Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Creole Belle-James Lee Burke

Creole Belle

James Lee Burke

Simon & Schuster, Jul 17 2012, $27.99

ISBN: 9781451648133

In the middle of the night when visitors are not allowed, Cajun singer Tee Jolie Melton sneaks into the hospital room of New Iberia, Louisiana Deputy Sheriff Dave Robicheaux who is drugged to control his pain while he recovers from a bullet wound. Tee Jolie leaves behind an iPod filled with her music. No one else in the hospital saw the singer who vanished several months ago as everyone insists the morphine led to an illusion; though none of them can explain adequately the iPod tunes like “My Creole Belle” to Dave.

While Dave ponders what happened, Tee Jolie’s teenage sister Blue is found inside a large floating block of ice dead from a heroin overdose hidden inside her mouth is a note: "My sister is alive." Meanwhile, Bix Golightly demands Clete Purcel pay him $30,000 immediately for a gambling debt the thug bought from Frankie Giacano. However, contract killer Caruso kills Bix, his enforcer Waylon Grimes and Frankie. Clete saw Bix's murder and tells Dave that Caruso is his daughter Gretchen Horowitz. As Clete and Dave search for Tee Jolie, they are caught in the crosshairs of the Dupree brood.

The latest Dave Robicheaux mystery (see The Glass Rainbow) is a terrific thriller as James Lee Burke ties the oil spill to Nazis and more. Action-packed from the moment the Creole Belle singer visits Dave and never slowing down, fans will relish this superb regional investigation as the two buds search for Tee Jolie while struggling with what to do about their respective daughters.

Harriet Klausner

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