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The Anteater of Death

(Gunn Zoo Mystery #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  870 ratings  ·  171 reviews
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, the wolves go nuts - and that's just the beginning. Teddy's father, on the lam from t
Published November 2013 by Worldwide Library Worldwide Mystery (first published October 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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When the body of Grayson was discovered in the giant anteater’s enclosure with claw and scratch marks over him, the obvious conclusion was that Lucy had attacked him and ripped him to death. But Teddy Bentley, Lucy’s keeper, knew the pregnant anteater wouldn’t have killed Grayson. But worse was to come when one of the top keepers was arrested for his murder. Now Teddy knew there was something suspicious going on; and it was up to her to discover what it was.

The Gunn Zoo was home to a large varie
Richard Derus
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
Book Concierge
Book on CD read by Hillary Huber

Zookeeper Theodora (Teddy) Bentley is responsible for the Gunn Zoo’s Giant Anteater, Lucy. When cleaning Lucy’s enclosure Teddy finds the body of a man. But Teddy is certain that he wasn’t killed by Lucy, and she has to prove it.

As cozy mysteries go, this is a pretty good one. A zookeeper is an interesting – and different – occupation for an amateur sleuth. Teddy’s life is complicated by a mother (Caro) who is a former beauty queen and socialite, and a father who
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book in the Gunn Zoo series an entertaining a fun read full of animal stories.The inside workings of a Zoo are discussed.The characters are developed and the areas descriptions it you at a Zoo and on a houseboat long California central coast.
Theodora Bentley aka Teddy found a body in pregnant Lucy enclosure and it appeared Lucy was responsible for his death. The another's exhibit is a most popular of the zoo exhibits. Teddy is worried about her friend being shipped out to another zoo.
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
On my way to the wolves, the Collie's magpie jay gave a big squawk and flew to the front of the large aviary to see me. I stopped to say hello.
"Good morning, Carlos. How's my favorite cuckoo bird?"
As beautiful as he was, with his royal blue and ebony plumage, the bird was clearly demented. For some obscure reason known only to his tiny avian mind, he had been trying to coax me into mating with him. Every day he offered me a twig to help him build our honeymoon suite. As I approached the aviary,
Mar 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, fiction
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
Jan 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
"For ex-heiress Teddy Bently, working at Gunn Zoo is civilized compared to growing up rich in nearby uber-scale Gunn Landing. And caring for the zoo's resident diva, pregnant anteater Lucy, is way easier for Teddy than dealing with her own fiercely snobbish mother and elusive embezzler father. Until a wealthy zoo benefactor turns up dead in Lucy's enclosure -- and blame unfairly falls on the ever-hungry anteater. The only way Teddy can clear her is to dive back into the Landing's social shark po ...more
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Star rating: 2 Stars

After a prominent member of the Gunn Zoo's trust fund committee is found clawed up in the giant anteaters enclosure, blame falls squarely on Lucy the anteaters furry back. When it's concluded that a gun shot was what ultimately killed committee member Grayson, the head zookeeper Zorah is the first to fall under police scrutiny. Theodora 'Teddy' Bentley knows that her co-worker could never have harmed another human being, let alone kill one, so she sets out to find the real ki
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, opi
This cozy mystery begins with Lucy the Giant Anteater from Belize narrating. She smells a human interloper in her pen at the Gunn Landing Zoo and discovers him covered with hundreds of delicious ants. The victim of the zoo turns out to be Grayson Harrill, an employee and husband of the wealthy Gunn family who sponsor the zoo. The narration is then picked up by Theodora “Teddy” Bentley, another zoo employee.

Teddy knows that Lucy didn't kill Grayson which immediately puts her on the opposite side
Susan Coley
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
A zoo is the setting for a new series for me of mystery books.
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One night, in The Anteater of Death, Lucy, the pregnant giant anteater at the Gunn Zoo, finds one of those human things wriggling in her exhibit, infuriating her that he would dare to invade her home. By the time zookeeper Teddy Bentley, the daughter of an influential zoo board member, finds the body, Lucy, in her anger, has flayed the body of the skin on much of his body and face. But it doesn’t take long before Sheriff Joe Rejas, Teddy’s ex-boyfriend, realizes that the man was actually murdere ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: private-eye
Entertaining book about a zookeeper solving a murder. Well written and great depiction of life at a zoo and living on a boat. The characters surrounding is also good. I really enjoyed reading this first book in the series.
Cute cozy mystery set at the zoo...
After giving this book some more thought I dropped a star from my initial rating, simply because it is definitely not as good as most of the books I give four stars.... what I like most about the book was the setting, I like the zoo and I like central California, both are interesting places with a lot of character... where this book was lacking for me was the character development, I didn't necessarily find any of the characters all that likable or well-develop
Mary Ann
The book was good other than a few issues. There were many misspellings and grammatical errors. I also noted that there were things that zoos today cannot do for safety reasons.

A couple of years ago, I was walking through the stacks at the library and saw the title on this book and laughed. I borrowed it and loved the story. I then borrowed and read all the other books in the series. I borrowed this book again as a Kindle and as an audio through Overdrive. I did this so that I could get t
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
Jun 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Juniper Shore
Jul 30, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, mystery
So, our heroine works at a zoo, and apparently derives all her insights into human behavior from observing the zoo animals. Webb is obviously trying to draw parallels between humans and animals, but it just doesn't work. Sure, there's a lot of infidelity and intrasex competition in humans, but it doesn't manifest the same way it does in Mexican wolves or bears. In fact, the major problem with The Anteater of Death is that it keeps trying to force square human characters into round zoological hol ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Marja McGraw
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
I enjoyed this one. While the protagonist made some blindingly stupid decisions - all too typical in a cozy series - the writing about the animals more than made up for it. The author does a great job of getting inside an animal's head without anthropomorphism - and clearly gets that people are not all that much more complicated than other animals.

Unsurprisingly, I have a bit of a crush on the love interest :) If anything knocks me out of this series, it will be the protagonist making plot-driv
Norma Huss
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, favorites
The title is crazy, but it fits, actually. It is a zoo mystery, and I really liked it. The plot is full of unexpected twists, the characters are mostly known to each other (for generations) and quite individual. The suspense is right up there, along with enough humor to fit the title. But there is also suspense to keep the reader on the edge of her (or his) seat. The book starts and ends with a chapter in the anteater's viewpoint---quite a bit different than a human viewpoint. In between it's Te ...more
This was a fun mystery. I can not wait to share it with some of my library friends. There was enough adventure to hold my attention and yet it did not overwhelm the story. I liked that most of the story was set in a zoo. I thought I had pegged the murderer, but found out I was wrong. I missed one of the clues the author had given the reader. When I am in need of some "brain candy" I will seek out this author again in the future. ...more
Barb Sopha
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This may be my new favorite cozy series. I love stories with animals and a series that takes place at a zoo is an awesome bonus!
3.5 stars.

So the interesting things is that I don’t really like cozies, particularly not that modern version of the cozy where the person runs a knitting shop or a bakery or is a fashion designer and all the titles have a cutesy theme in line with whatever the theme is. And all these murders keeping happening in their shop or library or very small town in a way that strains credulity beyond the breaking point. Plus I’m not much of a science person (though zoos and aquariums have grown on me as
A well-written book by a local author, who got her experience at the Phoenix zoo. The accuracy of the details at the zoo add to the book. (I never knew that anteaters walk on their fists.)
The book takes place in California, and the cast of characters has enough flaws and uncertainties to make them interesting and real.
Teddy Bentley is a zoo keeper at the Gunn Zoo--and Gunn is her family's name. One morning, a body is found in the giant anteater's enclosure. Anteaters have huge claws and this on
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anteaters, Wolves, and Bears. Oh, My!

What a fun book! It wasn't promoted as a cozy mystery, but it was as delightful and humorous as it was suspenseful, and so will please Cozy readers as well as those who prefer traditional mysteries. 

The zoo setting and the animal star, Lucy, the Anteater, grabbed my interest at once (I bought the book for the title alone) and the contents didn't disappoint a bit. The fairly chaste love story was sweet, and there was plenty of action. Amateur sleuth Theodora I
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mysterious
Not bad for the "cozy mystery" genre. This one features Teddy, a zookeeper at a medium-sized private zoo in middle California. She lives on a boat in a harbor, and her mom is filthy rich, and her dad is on the lam from the feds for conning folks out of money, and her boyfriend is the sheriff. The body that kicks off the investigation (and the book) is found in the Giant Anteater enclosure, thus the title. The writing isn't stellar, but it's far from terrible. I wouldn't call it a compulsive page ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Anteater of Death by Betty Webb 3 stars 1 7 Jun 09, 2017 06:03PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Gunn Zoo Mystery (6 books)
  • The Koala of Death (A Gunn Zoo Mystery, #2)
  • The Llama of Death: A Gunn Zoo Mystery (A Gunn Zoo Mystery, #3)
  • The Puffin of Death ( A Gunn Zoo Mystery, #4)
  • The Otter of Death (Gunn Zoo Mystery #5)
  • The Panda of Death (Gunn Zoo Mystery #6)

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