By Kay Kendall
are reading this posting, I will be busily multi-tasking in Vienna, Austria. This
two-week trip with my husband combines a boatload of pleasures and missions. First, it
marks our fortieth wedding anniversary and also the completion of Bruce’s
arduous treatments for neck cancer only four months ago. So what if our pace
will be slower than on previous journeys? We will be there and thankful. Many
years ago we spent three days in Vienna and always vowed to return. This is our
to places we enjoyed before and see others we missed—like the museum located in
Sigmund Freud’s old apartment and office, where psychoanalysis was born. There
is a famous coffeehouse I want to return to, Café Sperl, and of course we will
return—perhaps even daily—to the Sacher
Hotel to partake of its stupendous
culinary creation, the Sacher torte. Then there will be the museums and palaces
of the old Hapsburg Empire and the Mozart concerts in old churches.
frivolity! In addition, I will be researching some of these locations and many
more for inspiration for my third mystery in the Austin Starr series. I know, I
know. The second one, RAINY DAY WOMEN, isn’t even published officially until
July 7, but I am keen to begin my next writing project.
my amateur sleuth Austin Starr will get ensnared in an East-West spy plot when
she accompanies her husband David to an academic conference in Vienna. As I’ve often
stated, I’m a student of the Cold War years—a fan, sort of—and Vienna was the
epicenter for spying during many of those years.
the beloved classic film THE THIN MAN, then you have some idea of what I’m
talking about. After World War II, the victorious Allied powers divided control
of Austria and its capital city, Vienna. This stage lasted from 1945 to 1955 as
the Western powers (the U.S., Great Britain, and France) confronted their
previous ally, the Soviet Union. As a consequence, both sides—West as well as
East—had their spies entrenched and embattled in Vienna for a decade.
problems caused by divided control of Berlin culminated in the building of the
Berlin Wall in 1961 and then ultimately its tearing down in 1989. The historic
period of a divided Vienna is less well known, and Austria’s geographic
location—providing a nexus between East and West—ensured that tensions would
remain high even after Austria gained self-government in 1955. Fourteen years
after that, I will plunk my poor unsuspecting amateur sleuth into a hornet’s
nest of spies.
turmoil lends itself to drama, intrigue, and murder. So you bet I can hardly
wait to dig into Vienna. While Austin Starr will come along for the ride—at least
in my brain—my three house rabbits have to stay home with the dog. But don’t
worry about them too much. The live-in pet sitter we hire spoils them rotten
while we are away.
Kay Kendall is a long-time fan of
historical mysteries and now writes atmospheric mysteries that capture the
spirit and turbulence of the sixties. She is also an award-winning
international PR executive who lives in Texas with her husband, three house
rabbits, and spaniel Wills. Terribly allergic to the bunnies, she loves them
anyway! Her book titles show she’s a Bob Dylan buff too. RAINY DAY
WOMEN publishes on July 7 and is the second in her Austin Starr mystery series.
The E-book version is available for pre-order now and the trade paperback will