Desolation Row : Austin Starr Mysteries

  • by Kay Kendall
  • Narrated by Tatiana Gomberg
  • Series: Austin Starr Mysteries
  • 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.
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.
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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Lots of Tension

If you could sum up Desolation Row in three words, what would they be?

Conflict-Filled Mystery


What did you like best about this story?

Austin Starr is an endearing character who finds herself in plenty of danger as she searches for evidence to clear her husband of murder charges.


What about Tatiana Gomberg’s performance did you like?

I couldn't imagine anyone doing a better job than Tatiana Gomberg did in performing this story.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Moving to Canada with her draft-dodging husband is the biggest event in Austin Starr's life - until her husband lands in jail, accused of murder.


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- Kay Finch

Awesome narrator boosts great story from the 60s!

Would you consider the audio edition of Desolation Row to be better than the print version?

I read the book and now I've heard this audio version. They are perfect together. The final 3-4 chapters are breathtaking.


Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Austin Starr and her husband are in a bad spot and then it gets worse. You pull from them to get out of the jam they are in. They are so young! Early 20s.


What does Tatiana Gomberg bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Tatiana Gomberg does accents like the pro she is, a member of Actors' Equity. She does Scots, US southern, Russian...and a CIA operative from New Jersey! Enjoy.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I took three whacks at it due to my personal time constraints.


Any additional comments?

Atmospheric and dead on about 1968 in Toronto. DESOLATION ROW is a gripping mystery-- took me back to a really tense time when I witnessed so many Americans flooding up to Canada. Many of us in Canadian universities were riled up over the war--and sex, drugs and rock and roll--even in usually sedate Manitoba. If you want to know how it was all like if you weren't alive back then as I was, then listen to this!...kind of like my reading a WWII book to see what it was like for my parents. Highly recommended.

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- Bruce

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-03-2013
  • Publisher: Kay Kendall