t is a time of women's freedom, a time of Woodstock, Charles Manson, and the Apollo moon landing. It is 1969 an amateur sleuth, Austin Starr, along with her infant son, are on their way to clear her best friends name. Her friend, Larissa is a suspect in the death of a woman's activist leader, she served the tea that was poisoned, at a meeting that all the women were. Austin and her husband David moved to Canada because they didn't believe in the Vietnam War, so David was a draft dodger. Austin had worked with the CIA, in the previous book Desolation Row, so she had some detective skills. Her husband is not real crazy about her gallivanting off to Seatle to help out her friend but he 'allows' her to go. The only way she can go is take their three-month son, Wyatt, along with her. This had to have been a lot harder to do in 1969 then it is now.
This is a time where women are still under their husbands thumb, but this is a also a time when all of how a woman is treated is changing, they are now able to pursue an education and work outside of the home. There is a big movement across the country at this time of women's liberation. There are men who do not agree that a woman should have these types of freedom. I was 16 in 1969 and by the time I was 18 women's lib was full blown. I got on the bandwagon; it was exciting. Also, this was a magical time, a lot of changes in the world going on.
Austin arrives to help find out who killed Shona and why. She is told by her previous mentor not to investigate, but she does not comply, she tries but is too determined to find out what is going on and when another female college student is found murdered, Austin feels that these two cases are intertwined as Shona had been friends with the second victim. The race is on, and when Larissa is beaten up, things get real for Austin, and it makes her more determined, against her husband's wish.
I enjoyed this story; It brought back a lot of memories of a turbulent era. I could just hear Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendrix, and Janis Joplin, long flowing hair and flower power. Watching the news with daily broadcasts of war images when I came home from school. That aside, I also enjoyed the plot, women's lib mixed with a murder mystery, active women who are determined to do what they feel is right. I look forward to Austin's growth as a character in the next installment of this story.
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