Cover image for Book Club kit : Black cherry blues
Book Club kit : Black cherry blues
Publication Information:
New York : Harper, [2012], c1989.
Physical Description:
8 books (400 p.) ; 20 cm. + 1 discussion guide
A Dave Robicheaux novel
General Note:
Originally published: Boston : Little, Brown, 1989.


Material Type
Shelf Number
Item Notes

On Order

Prescott Public Library8Received on 10/30/17



Winner of the Edgar award for best novel

Evil crept into Dave Robicheaux's bayou world one night and destroyed the woman he loved. Now it's threatening the life of his innocent child.

Framed for murder, the Cajun ex-cop is traveling far from his Louisiana home to clear his name, to help a friend, to save what remains of his family--seeking justice and revenge in the Big Sky Country of Montana.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

Case #3 for alcoholic Cajun ex-cop Dave Robicheaux (The Neon Rain, Heaven's Prisoners) sends him and his adoptive daughter Alafair to Montana on a quest for the usual justice and revenge. Robicheaux is never exactly likable, but you can't help feeling for the guy. While he's still troubled by dreams about his wife Annie, gunned down by dopesters in Heaven's Prisoners, his lowlife old friend Dixie Lee Pugh turns up in New Iberia with a tale about two men killed in Montana over an oil lease. The next thing you know, Dave--whose father has been killed on an oil rig 20 years before--finds himself asking questions about Dalton Vidrine and Harry Mapes, the alleged killers. When his mail brings a particularly nasty threat about daughter Alafair, he goes after Vidrine and Mapes with a tire chain--and next morning he's arrested for Vidrine's murder. Mortgaging his house and bait-shop to post bail, Dave takes off for Montana, looking for evidence that'll spring him from jail and put Mapes inside. What author Burke lacks in subtlety--Dave's investigative technique includes badgering drug-agent Dan Nygurski; rebuffing his old partner Cletus Purcel and (separately) Clete's Indian girlfriend Darlene American Horse; cold-shouldering Alathir's helpful schoolteacher Tess Regan, and insulting and beating mobster Sally Dio in front of his hangers-on--he makes up in a brooding sense of menace: Dave and his friends--not to mention his many enemies--are so violent that you repeatedly expect the worst, and Burke rarely lets you down. When Dave eventually vindicates himself by setting Sally and Mapes against each other, his triumph seems not only implausible but downright miraculous. Though his prose is as overmuscled as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Burke tells an evocative and compelling story of a good man's struggle With the vigilante inside him. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Review

Burke brings back Dave Robicheaux in this gripping sequel to Heaven's Prisoners ( LJ 4/1/88). Dave, a former homicide cop, is trying to run his fishing business, care for six-year-old-orphan Alafair, and come to terms with the violent death of his wife, Annie. A chance encounter with an old friend haunted by a troubling secret sets off a chain of events that leaves Dave framed for murder. Desperate to prove his innocence and protect Alafair, Robicheaux is forced to conduct his own investigation. Robicheaux is a complex and very believable character, battling alcoholism, haunted by his wife's death, struggling to hold onto his Catholic faith. Surrounded by violence, he is a man of integrity trying to find an honorable way out. As such he should appeal to fans of Travis McGee and readers of well-crafted suspense. Skillfully evoked settings add to the book's appeal. Highly recommended.-- Beth Ann Mills, New Rochelle P.L., N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.