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James Lee Burke Books In Order

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Publication Order of Dave Robicheaux Books

The Neon Rain (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heaven's Prisoners (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Black Cherry Blues (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Morning for Flamingos (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Stained White Radiance (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dixie City Jam (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Burning Angel (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cadillac Jukebox (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sunset Limited (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Purple Cane Road (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jolie Blon's Bounce (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Last Car to Elysian Fields (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crusader's Cross (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pegasus Descending (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tin Roof Blowdown (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Swan Peak (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Glass Rainbow (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Creole Belle (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Light of the World (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Robicheaux (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The New Iberia Blues (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Private Cathedral (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Clete (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Holland Family Universe Books

Lay Down My Sword and Shield (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two for Texas (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cimarron Rose (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heartwood (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bitterroot (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Moon of Red Ponies (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rain Gods (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Feast Day of Fools (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wayfaring Stranger (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
House of the Rising Sun (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Jealous Kind (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Another Kind of Eden (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Every Cloak Rolled in Blood (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Hackberry Holland Books

Lay Down My Sword and Shield (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rain Gods (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Feast Day of Fools (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
House of the Rising Sun (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Another Kind of Eden (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Every Cloak Rolled in Blood (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Billy Bob Holland Books

Cimarron Rose (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heartwood (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bitterroot (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Moon of Red Ponies (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Weldon Holland Books

Wayfaring Stranger (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Jealous Kind (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Half of Paradise (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
To the Bright and Shining Sun (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two for Texas (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Get-Back Boogie (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
White Doves at Morning (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flags on the Bayou (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Texas City, 1947 (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Convict and the Other Stories (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jesus Out to Sea (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Harbor Lights (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Louisiana Stories(1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Mystery Stories 2006(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Mystery Stories 2008(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Delta Blues(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Mystery Stories 2009(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Books to Die For(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Mystery Stories 2014(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Mystery Stories 2018(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

About James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is a celebrated American author best known for his Dave Robicheaux series. Winner of two Edgar Awards and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, his work has even been adapted into films with stars like Alec Baldwin and Tommy Lee Jones. Burke’s talent for crafting memorable characters and gripping narratives keeps readers hooked from start to finish.

Burke’s writing has been praised by The New York Times, with comparisons to greats like Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Hardy. His first novel, ‘Half of Paradise,’ was published in 1965, and another celebrated work, ‘Two for Texas,’ was turned into a TV movie in 1998. His ability to weave engaging and complex stories has earned him a dedicated following.

Beyond the Robicheaux series, Burke has written various crime novels and short-story collections. He introduces readers to other fascinating characters like Texas attorney Billy Bob Holland, Texas sheriff Hackberry Holland, and Hackberry’s grandson, Weldon Avery Holland. James Lee Burke’s storytelling brilliance ensures every book is a captivating and unforgettable experience.

Early and Personal Life

James Lee Burke, born December 5, 1936, in Houston, Texas, grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast, a setting that later enriched his storytelling. He studied English literature, earning degrees from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Missouri. Throughout his varied career, he faced rejection but gained invaluable experiences working as a truck driver, newspaper reporter, social worker, and land surveyor.

Burke’s teaching career spanned several institutions, including the University of Missouri, the University of Louisiana, the University of Montana, Miami-Dade Community College, and Wichita State University. His diverse roles and perseverance contributed to the depth and authenticity of his writing. Despite the challenges, he used his life’s tapestry to create compelling mystery and thriller novels.

He and his wife, Pearl, raised four children, one of whom, Alafair Burke, became a best-selling crime writer. Burke’s life experiences, both personal and professional, deeply influenced his work, making his stories resonate with readers. His journey from diverse job roles to becoming an acclaimed author showcases his dedication to both his craft and his family.

Writing Career

James Lee Burke’s distinguished writing career began with his debut novel, ‘Half of Paradise,’ in 1965, but he found widespread acclaim with his Dave Robicheaux series, starting with ‘The Neon Rain’ in 1987. The series includes standout titles like the Edgar Award-winning ‘Black Cherry Blues,’ continuing to thrill readers with ‘Clete’ in 2024. Burke’s storytelling prowess has earned him numerous accolades, including recognition from the Mystery Writers of America and the prestigious Grand Master Award.

Beyond Robicheaux, Burke has crafted other beloved characters such as Billy Bob Holland and Hackberry Holland. The Billy Bob Holland series launched with ‘Cimarron Rose’ in 1997, cementing his reputation in the mystery and thriller genres. Burke’s versatility shines through his Holland Family Saga and standalone works like ‘Two for Texas,’ making him a celebrated and enduring figure in crime fiction.

A Morning for Flamingos

‘A Morning for Flamingos’ is a stand-alone thriller novel by James Lee Burke. It was published by Orion on October 29, 1990. Although it’s the fourth book in the ‘Dave Robicheaux’ series, it features its own unique mystery.

A routine transport of two death-row inmates ends disastrously, resulting in Dave Robicheaux being seriously injured and his partner losing his life. Driven by a need for revenge, Dave agrees to go undercover for the DEA into the underbelly of New Orleans. There, he navigates a world filled with Mafia drug operations and Cajun voodoo. Entangled with Mafia boss Tony Cardo, Dave must confront his deepest fears to make it out alive.

Burke crafts a thrilling narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. The vivid setting and complex characters make it hard to put down. Perfect for fans of crime and mystery novels.

Burning Angel

‘Burning Angel’ is another stand-alone thriller novel by James Lee Burke. It was published by Hyperion on January 1, 1995. This book is the eighth in the ‘Dave Robicheaux’ series and presents its own distinct mystery.

The Fontenot family, long-time sharecroppers working on Bertrand land in New Iberia, Louisiana, are unexpectedly being forced out of their homes. Detective Dave Robicheaux investigates the eviction and its possible connection to the murder of Della Landry, linked to New Orleans based fixer Sonny Boy Marsallus. As Robicheaux delves into the case, he uncovers ties between Marsallus’s secrets and the Fontenots.

In James Lee Burke’s gripping novel, Robicheaux faces a web of bad blood, local mobsters, along with hired assassins as all.


‘Bitterroot’ is a mystery thriller novel by James Lee Burke. It was published by Pocket Books on June 12, 2001. This novel is the third entry in the ‘Billy Bob Holland’ series and again features its own stand-alone mystery.

Ex-Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland leaves Deaf Smith, Texas, for Montana, seeking a peaceful fishing trip with his friend, Tobin “Doc” Voss. Doc, a Vietnam vet and environmentalist, has made enemies due to his stance against a local mining corporation. Things take a darker turn when drug-addled bikers assault Doc’s daughter, Maisey, and the biker leader is later found burned to death, making Doc the prime murder suspect.

As Billy Bob delves into the investigation, he unearths layers of organized crime, corruption, and personal vendettas in the picturesque Montana landscape.

In the Moon of Red Ponies

‘In the Moon of Red Ponies’ is a further mystery thriller novel by James Lee Burke. It was published by Simon & Schuster on June 8, 2004. This book is the fourth installment in the ‘Billy Bob Holland’ series and presents its own unique mystery.

Former Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland moves to west Montana with his family to start a law practice. His first client in Missoula is Johnny American Horse, an activist charged with murdering two men who had threatened him.

As Billy Bob investigates, he uncovers a complex web involving Johnny’s girlfriend Amber Finley, a police detective obsessed with her, and a mysterious government agent. As the case unravels and threats increase, Billy Bob realizes the danger extends to himself and his family.

Book Series In Order » Authors » James Lee Burke

5 Responses to “James Lee Burke”

  1. Gabriel Peachey: 6 months ago

    I’ve just finished reading Flags on the Bayou. JLB refers to it as his best book yet. Having read ( and enjoyed) many of his other books the power of this one left me hanging on to every word that somehow these strange mix of characters would survive this hell.
    And they did!!
    Congratulations a great read

  2. Maggie George: 3 years ago

    There has never been a more eloquent writer.

  3. Terry Schuck: 3 years ago

    Your writing speaks to my soul.

  4. Arty Trost: 4 years ago

    Some series read best in the order published. Others (such as the Jack Reacher series) can be read in any order. Which is true for the Dave Robicheaux novels by James Lee Burke?

    • Karen Osgood: 3 years ago

      Definitely read Dave Robicheaux in order. But whatever order you read them, you should read them.


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