Betty Webb is the author of the popular Lena Jones mystery series: Desert Redemption, Desert Vengeance, Desert Rage, Desert Wind, Desert Lost, Desert Cut, Desert Run, Desert Shadows, Desert Wives, and Desert Noir. Betty shows her softer (and more humorous) side in the Gunn Zoo mysteries, set a fictional Californa zoo. The first book in the Gunn Zoo series was The Anteater of Death, followed (in order) by The Koala of Death, The Llama of Death, The Puffin of Death, The Otter of Death, and now... THE PANDA OF DEATH. Despite their titles, no animals are ever harmed in these books, but unpleasant humans die like flies.
Betty's work at the highly-regarded Phoenix Zoo was the inspiration for this series. Mornings would find her at the zoo's Monkey Village, a large free-run enclosure where Squirrel Monkeys from Central America would scurry along the paths ahead of fascinated school children, who were allowed to mingle with them. Betty's job was to keep little hands from coming in contact with the very cute, but sharp-toothed, monkeys. Betty has not given up her habit of talking to the animals -- especially Jezabel, the banana-loving Giant Anteater who was the inspiration for The Anteater of Death, the first book in the series.
Before beginning to write mysteries full time, Betty, a recovering Californian now living in Arizona, was a journalist. Writing articles ranging from hard news to features, she has interviewed everyone from U.S. presidents to astronauts who walked on the moon, as well as Nobel Prize winners, the homeless, the hopeless, the dying, and polygamy runaways. Her Lena Jones mysteries are based on stories she covered as a reporter. She has been a syndicated book reviewer for 30 years, and taught writing at the university level. Betty is a member of National Federation of Press Women, The Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.
Betty's hobby, when she has time to indulge in it, is genealogy. On her mother's side, she is descended from the Barons of Riddell, Scotland, who were run out of England when they were suspected of taking part in an anti-Royalist plot. On her father's side, there remains a great mystery because her family name is Webb (Betty uses her maiden name), but DNA testing of various Webb relatives show them all to be descended from a Colonial New Jersey family named Price, who were staunch British loyalists. During the Revolutionary War, the Prices fled to Canada, but after the British surrender, they somehow managed to make their way back to New Jersey.
Readers of both the Gunn Zoo mystery series and the Lena Jones series will find that issues of bloodline and genealogy loom very large in the plot lines -- espcially in The Panda of Death, where a DNA match just might be the reason for a murder.
To read more information about Betty's ancestors and especially the Lena Jones books, check her other web site at www.bettywebb-mystery.com. The website also links to her appearances and signings.