The Anteater of Death by Betty Webb
Poor Lucy the Giant Anteater. She’s not having a great night. She’s pregnant (and therefore a wee bit cranky) and now one of those hairless things that are sometimes nice and usually loud has fallen into her favorite clump of brush. And this hairless thing smells of iron and death – at least it’s attracting the ants! (Lucy tends to look on the bright side of life.)
Lucy doesn’t play a huge role in this book, but she does narrate the first few and last few pages through a Giant Anteater’s eyes. (And you learn that Giant Anteaters can be a little difficult when annoyed since they have razor sharp four inch claws.) The main character is a zookeeper named Teddy Bentley and she is dragged into the middle of a murder investigation (or two) as bodies start piling up at the Gunn Zoo.
The author throws just enough zookeeper and animal factoids in to enhance the mystery instead of overwhelming it, and the mystery unfolds at a nice brisk pace. I hate mysteries that I either solve way too early in the book, or couldn’t have possibly solved based on the information the author provides. But in this one I figured it out just as the zookeeper sleuth did which, as far as I’m concerned, is just as it should be.