The Anteater of Death by Betty Webb

The Anteater of Death (A Gunn Zoo Mystery, #1)The Anteater of Death by Betty Webb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this cozy mystery our heroine, Teddy, is a zookeeper with a special relationship with the eponymous anteater of death, Lucy. Lucy is a giant anteater, a code red animal, meaning it is capable of killing a human. Indeed a dead man is found in her pen at the zoo, slashed by Lucy’s four-inch claws. Although Lucy takes the blame at first, we soon learn the victim died of a gunshot wound. In due course the lecherous and sleazy zoo director is similarly dispatched. Eventually the head zookeeper, Teddy’s boss and close friend, is arrested. Of course Teddy must find the real killer.

The author writes with a light, humorous touch and introduces plenty of suspects with motive and opportunity for both murders. We learn that the private zoo is dependent on a trust and the large family that benefits from the trust is split over whether to terminate the trust (and the zoo). Joe, The sheriff with the “long muscular legs” seems to be Teddy’s love interest despite a rocky past of that sort.

It’s all unlikely fluff, of course, but fun enough for a cozy mystery fan. I don’t count myself in that category, but I need a respite from the gore and dark mysteries now and then. It’s set in a fictional city and county that seems to be nestled on the Monterey Peninsula. The many local references kept me entertained since I live fairly close.

I listened to the audiobook. The actress is very good and I enjoyed her reading all the way through, but I must issue a warning. She has a nasal voice that some people might not be able to abide. My wife calls it a quack. It’s not as bad as newswoman Erica Hill or the AFLAC duck, but it’s pretty close. I know my wife wouldn’t be able to listen to this book.

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