Dave Robicheaux

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Dave Robicheaux
First appearanceThe Neon Rain
Created byJames Lee Burke
Portrayed byAlec Baldwin
Tommy Lee Jones
OccupationSheriff's deputy
SpouseAnnie Robicheaux
Bootsie Robicheaux
Molly Robicheaux
ChildrenAlafair (adopted)

Dave Robicheaux (pronounced "Row-bih-show") is a fictional character in a series of mystery novels by American crime writer James Lee Burke.


Once an officer for the New Orleans Police Department, Robicheaux constantly breaches the ethical code over the course of just about every case he works on and currently pursues cases in New Iberia, Louisiana as sheriff's deputy. He is a recovering alcoholic[1] whose demons stem from his service as a U.S. Army infantry lieutenant in the Vietnam War[2] and his impoverished difficult childhood in rural Louisiana; his mother abandoned the family (and was later murdered) and his father died in an oil rig explosion.[3]

He still experiences periods of savage depression and nightmares, which are only exacerbated by the murder of his wife Annie Ballard, a social worker.[3] He married a mobster's widow Bootsie, a lupus sufferer, and adopted the El Salvadorean orphan Alafair (the namesake of Burke's own daughter), after he saves her from the wreckage of an airplane. After Bootsie's death he weds a strong minded former Maryknoll nun by the name of Molly.

His best friend is the violent, alcoholic, ex-police officer, private investigator, and bail-bondsman Cletus Purcel.

Robicheaux is described as 54 years old in the introduction to the Recorded Books CD edition of Black Cherry Blues (the third book in the series, published in 1989), but, in the third track of the audiobook, Robicheaux describes himself as 49 years old. In the fourth audio track, Robicheaux introduces Dixie Lee Pugh, "my freshman roommate at Southwest Louisiana Institute in 1956," which would put his birth year circa 1938 if he enrolled when he was around 18.


  1. The Neon Rain (1987)[2]
  2. Heaven's Prisoners (1988)
  3. Black Cherry Blues (1989)
  4. A Morning for Flamingos (1990)
  5. A Stained White Radiance (1992)
  6. In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead (1993)
  7. Dixie City Jam (1994)
  8. Burning Angel (1995)
  9. Cadillac Jukebox (1996)
  10. Sunset Limited (1998)
  11. Purple Cane Road (2000)
  12. Jolie Blon's Bounce (2002)
  13. Last Car to Elysian Fields (2003)
  14. Crusader's Cross (2005)
  15. Pegasus Descending (2006)
  16. The Tin Roof Blowdown (2007)
  17. Swan Peak (2008)
  18. The Glass Rainbow (2010)
  19. Creole Belle (2012)
  20. Light of the World (2013)
  21. Robicheaux (2018)
  22. The New Iberia Blues (2019)

Appearances in movies[edit]

Robicheaux is played by Alec Baldwin in Heaven's Prisoners[4] and by Tommy Lee Jones in In the Electric Mist.[5]


  1. ^ Fuller, R. Reese (June 5, 2002). "The Man Behind Dave Robicheaux". Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b Rainone, Anthony (October 2004). "Interview: James Lee Burke". January Magazine. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b Herbert, Rosemary (2003). Who's Who in Crime and Mystery Writing. Oxford University Press. p. 168. ISBN 9780195157611.
  4. ^ Tucker, Ken (January 17, 2015). "Heaven's Prisoners". Entertainment Weekly.
  5. ^ Kelly, Christopher (June 2009). "Mist Opportunity". Texas Monthly.