Death of a Rainmaker:A Dust Bowl Mystery by Laurie Loewenstein
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 obliterates everything, forcing people to shelter in place, it was a surprise and a mystery to find the body of con man, Roland Coombs, dead in an alley.
Almost immediately the sheriff has a suspect in a young CCC.
The sheriff’s wife, though, is convinced the young suspect is innocent and proceeds, behind her husband’s back, to prove the young man’s innocence. She is chasing her own demons here, because the young man reminds her of her dead son.
There are characters that you root for in this story and as the story unfolds, some who surprise you. But it’s the town of Vermillion that you are rooting for. You want it to rain, you want the wind to stop blowing, you want the farmers to be able to stay on their land, you want the banks to have a heart, you want people to not have to try so darned hard to survive this place and this time.
I’ve always been fascinated with the lives of the little people during the Great Depression and Dustbowl. I understand, I think, how economically our country was driven to this time but I want to peek into the windows of the people who live in their everyday houses in their anywhere towns trying to hold on for one more day that I’m interested in. Laurie Loewenstein has parted the curtains for us in Death of a Rainmaker.