Review: The Koala of Death by Betty Webb

30 Jul

The Koala of DeathMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, what a fantastic title.

From the Poisoned Pen website:

When zoo keeper Theodora “Teddy” Bentley fishes the body of Koala Kate out of Gunn Landing Harbor, she discovers that her fellow zoo keeper didn’t drown; she was strangled. The clues to Koala Kate’s killer implicate other animal keepers at the 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 the Merilee, her beloved houseboat is failing. To pay for the repairs, Teddy agrees to appear on a weekly live television broadcast featuring misbehaving animals that range from Wanchu, a cuddly koala, to Abim, a panicky wallaby – and all hell breaks loose in the TV studio. To add to Teddy’s woes, the killer zeroes in on her with near-fatal results. “The Koala of Death” brings a return to Gunn Zoo and the social-climbing humans and eccentric animals that made the prize-winning “The Anteater of Death” so popular. Readers will enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek at zoo life, and learn that poor little rich girls like Teddy lead much more complicated lives that they’d ever imagine – especially when they’re tracking killers.

Who knew that zoo mysteries were a thing? This is the second one I’ve read in the last month. I liked Did Not Survive, 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.

This was the second book in the series, but this didn’t cause any problems for me.  There were no plot issues, I was able to connect with the characters without a problem.  I do know how the first book ended, but I can live with that.

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.

I requested The Koala of Death for review through NetGalley.  I read an electronic copy on my Nook. Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for granting my request.


Posted by on July 30, 2010 in books, reviews


Tags: , , , , ,

4 responses to “Review: The Koala of Death by Betty Webb

  1. Jennifer Oberth

    July 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Love your review.

    Cozy mysteries are usually upbeat despite the bodies piling up. One of the appeals of the genre to me.

    I’ll have to check into this one – starting with the first book, of course!

  2. Betty Webb

    July 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks so much for the neat review. I especially enjoyed your comment about how upbeat “Koala” is. Hey, murder doesn’t have to be serious, does it? Unless we’re talking real life, of course.

  3. WonderBunny

    July 31, 2010 at 7:05 am

    I loved this book (as you saw when you stopped by my blog). I felt it was a fantastic cozy mystery. Perfect amount of mystery/adventure with some humor and an “upbeat” tone to make it a light, fun read.

    Cozy mysteries always tend to be upbeat and/or light reads. I find them to be the perfect lazy afternoon read and there a bunch of great cozy authors out there (Alice Kimberly/Cleo Coyle, Kate Collins, Kim Olsen and a bunch of others).

    I’m glad you enjoyed my review and thanks for stopping by! 🙂


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