• tomefries

Death of a Rainmaker by Laurie Loewenstein

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Summary: After the Roaring 20's came the Dusty 30's. During one of the biggest dust storms, a rainmaker is murdered in Vermillion, OK and Sheriff Temple Jennings has to solve it before the next election.

{Free book alert! I received this advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.}

Review: 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. 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 1930'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. She proves that women are just as insightful and capable as she finds evidence that was skipped over by her husband and his deputy.

There is so much minutia in this story that really brings everything together. It is a genuinely well-crafted novel. I enjoyed it from the first chapter through the last and look forward to more from Loewenstein.


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