Desolation Row: New Compelling Mystery by Author Kay Kendall

in Press Releases

HOUSTON (May 31, 2013) — While Canada is known for being diplomatically “officially non-belligerent” during the Vietnam War, the United States’ northern neighbor did become home to an estimated 100,000 Americans who protested the U.S. military draft. The subject has attained mythic status on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, but it’s a topic relatively untouched by novelists. Now, however, those dubbed draft-dodgers play a central role in Kay Kendall’s powerful new book, Desolation Row – An Austin Starr Mystery.

The book fuses fact with fiction to tell the story of one Texan couple’s journey due north, where they encounter a life as fraught as the war itself.

Kendall had a burning desire to share the story of thousands of women caught in their own battles during the Vietnam War era.

“I wanted to show what life was like for typical young women of that era—not the type that made headlines, like Hanoi Jane or Angela Davis, but moderates who nonetheless got swept up by history’s tides during the turbulent sixties,” said Kendall.  “All that turmoil lends itself to drama, intrigue and murder in this book.

Kendall grew up against the backdrop of the Cold War and while an American by birth, she also acquired Canadian citizenship while working in Canada in the 70s and 80s.

“Many authors locate their sleuths and their spymasters during the wars of the twentieth century. The two world wars and the Cold War all have countless mysteries set during those times. The only large wars of last century not taken, and not overrun with novels, occurred in Korea and Vietnam,” said Kendall. “So Desolation Row fills that gap.”

Kendall says the first half of Desolation Row may irritate Canadians as Austin longs to return home to Texas and lacks understanding of Canadian ways. “By the end of the story, however, Austin Starr embraces Canada for its fairness and the many kindnesses its citizens showed her. I illustrate to Americans that Canada is a distinct country, different from the US, and Canadians that Americans can truly value their northern neighbor.”

Desolation Row is available in paperback and E book formats now on all online book retailers.

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A book trailer can be viewed here:

Even in its pre-release period, the book has garnered a consistent string of rave reviews.

“A brutal murder, a young woman fighting to prove her husband’s innocence–DESOLATION ROW hooked me on page one. Kay Kendall is one author who knows how to burrow into your heart,” says Norb Vonnegut, bestselling author of Mr. President, The Trust, The Gods of Greenwich and Top Producer.
Hank Phillippi Ryan–Anthony, Agatha and Macavity award-winning author, was equally as impressed. She said, “Deception, intrigue and authentic sixties nostalgia. Those who remember this turbulent time-gone-by will connect with the tension and conflict of the passionately anti-war generation that hoped to give peace a chance, but in this entertaining mystery, wound up with murder instead.”

Harry F. Miller noted, “Sleuthing with amateur investigator Austin Starr is a joy ride – thrilling & fun! A solid whodunit that is soundly constructed, Kay Kendall’s extraordinary debut novel is filled with anxious moments, daring intrigue and scandal on a back-drop of anti-war activism. Set in Toronto, Canada during the Vietnam War, we find American expatriates enveloped in murder and suspense involving one of their own. Who would think? A great read!”

About Kay Kendall

Kay Kendall is an international award-winning public relations executive who lives in Texas with her husband Bruce, their five house rabbits, and spaniel Wills. She’s now working on the second Austin Starr mystery, Rainy Day Women.

Media Relations Contact

Judi Martin, 713-299-5619

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