THE DESERT FATHER MYSTERY is a work in progress. That means it isn't finished and might take a few bends and turns as I
work on it. It might not, in short, come out quite the way I describe and intend it now.
This book is a sequel to MYSTERY AT MINER'S CREEK and will, when it is finished, go to the same publisher. I'm having
fun with it. I like the Steiner family and I want to continue to record their adventures. They are, I'm afraid, totally
fictional. I don't even know anyone by that name. But does it matter, really? Like the family in the Little Blue House,
they are eager to step off the page and become your children's friends. I hope you will like them.
THE DESERT FATHER MYSTERY brings back Cousin Ryan, now truly accepted as one of the family. But once more, Ryan's parents
are off on a trip and he has been offered a chance to help out on an archaeological dig. One of his parents' friends as offered
him a job for the summer -- and asked him to bring two of the Steiner boys to help.
Mr. Steiner has given permission and arranged for the boys to meet the family each Sunday at mass for a picnic lunch,
since the site is in the same direction as the chapel. And the boys, Peter and Marcel, are eager to meet Dr. Chandler and
get started hunting for whatever artifacts the desert will yield.
But events do not go so smoothly as that. Before ever they reach the archaeologist's campsite, they have a run in with
a suspicious blonde man. And there is something very strange about Dr. Chandler himself. Even Ryan seems to know more about
archaeology than he does! And then there is the church camp down the road from Dr. Chandler's own camp. When the boys meet
a little girl sobbing in the brush, she tells them about a mysterious old man who lives alone in the desert. He is her friend.
But she warns them against their other neighbors.
Soon things take a more sinister turn as the blonde man turns up again. Strange things are going on out in the desert
-- that's for sure! And Chandler's command that they stay away from the other camp makes them even more suspicious. Neither
hard work nor short rations will discourage the boys, though it is plain the archaeologist is hoping they will give up and
leave. What will he do next? And why?
Well there it is -- sorry to keep you waiting. I'd better get to work on it.