Under an Outlaw Moon: A Novel

Kalteis, Dietrich

  • “Kalteis breathes life into these fearless, larger-than-life fugitives.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

    Meet Depression-era newlyweds Bennie and Stella. He’s reckless, she’s naive. Longing for freedom from tough times, they rob a bank, setting off a series of events that quickly spin out of their control

    Under an Outlaw Moon is based on the true story of Depression-era bank robbers Bennie and Stella Mae Dickson. She’s a teenage outsider longing to fit in. He’s a few years older and he’s trouble. They meet at a local skating rink and the sparks fly.

    They marry and Stella dreams of a nice house with a swing out back, while Bennie figures out how to get enough money to make it happen. Setting his sights on the good life, he decides to rob a bank. Talking Stella into it, he lays out his plan and teaches her to shoot. The newlyweds celebrate her 16th birthday by robbing a local bank.

    They pull it off, but the score is small, and Bennie realizes the money won’t last long, so he plans a bigger robbery. What lays ahead is more than either of them bargained for. After J. Edgar Hoover finds out they crossed state lines, he declares them public enemies number one and two — wanted dead or alive. So much for the good life. The manhunt is on, and there’s little room for them to run.


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  • Dietrich Kalteis is an award-winning author. His debut, Ride the Lightning, was hailed as one of the best Vancouver crime novels. He lives on Canada’s west coast, in Vancouver, British Columbia, and spends as much time as possible in California.

  • Published: November 2021

    ISBN: 9781770415478

    Dimensions: 5 x 7.75 in.

    Pages: 240


“Kalteis breathes life into these fearless, larger-than-life fugitives. This is a delightful treat for historical crime fiction enthusiasts.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“For anyone interested in Depression-era history, Under an Outlaw Moon will prove enjoyable … What really brings the story — and the Dicksons’ relationship — to life is the cheeky, rapid-fire dialogue between them; their repartee is as good as anything out of an old movie.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“Things I love about this book. Kalteis’s legendary writing style. He spins us around his short, clipped phrases and keeps us wanting more … The personalities of the characters shine in the dialogue.” — Ottawa Review of Books

“One could dismiss this book as another Bonnie & Clyde story — but not so. Bennie and Stella Mae Dickson are a different kettle of crime entirely. It may be mythology, but Bonnie & Clyde are portrayed as hardened criminals. What is different and engaging in Kalteis’s tale is the simplicity of the characters and their backgrounds.” — The British Columbia Review