Funeral Train: A Dust Bowl Mystery
*Winner of a Will Rogers Silver Medallion Award for Western Mystery
*A finalist for the 2023 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for Best Historical
"For Temple Jennings, the small-town Oklahoma sheriff who returns in Laurie Loewenstein's engaging new Dust Bowl-era mystery, Funeral Train, day-to-day matters have become challenging . . . Reading Funeral Train feels like being catapulted back in time to experience the 1930s at an almost unbearably visceral level." --New York Times Book Review
"Loewenstein handles the investigatory details well enough, but the book's richer rewards are its finely rendered portraits of small-town life under trying circumstances. She creates a vivid cast of gossips and cranks, loners and busy bodies. Some are lovable, some are not. All are connected to the secrets that lie just beneath the surface of the town's dusty streets." --Washington Post, one of "Five New Thrillers to Kick Off Your Fall Reading"
Already suffering the privations of the 1930s Dust Bowl, an Oklahoma town is further devastated when a passenger train derails--flooding its hospital with the dead and maimed. Among the seriously wounded is Etha, wife of Sheriff Temple Jennings. Overwhelmed by worry for her, the sheriff must regain his footing to investigate the derailment, which rapidly develops into a case of sabotage.
The following night, a local recluse is murdered. Temple has a hunch that this death is connected to the train wreck. But as he dissects the victim's life with help from the recuperating and resourceful Etha, he discovers a tangle of records that make a number of townsfolk suspects in the murder.
Temple's investigations take place against the backdrop of the Great Depression--where bootlegging, petty extortion, courage, and bravado play out in equal measure.
Kaylie Jones Books
October 04, 2022
5.2 X 8.2 X 1.3 inches | 0.85 pounds
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About the Author
Laurie Loewenstein is the author of the novels Unmentionables and Death of a Rainmaker, the first in the Dust Bowl Mystery series and a finalist for a 2019 Oklahoma Book Award. She teaches at Wilkes University's Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing and is a fifth-generation Midwesterner.
Set in 1935, 'smack in the crosshairs of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, ' Loewenstein's excellent sequel to 2018's Death of a Rainmaker continues the saga of life in the small town of Vermillion, Okla . . . Loewenstein gives a rich sense of the period and place, and dramatically shows how hard times can bring out the best in some and the worst in others. Historical regional mysteries don't get much better than this.-- "Publishers Weekly"
Laced with suspense, pathos, and violence, it's also an affecting portrayal of what makes humans behave the way they do . . . This is a wonderfully evocative historical mystery, its Dust Bowl bleakness offset by hope and humor.-- "Booklist"
The sequel to Death of a Rainmaker . . . is just as atmospheric. The anguish and struggles of the Dust Bowl and Depression years are vividly depicted in this historical mystery.-- "Library Journal"
While the mystery pulls the reader along with steady interest, the book really shines with the picture it paints of small-town, Depression-era America. The past is brought to vivid, fascinating life with Loewenstein's skillful descriptions . . . You'll enjoy this tale of foul murder, marital faithfulness, and hard-won justice, set in a time and place drenched with authenticity.-- "Historical Novel Society"