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There is a murder early on, and an investigation follows.

  • Death of a Rainmaker: A Dust Bowl Mystery.
  • The Rainmaker.
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To me, however, this is a story of a small community dealing with the hardships of the time. Characters are vividly described such as Chester, the blind man who owns the movie theater and Temple, the sheriff who moved to Oklahoma after surviving the Johnstown Flood. The book is also permeated by memory of the dead son of Temple and his wife. Loewenstein beautifully describes the geography and the people and brings the period to life.

Dec 24, Pamela Hutchins rated it really liked it.

Inside Look: Death of a Rainmaker

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. 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.

Mar 19, Suzanne Arcand rated it liked it Shelves: fiction , historical-fiction , mystery.

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I loved the way she captured the place and the period. Nov 01, Laurel Brett rated it it was amazing. 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 the people who live in Vermillion, Loewenstein's fi Death of a Rainmaker is a beautiful novel. 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 the people who live in Vermillion, Loewenstein's fictional town.

The author realizes the period and its people is such loving detail that it's hard to believe that she didn't live through it herself. Loewenstein brings such verisimilitude to her creation we could swear we were living in Oklahoma ourselves. The tag, a Dustbowl Mystery, leads us to expect more books in the series.

Her wonderful sheriff, Temple Jennings, and his wife can certainly star in many further books about the hardscrabble life in Oklahoma of the period, and I am looking forward to them teaming up to solve the crimes Loewenstein must already be planning in her fertile,detailed, and always generous imagination. I enthusiastically recommend this book. 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.

DEATH OF A RAINMAKER, Laurie Loewenstein

I am thrilled to say that it's an excellent fictional companion piece to Egan's history. Loewenstein peoples her story with one believable character after another. From thirteen-year-old Maxine trying desperately to impress the young deputy, to Temple Jennings forced to keep the peace at foreclosed farms that are being auctioned off, to his wife Etha who still mourns the death of their son, to Lovell the lonely schoolteacher, these people are real and step right off the page.

So does the setting. The local movie theater is reduced to having "Dish Nights" in order to stay open.

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Plunk down your nickel to see a movie and receive a free piece of china-- a different piece every week. There are teenage boys thrown out of their homes because there are too many mouths to feed, and they're now working for the Civilian Conservation Corps. The down-and-out living in Hoovervilles out in the woods.

A young woman ashamed of the fact that her family still lives in a soddy. And the ever-present dust and dirt: "Dunes rippled across the highway as if the denuded land were trying to draw a blanket over its naked limbs. Etha Jennings is a good-hearted woman who is determined to prove a young boy's innocence. She makes plenty of mistakes and she certainly upsets her husband, but the unfolding of her character is a fine sight to behold.

With Loewenstein's excellent misdirection, the solution to the murder is very satisfying, and now I'm left waiting impatiently for a second Dust Bowl mystery. Historical mystery lovers really need to get their hands on this book. Nov 08, Robert Intriago rated it liked it Shelves: mystery , An entertaining read.


The background for this novel is the dust bowl in Oklahoma in the '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. Jul 12, Christie marked it as dnf. Lots of descriptive writing and well-fleshed characters, but on the whole flat.

Gave up at pages. Jul 18, Janice rated it really liked it Shelves: read , small-town-rural-fiction , historical-mystery , oklahoma , awards-notable , favorites This was a really good mystery, with well developed multi-layered plot, and great characters. The setting is western Oklahoma, during the depression, and in the midst of months of drought and life-threatening dust storms. Sep 02, Leslie Swift Bernal rated it it was ok.

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Really wanted a good mystery and this one was on the NPR list of best books of Oct 11, Sarah rated it it was amazing. When times turn desperate, tensions rise, and people start seeking an outlet for their suffering.

Iron Maiden - Rainmaker [Death On The Road]

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. Roland Coombs arrives in town with promising testimonials to his skills in enticing clouds to let loose their precious drops of water. But less than a day after he shoots shells packed with TNT into the heavens, his body is found in the alley next to the Jewel Movie House, lying under a pile of dirt after an intense dust storm.

The novel excels in depicting characters and relationships. Temple and his wife, Etha, are devoted to one another, but Etha sees qualities of her late son in Carmine and has reason to believe him innocent.

Interesting story, setting and characters, but this novel would have benefited from some heavy editing repetitious phrases, meandering side stories, etc. Sep 29, 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 of your typical mystery.

The Rainmaker | novel by Grisham |

Nothing was surprising o 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. Nothing was surprising or original as far as the plot, it was pretty easy to guess the killer but it was still one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a while.

Temple Jennings, Vermillion's sheriff, was the perfect 's lawman. Steady, unwavering, stubborn. I imagined him as Sam Elliott-esque with the long, deep drawl. His determination for justice and support of the down-and-outers was heartwarming, even when he didn't make the most perfect decisions.

Even the conflict between Temple and his wife, Etha, was remarkable. In a day and age where healthy relationships and arguing are rare, the Jennings are a breath of fresh air. Regardless of their disagreement, they still managed to love each other and remain respectful. The relationship between Etha and Carmine was what I enjoyed most about the story.

Back in a time when women were to be the dutiful housewife, Etha takes it upon herself to prove Carmine's innocence.