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The Anteater of Death

(Gunn Zoo Mystery #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  710 ratings  ·  147 reviews

The Anteater was framed! 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
Paperback, 250 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published October 1st 2008)
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3.64  · 
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 ·  710 ratings  ·  147 reviews

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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
Rebecca McNutt
If not for the comedic, off-beat title (Anteater of Death, what?), I bought a copy of this book because it reminded me of the giant anteater of death from the 2004 miniseries Kingdom Hospital:
With a good mix of mystery and comedy, The Anteater of Death features a Belize anteater who's being framed for murder - that is, people say Lucy is a violent wild animal who killed a guy. Teddy, the main character, fears that Lucy will be cast away to a new location, and tries to figure out who or what the
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
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
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Nathalie S
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
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
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
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.
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
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written cozy (the first in the series). I picked this one up because I had recently reviewed the 5th book in the series as a standalone and enjoyed it a lot.

Despite being read out of order and being the first of a series, it was enjoyable and well written. Most of the time, I give new series a few books leeway before deciding to continue or not. That wasn't necessary here. It's a fun, lively, well written cozy with zoo animals.

Four stars
Rachel N.
Teddy Bentley is a zookeeper at the fictional Gunn Zoo in California. Teddy's main charge, a giant anteater, is very pregnant when a body is found in her enclosure. Teddy is recruited by her former boyfriend, sheriff Joe Rejas, to help investigate the murder. Teddy also has to deal with her fugitive father and a threat to her beloved houseboat. I liked the parts dealing with the animals in the zoo. I think the author tried to throw too many things into a fairly short book. I will read more in th ...more
Karen Masters
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable in the way of murder mysteries. Also fun that we (coincidently) visited the location it’s clearly based on last week (Moss Landing - was a slightly successful attempt to see some wild sea otters). I’ll look for more in the series.
Shelley M.
I thought this was a pretty good mystery story. I liked the main character and how she lives on a boat, and I liked all the animals. I especially liked how occasional parts were narrated by the anteater.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was good, not in love with the main character, she seems a little immature but perhaps she'll get better. Some questionable stuff about her father's money, but on the whole, not a bad book, and the zoo stuff is interesting.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed this fun mystery about murder occurring in a zoo. Lots of action with a twist of humor in this coastal California fictional setting between Santa Cruz and Monterey.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-copy
This was a reread in anticipation of our mystery group reading this series.
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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)