James Lee Burke’s Next Dave Robicheaux Book Coming in May

On May 26th, Detective Dave Robicheaux returns in A Private Cathedral, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke.

For Robicheaux, who was last seen in New Iberia Blues (2019), this will be his twenty-third go-around, though Burke’s latest book will not take place in the present day. Instead, Cathedral is set before 9/11, a decision Burke explained in a lengthy Facebook post.

Robicheaux, The New Iberia Blues, and A Private Cathedral are intended as a trilogy dealing with the times in which we live and my feelings about the great mysteries that beset us for most of our lives,” wrote Burke.

“I am in my eighties, but the passage of the years has left me with little knowledge and less wisdom, at least when I try to deal with the questions whose answers seem on the edge of my vision but escape into the light when I try to touch them.

“Today my greatest fear is not mortality; it is the history that is aborning in our presence. I believe its origins go back to the 1830s and the nativist movement and the No Nothing Party. There is a violent strain in our revolutionary culture that we fostered and buried and exhumed periodically, as though collectively benighting ourselves in anticipation of a figure who would commit deeds we were not willing to commit on our own.”

You can read the rest of his post here.

Otherwise, scroll down to see the official plot details and cover art for A Private Cathedral.

A Private CathedralAfter finding himself caught up in one of Louisiana’s oldest and bloodiest family rivalries, Detective Dave Robicheaux must battle the most terrifying adversary he has ever encountered: a time-traveling superhuman assassin.

The Shondell and Balangie families are longtime enemies in the New Iberia criminal underworld and show each other no mercy. Yet their youngest heirs, Johnny Shondell and Isolde Balangie, rock and roll-musician teenagers with magical voices, have fallen in love and run away after Isolde was given as a sex slave to Johnny’s father.

As he seeks to uncover why, Detective Dave Robicheaux gets too close to both Isolde’s mother and the mistress of her father, a venomous New Orleans mafioso whose jealousy has no bounds. In retribution, he hires a mysterious assassin to go after Robicheaux and his longtime partner, Clete Purcel. This hitman is unlike any the “Bobbsey Twins from Homicide” have ever faced. He has the ability to induce horrifying hallucinations and travels on a menacing ghost ship that materializes without warning. In order to defeat him and rescue Johnny and Isolde, Robicheaux will have to overcome the demons that have tormented him throughout his adult life—alcoholism, specters from combat in Vietnam, and painful memories of women to whom he opened his heart only to see killed.

A Private Cathedral, James Lee Burke’s fortieth book, is his most powerful tale, one that will captivate readers—mixing crime, romance, mythology, horror, and science fiction to produce a thrilling story about the all-consuming, all-conquering power of love.



James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, two-time winner of the Edgar Award, and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. He’s authored thirty-eight novels and two short story collections. He lives in Missoula, Montana.

Fans looking to get their hands on the next Robicheaux novel can pre-order A Private Cathedral here, or anywhere else books are sold.



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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