I've read a good number of James Lee Burke's Robicheaux novels and like the murky dark Southern feel to them. Burke's Western-set mysteries, though, leave me pretty cold.  Neither the prose nor the stories seem to fit the place.  Do other readers have the same reaction?

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I'm not wild about James Lee Burke, but I probably prefer the western settings.  I just don't like New Orleans and the "murky Southern feel" -- (good description).

I have exactly the same thought as you, Jackson. I've been a Burke fan for years, but his style of description seems better suited for Louisiana, whether it's NOLA or New Iberia. Crumley has a better handle on the starker beauty of the West.

Thanks for the recommendation, Dana.  

I only discovered Crumley myself a few years ago. THE LAST GOOD KISS and DANCING BEAR are excellent; THE FINAL COUNTRY I could have lived without, though the writing was still very good. He wrote a few others, but i have yet to get to them.

Aw gee ... how could anyone not like N'Awlins??  :)  Great music, food, and wine ...  And don't forget, if you're pissed off at someone, you can always buy a voodoo doll ...

But okay, I'm not a big James Lee Burke fan either, mostly because I don't care much for the "reformed alcoholic" character. However, I acknowledge that he's an excellent writer. 

Having lived in Texas once upon a time, I've read three of Burke's Texas novels, including the one that won the Edgar for best novel of the year (Cimarron Rose). And I was fine with the settings. But I didn't love the book's main character. I suppose he left me cold.

Well, I guess I'm just the biggest James Lee Burke fan in the world. I would read it if he wrote the blurb on the back of a packet of cornflakes.

Agree about James Crumley - liked everything up until The Final Country. If you want another western writer, you could try Joe R. Lansdale - his East Texas tales of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are funny, exciting, interesting and go places other crime novels usually don't.


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