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NEWS
January 4, 1996 | BETTYANN KEVLES, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Perhaps the greatest treat for me on finishing "Burning Angel" was the discovery that James Lee Burke has a dozen earlier novels in print, six of which are about to be released in paperback. This means that the pleasure of enjoying his superlative prose and again meeting Dave Robicheaux is as close as the nearest book shop. Dave Robicheaux is Burke's remarkable creation.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 2010 | By Dick Lochte, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Glass Rainbow A Novel James Lee Burke Simon & Schuster: 434 pp., $25.99 In crafting his novels, James Lee Burke has been nothing if not consistent when it comes to quality. Or to characters and plot. His repeated battles of good versus evil in the humid crucible of southern Louisiana are expertly and stylishly rendered, but they've also become undeniably formulaic. Trying to shake things up with the last entry, "Swan Peak," the author sent his hero Dave Robicheaux to the mountains of Montana.
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BOOKS
August 25, 1996 | Dick Lochte, Dick Lochte's last mystery novel, "The Neon Smile," is an Ivy paperback
The great mystery writer Rex Stout once told me that a contemporary of his, Dorothy L. Sayers, grew so disgusted with her creation, Lord Peter Wimsey, that she became physically ill if anyone mentioned him. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was so fed up with Sherlock Holmes after just two novels and 24 short stories that he tried to retire him permanently. James Bond made it through five books before Ian Fleming tried to bump him off.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2009 | Dick Lochte, Lochte is the author of 10 novels, including the comedy-thriller "Croaked!"
After getting the lay of the literary land in James Lee Burke's new Texas-based crime novel, I was reminded of a friend mentioning -- with film-buff certainty -- that Howard Hawks' classic western "Red River" was in fact an uncredited reworking of the sea adventure "Mutiny on the Bounty." In spite of certain plot similarities, I was not then, nor am I now, at all convinced. Nor do I think that Burke's "Rain Gods" is a reworking of Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men."
NEWS
January 31, 1991 | LYNN SIMROSS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
By his own description, novelist James Lee Burke's quest for literary celebrity has been a rough roll of the dice: a lot of "deuces and treys and boxcars" came up before he made his point with a Cajun detective. An unpretentious, soft-voiced man with a permanent squint like that of a cowboy who's spent long years in the dust of cattle drives, Burke earned glowing reviews 30 years ago as a promising young Southern writer.
NEWS
August 13, 1996 | BOB SIPCHEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
San Francisco is James Lee Burke's kind of city. His novels evoke grimacing bottleneck blues guitar or reckless washboard Cajun. But the solo sax haunting Union Square suits him too. So do the city's eccentrics: a sidewalk beggar whose gimmick is a gray cat in a green sweater; a homeless man venting his voices into the night; a surf dude cabby who turns a five-minute fare into a manic diatribe. Burke exits the cab wearing a grin that suggests he just absorbed another character.
BOOKS
April 18, 1993 | Fred Schruers, Schruers is living in New Orleans, completing a nonfiction book to be published by Pocket Books
"In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead" is the fifth of James Lee Burke's novels featuring the Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux, a series that began in 1986 with "Neon Rain." The title gives fair warning that it is by far the most ambitious of the group. Burke's titles have in fact grown steadily more portentous (last year's outing was "A Stained White Radiance"), but they do tend to remind us that he's an eloquent observer of, among other things, the qualities of light.
BOOKS
July 24, 1994 | E.W. Alexander, New this week:
DIXIE CITY JAM, by James Lee Burke. (Hyperion: $22.95). Detective Dave Robicheaux is beseeched by a local to investigate a sunken submarine off the Louisiana coast, which brings back long-forgotten memories. That WWII vessel's surreptitious purpose is about to be revived by a neo-Nazi. (Also available on audiocassette.) HIDDEN RICHES, by Nora Roberts (Putnam: $21.95).
BOOKS
December 23, 1990
BLACK CHERRY BLUES by James Lee Burke (Avon: $4.95). Trails to a murder lead Dave Robicheaux, Viet-nam vet turned cop, from the New Orleans swamplands to Montana's open range. SPRING MOON by Bette Bao Lord (Harper: $4.95). Fast casts a pall over the future of a 19th-Century Chinese woman of noble birth. PROFESSOR ROMEO by Anne Bernays (Penguin: $7.95). College professor gets his comeuppance when one of his former paramours becomes dean of women's affairs. DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE by Robert K.
NEWS
August 27, 2000 | DICK LOCHTE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The last few entries in James Lee Burke's series about Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux seemed to suggest that the author had pumped all he could out of that patch of ground. Plot threads were being repeated. His hero had become unbearably sanctimonious. His previously eloquent descriptions of the bayous were drifting into self-parody (". . . the sun should have risen out of the water like a mist-shrouded egg yolk, but it didn't").
ENTERTAINMENT
July 19, 2008 | Nicholas A. Basbanes, Special to The Times
Every year about this time, I eagerly await the latest novel from the pen of James Lee Burke, and if I'm lucky, it will be an adventure featuring the New Iberia, La., deputy sheriff Dave Robicheaux, for my money the best continuing American character today, a counterpart on these shores to Adam Dalgleish of Scotland Yard, the masterful creation of the incomparable P.D. James.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2007 | Dick Lochte, Special to The Times
"AS we crossed under the elevated highway and headed toward the Convention Center, I saw one image that will never leave me and that will remain emblematic of my experience in New Orleans, La., on Monday, August 29, in the year of Our Lord, 2005. The body of a fat black man was bobbing facedown against a piling. His dress clothes were puffed with air, his arms floating straight out from his sides. A dirty skim of yellow froth from our wake washed over his head.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2006 | Dick Lochte, Special to The Times
When introduced in the 1987 crime novel "The Neon Rain," James Lee Burke's Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux was living in New Orleans, a homicide lieutenant suffering from alcoholism, self-loathing and job burnout. By the following year's sequel, "Heaven's Prisoners," he had retreated to his considerably less spoiled Acadian hometown of New Iberia, seeking sobriety and redemption.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 19, 2005 | Dick Lochte, Special to The Times
James Lee Burke's 13th novel featuring one of crime fiction's most famously flawed heroes, the guilt-ridden, alcoholic, hot-headed, self-destructive Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux, begins with a story from Dave's book of painful memories. In the summer of 1958, with college on the horizon, he and his reckless half-brother, Jimmie, join a doodlebug crew laying rubber cable and seismic jugs in the search for energy reserves along the Louisiana-Texas coastline.
BOOKS
January 18, 2004 | Eugen Weber, Eugen Weber is a contributing writer to Book Review.
In Ethan Black's splendid "Dead for Life," an innocent New York cop is pilloried for dereliction of duty. A raging, resourceful, persistent cur -- determined to liquidate his prey for no evident reason -- claims that responsibility for his murders lies with Det. Conrad Voort. To save his honor and his career, Voort must discover the killer's motivation and foil his plans.
NEWS
June 19, 2002 | DICK LOCHTE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Several of James Lee Burke's more recent novels about Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux have been examples of style over substance. This is not meant as a complaint, exactly; not when you're dealing with a stylist whose poetic way with words is stunningly effective, whether being used to describe bayou tranquillity or barroom violence.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 2010 | By Dick Lochte, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Glass Rainbow A Novel James Lee Burke Simon & Schuster: 434 pp., $25.99 In crafting his novels, James Lee Burke has been nothing if not consistent when it comes to quality. Or to characters and plot. His repeated battles of good versus evil in the humid crucible of southern Louisiana are expertly and stylishly rendered, but they've also become undeniably formulaic. Trying to shake things up with the last entry, "Swan Peak," the author sent his hero Dave Robicheaux to the mountains of Montana.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2007 | Dick Lochte, Special to The Times
"AS we crossed under the elevated highway and headed toward the Convention Center, I saw one image that will never leave me and that will remain emblematic of my experience in New Orleans, La., on Monday, August 29, in the year of Our Lord, 2005. The body of a fat black man was bobbing facedown against a piling. His dress clothes were puffed with air, his arms floating straight out from his sides. A dirty skim of yellow froth from our wake washed over his head.
NEWS
August 27, 2000 | DICK LOCHTE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The last few entries in James Lee Burke's series about Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux seemed to suggest that the author had pumped all he could out of that patch of ground. Plot threads were being repeated. His hero had become unbearably sanctimonious. His previously eloquent descriptions of the bayous were drifting into self-parody (". . . the sun should have risen out of the water like a mist-shrouded egg yolk, but it didn't").
BOOKS
August 25, 1996 | Dick Lochte, Dick Lochte's last mystery novel, "The Neon Smile," is an Ivy paperback
The great mystery writer Rex Stout once told me that a contemporary of his, Dorothy L. Sayers, grew so disgusted with her creation, Lord Peter Wimsey, that she became physically ill if anyone mentioned him. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was so fed up with Sherlock Holmes after just two novels and 24 short stories that he tried to retire him permanently. James Bond made it through five books before Ian Fleming tried to bump him off.
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