Desolation Row by Kay Kendall

kayBook Blurb from

A bride from Texas uses her CIA-honed skills to catch the real killer when her husband lands in a Canadian jail.

Amazon: “Remarkable dialog & subplots result in a wholly satisfying read. Packs a considerable punch. Readers will look forward to more of Kendall, with her formidable intellect, tart sense of humor, & resolute sense of justice. Unexpectedly magnificent.”

Award winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan: “Deception, intrigue and authentic sixties nostalgia. The passionately anti-war generation hoped to give peace a chance, but in this entertaining mystery would up with murder instead.”

” A great heroine, authentic period details, and a satisfying conclusion!” says author James Ziskin

Best-selling thriller writer Norb Vonnegut: “A brutal murder, a woman fighting to prove her husband’s innocence–DESOLATION ROW hooked me on page one. Author Kay Kendall knows how to burrow into your heart.”

My Review:

We are introduced to graduate student Austin Starr. It is 1968, during the Vietnam War era.  She has moved to Toronto with her draft dodging husband David. Their friends consist of transplants from the United States who also oppose the war.  

One evening, Austin stumbles across a dead body. The victim is her husband’s frenemy and incriminating information lands her husband in jail for the murder. With little or no help from the police for a thorough investigation, she must take matters in her own hands to clear her husband’s name.

This mystery is fast paced and has a good flow to it. While reading this period in time, I am reminded how difficult life was without cell phones, computers, or google.  

The book is in Austin’s voice, so we really do not get her husband perspective on the murder. Other characters are introduced into the story, and their relationships with Austin are well executed. I can best describe Austin Starr as Nancy Drew for adults.

Kay Kendall is also the author of Rainy Day Women which includes the protagonist, Austin Starr. I look forward to reading her next adventure!