Death of a Rainmaker by Laurie Loewenstein

Death of a Rainmaker

When a rainmaker is bludgeoned to death in the pitch blackness of a colossal dust storm, small-town sheriff Temple Jennings shoulders yet another burden in the hard times of the 1930s Dust Bowl. The killing only magnifies Jennings’s ongoing troubles—a formidable opponent in the upcoming election, the repugnant burden of enforcing farm foreclosures, and his wife’s lingering grief over the loss of their young son.As the sheriff and his young ...

Details Death of a Rainmaker

TitleDeath of a Rainmaker
Release DateOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherAkashic Books
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Historical Mystery

Reviews Death of a Rainmaker

  • Diane S ☔
    Vermillion, Oklahoma in the 1930's, people still trying to recover from the great depression when they are hit by huge dust storms. These storms taking all the top soil from Farmer's fields, smothering crops, devastating lives. Farms are being repossessed, auctions of all their possessions, and many are left with little or nothing."In Oklahoma, the palette was nothing but brown. Brown bridal trains of dust billowed behind tractors. Curtains turne...
  • Lynn
    I liked this book very much. It was beautifully written. The time is the thirties and the location is Vermillion Oklahoma. It hasn't rained for 8 months. Farmers are losing their farms. People are moving out and the drought is affecting everyone. A rainmaker comes to town promising his technique will bring the needed rain. A crowd gathers to watch the TNT display. It will be repeated the next day. The movie theater owner who is blind worries how ...
  • Lesa
    Laurie Loewenstein's first Dust Bowl Mystery, Death of a Rainmaker, was the most evocative book I've read since Larry D. Sweazy's last Marjorie Trumaine mystery, See Also Proof. The author says she was inspired by Timothy Egan's nonfiction book, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dustbowl, and you can truly see that in all of the detailed description.In the 1930s in Jackson County, Oklahoma, they've gon...
  • John Winston
    At its core Death of a Rainmaker: A Dust Bowl Mystery by Laurie Lowenstein is historical fiction of the highest order and a murder mystery to boot, a novel of extremes it seems that starts with a bang (literally) and then comes the storm in so many ways. Lowenstein raises the stakes with a looming election, the outcome of which will have life-altering ramifications for those involved. The author paints a vivid picture of life in Oklahoma in 1935 ...
  • Allen Pasternak
    Though “A DUST BOWL MYSTERY” is part of the title of this novel, that’s a debatable genre. There is a murder early on, and an investigation follows. In typical mystery form, the killer’s identity isn’t revealed until the final pages. This crime and it’s solution is the focus of this book, but set in the small community of Vermillion, Oklahoma (and I have no idea if this city ever existed or is mythical) during the Dust Bowl and the Gr...
  • Carol
  • Pamela Hutchins
    What a great surprise this book was. Sentence by sentence, it is LOVELY and very literary, while the plot holds up with an engaging mystery, super characters, and beautiful historical treatment. Looking forward to the next one in the series.
  • Pat
    I loved this book and will definitely read more of the series. This is a mystery, not a thriller and it does not move along at a lightening pace. Rather it is like relaxing in a comfy chair on a Sunday afternoon and watching an old Gary Cooper movie. Excellent!
  • Laurel Brett
    Death of a Rainmaker is a beautiful novel. Murder mysteries are often pulp genre pieces, but Laurie Loewenstein subverts expectations and provides us with the nuance and beautiful writing of a literary novel and the suspense and excitement of a mystery.When a rainmaker is murdered in a small Oklahoma town during the hard times of the Depression Dust Bowl period his death and the search for his murderer show us many strata of small town life and t...
  • Cathy Cole
    One of the best books I have ever read is Timothy Egan's The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. Reading that book fostered an interest in this period of history, so when I heard about Laurie Loewenstein's first Dust Bowl mystery, Death of a Rainmaker, I had to read it. I am thrilled to say that it's an excellent fictional companion piece to Egan's history.Loewenstein peoples her story with one be...
  • Robert Intriago
    An entertaining read. The background for this novel is the dust bowl in Oklahoma in the 1930's and its effects upon the land and people living there. There are also some interesting references about the Johnstown floods in Pennsylvania. The writing is folksy and the characters interesting, if not well developed. The mystery itself is slow developing and muddled by lots of gossip.
  • Sarah
    When times turn desperate, tensions rise, and people start seeking an outlet for their suffering. In this sense, the Depression-era Dust Bowl feels like a classic setting for a murder mystery, although surprisingly few authors have taken advantage of it. Here, just like in her first novel, Unmentionables, Laurie Loewenstein offers vivid storytelling and a fine eye for evoking small-town life in America’s heartland. In August 1935, it’s been 2...
  • Quiltyknitwit
    Interesting story, setting and characters, but this novel would have benefited from some heavy editing (repetitious phrases, meandering side stories, etc.).
  • B.
    Ol' timey mysteries are usually something that I find should stay in the past (like polio and dial up), but Death of a Rainmaker was an excellent story for any decade.Loewenstein is an incredible storyteller whose words are so vivid they practically blew off the pages like dust in the Midwestern wind. Every scene was perfectly captured so that you could hear the TNT bursting, feel the heat and dust, smell the fried chicken.It followed the outline...
  • Story Circle Book Reviews
    There are thousands of mystery novels out there, with professional and amateur detectives. A quick look at (my favorite source for mystery information) reveals over five thousand authors and hundreds of categories. You can find mysteries featuring detectives who are social workers, photographers, divers, dancers and vintners, and which are set on every continent—including Antarctica.What is it that sets Laurie ...
  • Sue
    August 2, 1935Jackson County, Oklahoma"As soon as [Chester] pulled open the outside door [of the theater] he heard a faint thrumming of wind that resembled the plucking of thick guitar strings… ‘A duster!, Maxine shouted… ‘Tall as a mountain! Oh my God! I’ve never seen one this big!’"Vermillion, Oklahoma in 1935. The Great Depression has strangled the economy of the area and now an unending dry season is destroying the greatest source...
  • Denice Barker
    Physically, the country struggled greatly during the Great Depression, and when a drought and subsequent dust storms send the Plains into even further turmoil, it took courage to stay put on the land and survive until the next day. For some, it meant leaving. For others it meant staying. Sheriff Temple Jennings was charged with taking care of Vermillion, Oklahoma’s citizens and when during the biggest and blackest dust storm on record obliterat...
  • Donna
    I loved how Laurie made the town of Vermillon and its people come to life. The characters were believable with feelings and flaws, and I became attached to a few in particular: Chester and Etha. The book also demonstrates Laurie's dedication to research/historical accuracy; she's a pro. I loved all the little details that illustrated the time and place of the book, from figures of speech to how food was prepared/stored. I thoroughly enjoyed this ...
  • Margaret Yelton
    Not my typical read, but I won the book in a giveaway. I found it to be a very well written story, the author had the ability to make me feel I was living in the time period that the book was written about. The book maybe about a murder, yet it is so much more bringing to life the characters in the book helping me to better understand all that our ancestors had to live through in the past. I can only imagine how hard it had to be to live in that ...
  • Kathleen Gray
    The murder of Roland Coombs, who purported to be a rainmaker who would make things better for Vermillion, Oklahoma, is the centerpiece of this novel. However, this is less a mystery than it is a fascinating portrait of a town and its people during the Great Depression. Things are bad, really bad, in Vermillion. Temple Jennings, the Sheriff, arrests Carmine, a young man from the Civilian Conservation Corps, for the crime. His wife Etha, however, d...
  • Ann
    Pleasant surprise to find this book set in the Dust Bowl of the 30s. Well written and good story, things which so often seem to be mutually exclusive even in our best sellers these days. Thank you Laurie for keeping me entertained AND interested for the past few evenings. I read several books at once, but last night I devoted to yours. I admit I had know idea how it was going to end until the very last bit. Kudos.
  • Chris
    This novel about a murder in a rural farming community in 1930s Oklahoma has a historical feel. The author’s folksy writing style is a good match for the setting of the story and her well-drawn, small town characters. The book provides a vivid picture of the era and contains many details about life during that time that add an air of authenticity. This is a little tougher than a “cozy” mystery, but not much.
  • Patricia Shores
    A compelling, beautifully written novel, rich with the essence of a tragic, transformative time in America: the Dust Bowl of the 1930's. The characters are original, the details authentic, and the storyline captivating. This book is for readers who enjoy their escapism fully grounded in a believable reality. Luckily, this is the first book in a series, because you'll be eager to spend more time with Temple and Etha.
  • David
    A rainmaker visits a drought-stricken, dust bowl Oklahoma town. He is murdered. Who did it? The murder investigation quickly fades into the background as Loewenstein introduces a town filled with real, well developed characters all struggling to survive as the dust bowl’s horrors are all around them. By the time book ends one wants to keep reading to get to know these folks even better. I hope Loewenstein has more in store. Great book.
  • Helen Starbuck
    I wasn't sure I'd like this book, it was given to me, but I have to say I really enjoyed it. It is well written, the characters are very well done and the story is intriguing. The setting is the depression and the dust bowl. You can almost taste the dirt and the heat and the desperation. Highly recommend this book.
  • Mary Anne
    Based on the book The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan, this intriguing mystery evokes the hard times people experienced while farming on the Great Plains in the Dust Bowl era. Sidelight: the father of one of my older friends was a banker in Kansas during that era and committed suicide because he couldn’t bear to foreclose on friends. Her story has haunted me.
  • Carolyn
    I liked this very much. A nuanced 3.5.
  • Mckenzie Cassidy
    Not only a murder mystery that keeps you guessing every step of the way, but this book will transport you back in time to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Good read!
  • Kristin
    This one captures the desperation and fear of the Dust Bowl era with detailed accuracy. Good writing, with a mystery that isn't so easy to solve.
  • Molly Staron
    Liked the setting and description of Oklahoma during the depression. Mystery was a little underwhelming.