You can find Bette Ann’s books at IndieBound,, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. You can also order through your local bookstore. Click a title to learn more.

Three Legs in the Evening – Available May 2023

Three Legs in the Evening comes from the Sphinx’s riddle in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, in which Oedipus is asked what creature walks on all fours in the morning, on two legs in the afternoon, and three in the evening. The answer, which Oedipus gets right, is Man, who crawls as a baby, walks upright as a man, and leans on a cane in his old age. Received wisdom, in other words, can be unreliable. Enter the story of Sally B, an over-sixty widow about to retire from her successful greeting card business in the aftermath of 9/11. She has a devoted family who relies on her wit and wisdom. But suddenly all hell breaks loose — her best friend dies, she falls into an open grave and she breaks her ankle. As this is happening, her children’s marital lives are unraveling, her grandchildren are in turmoil, and a man she has known from a time before comes back in her life. Taking place over a year, this is a story of love in a time of horror, as well as the profound and surprising ways in which everything Sally thought she knew changes. Sexy, funny and heart-wrenching, and much like Kent Haruf’s Our Souls At Night, Three Legs in the Evening speaks about people running out of steam, running out of time, and finding solace and wisdom even in the finality of all that. A life carefully built can crumble in a moment, but what happens then? Sally B. plays it out as best she can.

Finishing Up: On Aging and Ageism

To age is human; we reach majority, come into maturity, celebrate milestones, light candles for every passing year, until we get old. And then we turn away and deny it, decry it. Why? This narrative study explores the incomprehensible fact of ageism and what it feels like to live through it.

Finishing Up: On Aging and Ageism is a call to action, for all of us to reckon with our own aging by continuing to be in the world, to continue doing what we love, and to continue doing what we can to break down the bars of the cultural cages of ageism. To me, that also means to be on the look-out for Moskowitz’s next book. (From foreword by Judith Pearl Summerfield)

Reading the Signs

The novel, Reading the Signs is a gripping mystery about betrayal and love, truth and lies, abuse and power, sound and silence. At the same time it is a meta-mystery about language in language, an enactment of what Virginia Woolf called the “Danger and difficulty of words.” How can we know and unknow something at the same time? When does the unsaid become as apparent as the said? Is it possible to hold knowledge off long enough for the words about it to change, or at least cool down? What are we to do when words push their way past our own determination not to speak them? Taking place in a small beach town on Long Island, New York, Sylvie Fried, an expert reading teacher, comes up against challenges in her personal life and in the work she does in Rose Elementary School and her customary confidence is suddenly not there, yet finding solutions may be a matter of life and death.



Leaving Barney

This bookstore mystery is also the mystery about how two people who didn’t seem to have suited each other at all, fell in love and how that love endured.

From Publishers Weekly

This appealing first novel begins with the title character’s accidental death. When Barney Goodman is killed by a collapsing bookshelf, he leaves a widow, Tessie, and a bookstore in a declining Bronx neighborhood. He also leaves a number of mysteries to be unraveled: What did Barney do with the proceeds from the life-insurance policy he converted to cash months earlier? Who is the elusive M. H. Ross, who periodically writes Tessie expressing an interest in buying the bookstore, yet never shows his face? On top of these problems, Tessie must deal with hoodlums who victimize old people in her neighborhood and a daughter whose marriage is in shambles. Most of all, she must deal with her own doubts about the tempestuous marriage she and her husband shared. Were all her years with Barney wasted? Could she have done better for herself? In due course, the feisty widow meets all her challenges, and this thoughtful narrative ends on a pleasant, upbeat note.