Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 19 Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 19 by James Lee Burke

The readers can download Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 19 Audiobook for free via Audible Free Trial.


Creole Belle begins where the last novel in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is at recovery unit on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, not quite sure what is real and what may be the effects of the painkillers. A Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him in the middle of the night and leaves him an iPod with the old country blues song "Creole Belle" on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie, with whom he associates the Louisiana of his youth. These events occur in the midst of an oil well blowout on the Gulf and the pollution of the Louisiana coastline. Clete Purcel, who was also badly wounded in the shootout on the bayou in the last book, joins Dave in a search for Tee Jolie's sister, Blue Melton, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf. Along the way, we meet a mercurial woman named Varina Leboeuf who is mixed up in the oil business, and a man who may have been an associate of Nazi SS Commander Heinrich Himmler. Clete also discovers that he has an illegitimate daughter, one who has gone to work as a contract killer. Eventually, the enormity of the environmental crime committed against the Gulf coast, and the public and government indifference to it, present Dave and Clete with their essential dilemma: Like Cassandra of Troy, bestowed by Apollo with the gift of prophecy, both of them can see the future but are fated to be disbelieved.



  • Creole Belle is like a burst of vibrant colors compared to previous Dave Robicheaux novels. The story takes unexpected turns that add an extra layer of enjoyment, and introduces some truly fantastic characters for Dave and Clete to interact with. The climax is truly satisfying. All the beloved qualities of Burke's writing are still present, but somehow the story manages to be even more captivating. I would highly recommend this book, even to those who are new to the series, because it's just that good.
  • Listening to a James Lee Burke audiobook narrated by Will Patton and featuring Dave Robicheaux as the protagonist feels like catching up with an old pal. You just know it's going to be a fantastic experience, and Creole Belle definitely delivered on that front. Patton's narration is superb, breathing life into the characters and making them feel real. The story provides an authentic glimpse into the vibrant culture of southern Louisiana, although perhaps without all the criminal and shady elements (or maybe there are some hidden in plain sight?). Burke's talent for crafting well-rounded characters shines through, and I thoroughly enjoy his deep insights into the complexities of human nature and life in general. Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell are truly one-of-a-kind characters. I eagerly anticipate the next installment in Burke's series, whether it takes place in Louisiana or Texas. It will be a somber day when the author eventually decides to retire from writing.
  • This book is like those ham and onion sandwiches Dave and Clete devour throughout the story. The sandwiches consist of two slices of bread, representing the plot, with the meat (ham) in between. It's not an open-faced sandwich; both slices of bread are essential and complement each other. The onions, strong and pungent, leaving a lingering taste, symbolize the valuable lessons you might learn. After reading "Glass Rainbow," this book was a delightful addition to the series as it picks up right where the previous one left off. Among all the current US authors, none capture the bond between two male friends as authentically as the author does. There's no trace of forced homosexuality, which has become a common device. The friendship portrayed here is not as subtly hinted as in previous books; it takes the center stage. In certain moments, it's almost painful as readers genuinely experience the emotions that bind these two men together. While the emotional aspect was already evident in "Glass Rainbow," here, it takes precedence over the action. Furthermore, Burke delves deeper into the character of Clete Purcel in this book compared to previous installments. As Clete is my favorite character, I was thrilled to see this development. The author reveals numerous new aspects about Clete, but I won't divulge details to avoid spoiling the book through my review. You can find plot summaries on various platforms. Clete's flaws and motivations are presented candidly, offering us a clear understanding of what makes him tick. These revelations will stay with you, much like the lingering effect of onions. Through the perspectives of Alafair and Gretchen, we gain insight into why Dave maintains a relationship with a raging alcoholic. They share a connection, like two slices of bread from the same loaf. Rest assured, the book is not lacking in action or the trademark chaos that defines the series. Both Dave and Clete remain capable of violence despite their age; I estimate them to be in their late 50s. It begs the question of how much longer these characters will endure. I was convinced Burke had killed them off in "Glass Rainbow." I suspect their ultimate fate will come at some point, but I'm not eagerly awaiting it. Given the richness of the audiobook, it's easy to miss parts if you're not fully attentive. I often found myself rewinding to ensure I grasped every word before moving forward. The book is just that captivating. You wouldn't want to miss a single word. Burke's strong opinions on Angola prison, Louisiana politics, and the exploitation of Louisiana's natural beauty for profit are prominently highlighted in this book. They're like the onions in the sandwich. Have you ever tried a ham and onion sandwich? I hadn't either, so I gave it a shot. I enjoyed it, and I hope you will too.
  • The combination of Burke's writing style and Will Patton's performance truly make this novel and the entire Dave Robicheaux series absolutely irresistible. I do have a few critical observations to make, but they shouldn't deter you from purchasing this book. It's a solid 5-star experience. The portrayal of Louisiana in "Creole Belle" is far more dangerous and unpredictable than what you see in True Blood. The violence is unrestrained and sometimes even romanticized. The characters, both heroes and villains, seem unaffected by excessive drinking, drug abuse, brawls, and even the passage of time. The darkness that Burke depicts seems to permeate every corner of the state, seeping out of pecan trees, bayous, bars, oil rigs, and plantations. He attributes this darkness to the rich and powerful, as if he's the original spokesperson for "occupy Louisiana." I can't recall a single character, major or minor, who doesn't have an unusually unique French/Cajun name. Well, I guess Clete Purcell is a notable exception, but I always get a kick out of the names Burke comes up with for his books. The two main characters, Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell, possess mystical and even supernatural abilities. They can see ghosts, hear music that isn't playing, read minds, and even determine someone's character just by looking into their eyes. Burke explains these abilities as a result of their past experiences, making it clear that only those who have shared those experiences can understand. Of course, it's highly unlikely that any real-life police officer who had gone through even one of their adventures could continue serving. Regardless of your political leanings, we can all agree that Louisiana's politics are deeply corrupt. This corruption isn't solely the fault of Big Oil, Hurricane Katrina, or a bumbling federal government, although they certainly haven't helped matters. Louisiana, especially New Orleans, has brought many of its problems upon itself. Mr. Burke seems to assign blame to the rest of the country or some shady industry, while simultaneously celebrating the very people who perpetuate the state's decline. However, I wouldn't change a single word of this book. I genuinely enjoyed every moment of it.
  • This book is definitely worth it! It has a rich and full-bodied storyline that captivates the reader, just like syrup melting off your tongue. The vivid descriptions are so well done that I could actually recognize a song based on the way it was described. The historical aspects are deeply intertwined with the plot and the characters, creating a seamless flow that feels natural. The characters themselves are deeply drawn and relatable, stumbling through the story just like we stumble through life. Even if you haven't read the rest of the series, you can easily enjoy this book and get to know the characters for the first time. While there is a fair amount of violence, it never feels gratuitous and fits well within the story. In terms of grossness, it's not too bad. There is a dog death, which is always sad, but it serves a purpose in setting the scene and mood. There is no explicit sex, but there is a lot of passion. The supernatural elements, such as the ghost paddle boat and the presence of the New Orleans dead, add depth to the story and are treated as a natural part of life. The author does a fantastic job of incorporating them into the narrative. As for crossing the line, which refers to things that are overly disturbing or offensive, this book doesn't go too far. While there is a brutal dog death, it sets the tone and mood rather than being gratuitous. The setting is beautifully portrayed and transports you to the heart of New Orleans, making you feel like a native rather than a tourist. The prose itself is like one long poem, with beautifully written words that create a sense of home because the characters themselves call it home. The deeper message of the story is set against the backdrop of the BP oil spill, exploring its impact on all aspects of life and specifically on New Orleans. The performance of the audiobook is exceptional, with James Lee Burke bringing his own characters to life with his accent and tone of voice. It's a wonderful and poignant performance that adds depth to the story.