James Lee Burke Books In Order

Publication Order of Dave Robicheaux Books

The Neon Rain (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Heaven's Prisoners (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Black Cherry Blues (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Morning for Flamingos (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Stained White Radiance (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dixie City Jam (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Burning Angel (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cadillac Jukebox (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sunset Limited (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Purple Cane Road (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jolie Blon's Bounce (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Last Car to Elysian Fields (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crusader's Cross (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Pegasus Descending (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Tin Roof Blowdown (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Swan Peak (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Glass Rainbow (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Creole Belle (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Light of the World (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Hackberry Holland Books

Lay Down My Sword and Shield (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rain Gods (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Feast Day of Fools (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Billy Bob Holland Books

Cimarron Rose (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Heartwood (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bitterroot (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Moon of Red Ponies (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Weldon Holland Books

Wayfaring Stranger (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
House of the Rising Sun (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Half of Paradise (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
To The Bright and Shining Sun (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Two for Texas (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Lost Get-Back Boogie (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
White Doves at Morning (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories

Texas City, 1947 (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Convict and Other Stories (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jesus Out to Sea (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

James Lee Burke Biography:

James Lee Burke is not new to many book lovers.The American citizen is one of most celebrated authors worldwide.He is known for books like Light of the world, Burning Angel and Crusader’s Cross.He is a mystery writer and his books have never disappointed the readers especially when it comes to suspense and the dramatic twist of events seen only in his work.

Early Life:

James Lee Burke was born on December 5th 1936 in Los Angeles Texas.His childhood life was pretty normal as he grew up on the Louisiana Gulf Coast.His passion for writing began when he was in his teenage years where he was an avid reader of “The Hardy Boys.”He was however to realize his dream of becoming a great novelist after he graduated from the University.His success did not come on a silver platter.At one point he almost ended his career by giving up after a series of disappointments.

His Career:

By the time James was thirty four years, he had published three books namely, Half of Paradise (1965), To the Bright and Shining Sun (1970) and Lay Down my Sword and Shield.The books were fairly successful.However, it was after the three books that he faced a great challenge that almost ended his career.His next book The Lost Get Back Boogie got rejected by close to 100 publishers.This was in the course of nine years.His break came later in 1986 when the Louisiana State University Press agreed to publish the book. It was was an instant success to the point that he won a Pulitzer Prize.

Dave Robicheaux Series

James Lee Burke is known for his Dave Robicheaux series books which include novels like The Neon Rain, Heaven’s Prisoners,Cadillac Jukebox,The Glass Rainbow and many more.There are about twenty books in this category.

Robicheaux is an unsung hero who fights for the helpless in society against rich and powerful people.He is a Lieutenant in the New Orleans Police Department trying to bring justice to the unprivileged despite the system being filled with loopholes that the influential minority use to their advantage.

In Neon Rain the brutal murder of a young black prostitute angers the main protagonist.Robicheaux vows to solve the case and put those behind the murder behind bars.His investigation however becomes life threatening as he digs deeper into the case.

Robicheaux is a dedicated incorruptible cop;a trait that does not go down well with his superiors.His dedication to his job costs him his first marriage.His second wife gets murdered while his third wife dies from Lumpus.His life might be a tragic story but he is a brilliant cop.However the villains in the books are equally brilliant in their plans to simply dominate and influence the economy as well as politics of the city.

There are characters like Frank Costello; a mafia boss who literally owns the city, William Buchalter and Legion Guidry.Robicheaux describes Louisiana as a piece of South America that was torn loose during a hurricane and floated northward affixing itself to the southern end of the United States.This remark simply defines the nature of corruption and decadence in the city.

Billy Bob Holland Series:

James has a another collection of novels that introduce a new character Billy Bob Holland in books like Cimmaron Rose,Heart Wood,Bitterroot and In the Moon of Red Ponies.Billy is a former Texas Ranger turned lawyer and is haunted by the death of his partner.He helps out the voiceless a deed he sees as a sort redemption of his past mistakes.

In Cimmaron Rose, he defends his son who is accused of rape and murder.He is convinced his son is innocent even though the evidence is contrary.Billy forced to deal with his emotional baggage like his violent nature which is rather difficult when most of the people he meets are the scum of the earth.

Just like Robicheaux, he equally has constant problems with the rich privileged who think they are above the law.In Heartwood for instance a wealthy man known as Earl Dietrich accuses his ex-worker Wilburt Pickett of stealing from him.In the course of defending Wilburt, Billy uncovers deception and secrecy that could harm him, his family, and his client’s family if exposed.

Other Works:

James Lee Burke’s work does not end there.He has added other series books like Hackberry Holland and Miscellaneous.He also has a collection of Short Story Anthologies.This author’s books continue to be sort after up to date.

Private Life:

James is married to his wife Pearl and have four children and four grandchildren.Their daughter Alafair Burke has followed in her father’s footsteps for she is also a fictional writer.James is a very private man especially when his family is concerned.He and his wife have invested in real estate and the two own a number of homes in Louisiana and Montana.


The author has received a number of awards for his work.He received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction in 1988.He also received Louisiana Writer Award in 2002.He is recognized by the Mystery Writers of America as one of the best fictional writers in the state.


Hollywood has acknowledged this author’s great work and most of his books have been turned into movies with celebrities like Tommy Lee Jones and John Goodman in In The Electric Mist with Confederate Dead.Two for Texas and Heaven’s prisoners (starring Alec Baldwin) have also been turned into movies.In August 2012 Fox producer announced that he would serialize James Lee Burke’s Detective Dave Robicheaux collection on small screen.Fans can hardly wait for its premiere.

James Lee Burke has inspired many young authors who struggle to have their books published.The key is to be patient and not give up.The fact that he had to wait for nine years before his career flourished shows the kind of passion and determination he had to become what he wanted to become.His books are a thrill to read and they are always filled with the kind of suspense that make reading mystery novels an addiction.

Book Series In Order » Authors » James Lee Burke