Dave Robicheaux Books

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James Lee Burke got himself into the bestselling novelists’ map when he released The Neon Rain in 1987. More books followed this one in what came to be called the Dave Robicheaux series. These mystery series feature Dave Robicheaux, a New Orleans police department officer who pursues cases as a deputy sheriff in New Iberia, Louisiana.

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Order of Dave Robicheaux Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Neon Rain ( By: James Lee Burke) 1987 Description / Buy
2 Heaven's Prisoners ( By: James Lee Burke) 1988 Description / Buy
3 Black Cherry Blues ( By: James Lee Burke) 1989 Description / Buy
4 A Morning for Flamingos ( By: James Lee Burke) 1990 Description / Buy
5 A Stained White Radiance ( By: James Lee Burke) 1992 Description / Buy
6 In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead ( By: James Lee Burke) 1993 Description / Buy
7 Dixie City Jam ( By: James Lee Burke) 1994 Description / Buy
8 Burning Angel ( By: James Lee Burke) 1995 Description / Buy
9 Cadillac Jukebox ( By: James Lee Burke) 1996 Description / Buy
10 Sunset Limited ( By: James Lee Burke) 1996 Description / Buy
11 Purple Cane Road ( By: James Lee Burke) 2000 Description / Buy
12 Jolie Blon's Bounce ( By: James Lee Burke) 2002 Description / Buy
13 Last Car to Elysian Fields ( By: James Lee Burke) 2003 Description / Buy
14 Crusader's Cross ( By: James Lee Burke) 2005 Description / Buy
15 Pegasus Descending ( By: James Lee Burke) 2006 Description / Buy
16 The Tin Roof Blowdown ( By: James Lee Burke) 2007 Description / Buy
17 Swan Peak ( By: James Lee Burke) 2008 Description / Buy
18 The Glass Rainbow ( By: James Lee Burke) 2010 Description / Buy
19 Creole Belle ( By: James Lee Burke) 2012 Description / Buy
20 Light of the World ( By: James Lee Burke) 2013 Description / Buy
21 Robicheaux ( By: James Lee Burke) 2018 Description / Buy
22 The New Iberia Blues ( By: James Lee Burke) 2019 Description / Buy
23 A Private Cathedral ( By: James Lee Burke) 2020 Description / Buy
24 Clete (By: James Lee Burke) 2024 Description / Buy
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Robicheaux goes against the ethical code in almost every case he handles. His involvement in Vietnam War as a US Army infantry lieutenant and his difficult childhood seems to be making life hard for the recovering alcoholic, whose parents are dead. His wife Annie Ballard is murdered, rubbing salt to the already bleeding wound. He then marries Bootsie, who also dies after which he weds Molly. His best friend in the series is Cletus Purcel.

This series summarizes Detective Dave Robicheaux mysterious life. Robicheaux fights many battles, joins the world of drug barons and he is constantly haunted by his past life right from the time we are introduced to him in The Neon Rain up to the time he is mentioned for the last time in The Light Of the World.


James Lee Burke’s third book in the Dave Robicheaux series won the Edgar Award for Best Novel. Being a celebrated writer, James Lee Burke is not new to winning awards. He has won two Edgar Awards and has written several novels, most of which have been rated quite high by readers.


As you would expect, some books in the Dave Robicheaux series have been adapted into movies. Heaven’s Prisoners is the first movie adaptation of this series. In the book, Robicheaux is slowly recovering from alcohol, and he goes to enjoy the peace of Louisiana’s bayous with his wife. However, a young girl comes to his life through a plane crash, and with her comes the world of murder, deception and crime.

In the movie Alec Baldwin plays the ex-detective role of Dave Robicheaux. He rescues a young girl from a plane crash. Together with his wife Kelly Lynch, they adopt a girl and start bringing her up. Later, it is suspected that the initial plane crash was a conspiracy, and investigations begin. His wife passes on during the investigations and he decides to bring everyone involved to justice.

The second adaptation of Dave Robicheaux series into a movie was The Electric Mist. This movie stars Tommy Lee Jones (who plays Dave Robicheaux), John Goodman Peter Sarsgaard and Mary Steenburgen. As the story begins, Dave Robicheaux meets a dead girl’s corpse. He also meets a drunk driver, who he suspects is the murderer. Robicheaux opens rape and murder cases, and he is in the company of a new partner from the FBI.


Although the best book in a series is normally a personal preference, The Black Cherry Blues, Heaven’s Prisoners and The Electric are perhaps the best books in the Dave Robicheaux series. As noted earlier, The Black Cherry Blues won the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In this novel, Dave Robicheaux life is on a new page as the story begins. He opens a fishing business and focuses on bringing up his adopted girl, Alafair. He is in Montana, but unlike his initial thought that it is safer than Louisiana, he soon starts investigating a case in which two Native American activists go missing. His past haunts him as he gets into the world of Mafia and oil companies. Someone who murdered his wife is now after Alafair.

If you have watched the Heaven’s Prisoners and The Electric Mist movies, you can as well argue that these are James Lee Burke’s best works. They epitomize his prowess in storytelling and no wonder they have been adapted into the big screen for the whole world to see.


If you are a real fan of series, you can enjoy the “Jake Travis” series by Robert Lane. There are three books in this series, and being very recent books, they feature all the fun you can think of. The Second Letter is the first book in the series, and it was published in 2013. It sets the stage for Cooler Than Blood and The Cardinal’s sin.

The “Harry Starke” Series will also blow your mind if you are a fan of series of this type. On a slightly different note, if you are in love with James Lee Burke’s books, you can enjoy reading his previous works such as Bitterroot, Purple Cane Road, Cimarron Rose and Jolie Blon’s Bounce, among others.

What Is The Next Book in The Dave Robicheaux Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Dave Robicheaux Series. The newest book is Clete and was released on June, 11th 2024.


2 thoughts on “Dave Robicheaux”

  1. I have a question.
    Most of this series seems to be in Chronological Order but the latest work , 2020s Own Private Cathedral seems to go back to before Dave meets his 4th wife Molly. Have we gone back in time in this story?

  2. I’m a fan of police/detective series, and this is no exception. This series is a little grittier and darker than most, and some scenes are not for the faint of heart (grotesque descriptions!). The standard love story part of the plot is a little lackluster, and some of the police lingo goes too far, but overall I enjoyed the series. You can’t pass up a New Orleans cop series.

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