Betty Webb
The Gunn Zoo Mysteries and the Lena Jones series

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The Online Anteater
Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters

The American Zoo and Aquarium Association
All you need to know about accredited American animal parks; great links, too.

The Phoenix Zoo
Where Betty Volunteers

San Diego Zoo
One of the world's great zoos

The National Zoo, Washington D.C.
A large collection of animals and wonderful online educational material

The St. Louis Zoo
Simply beautiful

The Lena Jones mysteries
The BIG web site, with detailed bio, interviews, and a detailed plot synopsis of each Lena Jones mystery.

Authors Guild

Works

DESERT RAGE
In this gripping novel, Lena Jones is brought in to discover the motive for the deaths of an entire family. By doing so, she learns more about her own background -- and her life is changed forever.

Published in 2014
From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: In Webb's tough, moving eighth Lena Jones mystery (after 2012's DESERT WIND), 14-year-old Ali Cameron and her boyfriend, Kyle Gibbs, confess to the murders of Ali's parents and her 10-year-old brother, who were all beaten to death by a baseball bat in their Scottsdale, Ariz., home. When Rep. Juliana Thorsson asks PI Lena Jones to look into Ali and Kyle's claim, Juliana reveals a secret to the cheeky, good-hearted Lena -- Ali is the ambitious politician's biological daughter. The unhappy lives of Ali and Kyle and several other people Lena encounters during her investigation remind her of her own bad experiences growing up. Determined to find the real killer and help these two kids, Lena Persists in scrutinizing the many possible suspects, despite hostility and physical threats. Several red herrings arise along the road to a surprising and satisfying ending.


Published 2012
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
STARRED REVIEW

"Webb pulls no punches in exploring yet another human rights issue in her excellent mystery!"

PI Lena Jones goes underground to find out what has caused a huge cancer cluster in the Desert Southwest. Her investigation leads her 60 years into the past and onto a Utah movie set where John Wayne and Susan Hayward were filming "The Conqueror."


Published 2009

Desert Lost
If one man can have 10 wives, then 9 men will have none. P.I. Lena Jones finds out how the polygamy compounds keep their numbers managable when she discovers an increasing number of young teen boys abandoned on the streets of Scottsdale and Phoenix.

DESERT LOST was chosen as "One of the Top Five Mystery Novels in the U.S. in 2009"



Desert Cut
"A compelling story that will appeal to a broad range of mystery readers." Booklist starred review.

"Webb's dark tale of a clash of cultures is emotionally draining and intellectually challenging." Kirkus Reviews.

"A propulsive, thought-provoking read." Publishers Weekly.

While riding in the desert, private investigator Lena Jones stumbles across a dead girl's body, and the expression on the child's face reminds Lena of her own dark past. Her subsequent investigation into the girl's death leads her to a small town with a dark secret. Los Perdidos is still alive with the memory of Geronimo's war, but it is currently fighting a new one -- legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico, Africa and the Middle East. In Desert Cut, the revival of a cruel and ancient practice is tempered by a growing underground railroad fighting to protect its young victims.

ISBN: 978-1-59058-491-0


Desert Wives
"Eye-popping!" The New York Times

In Desert Wives, private detective Lena Jones learns that polygamy can be murder when she helps 13-year-old Rebecca escape from Purity, a polygamy compound hidden in a desolate area straddling the Utah/Arizona border. When Rebecca's mother is arrested for the murder of Prophet Solomon Royal, little Rebecca's designated 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. Based on a true event, this book offers a look inside one of the Southwest's dirty little secrets. Desert Wives was optioned by Lifetime-TV for a film and TV series. Desert Wives is also available in paperback.

ISBN: 1-59058-030-3


Desert Run
"Multi-layered, thought-provoking, a gem." Denver Post

Desert Run is based on the true-life escape of 25 German U-Boat crewmen who fled Camp Papago, Arizona, the famed prisoner-of-war camp, during World War II. This cold case file leaves Lena Jones wondering why the U.S. neglects gay veterans' rights while guarding the rights of others. The murders -- and civil rights abuses -- never stop in this exciting book. Desert Run is also available in paperback.

ISBN: 1-59058-234-9


Desert Shadows
"Loyalty, compassion and a sharp sense of humor... The glorious Southwest landscape again provides the perfect setting for Webb's courageous heroine. Publishers Weekly.

Desert Shadows asks two questions: how far should freedom of speech go when it conficts with victims' rights -- and how far should a publisher go to hit the Best Seller list? Lena Jones ponders the answers while she investigates the case of a cold-hearted serial killer who penned his autobiography while on Arizona's Death Row. Desert Shadows is also available in paperback.

ISBN: 1-59058-113-X


Desert Noir
"An elegy for the lost West.. strong on atmosphere and insight." Booklist.

In Desert Noir, the first Lena Jones mystery, the P.I. investigates the murder of her best friend, a Scottsdale, Arizona, gallery owner, only to discover that the woman wasn't really her friend after all. Sub-themes in this book include the not-so-refined art world, the abuse of eminent domain by replacing low-income homes with high rises, and the ongoing destruction of the beautiful Southwestern desert. Desert Noir is also available in paperback.

ISBN: 1-890208-63-9

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY called the Lena Jones books "mysteries with a social conscience." In this gripping novel, Lena Jones is brought in to discover the motive for the deaths of an entire family, which in turn leads her to a never-talked-about facet of the Death Penalty. By doing so, Lena learns more about her own background -- and her life is changed forever.
Lena Jones discovers a 60-year-old crime that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY gave this gripping mystery a STARRED review. The death of legendary actor John Wayne is connected to a startling secret someone is ready to kill to keep hidden.
While scouting locations for a film documentary on Arizona's Apache Wars, P.I. Lena Jones and Oscar-winning director Warren Quinn discover the body of a young girl. The gruesome manner of the child's death evokes memories of Lena's own rough childhood. 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. "A compelling story that will appeal to a broad range of mystery readers." Booklist starred review."Webb's dark tale of a clash of cultures is emotionally draining and intellecturally challenging." Kirkus Reviews.
In Desert Wives: Polygamy Can Be Murder, private investigator Lena Jones helps a young girl escape from a forced marriage to an elderly polygamy "prophet," a man who already has numerous wives. In doing so, Lena uncovers even more crimes against women, including rampant incest, and the welfare scams that keep the polygamy compounds afloat and make multi-millionaires out of their self-appointed prophets. "Eye-popping!" The New York Times
Desert Run is based on the true-life escape of 25 German U-Boat crewmen who fled Arizona's famed Camp Papago, a World War II prisoner of war camp. This cold case file leaves Lena Jones wondering why the U.S. neglects its own veterans' rights while guarding the rights of others. The murder -- and civil rights abuses -- never stop in this exciting book. "Multi-layered, thought-provoking, a gem." Denver Post
Desert Shadows asks two questions: how far should freedom of speech go when it conflicts with victims' rights, and how far will a publisher go to hit the Best Seller list? Lena Jones discovers the answers when she investigates the case of a publisher who might have been killed by one of her own contracted writers -- a cold-hearted serial killer who penned his autobiography while on Death Row. "Loyalty, compassion and a sharp sense of humor... The glorious Southwest landscape again provides the perfect setting for Webb's courageous heroine." Publishers Weekly.
In Desert Noir, the first Lena Jones mystery, the Arizona P.I. investigates the murder of her best friend, a Scottsdale art gallery owner, only to discover that Clarice Hyath wasn't really her best friend after all. Themes in this rousing mystery include a peek behind the not-so-refined art world, the abuse of eminent domaine by replacing low-cost housing with millionaires' high-rises, and the rampant destruction of the Southwestern desert. "An elegy for the lost West, strong on atmosphere and insight." Booklist.
A Lena Jones mystery
In DESERT WIVES, we learned about the polygamy compounds in rural Arizona, but in this shocking book we discover that polygamy also exists in the cities. We also learn the fate of most boys in these compounds, and it isn't pretty. After all, if one man can have 10 wives, then 9 men will have none. P.I. Lena Jones finds out how the polygamy compounds keep their numbers manageable when she discovers an increasing number of young teen boys abandoned on the streets of Scottsdale and Phoenix.