The Koala of Death

The Koala of Death

by Betty Webb


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When zookeeper Theodora "Teddy" Bentley fishes the body of Koala Kate out of Gunn Landing Harbor, she discovers that her fellow zookeeper didn't drown; she was strangled. The clues to Kate's killer implicate other animal keepers at Gunn Zoo, including Outback Bill, marsupial keeper and Kate's Aussie ex-boyfriend; and Robin Chase, the big cat keeper who's got it in for Teddy. Also displaying suspicious behavior are several "liveaboarders" at the harbor; Speaks-To-Souls, a shady "animal psychic;" and even Caro, Teddy's much-married, ex-beauty queen mother.

But murderers aren't all Teddy has to worry about. Her embezzling father is still on the run from the Feds, and the motor on her houseboat is failing. To pay for the repairs, Teddy agrees to appear on a weekly live television broadcast featuring misbehaving animals that range from a cuddly koala to a panicky wallaby - and all hell breaks loose in the TV studio. All the while, the killer is narrowing in on Teddy....

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590587584
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press, Inc.
Publication date: 08/01/2010
Series: Gunn Zoo Series , #2
Pages: 250
Sales rank: 837,372
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

As a journalist, Betty Webb interviewed U.S. presidents, astronauts, and Nobel Prize winners, as well as the homeless, dying, and polygamy runaways. The dark Lena Jones mysteries are based on stories she covered as a reporter. Betty's humorous Gunn Zoo series debuted with the critically acclaimed The Anteater of Death , followed by The Koala of Death. A book reviewer at Mystery Scene Magazine , Betty is a member of National Federation of Press Women, Mystery Writers of America, and the National Organization of Zoo Keepers.

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The Koala of Death: Zoo Mystery Series, Book 2 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Line: I awoke during a pearly dawn to hear something bump against the Merilee's hull.Unfortunately that bump against the hull of Teddy Bentley's boat wasn't a wake-up call from the resident sea otter who comes for breakfast every morning. The bump turns out to be the body of Koala Kate, a fellow keeper at the Gunn Zoo and darling of Good Morning, San Sebastian's Koala Kate's Kuddly Kritters.Having been a guest at a party aboard the Gutterball the night before, it is assumed that Kate drank too much, fell overboard and drowned, but the police soon disprove that notion. Kate was murdered. Before Teddy's detecting bones even have a chance to tingle, she's roped into filling in for Kate on the television station's animal spot because it's bringing in much needed good press for the zoo. But being on TV, avoiding her match-making mother, and filling in for Kate in the koala exhibit isn't enough to keep Teddy from doing her own investigating-- especially since she may be the next victim.The list of suspects in this book is a long one: from keepers at the zoo to various "liveaboarders" at the marina to an animal psychic to Teddy's own mother, and Webb does a masterful job at keeping us guessing.Teddy is a strong, feisty main character, and her stints on television are hilarious-- reminding me strongly of watching Joan Embery bring various critters to The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. One of the things I appreciate the most about this Gunn Zoo series is that author Betty Webb can show off her skill with humor and satire.She also imparts a lot of knowledge about wildlife, so if you like your mysteries seasoned with a bit of fur and maybe a fang or two, I would highly recommend this series. Do you have to start with the first, The Anteater of Death? No, this one works quite well on its own-- but I wouldn't deny myself the fun if I were you!
ImBookingIt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
OK, that is a fantastic title.Who knew that zoo mysteries were a thing? This is the second one I've read in the last month. I liked the other one, but I really enjoyed this one.It's also a cozy mystery, where a random person (in this case, Teddy, a zookeeper)gets involved with a murder investigation, often by being the one to discover the body (as is the case here).What I really like about this book is (in spite of multiple dead bodies) how upbeat it was. The koala was cuddly, the baby anteater was cute, Teddy's mother's crazy antics were motivated by affection. If I think about it, the book is fairly traditional cozy. The characters and setting are fresh enough to make it work. I really enjoyed this one, and am looking forward to reading more.
azroadrunner80 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a pretty good read and a fairly good mystery. It had just about the right amount of "Zoo/animals" mixed in with some marina "liveaboarders" all wrapped up in Teddy's unusual life of work, love, family and all different sorts of friends and even some enemies. Two deaths that are too close, literally, to home for Teddy and she is off trying to solve the mystery as well as taking on a new, unwanted TV show, scrounging up donations for zoo projects, etc. and still trying to have some personal life with Joe, be somewhat civil with her ditzy mother and her incessant match-making plans, take care of her now 3 at-home animals--it isn't easy, but she does solve the murders and ends up getting----ooooppps. Gotta read the book for that last suprise!
frisbeesage on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Koala of Death is the second book in the Gunn Zoo mystery series. The stories revolve around Teddy Bentley, a zookeeper who seems to frequently stumble upon dead bodies. In Koala of Death it is, naturally, the koala keeper, Kate, who comes up strangled. Teddy is positive that the main suspect, Outback Bill, is innocent and sets out to find the true killer. These are easy, fun mysteries that will not tax your brain in anyway. Not remotely believable and with bigger-than-life charcters, Koala of Death is nevertheless entertaining. The zoo animals, who are players in their own right, add a lot of charm and Teddy's cop boyfriend gives some much needed down-to-earth flavor. Events like educational zoo tv shows that Teddy takes zoo animals too and the Bowling for Rhinos fundraiser help flesh out the otherwise one-dimensional story. All-in-all an enjoyable read. I listened to this on audio, read by Hilary Huber. She does well with Teddy and even gets some realistic animal noises in.
DianaH-Maine More than 1 year ago
Teddy Bentley discovers her fellow zookeeper, Koala Kate, floating face-down in the marina water. Accident? Murder? THE KOALA OF DEATH by Betty Webb is Book 2 of the Gunn Zoo Mystery series. Interesting animals and some ‘nutty’ characters make this mystery a fun read.
LauraMHartman More than 1 year ago
Trouble is afoot for the keepers at Gunn Zoo. Teddy Bentley, one of the zoo keepers, finds one of her coworkers floating outside her houseboat. The corpse, Koala Kate, was the face of Gunn Zoo to locals because she appeared on a TV show and published a cute blog about life at the zoo. Police quickly arrest Outback Bill, another one of the keepers. He insists on his innocence, and it appears Teddy is the only one that believes him. That is until there is another murder at Gunn Landing Harbor. This victim was a close friend of Kate, even though they seemed like an unlikely pair. Joe Rejas, Teddy’s boyfriend and local sheriff, wants her to keep her nose out of the investigation. Especially after two murders steps away from her boat. Kate had secrets and one of them must have something to do with her death. Teddy has troubles. Joe and her mother aren’t happy with her detective activities. After a scare, she finally agrees to go stay at her meddling wealthy mother’s home, but continues to snoop. To compound Teddy’s troubles, she has to replace Koala Kate on the Good Morning, San Sebastian show as well as continue the blog. And her mother is trying to hook her up with a rich man instead of keeping her nose out of Joe and Teddy’s relationship. All of these elements plus a liberal sprinkling of kooky back up characters, both human and animal, make this a really fun book. The mystery is a great whodunit. There are suspects and secrets both silly and scary. Scattered throughout are interesting facts about koalas and other zoo animals. This makes a perfect mix for a delightful read. The Koala of Death is Webb’s second Gunn Zoo Mystery, but the first one I’ve read. I have read one of her other books, Desert Rage. As you can tell from the titles, the zoo series is meant to be more lighthearted. Webb is a masterful writer who does humor and murder equally well. I love an author that can entertain, surprise and touch my heart. One of my favorite lines in Koala of Death is “Alzheimer’s wasn’t only a thief of memory, it was a thief of the heart.” On a personal note, thanks to my son Mark, who gave me The Koala of Death for Christmas this year after I mentioned that I wanted to read this series. The title made him laugh, and choose this book for me. I loved it! Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank u cant wait 4more fun read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DSaff More than 1 year ago
Are you looking for a fun, interesting murder mystery? Well, I have one for you in "The Koala of Death" by Betty Webb. Teddy Bentley lives on the "Merilee" and works at the Gunn Zoo. After finding the body of Koala Kate in the water next to her boat, Teddy is thrown into the mystery of who killed her and why. Along the way, Teddy learns to do a television show, finds another body, does some investigating on her own (much to her boyfriend's chagrin), discovers a family secret, and is almost killed. Come meet Teddy, her boyfriend Joe (the Sheriff), Aussie Outback Bill, Teddy's rich mother Caro, Speaks to Souls, and the animals from the zoo. They will all keep you entertained as you solve the mystery. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and kept my interest all the way through. I will be looking to read more books by Betty Webb, including the first Zoo Mystery, "The Anteater of Death."
harstan More than 1 year ago
On the Central California coast, from her houseboat the Merilee, Gunn zookeeper Theodora "Teddy" Bentley goes to feed Maureen the Otter only to find the body of the new Gunn Zoo Koala keeper Kate "Koala Kate" Nido floating in the Gunn Landing Harbor. However, she is stunned to realize her peer was strangled to death. Her boyfriend San Sebastian Sheriff Joe Rejas asks her questions and pleads with Teddy to stay out of the investigation. She cannot though she knows she should heed his advice. Everything points to other Gunn Zoo employees like her former boyfriend Outback Bill the marsupial keeper and Robin Chase the big cat keeper. Teddy also finds "liveboarders", an animal psychic and her serial married mom acting weird, which says a lot as this is an eccentric crew. Her embezzling father remains on the lam from law enforcement. Finally with her motor to her houseboat needing repair, Teddy appears on a weekly live television show focusing on misbehaving animals such as Wanchu the koala and Abim the wallaby. All hell breaks loose on the set, on the Merilee and at the zoo compounded by a killer targeting Teddy. Once again as with The Anteater of Death, the animals at the zoo and in the harbor in many ways mirror the zany idiosyncrasies of people. That underlying philosophy makes this amateur sleuth a terrific thriller as Joe tries to get Teddy to stay out of the inquiry as he assumes she is a former wealthy spoiled peacock used to getting her way until he realizes how wrong his assessment is as he knows they are penguins. This is a winner unless you are the person cleaning the animal habitats. Harriet Klausner