Creole Belle

Creole Belle

A Dave Robicheaux Novel

Book - 2012
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When last seen, Robicheaux was recovering in a New Orleans hospital from a near-fatal bullet wound. Immobilized and heavily medicated by morphine, he was visited there by a beautiful Creole woman named Tee Jolie Melton. After she's gone, his fond, hazy remembrances of her are rekindled by one song, "Creole Belle" on the iPod that she left behind. Now obsessed by the song and thoughts of her, he goes in search of her. He finds instead the frozen corpse of her sister floating at sea. As he grapples with that mystery, an oil rig explodes on the Gulf threatening the cherished environs of the bayous. Robicheaux then swings into action, leading the charge against the destruction of both the land and the people he has sworn to protect.
Publisher: New York : Simon and Schuster, 2012
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451648140
Characteristics: 528 pages ; 25 cm


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Apr 30, 2015

"I also believe my home state (Louisiana) is cursed by ignorance and poverty and racism, much of it deliberately inculcated to control a vulnerable electorate."
It irks me to no end that there is still an elitist division between "literary" fiction and genre fiction like mystery and sci-fi. Sure, there's plenty of pulp out there, but there's also plenty of worthless literary fiction. James Lee Burke, like James Ellroy, is not simply a great mystery writer, he's a great writer and it's shameful that he's never received more critical attention. I'll take anything he's written over some guy from Brooklyn named Jonathan who thinks he has something important to say. Anyway, this is a recent (2012) novel in his ongoing series featuring Dave Robicheaux. As with many of the Robicheaux books, this is set in Southern Louisiana and Burke richly evokes the people and the place without romanticizing it. He also is concerned with power, wealth, the nature of evil, and racism, which gives his books more depth than the average crime novel. He tells a great story and he's not trying to be profound or political, but his novels have a greater sense of injustice and the corruption of those in power than almost any NYT approved literary authors.

Oct 16, 2013

I have been reading JLB's Dave R mysteries for many years but I had a tough time getting through this one. While all of the novels deal in human frailty, Creole Belle has more than its share of "downers." If Burke had given me just a tiny teaser to raise my spirits while reading about all of Bayou losers...

Jul 17, 2013

I've been a Burke fan for over 15years. In my Opinion Creole Belle is one of the best he's written. I'd highly recommend it to any fans or newcomers to JL Burke's novels.

Mar 29, 2013

Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux continues his saga with Clete Purcel featured. Both are recovering from wounds received in a gun battle. Purcel is a train wreck but is Robicheaux’s best friend and he receives more focus than in previous novels. Purcel hires his long lost daughter who may or may not be a contract killer. Meanwhile, Robicheaux is receiving phone calls from a singer who is trouble. However, Robicheaux fears that he may be hallucinating as a result of morphine. He has murders to solve and a singer to rescue- perhaps.
Creole Belle is a murder mystery but Burke uses the opportunity to lament the Louisiana of the past, the damage done by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and lambaste the rich. One thing to count on is that all the rich people in a Burke novel are corrupt and/or evil. It would be nice for Burke to throw a change up and include a decent rich person. Regardless, James Lee Burke is always worth the read.

Nov 09, 2012

Way too long.

Nov 03, 2012

Is Dave a ghost? Is Tee Jolie? If you have not discovered JLB, you are missing one of the most intelligent writers around. I hate to say it's hard-boiled, like the kind of thing that went out of fashion in the 1950's, in case that stops you. I could not put this book down, but the writing style is the reason to read it -- don't worry, it's nothing pretentious or boring , just strangely poetic. (Plotwise, it gets silly I think. I've so often wondered why a capable guy like Dave doesn't get himself a normal job and save his family from all the crap that comes with his detective.thug-for-hire work. Honestly, Dave, it's not fair to them!)

Sep 26, 2012

James Lee can write for me, any time.

Sep 21, 2012

In this latest Dave Robicheaux novel, James Lee Burke proves once again why he has been named a "grand master" by the Mystery Writers of America. Burke uses crime fiction as a vehicle, but his books are really about the tensions which exist in society and the psyches of his characters. Grand themes that are supported by the incredible word pictures created by a novelist of great skill.

Sep 10, 2012

James Lee Burke is at the height of his art. I haven't read a better book recently. His use of words is amazing. He puts one right in the action with his descriptive style and almost makes me smell the food and feel the setting. Dave Robicheaux feels what we all feel and one can feel the tugging directions in his life due to the amazing imagery the author uses. A highly suggested read.

Aug 13, 2012

Let me say , I love JLB, love the Robichaud series.
The overall story is good, but I had a hard time buying the character of Clete's daughter. A bit over the top for me.
JLB is one of the most descriptive authors I've ever read, but there seems to be way too much of it in this novel. At times the character seems to rant and moralize right in the middle of the action. There is a lot of violence too.
The characters are very complex, as JLB's characters are. Dave and Clete are aging, though, so not sure how much farther the series can go.

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