The body of one zookeeper provides a workout for the brain of another.
Zookeeper Teddy Bentley comes from a wealthy family but chooses to live on an old converted trawler in Gunn Landing Harbor. After the strangled corpse of Koala Kate appears alongside her home, Teddy reluctantly agrees to assume Kate’s job as TV personality and blogger. Several other zookeepers who actually want the gig are even less happy than Teddy. But Teddy’s boyfriend Sheriff Joe Rejas hopes it will keep her too busy to stick her nose into the investigation. Teddy’s wealthy, much-married mother Caro is determined to find her daughter a husband up to Caro’s standards (i.e., not Joe). Ignoring both Joe and her mother’s wishes and the burden of her extra work, Teddy continues to care for the animals she loves, especially Wanchu the Koala. The suspects in Kate’s murder include Aster Edwina, the patroness of the Gunn Zoo; an animal psychic who helped Caro’s nasty Chihuahua reform his ways; Outback Bill, who was recently dumped by Kate and is actually arrested for the murder; and other human denizens of the zoo. Shrugging off pressure from her loved ones, Teddy won’t give up, even though her own life is in danger and the motive for murder comes out of left field.
Teddy’s second case (The Anteater of Death, 2008) showcases an engaging array of quirky characters, human and animal.