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Black Cherry Blues (Black cherry blues) by…

Black Cherry Blues (Black cherry blues) (edition 2011)

by James Lee Burke, Ole Lindegård Henriksen (Translator)

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1,047248,051 (3.87)41
Title:Black Cherry Blues (Black cherry blues)
Authors:James Lee Burke
Other authors:Ole Lindegård Henriksen (Translator)
Info:Hovedland 2011
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, mystery, Dave Robicheaux

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Black Cherry Blues by James Lee Burke


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In the 1990 Edgar Award winning novel, "Black Cherry Blues" Dave Robicheaux is mourning the death of his wife, Annie.

Dave's troubled college roommate Dixie Lee Pugh tells him that he (Dixie) overheard two men discussing two men they murdered in Montana.

When Dave checks into it, the two men become aware of Dave's interest. They make a mistake in threatening Dave's six-year-old step daughter Alafair. Dave reacts with a rage that he's known to release at times like this and he is arrested. He's charged with the murder of one of the men and the other is the main witness against him.

We follow Dave's actions as he travels to Montana. He runs into his old homicide partner Clete Purcel who is currently working for a minor gangster, Sallie "Sal" Dio. Sallie has Dixie Lee purchasing land deeds and there is a conflict with AIM, the American Indian Movement.

Dixie is an interesting character who is an accomplished musician and tells of being such places as Brooklyn, New York where he appeared at a concert with Chuck Berry. Clete Purcell is memorable for his idiosyncrasies and loved for his fierce loyalty to Dave. Dave's adopted daughter, Alafair, is a sweetheart. She wonders why her fellow students and teachers think it's odd that she speaks with a Creole dialect.

Dave Robicheaux is a troubled character who fights against his alcoholism, his bouts of rage, and his torment of letting down people in his past such as his murdered wife.

Burke is one of our most talented suspense writers. "Black Cherry Blues" was his first commercial success. Dave is a defender of the defenseless and is often pitted against big business and governmental bureaucracy.
He's also a highly literate author. ( )
  mikedraper | Dec 26, 2014 |
### 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.

### 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.
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
After so many strong recommendations for titles by James Lee Burke, I finally picked up Black Cherry Blues , the 3rd in the Dave Robicheaux series. What a great mystery! This book won the Edgar award in 1990 for best mystery novel. Normally when I read a mystery, I am completely focused on the plot. But, listening to this book, I couldn't help but appreciate the excellent writing and well developed characters. I loved how the 'bad guys' were the scum of the earth and the good guys weren't much better! The narrator, Mark Hammer, is perfect for this series. His Cajun dialect immediately places you in the heart of New Orleans. If you are looking for a gritty mystery AND a good novel, then try this series - you won't be disappointed.
( )
1 vote jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
This Edgar Best Novel winner is set partially in Louisiana (the locale for most of Burke's Dave Robicheaux series) and partly in Montana. Dave Robicheaux is a former cop who now runs a bait shop and fishing boat rental business. He has been horrifically widowed in a previous book and now shares his life with a six-year-old Salvadoran orphan girl whom he rescued and has named Alafair.

One day, Robicheaux runs into an old classmate -- sort of a Jerry Lee Lewis type who's been through some hard times, mostly caused by his own actions. Later Dixie Lee, for that is his name, contacts Robicheaux with a concern. He's overheard two co-workers in the oil leasing business discussing what he believes to have been a double murder. Robicheaux doesn't really want to get involved, but almost before he knows it he's been charged with the murder of one of the suspected killers -- a murder he knows he didn't commit. The ramifications of the case take him and Alafair to Montana, where he runs into another old friend -- his former, now disgraced, police partner Clete. Dave Robicheaux must investigate the case, involving Mafiosos, Indians, drugs, and oil leases, keep his adopted daughter safe, and make it back to Louisiana in time for his court date. It's a thrilling story.

This book is an interesting combination of extreme violence and lyrical nature description, the toughmindedness of an AA stalwart and the tenderness of a man learning to be a father to a traumatized little girl. I highly recommend it to anyone who is able to bear the descriptions of violence. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
A plot driven crime novel described as a page tuner and so I turned the pages - quicker and quicker as this pedestrian thriller started to leave a very bad taste in my mouth. There would appear to be 15 novels featuring the ex-cop Dave Robicheaux and this is the third in the series, heaven forbid that I would have to read another one

The novel is set in the Cajun world of the Louisiana Bayous, which would appear to be brim full of psychopaths and sociopaths, only slightly less dangerous than the hills of Montana which is the other destination for this novel. Robicheaux, who is probably more sociopathic than psychopathic, fits into this world like a glove as he bullies his way to the stories inevitable conclusion. It is indeed a man’s world, a sort of survival of the fittest, where the only mature person that shows any love and affection is brutally murdered - well it just serves her right for being so soft. The novel is written in the first person and so it is an unrelenting tract featuring Robicheaux view of the world.

…ask yourself, have you ever known anyone whose marriage was saved by a marriage counselor, whose drinking was cured by a psychiatrist, whose son was kept out of a reform school by a social worker? In a badass, beer-glass brawl, would you rather have an academic liberal covering your back or a hobnailed redneck?”

But of course it is all OK because Robicheaux is a good catholic and he can find redemption by talking to and confessing to a local priest.

The novel was published in 1990 and so may be a fairly early example of a modern day cop thriller. The sort of thing that is made into endless American movies, where only the really tough survive and almost everybody else is a victim, and the institutions are so corrupt that the only way through is by doing “what a mans got to do”. No doubt more recent novelists have taken this genre to new heights by making the violence even more visceral, the cops even more corrupt and the politicians and power junkies even more manic. If they have I do not want to read them

On the plus side Burke writes well and does his best to avoid some of the clichés. His descriptions of the Bayou country are vivid and his use of metaphors can be inventive. He largely avoids the temptation to slip into porn when talking about his female characters but his insistence in describing in detail the clothes of the six year old Alafair is a little weird. Women are either whores or virgins and sexism abounds.

This book was chosen by a member of my book club who is visiting the U S A soon and was keen to read a novel to tie in with her trip. If I was her after reading this I would cancel the trip. No I did not like this book, all that machismo was too much for me. I can enjoy a trashy book if there is some humour, some interest or some wit but this stuff is just sick. 2 stars ( )
4 vote baswood | Sep 26, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Lee Burkeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hammer, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Her hair is curly and gold on the pillow, her skin white in the heat lightning that trembles beyond the pecan trees outside the bedroom window.
I believe every...man remembers the girl he thinks he should have married. She reappears to him in his lonely moments, or he sees her in the face of a young girl in the park, buying a snowball under an oak tree by the baseball diamond. But she belongs to back there, to somebody else, and that thought sometimes rends your heart in a way that you never share with anyone else.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380712040, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:08 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

An ex-New Orleans cop comes up against Indians, oil company roughnecks, and Mafia honchos on the rugged Montana landscape.

(summary from another edition)

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