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Rainy Day Women Paperback – July 7, 2015
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Kendall's crackerjack amateur-sleuth novel, set in the days of Mad Men, reminds you how much has changed since then, but also that the rules for writing a knockout mystery remain the same: compelling characters, vivid setting, absorbing story. --Timothy Hallinan, award-winning author of the Poke Rafferty Bangkok thrillers and the Junior Bender mysteries
Kendall paints a vivid portrait of the times everything from macrame purses to bell bottoms and beads but it s her protagonist who wins our hearts in a mystery that explores issues as timely today as they were for the Woodstock generation. Highly recommended. --Lynne Raimondo, author of the Mark Angelotti crime novels, Dante's Wood, Dante's Poison, and Dante's Dilemma
Vivid detail of the 1960s and a clever plot make Rainy Day Woman an outstanding follow-up to Kay Kendall s strong debut, Desolation Row. Austin Starr is a memorable protagonist, and Kendall s skill at crafting a compelling mystery kept me turning the pages! --Robert Rotstein, author of The Bomb Maker s Son and Corrupt Practices
About the Author
A fan of historical mysteries, Kendall writes atmospheric books about the 1960s that capture the turmoil and spirit of the age. Kendall is also an award-winning international PR executive who lives in Texas with her husband, three house rabbits, and spaniel Wills. Kendall has degrees in Russian and Soviet history, and her book titles show she s a Bob Dylan buff.
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KUDOS to Kay Kendall , author of “Rainy Day Woman” for amazing, memorable descriptions of the late sixties. I can hear the music, Bob Dylan, and Peter, Paul and Mary. The sixties were the time of the Vietnam protests and draft dodgers, hippies, Woodstock, feeling free, and woman’s liberation. The author depicts the sense of the sixties perfectly. The genres of this book are Mystery and Fiction.
The author describes the characters as complicated and complex. This was a time of wanting to be independent, involved with significant causes, and the importance of feeling free. The main character, Austin Starr is combining the roles of wife, young mother to a three-month old and student. Austin has some CIA training and in the first book Austin helped solve a crime. I love the way the author starts the story,”I STOOD, CAREFUL not to make any noise, afraid to waken the sleeping ogre.”…..”What did it matter if my escape took ten minutes? Breaking free was what counted.” Now I was on edge, wanting to know what was going on. The author has a gift of telling her story and describing her characters.
Austin gets a call from a close friend, who is a suspect in a murder. Austin reminds me of a grown Nancy Drew, and has the need to help her friend. Austin and her husband live in Canada. Although her husband is not officially a draft dodger, his beliefs are against fighting and war. He is a graduate student at the University in Canada. Austin convinces her husband David to let her go and provide support for her friend, but she has to take her three-month old baby with her. David warns her to stay out of trouble and leave the investigating to the proper officials. Austin will be staying with her friend’s family.
Austin’s friend is a member of a group of women who are supportive of women’s liberation The murdered victim was a member as well. Austin’s friend works in a chemistry laboratory, and there is tremendous tension and competition at work. There are a number of characters who could be suspect for the murder.
I appreciate that the author brings up relevant topics of the times: women’s liberation and equality, and feelings about fighting and war. Other topics that were discussed were incest, and homosexuality. The tension and hostility of the times, and the way the characters responded to it is part of historical significance.
I really enjoyed, the mystery, the intrigue, and the adventure and would highly recommend this entertaining and captivating novel. I received a copy for my honest review.
My Thoughts: Having enjoyed Book One in this series, I was eager to rejoin amateur sleuth Austin Starr. Following along in her adventures in Vancouver, I loved how the reader is introduced to the early feminist struggles via a women’s group.
As a backdrop to Rainy Day Women: An Austin Starr Mystery (Austin Starr Mysteries Book 2), the vernacular of the 60s, the music, and the Woodstock festival, along with the Sharon Tate murders, offer up a real taste of what life was like back then.
Austin is an interesting character, determined and skilled at following clues. She was also a little bit naïve, but she made up for it by pushing ahead fearlessly. Her husband, David, opposed to her activities, seemed to take on the thoughts and feelings of a lot of men back then, worried and overly-protective.
Larissa, the daughter of a Russian immigrant, Professor Klimenko, was different in this outing. Previously, while in Toronto, she had been awed by Austin, but in this setting, and probably because she was a suspect in her friend Shona’s murder, she seemed brusque and irritable.
As Austin accompanied Larissa to the women’s lib group, she met other friends of Shona’s, and also a few rivals in the group. How did Shona’s former roommate Mia fit into what happened to her? Were her brashness and her violent ups and downs a factor? How does Becky, another woman in the group, recently separated from her controlling husband, add to the questions Austin has? Did Shona’s ex-boyfriend Jack have a motive to have killed her? Or would the answers lie closer to home in the chemistry lab, with the graduate students?
I did enjoy watching Austin zero in on the killer, and in an exciting finale, bring justice for her friend and the other women in the group. In the end, there were also unresolved threads in the form of an ex-US Senator who had been tailing her. I can see a Book Three on the horizon. 4.5 stars.
I think what I liked best was reliving the moments.
This book was set in the 1970's. There were so many mentions of things that were going on during this time. And the memories that flooded my mind helped to remind me that this was a total different era that it is now. A lot of this book dealt with the women's liberation movement and the pull it had between Austin and her real life. She'd given up her role in the CIA to get married and now she had a baby. She was happy, but had she done it too soon?
Yes, there was a mystery and women were being killed and yes Austin was working on solving the problem, but I think Austin is going to have a tough time of it in the future. That child is going to grow and not just sit in that carrier. Her days of solving murders will be different in the future.
Thanks to Kay for reminding me that I've had this book to read for months and please get up and read it. HA!! I think if you were alive during that era, just the flashbacks alone, I mean we are talking songs, headlines, I mean you really feel you are still living in that era.
Most recent customer reviews
Reading Kay Kendall's RAINY DAY WOMEN put me in a mood to reflect on the long struggle for equality for women, and the slanders and power...Read more