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Cadillac Jukebox (Dave Robicheaux #9)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  3,622 ratings  ·  112 reviews
No one was surprised when Aaron Crown was arrested for the decades-old murder of the most famous black civil rights leader in Louisiana. After all, his family were shiftless timber people who brought their ways into the Cajun wetlands--trailing rumors of ties to the Ku Klux Klan. Only Dave Robicheaux, to whom Crown proclaims his innocence, worries that Crown had been made ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published 1997 by Hachette Books (first published 1996)
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Interview with the Vampire by Anne RiceAll the King's Men by Robert Penn WarrenA Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee WilliamsA Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy TooleThe Awakening by Kate Chopin
Louisiana Fiction
8th out of 104 books — 60 voters
The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Long Goodbye by Raymond ChandlerFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Best Hardboiled PI & Noir
144th out of 493 books — 575 voters

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Community Reviews

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Cathy DuPont
Ok, I confess that I missed these guys, Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell. In fact I noticed a smile came to my face when Clete was first mentioned.

But like others have said, and I agree, the characters are numerous and from time to time, when they're not mentioned again for 100 pages, I'm like who? Who was that again? Fortunately, Burke usually in the same sentence, will state something that reminds me who the character is so I'm not shuffling back looking for the first time he was introduced.
I love this man's writing, so I am grateful that he is as prolific as he is and that he is still alive and working so I have many more of his works to read. This one is one of the best I've read so far, with a roster of low-life and high-life scum bags who double-cross and off each other until the very end, though not everyone who deserves it gets an ugly fate in this one (not sure about the converse). Hard to put down, very satisfying, and all the regulars are here: Streak, Bootsie, Helen, Clet ...more
Absolutely classic James Lee Burke and the prototypical Dave Robicheaux novel. If you don't like this one, odds are you'll never totally embrace the series.
Jan 30, 2009 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Thriller, Noir, Detective,James Lee Burke Fans
I don't know how I missed this one. I've read most of his other offerings. Written in 1996, it is one of his best.

It is, at its heart, a dark story populated with some unremittingly evil people, some people who practice evil without necessarily realizing it, and some people who do evil but somehow manage to rise above their own actions.

Detective Dave Robicheaux, as he so often does, gets involved in situations he has no business paying attention to. Truth is, he just can't help himself because o
Donna Davis
To use the language of the narrative, I think he scrambled some eggs here.

The descriptive language continues to fascinate, and Clete Purcel continues to be really, really funny. I especially liked the passage in which the narrator refers to himself and Clete as coming out of a bar "like a pair of dysfunctional Siamese twins".

But there are problems with the plotting and pacing. This is not the first time Burke has told a complex story using a variety of bad guys who operate in different economic
Simon Wood
Didn't realize going in, but it turns out this is the second time I've read this book. Couldn't remember anything about it except that I recognized one particular vividly drawn character, as well as a couple of different scenes.
That being said, this is definitely not a book I would have chosen to read a second time. Only read two other Dave Robicheaux novels - oddly enough, the first one, The Neon Rain, and The Glass Rainbow, which is one of the most recent, with this one being like smack dab i
He's my favorite author. Read a Burke book and your in a dark theater by yourself surrounded and engulfed by his images. I've read them all but can only do so once every 3-4 months because in the end they are their message about the human condition is not hopeful.
Catherine Ross
After a spate of reading the Robicheaux series by James Lee Burke some years ago, I forgot about this excellant author. In fact, until now I never thought of comparing some of his descriptive turns of phrases to Pat Conroy's writing; but I found that parallel in Cadillac Jukebox.

On the other hand, a huge cast of characters is difficult to keep track of and surely Dave should move away from the homestead which is constantly being visited by truly evil, nefarious characters. The memories alone wou
Cindy Grossi
Who could not love an author who writes a sentence like this?:
"our jailer...was a three-hundred-pound bisexual black man who pushed his way through life with the calm, inert certitude of a glacier sliding downhill."

All Robicheaux novels are laced with Burke's lyrical syntax while filled with the flavor of the Louisiana swamp country. This story did lose me somewhat with too many plot lines. I also had some trouble keeping the characters straight (guess I wouldn't do well with Russian novels.

Detective Dave Robicheaux is probably a cliché amongst crime heroes now – an alcholic (recovered, in this book), Vietnam vet, some anger management issues, a murdered wife, relationship troubles with his current wife, a big chip on his shoulder about the haves and have-nots…in a word, Robicheaux has Demons. But James Lee Burke does it all so well! Robicheaux should be treated as the archetypal troubled cop, with all others relegated to mere pale imitations. (That means you, McCallum).

Burke’s boo

Cadillac Jukebox ist der neunte Fall für den Louisiana-Cop Dave Robicheaux. Dieses Mal macht ihm der Ex-Ku-klux-Klan Mann Aaron Crown das Leben schwer. Crown beteuert ihm seine Unschuld im Mordfall eines schwarzen Bürgerrechtlers. Doch als Robicheaux der Sache nachgehen will, wird er vom neuen Gouverneurskandidaten ausgebremst.

Gott, bin ich froh, dass ich durch bin! Leider habe ich die schlechte Angewohnheit Bücher immer zu Ende lesen zu wollen und an diesem Werk hätte ich mir fast die Zähne aus
Atmosphere fails to carry the day...

Cadillac Jukebox
is part of a series of books written about an ex-New Orleans cop named Dave Robicheaux and his trials and tribulations. This book continues some of the same themes that characterize the series as a whole, such as racism, race relations, the difficulties of being a cop while also being father and husband.

I love the setting and the details Burke puts in his books about New Orleans and the whole Bayou scene. He shows us the seamy side of New Orl
Lovely imagery, but over-populated, muddled plot !

We can see why the readers from the Deep South, especially Louisiana, love James Lee Burke. His prose borders on poetry as he creates mind images for the readers that are close to cinematic in their descriptive power. Thus he recreates the geography, the sights and smells, of the bayous for his fan club.

Alas, his writing prowess does not necessarily translate to compelling story telling. While we found ourselves liking his leading man of some d
The first falter in Burke's great run of books featuring New Orlean's police officer Dave Robicheaux.

Dave gets a call from a TV producer investigating the case of an ex Klan member convicted of murdering a black civil rights campaigner. Dave refuses to get involved but you know full well that isn't going to last long. Soon Dave is entangled in local politics, tracing back through a decades old crime and dealing with people from his past.

So far so good but really this story doesn't hang together
Ubik 2.0

Un Burke d’annata (1996) che, con il suo detective Dave Robicheaux in buona forma, presenta tutti gli ingredienti tipici delle storie dell’autore texano: donne bellissime e molto pericolose, killers che compiono il loro lavoro più per sadismo che per guadagnarsi il pane, proprietari terrieri che sembrano appena usciti dalla guerra di Secessione.

Ma la carta migliore di James Lee Burke [rispetto ai suoi più giovani colleghi senza dubbio più abili di lui nella costruzione del thriller ma portati a
Very similar to Sunset Unlimited, but equally unputdownable - read it in one session, too. His atmospheric stuff is more readable in this one (not so many simile-riddled sunsets). Robicheaux is interesting as a mix of head/heart/dumbish insolence, and rough past that lingers. The thing that irks is that where others are popped off fairly nonchalantly/sadistically by the (here too) grotesque baddy, Robicheaux is spared. It's the old TV mystery problem - the protagonist has to survive or it's over ...more
Downloaded from

Narrated by Mark Hammer.

On the whole I prefer Will Patton's narrations of James Lee Burke's novels to Mark Hammer's. Mark Hammer sounds more like he is just reading a script. Despite that I enjoyed this audiobook, and after a while I got used to Hammer's narration and just enjoyed the story. I was originally going to give it 3 stars because of the narrator, but actually I think the story deserves 4 stars.

What the Critics Say
"Only Walter Mosley rivals Burke's ability to
Ça fait bien quelques mois que j'ai décidé de ralentir ma lecture de la série de polars Dave Robicheaux de James Lee Burke, de peur de me trouver trop vite en manque.
C'est pour ralentir ma lecture des 2 séries de polars se déroulant en Alaska de Dana Stabenow, Kate Shugak et Liam Campbell, que je reprend (enfin) le cours de ces aventures entre le coeur du Bayou et New Orleans, teintées de mélancolie, de la réalisation douce et amère de la fin d'une époque (d'une culture?), un style violent, poét
OK - mixed feelings. I loved the Louisiana feel, the attitudes and environment created through gritty yet poetic use of language. I like his writing style! But no way I could follow the cast of characters. This is my first book by this author and I assume it is part of a series - based on people I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting. Not sure I'd read more by him - but then, my book selections are always based on chance encounters.
Neil Morgan
Really enjoyed this book. Not necessarily the most action packed or thrilling story but one of my favourite Robicheaux books from the series so far. I started from the first book after reading one of the late ones and this book benefits from reading them in sequence. A good story with some great characters and great to see Clete Purcell making an appearance though not classic Purcell. Decided to go right out and buy the next Robicheaux book!

Apr 04, 2014 Eliana added it
Gifted crime novelist. Funny, sometimes harsh world view honed by military service followed by a lifetime of police work, Dave Robicheaux is the man who sees it all and tries to avert the worst of it with the help of his former partner Clete Purcel. The imagery of the bayou, the gift of capturing real conversation and clever plot lines combined with literary grace is the mark of David Lee Burke.
boy i felt like i was in the much so i didn't understand the dialogue very well. great setting but the story was violent and disheartening with very few likable characters. a lot of underbelly. also seemed a bit of random throw in a murder here and there just to crank it up a notch. sorry amy!
Well I was baffled most of the time - a cast of thousands, slang with no clues as to meaning and more over blown prose than you could shake a mossy stick at.
And after a couple of books Robi-choo's 'demons' get a bit tedious - but heh alchoholics are pretty boring.....
Not a keeper
Janet Lenger
If you like your cop/detective stories dark and edgy ~ almost sliding over the edge for destructive behaviours and some very strange characters ~ then James Lee Burke is your author.

This story is part of the Dave Robicheaux series. He's a cop in New Iberia which is outside of New Orleans. The story wanders in and out of New Iberia, neighboring parishes, the bayous and NOLA. It has a cast of evil folks, some not so evil but definite manipulators, and those who want to do the right thing, but are
Burke is a talented writer but this, as with several other novels of his in this series, leave a lot to be desired in terms of plot resolution. I got to the end and sat there fuming. Who were these mysterious maybe CIA, maybe Mafia bad guys who were wreaking so much havoc? And WHY? What did they want, and why did they end up going away, leaving Robicheaux alone, and abandoning the evil PCB processing plant? Why does Robicheaux beat the shit out of everybody? What was the significance of Sonny's ...more
Long time since I read a Robicheaux book. The descriptions of rural Louisiana and its denizens, human and otherwise, are always very well-done. And, Robicheaux's friends and family are all warm, human characters. Sadly, I can't say as much for Robicheaux himself. Yes, I know he has lots of issues and a grim past, but at least in this book, I think his pigheadedness is overdone. Why his female bete noir would be attracted to him, much less fall all over him, is hard to understand, and why he's a ...more
Storyline veers too much into politics (and south Louisiana politics at that) for my taste. My stomach for murder is a lot stronger than it is for politics. Solid, but not my favorite from this series.
Another great read by this wonderful author. He really is an exceptional writer.

Back Cover Blurb:
The call from ex-Klansman Aaron Crown couldn't have been more unexpected. Sentenced to forty years for the decades-old shooting of a civil rights activist, Crown should have been out of Iberia Parish, Louisiana, for good.
Election candidate Buford LaRose wants Detective Dave Robicheaux to ignore Aaron's calls, promising Robicheaux a lucrative job when he makes governor. Worse still, Buford's wife, Kar
Oct 15, 2014 Pat rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
Dark, sad, interesting story.
Guy running for governor is a crook and so is his wife.
These get better and better as you go through the series. This one had the finest array of antagonists out of them all. You can't get a better detective novel than Dave Robicheaux
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James Lee Burke is an American author best known for his mysteries, particularly the Dave Robicheaux series. He has twice received the Edgar Award for Best Novel, for Black Cherry Blues in 1990 and Cimarron Rose in 1998.

Burke was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Missouri, receiving
More about James Lee Burke...

Other Books in the Series

Dave Robicheaux (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, #1)
  • Heaven's Prisoners (Dave Robicheaux, #2)
  • Black Cherry Blues (Dave Robicheaux, #3)
  • A Morning for Flamingos (Dave Robicheaux, #4)
  • A Stained White Radiance (Dave Robicheaux, #5)
  • In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead (Dave Robicheaux, #6)
  • Dixie City Jam (Dave Robicheaux, #7)
  • Burning Angel (Dave Robicheaux, #8)
  • Sunset Limited (Dave Robicheaux, #10)
  • Purple Cane Road (Dave Robicheaux, #11)
The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, #1) The Tin Roof Blowdown (Dave Robicheaux, #16) Black Cherry Blues (Dave Robicheaux, #3) The Glass Rainbow (Dave Robicheaux, #18) In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead (Dave Robicheaux, #6)

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