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Cadillac Jukebox (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries


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About the Author

James Lee Burke was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936 and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana gulf coast. He attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute and later received a B. A. Degree in English and an M. A. from the University of Missouri in 1958 and 1960 respectively. Over the years he worked as a landman for Sinclair Oil Company, pipeliner, land surveyor, newspaper reporter, college English professor, social worker on Skid Row in Los Angeles, clerk for the Louisiana Employment Service, and instructor in the U. S. Job Corps.

He and his wife Pearl met in graduate school and have been married 48 years, they have four children: Jim Jr., an assistant U.S. Attorney; Andree, a school psychologist; Pamala, a T. V. ad producer; and Alafair, a law professor and novelist who has 4 novels out with Henry Holt publishing.

Burke's work has been awarded an Edgar twice for Best Crime Novel of the Year. He has also been a recipient of a Breadloaf and Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant. Two of his novels, Heaven's Prisoners and Two For Texas, have been made into motion pictures. His short stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, New Stories from the South, Best American Short Stories, Antioch Review, Southern Review, and The Kenyon Review. His novel The Lost Get-Back Boogie was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years, and upon publication by Louisiana State University press was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Today he and his wife live in Missoula, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana.


"Cadillac Jukebox is pure Burke--equal parts hardboiled action, lush descriptions of the natural world, and dialogue that leaps from the page."--People Magazine

"If you haven't read Burke, get going."--Playboy

"Terrific reading. Few writers in America can evoke a region as well as Burke."--Philadelphia Inquirer

A ripeness of villains, the familiar good guys and some who travel the territory in between comprise the cast of the rich ninth Dave Robicheaux adventure, following Burning Angel. Nearly 30 years after the shooting death of a prominent black civil rights leader, Louisiana redneck Aaron Crown, age 68, is convicted of the crime. Crown, insisting he didn't do it, asks Robicheaux, sheriff's deputy of New Iberia, La., who once found his runaway daughter, to investigate. Meanwhile, others turn the story to their own advantage: Buford LaRose, a wealthy university professor running for Louisiana governor, hopes to ride the sales of his book, pointing to Crown's guilt, to victory; and New York film interests come down to interview Crown. Then in New Orleans, a film writer is brutally executed. Despite a deep reluctance to be involved with the slick LaRose, whose wife he once slept with (and who tempts him still), Robicheaux is drawn into ensuing events. One of three mob-related figures whom Robicheaux suspects of backing LaRose warns him off; Crown escapes; LaRose wins the election; a huge psychopathic hired killer reappears; a mob figure is beaten to death; and a freethinker from the 1960s, now a LaRose family guru, is connected to a Mexican drug operation. Burke delivers more spectacular killings before clearing the 30-year-long thicket of revenge, ambition and blackmail and arriving at the Tara-like ending. The cast's knotted relationships may not always be clear, but Robicheaux's angst and stubborn do-right determination shine as bright as the plastic casing on the replica 1950's Wurlitzer of the title. $250,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Aug.)

Cadillac Jukebox is pure Burke--equal parts hardboiled action, lush descriptions of the natural world, and dialogue that leaps from the page.--People Magazine
If you haven't read Burke, get going.--Playboy
Terrific reading. Few writers in America can evoke a region as well as Burke.--Philadelphia Inquirer

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