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The Anteater of Death
By Betty Webb

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The Anteater of Death

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The Anteater of Death
A Gunn Zoo Mystery
By Betty Webb
Read How You Want, (2009)
EasyRead Large Print, in 16 Point Font
(Originally Published in Standard Print by Poisoned Pen Press)
ISBN: 9781458717849
Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - November 4, 2009

Lucy has a problem. Grayson Harrill, a local real-estate wanna-be tycoon has been found dead with the flesh of his face stripped away, and she's the prime suspect. In normal circumstances, Lucy might have been able to prove her innocent, if she had the capability of pleading her case. However, Lucy is a pregnant anteater - one of the many residents of California's Gunn Zoo - and she doesn't know how to speak human, so it will fall to her human care givers to plead her case. Her main advocate is Teddy Bentley, her 'keeper' and friend, who knows that despite Lucy's four-inch claws and her ability to slit an opponent's belly open with one swipe, she's no killer, at least not in this instance.

Betty Webb, the author of the esteemed Lena Jones mysteries series has embarked upon a new series of mysteries featuring Theodora "Teddy" Iona Esmeralda Bentley as zookeeper turned amateur detective. The Anteater of Death is the first book in this new series. With red hair and freckles, and a love for hard work, Teddy is not your typical socialite. Not only does she live on an old boat with a three-legged dog and an old cat, but her father is on the lam from the Feds after absconding with millions, and she is more interested in working as a lowly zookeeper, where a large part of her job consists of shoveling manure and feeding her charges, than she is of attending parties or chasing money.

Teddy does not start out as the prime investigator on this puzzling case. Her main goal is to get Lucy off the hook. However, she is quickly, but reluctantly, brought into the fray by her own curiosity, and by a request from Sheriff Joe Rejas, her former high-school sweetheart. Like herself, Harrill was a member of the social elite and he was killed during a fund-raising event that was held at the zoo and which was attended primarily by zoo personal and the local aristocracy. As a cop, and as a member of the middle-class, the members of the upper-crust want nothing to do with Joe. Teddy, on the other hand, while she distances herself from the group, is nonetheless a member of this elite band of snobs. In addition, she is related to a large number of the members who attended the event, and is socially acquainted with almost everyone else. If it turns out that Lucy is not the killer, the eye of the law will first be turned upon those who attended the fund-raising event at the zoo, and Teddy offers Rejas the best chance of getting the real story out of those that were in attendance.

The Anteater of Death is a delightful book to read. Webb has interwoven intriguing tidbits about the behind the scenes going on at a zoo into a fast-moving, and devious mystery with numerous suspects and skeletons in everyone's closet. Best of all is Teddy, the charming and somewhat unconventional amateur detective, who is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her charges, including dating the slimy zoo director just to save Lucy. The Anteater of Death is well-plotted and fast-paced mystery that will leave you wanting to learn more about Teddy, her life, and her job - but most of all, it leaves you wanting to see her get her claws into another mystery...

The Anteater of Death is available from Read How You Want, an on-demand publisher that makes books available in a variety of formats including Braille, DAISY, and five different large print formats that range from 16-24 point fonts. This range of formats makes this, and other books, available to not only visually impaired individuals, but also anyone with a reading or physical disability that makes reading standard print books difficult.

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