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The Anteater of Death (A Gunn Zoo Mystery #1)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  318 ratings  ·  78 reviews
But if Lucy, the pregnant Giant Anteater from Belize, didn't kill the man found dead in her enclosure, who did? California zookeeper Teddy Bentley must find the real murderer before her furry friend is shipped off to another zoo in disgrace.

Then another human bites the dust, the monkeys riot, and the wolves go nuts. Things get worse when the snooty folks at Gunn Landing
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Hardcover, 261 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 2008)
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The Anteater of Death by Betty WebbCuriosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie KellyThe Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse by Leann SweeneyMurder Strikes a Pose by Tracy WeberDog on It by Spencer Quinn
Animal based Cozy Mysteries
1st out of 41 books — 16 voters
If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. SeussLife of Pi by Yann MartelA Zoo in My Luggage by Gerald DurrellThe Best Bear Hugs Ever by Scott WashburnThe Anteater of Death by Betty Webb
Zoos in Fiction
3rd out of 15 books — 7 voters


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Community Reviews

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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3.5* of five

The Book Description: But if Lucy, the pregnant Giant Anteater from Belize, didn't kill the man found dead in her enclosure, who did? California zookeeper Teddy Bentley must find the real murderer before her furry friend is shipped off to another zoo in disgrace.

Then another human bites the dust, the monkeys riot, and the wolves go nuts. Things get worse when the snooty folks at Gunn Landing Harbor attempt to evict Teddy from the Merilee, her beloved houseboat. That's just th...more
Chris
This is a very strong three; it's almost a four.

I don't know quite what to make of this book, to be honest. It has all sorts of things that normally push my buttons - central female is the only truly compentent women, she doesn't seem to have close female friends (though she claims otherwise), other women are jealous of her, tragic love and so on.

And yet, I finished it, and there were times when the book really swept me up. Those times when you read and don't realize that you have passed x numb...more
Kit
I read this book for the anteater. Lucy (the anteater) is awesome, definitely one of the best animal characters I've read where the author is trying to show a real animal's thoughts and actions rather than anthropomorphizing them. Teddy (the human protagonist) is at her best when she's talking about her job as a zookeeper and the various animals she works with.

I was not nearly as enthralled with the human cast of characters. Teddy has a controlling mother and various relatives and acquaintances...more
Amanda
The plot of this book was engaging and clever. I did struggle a bit with many of the characters. They seemed flat, stereotypical, and unbelievable. I had to expend a little too much effort trying to sort through the tangled web of non-distinct characters...effort that I would have preferred to spend figuring out who the culprit was, or simply enjoying the story.

This book initially caught my attention because of the zoo setting. (I'm a zookeeper.) The author's grasp of daily behind-the-scenes zoo...more
Susan
Zookeeper Teddy Bentley must fight off efforts by her wealthy, much-married mother to get her off her low-status job and out of her shabby houseboat, and into the high society life her mother thinks is the only proper way to live. When Teddy finds a corpse in the cage of Lucy, a pregnant giant anteater, she must defend her beloved animals from the threat of a callous new zoo head, and her best friend, another zookeeper, from a murder accusation. Her romantic history with the now-widowed local sh...more
Marlyn
This is the first in a new series with protagonist Theodora "Teddy" Bentley, an heiress who has decided to become a zookeeper. She works, despite her family's disapproval, at a small private zoo on the central coast of California. One morning, Lucy the anteater discovers a human corpse in her enclosure, and is blamed for the death of one of the zoo's largest benefactors. Teddy is certain that Lucy is innocent, and sets out to prove it. Her efforts are complicated by her mother's unsubtle efforts...more
Sara
Okay Ms. Webb scores some points in the "Adorable Title that FORCED me to read her book" category but she immediately loses those points for actually writing a really derivative, typical, plodding story with very, very, VERY typical leading and supporting players. Literally the only thing differentiating this from every other "young woman gets in over her head solving a mysterious murder!" novel on the market is that she hamhandedly (look at that I made up a word!) inserts very detailed descript...more
Marja McGraw
The Anteater of Death by Betty Webb is the unique and wonderful story of Lucy, the pregnant anteater who’s accused of killing a man found in her enclosure. Okay, it’s actually the humorous story of Teddy Bentley who works at the zoo against her socialite mother’s wishes.

Teddy feels she needs to solve the murder or Lucy will be transferred out of the zoo. When there’s another death, it becomes apparent that Lucy didn’t commit the crime, but no one will listen to Teddy.

The behind-the-scenes storie...more
Nathalie S
This is the first book in the series "A Gunn Zoo Mystery" by Betty Webb starring Teddy Bentley as a California zookeeper. Each mystery involves a zoo animal in its story, this time, it is a pregnant Giant Anteater from Belize which is Teddy's main charge. I started with the second book, so I got to know more about the characters like Teddy's millionaire felon father who was on the lam in the second book but comes back to the US in the first. I just really enjoyed learning more about the animals...more
Mathilde
For some reason I didn't like this book as much as the third book in this series (which I read/listened to first). I often listen to audiobooks while exercising and like books that I look forward to listening to, and that make me want to get out the door, or take an extra long run. I did not have the "I can't wait to listen to more of this" with this book. I did listen to Llama of Death while doing housework, so there may be some situational bias in my feelings.

With regards to this book, I enjo...more
Nancy Ellis
What a thoroughly enjoyable book! The characters were delightful, even the disagreeable ones, but especially Lucy, the pregnant giant anteater! She is at first accused of killing Grayson Harrill, but it's soon established that he fell into her enclosure at the zoo after being shot. Zookeeper Teddy Bentley is a likable though nosy heroine who cares so much for Lucy and the other animals that she is determined to find the killer before the zoo is forced to get rid of the animal or close the doors....more
Jackie
A murder at the Gunn Zoo during a major fundraiser gets the giant anteater, Lucy, confined to her holding pen. Zookeeper Teddy Bentley will do almost anything to get the pregnant anteater moved back to her more spacious pen, where the corpse had been found. Lucy did not kill the man, she just licked him a bit. Having one of her friends, who is also a zookeeper, arrested for murder spurs Teddy to a bit of amateur detecting. The various members of the eccentric Gunn family and Teddy’s own combo of...more
Carl Brookins

This is the beginning of a new series for this veteran author. Just look again at the title. Somewhere in the back of my head there’s a Shakespeare quote. Ms. Webb is an accomplished writer with several excellent novels to her credit. This one is a distinct departure for her, and it seems she is almost unable to restrain herself. There are a great many asides and some tongue-in-cheek humor that sometimes distracts the reader from a rather thin plot, although the setting is intriguing and Webb us...more
Donna
There is a dead body in the anteater enclosure, but did Lucy do it? All eyes point to this man going where he didn't belong, then being killed by a pregnant anteater. But, not so fast! Why was there blood? a bullet? Teddy has to find out what happened before the zoo removes the animal for good. With the help of Joe, the sheriff and her former boyfriend, Teddy reluctantly investigates the people she knows. What is the real story behind the murder and possible break up of the Gunn group? Can Teddy...more
Shonna Froebel
The main character here is Teddy (Theodora) Bentley, a zookeeper assistant at a private zoo in central California. The place setting is Gunn Landing, a upper-class community with environmental limits on further expansion. The leading family is, of course, the Gunns, headed by matriarch Aster Edwina, and though Teddy's family has lost most of their money, she is also from a privileged background.
Her mother is very class conscious and resents Teddy's choice of job, as she resented Teddy's choice o...more
Liz
I am surprised at how much I liked this story. I picked it up because its sequel The Koala of Death was the book I planned on reading to fulfill my K requirement for the A-Z fun challenge. I didn't want to read a second book of a series if the first was available, so I read this book.

The first chapter was a bit misleading because it was through the viewpoint of the anteater, Lucy. I was then expecting intermingling chapters of human-side story and whatever the anteater was thinking. Luckily, tha...more
JoAnne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbie Heaton
In Webb’s mystery novel, ex-heiress Teddy Bentley finds solace working at Gunn Zoo and prefers it over her own overbearing upbringing. But when a benefactor is found dead in the anteater enclosure, Teddy finds herself working double time to prove the animal’s innocence. Through twists and turns, Teddy finds herself facing a predatory zoo-director boss and numerous other eccentrics as she hunts down a killer for the truth.

An enjoyable, face-paced addition to A Gunn Zoo Mystery series.
Vicki Gooding
As a lover of zoo's and animals, this mystery was perfect. A young wealthy lady (Teddy Bently) lays aside her ill gotten inheritance to do what she loves most. Cleaning and feeding of select zoo animals 6 days a week. Gunn zoo is an island private zoo. It does not pay much but the benefits are worth more than money. Until the murder of an individual is done in a way to make it look like the Lucy the anteater killed him. That's when Teddy refuses to tolerate it, and starts putting pieces together...more
Gail
Who could resist this title. At the Gunn Park Zoo, the most dangerous animals are called Code Red. When a man is discovered dead and mauled in the enclosure of Lucy, the pregant Giant Anteater, everyone assumes it was the dangerous animal. It is soon discovered that the cause of death is a bullet.

Teddy Bentley is the zookeeper assigned to Lucy and she is sure that not only did Lucy not do it, but the zoo keeper arrested is not to blame. Since the murder involves the monied people with whom she...more
Kat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beverly
Lucy, the Giant Anteater, didn’t kill the man found dead in her enclosure, but who did? California zookeeper Teddy Bentley must find the real murderer before her furry friend is shipped off to another zoo in disgrace. More murders follow at the zoo. A refreshing novel set in a different locale and part of a series.
Terri
It’s a mystery that is more of the cozy type, and it appears to be the first of a series. The setting is in a fictional coastal town in the San Francisco area of California. The protagonist is a daughter of one of the founding families of the area which has fallen on hard times. Ignoring her socialite background, she has found a fulfilling career as a zookeeper, but when a member of the most prominent family in town is found mauled to a bloody pulp in the enclosure of the Giant Anteater, she has...more
Sue
First in a new series by Webb. Set in fictional town near Pacific Ocean, the main character (Teddy/Theodora) is a zookeeper, who is also descended from the town's "elite". A body is found in the pregnant Giant Anteater's compound and the zoo director (a total jerk) takes her off exhibit because of the bad publicity. Concerned because the anteater is near her due date & exhibiting anxiety because she is being cooped up, Teddy agrees to assist the local Sheriff (a former boyfriend) by question...more
Gaisce
The book had a lot of charm involved, particularly the parts related to animal behavior and the nuances of the fictional setting that felt like a real place you could find in Northern California. However, the mystery itself was not the drawing point of the novel and often took a backseat to Teddy's romantic entanglements, her father's run ins with the mob, or the employee politics in her job. Thankfully for me, I enjoyed those issues more than the whodunnit and sped through this book quickly. It...more
Christine
Theodora Bentley (Teddy) arrives at work at the Gunn Zoo to find that one of her charges, pregnant anteater Lucy, has apparently mauled one of the Zoo Board members. Trying desperately to clear the anteater of any wrongdoing she starts to investigate the death herself. Much to the chagrin of her on again/off again boyfriend, the local sherriff.

Teddy is not your conventional heroine and, she is surrounded by a wonderful cast of truly zany characters. The book is filled with interesting wildlife f...more
Brian
This novel takes place at a privately run zoo. Zookeeper Teddy Bentley investigates the murder of a socialite who was found in the enclosure of a giant anteater. She is also trying to prevent her houseboat from being evicted from the harbor it is docked.

I enjoyed this novel and had a hard time putting it down. My biggest problem with it was other than Teddy and Lucy, (the anteater) most of the characters were greedy, selfish, or just plain unlikeable. Not sure if I would want to work at a zoo li...more
Danie
I've read all of Betty Webb's Desert books, and although they were all very serious, they were also superbly written. This book is no different.

When I read the PR for the book it was that this was going to be different, with not as serious a topic. It didn't disappoint, though I was ready for something insanely zany, instead it was a very tight mystery and a fun romp.

As an aside, I was also very proud that I recognized (knew) every single animal she described in the book. Some of them are exotic...more
Alisha
Great book.
Sam Poole
Almost a 4! Light mystery read set at a zoo and harbor. Fun characters and entertaining and enlightening descriptions of the animals at play. Will read more of the series. Very conventional but nevertheless lighthearted and enjoyable
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As a journalist and literary critic for more than 20 years, Betty -- a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, where her detective Lena Jones also lives -- has interviewed U. S. presidents, Nobel prize-winners, astronauts who’ve walked on the moon, polygamy runaways, the homeless, and the hopeless.

Now retired from journalism to write full time, she also contributes the Small Press column for Mystery Sce...more
More about Betty Webb...
Desert Wives (A Lena Jones Mystery #2) The Koala of Death (A Gunn Zoo Mystery, #2) Desert Noir (A Lena Jones Mystery #1) The Llama of Death: A Gunn Zoo Mystery (A Gunn Zoo Mystery, #3) Desert Lost (A Lena Jones Mystery #6)

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