine the cost of violence, even when it's performed in the name of justice, and the haunted worlds inhabited by those resigned to limping through life with a blood-soaked conscience." (Miami Herald)

“Burke weaves a rich example of his trademark bayou noir. Filled with cruelty and valor, greed and sacrifice, and surprises of the worst and best kind, Creole Belle is a dark but irresistible cruise.”—Tampa Bay Times

“As a crime novel, Creole Belle delivers everything fans of the genre crave, and more: a masterful tale of good, evil, organized crime and the corporate-led destruction of the once-idyllic land of the Gulf Coast. Burke muses along at a steady pace, never hurrying, never stalling. He uses the modern crime novel the way a master chef uses local, organic foods to create a gastronomic feast—in this case, a classical tragedy with all the fixin’s.”—

“[Creole Belle] is a wild ride of a novel, but the true joys of Burke’s novels are the exquisitely fine writing and his character’s familiarity with great thinkers and theologians. . . . It is fair to say that Burke truly stands with Chandler and Hammett in the pantheon of great American crime fiction novelists.”—Asbury Park Press

“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)

“Another stunner from a modern master.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Great news for readers who feared that Burke had left Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Robicheaux dying at the end of The Glass Rainbow (2010); Dave and his old friend Clete Purcel are back for an even more heaven-storming round of homicide, New Orleans–style. . . . A darkly magnificent treat for Dave’s legion of admirers.”Kirkus Reviews

“One of the masters, James Lee Burke, has a new Dave Robicheaux novel just out, Creole Belle. Elmore Leonard famously advises all writers to never write about ‘boring stuff’ like the weather, but Burke’s catalog is a direct contradiction to that advice. He writes about Louisiana and the Gulf with such sensual detail about sights, smells, and yes—the weather—that you can skip paying Delta for that flight to the Big Easy.”Detroit News

“Fortunately for us, we can luxuriate in the 500-plus pages of Burke’s sinuous tale before we can decipher this complex puzzle.”Dayton Daily News

“Burke’s fascinatingly conflicted Cajun anti-hero Dave Robicheaux returns.”Dallas Morning News

"Burke has a knack for giving the reader atmosphere through descriptions of architecture, the sights and sounds of overheated New Orleans and southern Louisiana's quirky folks." (Albuquerque Journal)

“When something terrible happens in Louisiana, the only consolation might be that James Lee Burke is inspired to write another Dave Robicheaux novel about it.”—Houston Chronicle

About the Author

James Lee Burke is the author of thirty previous novels and two collections of short stories, including the New York Times bestsellers The Glass Rainbow and Feast Day of Fools. He lives in Missoula, Montana.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Sept. 11 2012
Format: Hardcover
Perceptions created through a haze of painkillers. What is real and what is fantasy? Like the seasoning in a good bowl of gumbo the story warms up and then you feel the heat. Who can be trusted and what's being covered up? Clete seems to want to pursue things on his own and Dave is more content to be with his family. Where is the missing Tee Jolie and why did she disappear?
I love how the choice of language used slows you down and makes you feel you are indeed in the deep south. The plot draws you along but you feel the mellowness of the lifestyles. The rich descriptions of the scenes make you feel like you are right there with the characters.
Again he leaves you fulfilled at the conclusion yet wanting more. When will the next book come?
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Aug. 27 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." -- Romans 12:21 (NKJV)

In Creole Belle, James Lee Burke ups the literary qualities of his prose to new levels of poetic imagery. He also does a remarkable job of portraying the problems of perception and memory in ways that resonate more powerfully than any scientific description you'll ever read. I was impressed with the effective way that Clete Purcel seems to have been encompassed by Dave Robicheaux's visions, adding a more romantic aspect to this story.

That said, the outlines of the story will seem very familiar to those who are long-time fans of the series. It's good versus evil once again with a vengeance. Although I don't mind the same story being retold with new garments, in this case there's a reaching out to the evils of Europe that comes across as quite a stretch for a story that's obviously based in the recent past. It felt like such overreaching to me that the story's magic spell was dimmed for me.

So what's the story about on the surface level? Dave is recovering from being shot in The Glass Rainbow. A generous dose of painkillers is affecting his perceptions. When Tee Jolie Melton seems to visit, he's not sure. Because she's missing, everyone else doubts Dave's memory. He's not so sure. As usual, the search goes against the grain for everyone else, but Dave proceeds regardless ... turning up some very curious events and some highly untrustworthy people. Burke takes his time honing in on the evil, beautifully building characters and conundrums in the process. It's like sitting down with someone form southern Louisiana who wants to tell you a story about the old days in the French Quarter. It's going to take awhile, but you probably won't mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Dureault on June 23 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Detective Dave Robicheaux is at it again. Flying around the bayou country stomping out fires, with aid of pal Cletus. A new twist added, in Cletus' daughter,almost as uncontrollable as her old man. Great page turner, hard to put down. As always with Burke the characters that people this book are indelibly drawn, as is the setting for their lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tzeb on Nov. 22 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Classic combination of James Lee Burke's fabulous writing and the incredible vocal talent of reader, Will Patton. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read and once again Cletus Percell's diatribes will have you laughing out loud.
Tim H.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G.F. McCauley on Sept. 9 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Lee Burke is justly famous for his descriptive and evocative prose but lately, and certainly in Creole Belle, this talent gets in the way of a good story with the reader silently begging the writer to get on with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By janet on April 13 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
..sprawling, colourful, exciting narrative coupled with Mr. Burma's trademark complex and thoughtful character progression. Louisiana enveloped me as I read , a character in her own right. Totally satisfying.
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