Back in the Vietnam War Era (and yes it was a war-no matter that the powers that be never declared it as such) many young Americans left for Canada to avoid the draft, never knowing whether they would ever be able to walk on American soil again. It was a tumultuous time. Bob Dylan wrote a song called Desolation Row back then-the words to that song can be found here . None of the guys I knew ever went to Canada-some went to Vietnam and came back but were never the same, others didn’t make it back. Some were just plain lucky and their number never came up.
This is the story of a young couple who went to Canada as graduate students before his number came up, knowing they would never return. The young man got involved in the anti war movement with other ex-patriots. Then the unthinkable happened–one of the movements leaders was murdered and the young man was accused of it and sent to jail. Austin, his wife knows he is innocent and goes about proving it–collecting facts and very interesting people along the way. I have to admit I was caught off guard until the killer’s identity was revealed! This is the first book in the Austin Starr mysteries and I really want to know where this series is headed. 5 Star for this authors first book!
About the Book: (from Amazon)
The flight to avoid the killing…
It’s 1968. The Cold War is hot, the Vietnam War is raging, and the women’s movement is beating a far-distant drum. When Austin Starr’s husband decides to protest the war by emigrating from Texas to Canada, she goes along, with the biblical dictate of “whither-thou-goest I will go” ringing in her ears.
Leads to murder…
No activist herself, Austin is homesick, drowning in culture shock, and now, her husband has been accused of murdering a fellow draft resister, the black-sheep son of a U.S. Senator. Alone and ill-equipped to negotiate in a foreign country, she is befriended by Larissa Klimenko, the daughter of Austin’s Russian history professor.
A desperate race to find the truth…
The Mounties aren’t supposed to harass draft-age boys but the truth is very different, especially when political pressure is applied by both the victim’s father and the Canadian prime minister’s office. They may have a reputation for always getting their man, but Austin is convinced this time they have the wrong one. Once courted by the CIA, and a lover of mystery and espionage novels, Austin launches her own investigation into the murder. When ominous letters warning her to stop her sleuthing turn into death threats, Austin must find the real killer or risk losing everything. Her love—and her life—are on the line.
About the Author: (from Amazon)
Kay Kendall is an international award-winning public relations executive who lives in Texas with her husband, five house rabbits, and spaniel Wills. Growing up during the Cold War, she recalls being excited when an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) was installed near her hometown in Kansas. A fan of historical mysteries and the brilliant spy novels of John le Carré, she set her debut mystery during the Vietnam War, a key conflict of last century not already overrun with novels.
The author says her mysteries will feature women caught in their own battles during that unusual war era. “In Desolation Row I explore what life was like for a typical young woman–not a headline maker, not a Hanoi Jane or Angela Davis, but a moderate who nonetheless got swept up by history’s tides during the turbulent sixties. All that turmoil lends itself to drama, intrigue, and murder.” Kendall’s now working on her second Austin Starr mystery, Rainy Day Women. – originally published on Miki’s Hope by Michele Bodenheimer