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Funeral Train: A Dust Bowl Mystery


In her gripping follow-up to the widely acclaimed Dust Bowl Mystery Death of a Rainmaker, Laurie Loewenstein brings 1930s Oklahoma evocatively to life

*Winner of a Will Rogers Silver Medallion Award for Western Mystery

*A finalist for the 2023 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for Best Historical

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$18.95 $14.21

What people are saying…

“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

“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, starred 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”

“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

“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.”

“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

“Let me just say I’m not crazy about historicals, especially the US in the 1930s . . . But Laurie Loewenstein’s Funeral Train is so beautifully written that I left my baggage behind and just climbed aboard . . . The writing is both lyrical and direct, without the condescension that many historical authors bring to their descriptions of people in extreme circumstances long ago.”
Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine

“A portrait of Depression-era America so searingly authentic that the topsoil practically blows off each page.”
—Louis Bayard, author of Jackie & Me

“[T]his striking historical mystery . . . is brooding and gritty and graced with authenticity.”
—NPR on Death of a Rainmaker (book one in the Dust Bowl Mystery series), One of the Best Books of 2018


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.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Published: 10/4/22
  • IBSN: 9781636140520
  • e-IBSN: 9781636140650
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • IBSN: 9781636140513


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. Funeral Train: A Dust Bowl Mystery is her latest work.

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