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James Lee Burke, at 87, is still writing mysteries and reaching for infinity

James Lee Burke is one of the greatest mystery writers of all time — and one of the most successful.

He has written 46 books, including 24 novels in the series starring Dave Robicheaux, an honorable but haunted detective working the streets and bayous of south Louisiana.

Burke’s latest book turns the spotlight on Robicheaux’s loyal and unpredictable sidekick, Clete Purcel. “Clete” arrives in bookstores June 11.

Burke grew up on the Texas-Louisiana border. Now he lives up in Montana, where at age 87, he still writes every day and deep into the night.

He told me about his writing process, his series of odd jobs and his fears for the country he loves.

Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary, On My Mind, which airs every Monday.