Where's that dang book?—The Mule Ears Updates

I promised that The Mule Ears, fourth book in the Big Bend Country Mysteries series, would appear by late fall, 2022. I held it back while I sketched out the plot for the fifth book—tentatively entitled The Roosevelt Cottage; while the books are complete in themselves, there's on overall narrative that needs to be coherent and consistent. So I'd been tweaking The Mule Ears to lead neatly into that climactic (but not necessarily final) fifth book.

Then I fell off my mountain bike (at age 72), broke my hip, and found myself laid up following surgery. I'm slowly and successfully mending and able to write coherently again. But The Mule Ears may be an early winter offering now.

I hope the book will be worth the wait. Composed during our "plague years," The Mule Ears is deliberately lighter in tone than the previous tales in the series—offering relief for readers tired of viruses and inflationary woes. There is, of course, a crime. (Or is there?) Some parts of the book are moving; others are, I hope, funny, playful, romantic, even clever. You'll be the judge.

The title of this fourth novel in the series comes from a distinctive feature at Big Bend National Park, two peaks along the Max Roswell Scenic Drive that resemble a mule's ears. And the epigraph for the book? "Lord, what fools these mortals be," from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The fifth Big Bend Country Mystery will return to the style of the initial three volumes, opening with a suspected hate crime that steadily grows more complicated. And then a favorite character is accused of murder.

I hope it too will be worth the wait.

And the sixth book . . .