Monday, March 9, 2009

The Anteater of Death, by Betty Webb.

Poisoned Pen Press, 2008.

When Grayson Harril’s clawed corpse is found in Lucy the Anteater’s zoo enclosure, it is assumed that she killed him – but soon several questions arise. What was doing in the zoo exhibits in the middle of the night? Why did such a timid man enter the enclosure of a dangerous animal? And how could Lucy have fired the bullet found in his abdomen? Lucy is soon off the hook, but one of the zookeepers is on it – and it is up to Teddy Bently, another keeper at the zoo, to find the real murderer.

As a murder mystery, this book is not strong. As a story about Teddy, living in the dual world of zookeeping and the socialites of coastal California, it’s priceless. There is Teddy’s socialite mother, nice enough to visit but who could stay sane living with her? Teddy’s father is running from the federal authorities, mobsters, and the local sheriff, Teddy’s new boyfriend. Teddy’s neighbors all live on boats in the marina, and are distressed by new ordinances that the boats must prove that they are capable of sailing. And at the zoo, mothers become indignant that the animals there act like, well, animals!

This is a way fun read, filled with delightful characters, but the best is far and away the one in the title, Lucy herself.

No comments:

Post a Comment