Book Review: Rainy Day Women by Kay Kendall

RainyDayWomenCOVER.fh11Rainy Day Women    
An Austin Starr Mystery #2
Kay Kendall
Stairway Press, July 2015
Also available in trade paperback

It takes a while to figure out that the novel is set in Canada of the 1960’s or perhaps early in the  next decade. The novel also takes a while to sort out some tangled threads and get moving. Even then, the pace is deliberate and, in today’s frenetic world, almost ponderous.

Our protagonist is an amateur investigator named Austin. She’s one side of an uneasy triangle; the other sides being her oppressive and  surly husband, David, and her infant son Wyatt. What Austin has going for her is an insatiable curiosity and a lively analytical mind.  If the pace of the novel matched Austin’s more assertive tendencies, things would move along rather more briskly. That would be a good thing.

Austin, over the objections of her husband, flies across the continent to  Vancouver upon the call for help from long-time girl friend, Larissa, who may or may not be suspected by the RCMP of murder. Austin has  adventures traveling, encounters a fair share  of weird and undesirable characters, and eventually sorts out Larissa’s difficulties. The characters and the setting all have unrealized potential which one hopes will be pursued in subsequent novels.

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, July 2016.
The Case of the Purloined Painting, The Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky.