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Works by
Betty Webb
(Writer)

The Zoo Mystery Series
  • The Anteater of Death (2008)
    But if Lucy, the pregnant Giant Anteater from Belize, didnÂ’t kill the man found dead in her enclosure, who did? California zookeeper Teddy Bentley must find the real murderer before her furry friend is shipped off to another zoo in disgrace.

    Then another human bites the dust, the monkeys riot, and the wolves go nuts. Things get worse when the snooty folks at Gunn Landing Harbor attempt to evict Teddy from the Merilee, her beloved houseboat. That's just the beginning. Her father, on the lam from the Feds for embezzling millions, gets targeted by a local gangster; and Caro, Teddy's socialite mother, a former beauty queen who loathes Teddy's dangerous job, starts introducing her to “eligible bachelors.” But Teddy has already given her heart to Sheriff Joe Rejas, a migrant worker's son. Caro is not pleased.

    Zoo life, animal lore, and the leaky ups and downs of Central Coast California houseboat living create a thrilling backdrop for murder.

Lena Jones Desert Mysteries
  1. Desert Noir (2001)
    When Clarice Kobe is found savagely beaten to death in her Scottsdale, Arizona, art gallery, her abusive ex-husband, Jay, is the prime suspect. But as much as everybody hated the guy, private investigator Lena Jones thinks there's more to the murder of her friend and neighbor. Knowing Clarice had a darker side, Lena follows her suspicions down a trail littered with vengeful artists, lost souls and perverse characters to a deadly showdown.

    This case is oddly linked to the question that has haunted Lena's own life: her identity. Shot in the head at age four and left for dead, Lena finds that her search for Clarice's killer leads her further into a depraved world where love and hate are interchangeable, a place Lena knows all too well. And as she closes in on a killer, she will be forced to make final choice between acceptance and fear, between life and death, between leaving this world . . . or embracing it.

  2. Desert Wives: Polygamy Can Be Murders (2003)
    Polygamy can be murder!

    That's what private detective Lena Jones learns when she helps thirteen year old Rebecca escape from Purity, a polygamy compound hidden in a desolate area near straddling Utah/Arizona border.

    When Rebecca's mother is arrested for the murder of Prophet Solomon Royal, Rebecca's intended husband, Lena enters Purity masquerading as a polygamist wife to uncover the real murderer. In doing so, Lena finds out more than she bargained for--the shocking secret the cult's Circle of Elders will kill to keep.

    During her investigations, Lena also discovers more about her own past. At the age of four she was found lying unconscious by the side of an Arizona highway, a bullet robbing her of her memories. Raised in a series of foster homes, Lena does not remember her real name nor the names of her parents. She thinks she has put the past behind her, but the sins of Purity's polygamous mothers and fathers force her to reexamine the few memories she has of her own mother--the woman who shot her...

  3. Desert Shadows: Publishing Can Be Murders (2004)
    After Scottsdale publisher Gloriana Allerton is poisoned at the annual Southwestern Publishers' Convention and a Pima Indian friend is accused of the murder, Lena Jones begins to investigate the seldom talked about side of the business--racist publishing. To her horror, Lena finds herself rubbing elbows with extremist politicians and members of local fascist groups.

    Though she becomes a target for murder because of her investigations, an attempt against Lena Jones' life pales in comparison to what happens when she is granted a meeting with the Aryan Brotherhood leader at the Arizona State Prison complex. On her way to the Death Row visiting room, a Black trustee nicknamed "Green," because of his startling green eyes, looks into Lena's face.

    And calls her by her mother's name.

    Found shot in the head at the age of four, her memory gone, the green-eyed Lena Jones had been raised in a series of abusive foster homes which left her emotionally--and physically--scarred. For years, Lena had searched for her biological parents with the same intensity with which she searched for killers. But now, with a possible answer to her identity right in front of her, Lena begins to realize that the truth may come at a very high price...

    Her own life.

  4. Desert Run (2006)
    Things are never easy for Scottsdale private eye Lena Jones. Her partner in Desert Investigations, Jimmy Siswan, is leaving for an upscale wife and a job at Sun Microsystems. Her old Captain at the Scottsdale PD is off home to Brooklyn. She's doing security for Warren Quinn, director of a documentary being shot at Papago Park about the German POW camp and the "great escape" of Christmas Eve, 1944, when some prisoners tunneled out and fled. And one surviving escapee, Kapitan zur Zee Erik Ernst, a man in his nineties confined to a wheelchair after a boating accident, has just been murdered. Worse, his Ethiopian care giver begs Lena to clear him.

    Lena, experienced in probing the past for answers to the central mystery of her own life--who is she?--learns that Ernst and two other POWs hid out in the rugged Superstitions. Nearby, on Christmas night, a whole farm family, the Bollingers, was slaughtered. A jury didn't convict the only survivor, the teenage son. What might Chess Bollinger know about Ernst--and vice versa? And how much can Lena trust Quinn, either as a client, a witness, or a lover?

    A complex, stunning case based on real Arizona history, journalist Betty Webb, author of Desert Noir, Desert Wives, and Desert Run, spins an evocative, haunting story.

  5. Desert Cut (2008)
    While scouting locations for a film documentary on the Arizona's Apache Wars, private investigator Lena Jones and Oscar-winning director Warren Quinn, discover the mutilated body of a young girl. The gruesome manner of the child's death evokes memories of Lena’s own rough childhood. Clashing with the local law, Lena's investigation uncovers a small town with a big secret. Los Perdidos is not the Eden it first appears. Founded by the descendants of pioneers who fought Geronimo, the townspeople have now armed themselves against the hordes of illegal immigrants streaming across the Arizona/Mexico border. A significant population of documented foreign-born residents also lives and works in Los Perdedos at a modern plant. Lena senses a sinister force at work in the town—but where? Then two more girls disappear from Los Perdidos, and as the death toll mounts, Lena is tempted to implement some frontier justice of her own. When she finally unmasks the killer, she discovers a chain of horrific crimes responsible for subjugating millions of girls and women around the globe. In Desert Cut, the still vivid memory of Geronimo's war mixes with the modern immigration war, the hard life on the Arizona/Mexico border contrasts with Hollywood's slick production meetings, and the cruelty of an ancient practice is tempered by a growing underground railroad fighting to save its young victims.

  6. Desert Lost (December 1, 2009)
    While running surveillance in an industrial section of Scottsdale, P.I. Lena Jones discovers the body of a woman connected to Second Zion, an infamous polygamy cult based in northern Arizona. Lena joins forces with Rosella, a former polygamist sister wife, to find the victim's killer, and soon discovers a shocking secret: in a society where one man can have ten wives, nine men will have none. Second Zion makes certain these possible rivals don't stick around.

See also:
  • Desperate Journeys (2004) by Betty Webb, Jonathan Harrington, Nancy Baker Jacobs, and Terence Faherty
    See Desert Deceit by Betty Webb
    To escape and unwind, Scottsdale private eye Lena Jones joins a dude ranch cattle drive through Arizona's most rugged and remote area. But the brutal murder of a media magnate turns the 120-mile trip into a trail full of unforeseen danger.

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Betty Webb
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(Alphabetical Order
By First Name)

Marilyn Meredith

Betty's Favorite
Authors/Books
(Alphabetical Order
By First Name)
[As of July 19, 2007]

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