Saturday, December 12, 2015

Book Review - The Puffin of Death @bettywebb


The Puffin of Death: A Gunn Zoo Mystery

By: Betty Webb
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: November 2015
ISBN: 9781464204142
Reviewed by: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: December 13, 2015

As a zookeeper in California, Theodore Bentley, who goes by “Teddy,” is used to sunshine and fair weather.That's why, when she gets a notice from her boss that she is going to Iceland to pick up a polar bear cub, Teddy is a little hesitant. With no say in the situation Teddy packs her bags and flies into a small airport bundled up in her warmest clothes. However, to her delight when she arrives the temperature at this time of year ranges from 60-70 during the day, so she actually feels right at home. She soon meets Bryndis, the local zookeeper, who quickly introduces her to the young cub named Magnus. Fortunately, this was trip was not intended to be all work so Bryndis helps her find time to enjoy the local sites.

On one particularly beautiful horseback ride along the cliffs of a small village Teddy comes across something unimaginable - a dead body that immediately shouts murder. The bullet hole in this man’s head is proof enough of that and now Teddy finds herself a star witness in a murder in a foreign country. The man’s name turns out to be Mr. Simon Parr, an avid birdwatcher who won a huge Powerball prize and then treated a group of friends to a once in a lifetime bird watching trip in Iceland. Unfortunately, the money might have been a motive for one of this group to murder their generous host. After a few questions, the local police release Teddy and make sure to say that she needs to stay out of the investigation completely or she will regret it. As much as she tries to abide by that rule Teddy soon finds herself trying to solve the crime alone when her new friend and fellow zookeeper Bryndis finds out that her boyfriend Ragnar is a suspect.

Now, Teddy finds she is looking for ways to be around the group of birders who most likely have a potential murderer among them. At first she simply roams from person to person asking pertinent questions to see if one will slip up and say something that could present potential clues. At first the snooping just causes more confusion than ever as Teddy comes to see that each person in the group has their own colorful past which leaves her with way more questions than answers. However, when this plan turns dangerous as another murder takes place, Teddy is not sure if it is worth getting mixed up in this investigation.

Author Betty Webb creates another wonderful mystery novel with her protagonist Teddy Bentley, finding herself in the middle of another murder case, with no intention to be there of course. The picturesque setting of the unforgettable landscape of Iceland presents a perfect backdrop to this story as it was easy to picture the amazing scenery with each page. Along with the wild territory of Iceland Webb brings an amazing look at the wildlife of the country that made for a great read.

Quill says: A thrilling mystery with an ideal setting for a killer showdown.