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The Otter of Death: A Gunn Zoo Mystery    by Betty Webb Amazon.com order for
Otter of Death
by Betty Webb
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

You are in for a treat with the fifth novel of Betty Webb's Gunn Zoo series. While otter counting at a marsh near Gunn Landing, California, zookeeper Theodora Bentley spies her favorite otter swimming with an expensive smartphone clutched in a paw. Depicted on the phone is someone being murdered!

A search party is quickly gathered and local Marine Biology instructor Stuart Booth's still-warm body is found. Booth was notorious for sexual harassment of young female students. So the list of suspects is very long. A friend of Teddy's is arrested for the crime by Teddy's fiancÚ, Sheriff Joe Rejas. While Joe tells Teddy not to get involved in the case, she can't ignore her friend sitting in jail for a crime Teddy is sure the girl did not commit.

A strong plot carries the story along at a good clip. I found the back stage workings of the zoo to be extremely interesting Never thought about what must be done to keep all the varied animals healthy and happy. This includes tidying up the cages of animal waste. The varieties of animals, each with their own keeper, intrigues me also.

Her characterization of the various players reminds me how much I like the author's work. Her series of nine mystery novels featuring Lena Jones is top notch as is The Otter of Death.

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