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Black Cherry Blues - James Lee Burke Wow! This is the first time I've read James Lee Burke but have wanted to a long time since this book won the Edgar Award. I like to follow those books which are nominated and/or receive an Edgar.

Must check it out but thought this was the first in the series, and I hope so because just read something which said, 'it just keeps getting better.' That's quite a compliment since this book was a great read with all the elements I, personally, love in a book.

The characters were described with clarity, were easy to keep up with and the plot was fantastic. One of the elements I really love though, is the description of the landscape and this was full of wonderful adjectives taking the reader from southern Louisana to Texas and Montana.

The character, Dave Robicheaux, obviously has had his share of sadness and how he responds to trouble is based, in part, to his past experiences which he describes in almost a mystical manner. Just another reason I like Burke's writing.

So glad my reader friend Sandy found this one for me. I owe it to her!

Gave four stars but waffled...without much effort I could have given it five. I really like everything about this book. Aw, hell, I'm changing it and giving it five stars. I really, really liked it!

UPDATE: Just read an article passed to me by Goodreads friend Lynette. By the way, I compared books and there are 131 books we both have read. It goes without saying that our tastes are definately similar...we laugh about it, too. And for those who do not know my (and Lynette's) favorite genre, it's mysteries; James Burke, T. Jeff Parker, Michael Connelly, John Lescroart, Robert Crais and oh, Robert Crais. And I say above, Burke can only get better, and yes, I was right. Dave Robicheaux has only gotten better.

Lynette is on her way to read John D. MacDonald who she's never read and I'm on my way to read J. A. Jance, who I've never read. That's what GR friends are for!

The article she thought I would like (and I loved it) was an interview with Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin who said “The opening chapter of Black Cherry Blues, his first Dave Robicheaux novel, it is an absolute classic. If I was going to take a class on crime writing I would just give the students this chapter. It’s the perfect opening chapter of a book. Everything you need is in there – the characters, the situation, a suggestion of what might happen, what the theme might be – bang, in one short chapter.”

Here's a link to the article on Ian Rankin (creator of Scottish maverick Rebus) who is also on my to-read list now with his love of the masters, Raymond Chandler, Leonard Ellroy, Leonard Elmore and of course, James Lee Burke: Blood and Beer With Ian Rankin

Thanks to Lynette for bringing this article to light (or dark murder.) Great observations on American crime writers by Ian Rankin.