Featured Work

Rainy Day Women

An Austin Starr Mystery

by Kay Kendall

Kay Kendall's Rainy Day Women is the second book in the Austin Starr Mystery series. In 1969, during the week of the Manson murders and Woodstock, the intrepid amateur sleuth, infant in tow, flies across the continent to support a friend suspected of murdering women's liberation activists in Seattle and Vancouver. Then her former CIA trainer warns that an old enemy has contracted a hit on her. Her anxious husband demands that she give up her quest and fly back to him. How much should Austin risk when tracking the killer puts her and her baby's life in danger?


The Austin Starr Mystery Series

Kay Kendall writes the Austin Starr mystery series. The first two books capture the spirit and turbulence of the 1960s. Desolation Row (2013) and Rainy Day Women (2015) show Austin as a young Texas bride, forced to the frontlines of societal change by her draft-resisting husband. Austin copes by turning amateur sleuth. The latter mystery won two Silver Falchion Awards in 2016 at Killer Nashville. You might see a clue that suggests she more than adores the music of Bob Dylan.

After You've Gone (February 2019) is a prequel featuring Austin Starr’s grandmother who comes of age during the Roaring Twenties and Prohibition. This amateur sleuth searches for the killer of her uncle—who just happens to be a famous rumrunner in Texas. Kay’s work in progress, Tangled Up In Blue (Dylan again!), brings Austin and her grandmother together in 1970 to solve a family member’s murder in Vienna that involves Russian spies. In all of her fiction, Kay shows how patterns of human nature repeat down the decades, no matter what historical age one reads about.

Rainy Day Women

Book 2

Where to Order


What people are saying about Rainy Day Women


“ 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 Women 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


“ Kendall peppers her work with references to the times which make the decades disappear—and she respects her readers enough to not overdo it…A thoroughly enjoyable read. ”

Cathy Ace

author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries, and the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries


“ Austin Starr's second mystery packs danger and lots of heart, and hits all the right notes in depicting the late sixties. Austin is a smart, relentless sleuth with a baby on her hip and a Makarov pistol in her macrame purse. Right on, sister! ”

James W. Ziskin

author of the Ellie Stone Mysteries, Styx & Stone, No Stone Unturned, and Stone Cold Dead


“ Feminism, the '60s, murder, and a friend in big trouble. Austin Starr is back to help, leaving her husband behind but bringing her baby along….an entertaining and fast-paced mystery set in a turbulent time. ”

Bill Crider

Anthony Award-winning author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery series


“ The hours passed by like minutes as Rainy Day Women drew me back to the volatile and heady times when Women's Liberation first made its mark. A smart. deftly written mystery with depth that kept me guessing—all the way to the end. ”

D.J. McIntosh

bestselling author of The Witch of Babylon


“ Austin Starr is at it again, tackling a mystery in the heady days of budding feminism. But this time around she has to juggle her investigation with a new baby. A totally absorbing book. ”

Terry Shames

award-winning author of A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge


“ Austin Starr is back, and that’s great news for mystery fans….Suspenseful and entertaining, this is a worthy follow-up to Kendall’s excellent debut, Desolation Row. ”

Miranda James

New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks mysteries

About Kay :

Before Kay Kendall began to write books, she was an award-winning international public relations executive, working in the US, Canada, the Soviet Union, and Europe. Ask her about working in Moscow during the Cold War—and turning down a job with the CIA in order to attend grad school at Harvard. Because of her degrees in Russian history, Kay often brings Cold War elements into her tales. She takes great pains in her books to get historical settings and details right—no anachronisms allowed.

Kay is president of the Southwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and is a member of the national board of MWA. She and her Canadian husband live in Houston, Texas, and have rescued abandoned pet rabbits for 20 years. They have a tolerant spaniel who co-habits with the three bunnies that currently reside with them. Over the years they have rescued 14 rabbits.