Burke, James Lee 1936-

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Burke, James Lee 1936-


Born December 5, 1936, in Houston, TX; son of James Lee (a natural gas engineer) and Frances Burke; married Pearl Pai Chu, January 22, 1960; children: James, Andree, Pamela, Alafair. Education: Attended University of Southwest Louisiana, 1955-57; University of Missouri, B.A., 1959, M.A., 1960. Politics: "Jeffersonian Democrat." Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Fishing, playing guitar, tennis, baseball, bluegrass music.


Home—Missoula, MT; New Iberia, LA. Agent—Philip Spitzer, 50 Talmage Farm Ln., East Hampton, NY 11937.


Writer. Worked variously as a surveyor, social worker in Los Angeles, CA, 1962-64, newspaper reporter in Lafayette, LA, 1964, and English instructor at colleges and universities, including University of Southwest Louisiana, University of Southern Illinois, University of Montana, Miami-Dade Community College, and Wichita State University; U.S. Forest Service, Job Corps Conservation Center, Frenchburg, KY, instructor, 1965-66.


Bread Loaf fellow, 1970; Southern Federation of State Arts Agencies grant, 1977; National Endowment for the Arts grant, 1977; Pulitzer Prize nomination, 1987, for The Lost Get-Back Boogie; Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel, Mystery Writers of America, 1989, for Black Cherry Blues, and 1998, for Cimarron Rose; Guggenheim fellow, 1989; Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination for best novel, and Hammett Prize nominee, North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers, both 2003, both for Jolie Blon's Bounce; Pushcart Prize, 2006, for story "Why Bugsy Siegel Was a Friend of Mine."



Half of Paradise, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1965, reprinted, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1995.

To the Bright and Shining Sun, Scribner (New York, NY), 1970, reprinted, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1995.

Lay down My Sword and Shield, Crowell (New York, NY), 1971, reprinted, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1995.

Two for Texas, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1983, published as Sabine Spring, Watermark Press (Wichita, KS), 1989.

The Lost Get-Back Boogie, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1986, updated edition, with a foreword by Christine Wiltz, 2004.

The Convict, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1995.

White Doves at Morning, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.


The Neon Rain, Holt (New York, NY), 1987.

Heaven's Prisoners, Holt (New York, NY), 1988.

Black Cherry Blues, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1989.

A Morning for Flamingos, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1990.

A Stained White Radiance, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1992.

In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1993.

Dixie City Jam, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1994.

Burning Angel, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1995.

Cadillac Jukebox, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1996.

Sunset Limited, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1998.

Purple Cane Road, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2000.

Jolie Blon's Bounce, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.

Last Car to Elysian Fields, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.

Crusader's Cross, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.

Pegasus Descending, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.

The Tin Roof Blowdown, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.


Cimarron Rose, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1997.

Heartwood, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1999.

Bitterroot, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.

In the Moon of Red Ponies, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.


The Convict and Other Stories, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1985.

(With Kenneth E. Davison) Ohio's Heritage, Peregrine Smith Books (Layton, UT), 1989.

Texas City, 1947, Lord John Press (Northridge, CA), 1992.

Jesus out to Sea: Stories, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.

Short story anthologized in Best American Short Stories of 1986; "Why Bugsy Siegel Was a Friend of Mine" was published in The 2007 Pushcart Anthology. Also contributor of short stories to periodicals, including Atlantic, Quarterly West, Antioch Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and Southern Review.


Heaven's Prisoners was filmed in 1996; To the Bright and Shining Sun was released by the Turner Network.


James Lee Burke poetically evokes New Orleans and its rural bayous in his series of detective novels featuring Dave Robicheaux. An ex-New Orleans police officer, Vietnam veteran, and recovering alcoholic, Robicheaux possesses as many faults as virtues. Burke also fills his novels with rich and fertile settings. A contributor to St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers called Burke "a writer of extraordinary talent and power [whose novels] are well-plotted, suspenseful, and action-packed; their characters are complicated and psychologically real; their violence shocks and horrifies."

Born in Houston, Burke grew up on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, writing his first short stories while attending the University of Southwest Louisiana. It was when one of these stories won an honorable mention in a contest that Burke "got hooked" on writing. Following graduate school, where he earned a teaching degree, Burke worked for the Sinclair Oil Company, but he soon returned to the University of Southwest Louisiana to teach. In 1965, four years after its completion, Burke's first novel was published.

Half of Paradise interweaves three stories that are linked by time and geography. Although the three protagonists are from varying life situations in the South, the stories all begin and end in tragic circumstances. Wirt Williams, writing in the New York Times Book Review, pointed out that Burke's writing could be sharper, but concluded that "no reservations alter the important things about the book: it is an exciting piece of writing and a solid debut for a writer to be taken absolutely seriously."

Burke was surprised by the critical acclaim the novel received, but still felt restless with his life. "I guess it happens to a lot of guys who go from grad school into university teaching," explained Burke in an interview with W.C. Stroby in the Writer's Digest. "You feel you're missing something. So I went from job to job. We bounced all over the country, literally." By the mid-1960s, Burke was teaching at the University of Montana, and his next novel, To the Bright and Shining Sun, was published in 1970.

Set in a mining town in Kentucky, To the Bright and Shining Sun is narrated by sixteen-year-old Perry Woodson Hatfield James, a loyal member of the miners union who knows nothing of the world outside his small town. Perry is offered the chance to learn a trade, but his hopes are dashed when his father is killed in an explosion set by nonunion miners. "Burke takes these harsh facts and brings them to life in a surging, bitter novel as authentic as moonshine," related Martin Levin in the New York Times Book Review. A Publishers Weekly contributor asserted that Burke "has presented a powerful and cruel picture of the Appalachia many Americans would like to forget."

At the time To the Bright and Shining Sun was published, Burke had a falling out with the agent who negotiated the sales of his first two books. Confident from his early success, Burke quickly signed with the William Morris Agency and published his third book, Lay Down My Sword and Shield, to less enthusiastic reviews. Angered over the advertising for this work, Burke elected to take his next novel, The Lost Get-Back Boogie, to a new publisher. Things then began to go downhill for him. "I found out I couldn't publish The Lost Get-Back Boogie anywhere," recalled Burke in his interview with Stroby. "I stayed with William Morris for six more years, but I couldn't sell a thing. After that, the agency returned all my material, cut me loose, and suddenly it was ground zero again."

It was not until thirteen years later that Burke published another novel. "I fell onto bad days," he said in his Writer's Digest interview. "By the time I was thirty- four, I had published three novels, and I thought I was home free. I discovered I was just starting to pay dues." These dues came mostly in the form of short stories and unpublished novels, which Burke spent the next several years writing. Eventually Burke met New York agent Philip G. Spitzer, and finally sold another novel in 1983—Two for Texas, a paperback original. While his other manuscripts, including The Lost Get-Back Boogie, continued to circulate, Burke proceeded with his teaching career. In 1986, a year after publishing a collection of his short stories, the Louisiana State University Press finally published a revised version of The Lost Get-Back Boogie, a book that earned Burke a Pulitzer Prize nomination. "I owe those people at LSU Press a lot," Burke told Stroby. "They resurrected my whole career. Suddenly I was back in business."

Ironically, The Lost Get-Back Boogie, which racked up ninety-three rejection slips and went unpublished for more than a decade, became one of Burke's most successful books. The novel opens on the day Iry Paret gets out of a Louisiana prison after spending two years inside for manslaughter. A Korean War veteran and country musician, Paret ends up in Montana ranch country with the family of one of his prison friends, Buddy Riordan. Attempting to write a song that captures his life before the war and prison, Paret finds himself unwillingly drawn into a feud between Riordan's father and his neighbors. Set in the 1960s, the novel is filled with flashbacks, dreams, and drunken meditations that show a glimpse of Paret's past and point to the novel's tragic climax. Regina Weinreich, writing in the New York Times Book Review, found the language in The Lost Get-Back Boogie "exceptionally poetic: a muscular prose enlivened by lyric descriptions of the landscape and the lingo of the roughnecks Paret encounters in the American hinterland." A Washington Post Book World contributor similarly concluded that Burke's prose "is by turns taut and poetic and his portrait of a fundamentally decent man trying to do right—but too often only able to do wrong—is riveting."

Before The Lost Get-Back Boogie was published, Burke decided to try his hand at a crime novel. With the encouragement of fellow writers, he combined elements of two of his unpublished novels to create The Neon Rain, the first book in the "Dave Robicheaux" crime series. In the debut book, Robicheaux is a New Orleans Police homicide detective investigating the murder of a prostitute whose body is discovered in the bayou. The case ends up encompassing everything from a contract on Robicheaux's life to encounters with the Nicaraguan mafia. Eventually framed and suspended from his job, Robicheaux must clear his name, and his ability to do so is made difficult when he gives up and returns to drinking. "Mr. Burke has created a real character in Dave Robicheaux," pointed out Newgate Callendar in the New York Times Book Review. "This is a detective who is more than a lethal man of action." Alan Ryan, writing in the Washington Post Book World, also saw Robicheaux as a "human" character, concluding that "Burke's writing is masterful, catching the violence of words and attitudes as well as the dizzying action, the pain and the blood."

Robicheaux's life is significantly changed in his next adventure, Heaven's Prisoners. No longer working for the police, he now runs a bait shop on the rural bayou and is happily married to Annie, the woman who helped pull him out of his depression in The Neon Rain. The couple's peaceful life is interrupted when they watch a plane crash into the sea. Going down to investigate, Robicheaux discovers four bodies and a little Latina girl who has managed to survive the crash (he eventually adopts her). When the newspaper accounts of the accident report only three bodies, Robicheaux tries to find out why. Discovering that there is a drug connection, he is warned off the case and severely beaten by two thugs. A tragic turn of events prompts Robicheaux to start drinking again, but in the end a form of justice is done. Los Angeles Times Book Review correspondent Charles Champlin observed that in Heaven's Prisoners Burke mixes "hard-line action and terse dialogue with lyrical evocations of the bayou country and explorations of the deepest feelings of anger, revenge, love, compassion and understanding." Callendar, in his review of the book, similarly related that Burke "has the knack of combining action with reflection; he has pity for the human condition, and even his villains can have some sympathetic and redeeming qualities." Champlin also wrote: "Heaven's Prisoners is a long way from your average action novel."

After his wife is murdered by hired killers and he makes a trip to Montana to help out an old friend in Black Cherry Blues, Robicheaux finds himself in debt and joins the small New Iberia police force in his fourth adventure, A Morning for Flamingos. While transferring prisoners for execution—Jimmy Lee Boggs, a cold-blooded killer, and Tee Beau Latiolais, the grandson of an old Creole woman—Robicheaux finds himself shot and lying in a ditch after the two prisoners escape. Once recovered, he agrees to go undercover to infiltrate a mafia gang in New Orleans, the same gang for which Boggs is a hit man. Along the way, Robicheaux also meets up with an old sweetheart and undergoes an interior battle with his own fears.

Robicheaux remains a member of the New Iberia sheriff's department in his next adventure, A Stained White Radiance. Having recently married his childhood sweetheart, he finds himself drawn into the affairs of the Sonnier family, which is made up of a wealthy oilman, a politician with Ku Klux Klan connections, a television evangelist, and another of Robicheaux's old girlfriends. After a cop is killed while investigating a break-in at one of the Sonniers' homes, the other members of the secretive family are attacked one by one, and Robicheaux must find the killer.

Robicheaux faces more emotional turmoil in Purple Cane Road, a novel that revolves around the detective's uncovering of new information surrounding his mother's murder. As the investigation into his mother's past draws him into a web of corrupt police officers with ties to the state attorney general, Robicheaux must also contend with his adopted daughter's crush on a dangerous hired gun. In a starred review, a Publishers Weekly contributor called Purple Cane Road "a powerhouse of a thriller that shows Burke writing near the peak of his form." In Booklist, Bill Ott noted: "Robicheaux battling the past instead of the present is only the latest example of Burke's continuing ability to mix the fresh with the familiar in just the right way."

Jolie Blon's Bounce, which was nominated for an Edgar Award and a Hammett Prize, concerns the rape and murder of a teenaged girl in New Iberia. The investigation points Robicheaux toward musician Tee Bobby Hulin and his lawyer Perry LaSalle, whose family runs a plantation that dates back many generations. Antagonizing the situation is Legion Guidry, the plantation manager who refuses to concede the Civil War. Robicheaux's former New Orleans partner, Clete Purcell, appears during a hunt for a possible serial killer. Racial tensions are high in the book, which presents "Burke at his best," according to Patrick Wall in Library Journal.

Last Car to Elysian Fields, called "a fierce morality tale" by People contributor Tim Appelo, finds Robicheaux mourning the death of his second wife, Bootsie, due to lupus, and the loss of his house, which has burned down. Robicheaux soon has other things on his mind, however. Father Jimmie Dolan, who has been on a crusade to rid New Iberia of immoral behavior, moves in with the detective. It seems the priest is the target of an assassin, and Robicheaux is intent on protecting him while solving a murder that is somehow connected to a black convict who disappeared fifty years earlier. Writing a review of Last Car to Elysian Fields in Booklist, Bill Ott called the author "an elegiac poet," adding that "his sweeping, lyrical sentences give life to the dead and make living worthwhile for the Robicheaux in all of us." Library Journal contributor Craig Shufelt wrote that the author "again writes with the touch of a master."

The fourteenth Dave Robicheaux novel, Crusader's Cross, finds the detective on the hunt for a woman that his brother Jimmie fell in love with fifty years earlier. Back then she was a prostitute, and she disappeared when she tried to quit the profession. Now, a dying man has mentioned her name, and Jimmie insists on looking for her. Robicheaux follows his lead, somewhat unwillingly, as he also contends with finding a serial killer and falling in love with a nun. The many-faceted story was hailed as "another winner from a master writer" by Craig Shufelt in Library Journal.

Pegasus Descending finds Robicheaux in post-Hurricane Katrina Louisiana teaming up once again with Clete, his former partner, who becomes involved with a woman accused of passing stolen money. The woman turns out to be the daughter of Robicheaux's friend Dallas Klein, whom he saw murdered in a robbery many years earlier. Rounding out the story are a district attorney with political aspirations, a girl with a bright future who commits suicide, and the hit-and-run death of a homeless man. Like its predecessors, Pegasus Descending was hailed for its technique. The book features "superbly written prose and intricate plotting," wrote Stacy Alesi in Library Journal.

Speaking of the series in general, Stroby pointed out that "the Robicheaux books are often as much explorations of faith and fear as they are tightly crafted thrillers about crime and punishment in southern Louisiana." The religious element in his fiction and Robicheaux's continuing battle with alcohol comes from Burke's own experience as an alcoholic and his rediscovery of his Roman Catholic faith. William Plummer in People reported that since Burke confronted his alcoholism in the early 1980s, Burke "attends mass every Sunday and a twelve-step meeting twice a week."

In The Tin Roof Blowdown, which a Publishers Weekly contributor called "meticulously textured," Robicheaux sees New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and then finds himself investigating the murder of two looters in an upper-crust section of the city. They were killed, Robicheaux discovers, because they broke into a home of a mobster. One of the looters, however, escaped, and Robicheaux sets out to find him before the mobster's henchmen kill him. "The Tin Roof Blowdown may be Burke's most ambitious novel because he places this crime story against the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, with emphasis not just on the forces of nature but also on the even more shocking damage caused by human greed and violence, by racial hate and by political cynicism and bureaucratic indifference," wrote Patrick Anderson in a review in the Washington Post. Janet Maslin, writing in the New York Times Book Review, commented: "Like the novelists who have most effectively captured the impact on New York of the World Trade Center collapse, he concentrates more intensely on his characters' inner lives than on the havoc around them. In Mr. Burke's universe of knights and grifters the post-Hurricane Katrina days are full of opportunity. The chaos tears off the veneers of civilized character to show what these people are really made of."

In the 1997 novel Cimarron Rose, Burke began a new detective series featuring Billy Bob Holland. Holland is a former Texas Ranger who is now a lawyer in the small Texas town of Deaf Smith. In his first outing, Holland must defend his own illegitimate son who has been arrested on a murder charge. In the process of proving his son's innocence, Holland uncovers a web of corruption involving his community's most powerful citizens. Ace Atkins in the Tampa Tribune reassured longtime Burke readers that "all the elements that worked in his earlier mysteries are still there" in his latest. According to Megan Harlan in Entertainment Weekly, in this novel Burke "flexes a graceful artistry, with unabashedly lyrical prose and violence choreographed like a menacing ballet." "Along with an evocative sense of place rendered in the Burke tradition," wrote Susan A. Zappia in Library Journal, "Billy Bob's humanity suffuses every page with a warm, golden glow." J.D. Reed, in his review of Cimarron Rose for People, found that "with each new book, Burke moves closer to taking a place in the genre's front row with the likes of John le Carré and Dashiell Hammett. He already shares the masters' ability to make the pop form resonate with polyphonic literary riffs and lyrical intensity."

A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote of Burke's second Holland novel, Heartwood, that although Holland is a Texas lawyer, he "shares Robicheaux's sensibilities: he's brutally honest, haunted by his past, kind to children, protective of the underdog." Booklist contributor Bill Ott likewise characterized Holland as "a complex, tormented hero whose attraction to violence surfaces under the guise of protecting the weak." In another Booklist review, this one for Bitterroot, Ott commented that the "Billy Bob Holland" series has allowed Burke to inject "new life into many of the familiar themes—especially a good man's attraction to violence—from his ‘Dave Robicheaux’ novels."

In the Moon of Red Ponies tracks Billy Bob as he contends with the premature release from jail of Wyatt Dixon, the man who tried to kill Billy Bob's wife. Dixon travels to Montana, ostensibly to apologize to Billy Bob and his wife. But the longer he sticks around, the more things go wrong, beginning with the burglary of a nearby federal weapons facility. Then one of Billy Bob's clients is falsely accused by police and government officials of various crimes. As with the previous books in the series, this one earned Burke high praise. Craig Shufelt, writing in Library Journal, applauded Billy Bob as "a likable character with human flaws."

In his nonseries novel White Doves at Morning, Burke tells the story of Confederate soldier Willie Burke, whose Civil War experience shows that he is good at killing while staying alive himself. Although a decent man, Willie finds himself attracted to violence while he falls in love with Abigail Dowling, helps a young slave, and encounters a series of nefarious characters in the process, from gunrunners to thugs. Keir Graff, writing in Booklist, noted that the author's "masterful phrasing still wonderfully evokes atmosphere and action." Library Journal contributor Ann Fleury wrote: "He starkly conveys the desperation felt by those who have no power or voice and vividly creates a sense of place and character."

Burke presents eleven previously published short stories in Jesus out to Sea: Stories. Like many of his novels, Burke's short stories often focus on the poor and what happens when they become the victims of circumstances. Several of the stories include Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and others are set in the 1940s in Louisiana and Mississippi. In still another story, "The Village," the author tells a tale highlighting how war and atrocities are more often than not inseparable. Once again writing in Booklist, Bill Ott noted that in these stories the author "always makes us see both the near certainty of tragedy to come and the smoldering embers of possibility." A Publishers Weekly contributor commented: "Most wrenching and affecting are several coming-of-age tales."

"Burke," wrote a contributor to the St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers, "is in the process of redefining the crime genre, and it is as exciting to witness this process as it is to read his novels." In Booklist, Ott suggested that the secret of Burke's success lies in his "ability to twist formula in new directions, always spicing the literary comfort food that is genre fiction with a distinctive new tang."



Contemporary Southern Writers, 7th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.

St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


Armchair Detective, winter, 1989, review of Heaven's Prisoners, p. 22.

Book, September, 2000, Randy Michael Signor, review of Purple Cane Road, p. 73; September-October, 2003, Anna Weinberg, "Family Ties: First-time Author Alafair Burke, the Daughter of Crime Writer James Lee Burke, Joins the Family Business," p. 26.

Booklist, July, 1994, Bill Ott, review of Dixie City Jam, p. 1893; June 1, 1995, Bill Ott, review of Burning Angel, p. 1682; May 1, 1996, Bill Ott, review of Cadillac Jukebox, p. 1468; December 15, 1996, Bill Ott, "James Lee Burke," p. 711; April 15, 1998, Bill Ott, review of Sunset Limited, p. 1376; April 15, 1999, Bill Ott, review of Heartwood, p. 1466; May 1, 2000, Bill Ott, review of Purple Cane Road, p. 1610; March 15, 2001, Bill Ott, review of Bitterroot, p. 1331; September 15, 2002, Keir Graff, review of White Doves at Morning, p. 179; August 1, 2003, Bill Ott, review of Last Car to Elysian Fields, p. 1924; April 15, 2007, Bill Ott, review of Jesus out to Sea: Stories, p. 4.

Commonweal, December 2, 1994, Frank McConnell, review of Dixie City Jam, p. 27.

Entertainment Weekly, April 30, 1993, Gene Lyons, review of In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, p. 50; July 8, 1994, review of In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, p. 51; August 5, 1994, D.A. Ball, review of Dixie City Jam, p. 49; August 9, 1996, Gene Lyons, review of Cadillac Jukebox, p. 55; August 8, 1997, Megan Harlan, review of Cimarron Rose, p. 74; June 19, 1998, Charles Winecoff, review of Sunset Limited, p. 68; September 26, 2003, Bruce Fretts, review of Last Car to Elysian Fields, p. 99; July 20, 2007, Tina Jordan, review of The Tin Roof Blowdown, p. 78.

Esquire, October, 2000, Daniel Mendelsohn, "Quien es mas macho?," p. 100; April, 2006, "Jesus out to Sea: A Louisiana Lament," writing excerpt and interview with author, p. 158.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2002, review of White Doves at Morning, p. 1332; August 1, 2003, review of Last Car to Elysian Fields, p. 994.

Library Journal, June 15, 1997, Susan A. Zappia, review of Cimarron Rose, p. 94; May 15, 1998, Rebecca House Stankowski, review of Sunset Limited, p. 112; March 1, 2004, Theresa Connors, review of Last Car to Elysian Fields, p. 124; April 15, 2002, Patrick Wall, review of Jolie Blon's Bounce, p. 123; October 15, 2002, Ann Fleury, review of White Doves at Morning, p. 93; October 1, 2003, Craig Shufelt, review of Last Car to Elysian Fields, p. 121; June 1, 2004, Craig Shufelt, review of In the Moon of Red Ponies, p. 118; May 15, 2005, Craig Shufelt, review of Crusader's Cross, p. 104; June 1, 2006, Stacy Alesi, review of Pegasus Descending, p. 106.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, April 10, 1988, Charles Champlin, review of Heaven's Prisoners, p. 10.

New York Times, August 21, 2000, Richard Bernstein, "Born on the Bayou; Dying There, Too," p. B6.

New York Times Book Review, March 14, 1965, Wirt Williams, review of Half of Paradise; August 9, 1970, Martin Levin, review of To the Bright and Shining Sun; January 11, 1987, Regina Weinreich, review of The Lost Get-Back Boogie, p. 18; June 21, 1987, Newgate Callendar, review of The Neon Rain, p. 36; June 26, 1988, Newgate Callendar, review of Heaven's Prisoners, p. 43; October 8, 1989, review of Black Cherry Blues, p. 20; November 4, 1990, review of A Morning for Flamingos, p. 30; April 5, 1992, review of A Stained White Radiance, p. 14; July 5, 1998, Marilyn Stasio, review of Sunset Limited, p. 16; July 23, 2007, Janet Maslin, "Flood-Damaged Souls Finding Opportunity," review of The Tin Roof Blowdown; August 12, 2007, Marilyn Stasio, review of The Tin Roof Blowdown.

People, August 1, 1994, Lorenzo Carcaterra, review of Dixie City Jam, p. 26; July 31, 1995, J.D. Reed, review of Burning Angel, p. 35; December 18, 1995, William Plummer, review of The Convict, p. 27; October 7, 1996, William Plummer, "Sower Perspective: Author James Lee Burke Savors Success Cautiously," p. 115; September 15, 1997, J.D. Reed, review of Cimarron Rose, p. 51; July 6, 1998, J.D. Reed, review of Sunset Limited, p. 47; December 15, 2003, Tim Appelo, review of Last Car to Elysian Fields, p. 55.

Publishers Weekly, November 8, 1971, review of Lay down My Sword and Shield, p. 47; April 20, 1992, Dulcy Brainard, "James Lee Burke: His Cajun Detective Battles Crime and Personal Demons in the Louisiana Famous," p. 33; January 25, 1993, review of In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, p. 80; June 20, 1994, review of Dixie City Jam, p. 98; May 29, 1995, review of Burning Angel, p. 69; June 10, 1996, review of Cadillac Jukebox, p. 88; June 9, 1997, review of Cimarron Rose, p. 35; April 27, 1998, review of Sunset Limited, p. 48; June 21, 1999, review of Heartwood, p. 59; July 24, 2000, review of Purple Cane Road, p. 72; October 14, 2002, review of White Doves at Morning, p. 64; August 11, 2003, review of Last Car to Elysian Fields, p. 261; April 16, 2007, review of Jesus out to Sea, p. 30; May 21, 2007, review of The Tin Roof Blowdown, p. 32.

Tampa Tribune, September 20, 1997, Ace Atkins, review of Cimarron Rose.

Time, April 26, 1993, William A. Henry, review of In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, p. 65; September 5, 1994, John Skow, review of Dixie City Jam, p. 76.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), September 10, 1989, review of Black Cherry Blues, p. 5.

USA Today, January 31, 2006, "Literary Excellence Runs in These Families." p. 4.

Washington Post, June 10, 1998, Jonathan Yardley, "A Fun, Foul Romp through the About," p. D2; July 23, 2007, Patrick Anderson, "Themes in a Hot Sport," review of The Tin Roof Blowdown, p. C3.

Washington Post Book World, May 17, 1987, Alan Ryan, review of The Neon Rain, p. 6; October 4, 1987, review of The Lost Get-Back Boogie, p. 12; September 10, 1989, review of Black Cherry Blues, p. 5.

Writer's Digest, January, 1993, W.C. Stroby, interview with Burke, pp. 38-40.


Blogcritics,http://blogcritics.org/ (June 6, 2007), Scott Butki, "Interview with Mystery Writer James Lee Burke."

James Lee Burke Home Page,http://www.jamesleeburke.com (October 12, 2006).

January Magazine,http://januarymagazine.com/ (September 4, 2007), Anthony Rainone, profile of author.

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