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Betty Webb Books In Order

Publication Order of Lena Jones Mystery Books

Desert Noir (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Desert Wives (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Desert Shadows (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Desert Run (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Desert Cut (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Desert Lost (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Desert Wind (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Desert Rage (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Desert Vengeance (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Gunn Zoo Mystery Books

The Anteater of Death (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Koala of Death (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Llama of Death (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Puffin of Death (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Betty Webb is one of the highly reputed authors and a former journalist from Arizona, United States, who has written several well-known books in her writing career. Most of the novels written by her are based on the mystery, suspense, and thriller genres. Apart from these two professions, Betty has also worked as a literary critic for more than twenty years. Author Betty lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is famous for developing the detective mystery series called the Lena Jones Mystery series and A Gun Zoo Mystery series. As a journalist, Betty was involved in interviewing the United States presidents, astronauts, Nobel Prize winners, homeless people, polygamy runaways, and the hopeless too. She retired from her career in journalism in order to focus on her newly acquired writing career as a full time writer. Along with writing mystery novels, author Betty contributes a column in the magazine called as Mystery Scene and also teaches the art of creative writing at the Phoenix College. In most of her writing work, author Betty makes a wide use of the varied backgrounds of herself liberally. Initially, Betty had joined art school and she used to work as a folk singer in order to make up for her expenses. Later, she gave up her interest in singing so as to concentrate on her career in art. At various stages of her life, she was involved in a variety of other activities such as raising chickens, picking cotton, working in a zoo, go-go dancing, horse breeding, teaching at a Sunday School, etc. Betty also laid the foundation of a literary magazine and helped to rebuild a 120 year old farm house that was left abandoned for very long. In the year 1982, author Betty shifted to Scottsdale, Arizona from Scotland. It is also the same place where she has set her Lena Jones novels.

Betty has said that her roots lie in Hamilton, Alabama, where the members of her extended family still live. In the year 2000, author Betty published a book called The Webb Family of Alabama that was based on the life of her great-great-grandfather named William Douglas Webb. It is believed that he had run away to the sea at the age of 16 and after sailing for 14 years, he settled down in Hamilton. A recent DNA test has revealed that he had kept a great secret and might have been a descendent of a colonist family from New Jersey called Price. Now, author Betty is trying to unravel this mystery of the real life of her seafaring ancestor. From her mother’s side, author Betty is related to the Riddell Barons from the medieval Scotland. Author Betty says that having an unusual family has impacted her life in a profound way. This is the reason why she thought that it would be very intriguing to create the character of a detective who did not have any idea of who were her parents or where she had come from. And thereby, she went on to create Lena Jones’ character. By doing so, author Betty believes that she has been able to appreciate the ancestral heritage of her own. As far as the books in the Lena Jones series are concerned, author Betty has said that each of them is inspired by a real life case. Lena has been described by Betty as a private eye, who formerly used to work as a policewoman. She was brought up in a foster home and does not know much about her background. As the series progresses, she learns more about herself. The writing style of author Betty bears a lot of similarities to prominent mystery writers like Marcia Muller, Liza Cody, Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, etc. Recently, author Betty has started a cozy mystery series featuring a California Zookeeper, who indulges in solving crimes.

The Lena Jones Mysteries written by author Betty Webb comprise of 9 books in total, which were published between 2001 and 2016. All the books in this mystery series feature the detective Lena Jones in the lead role. The series is set in the hometown of author Betty, Scotsdale, Arizona. Its debut novel is titled as ‘Desert Noir’, which was in the year 2001 by the Poisoned Pen publication. The start of the plot shows that Lena Jones is discovered lying unconscious near an Arizona highway at the age of 4. She was hit by a bullet which caused her loss of memory. While growing up in numerous foster homes, Lena vows to find the truth about her life and origins, no matter how devastating it might be. As she begins her quest, she is interrupted by the news of the death of her friend named Clarice Kobe. Her body is discovered from the Western Heart Art Gallery in a brutally beaten state. Initially, Lena and her partner named Jimmy Sisiwan suspect the abusive husband of the art dealer. Very soon, they come to know that domestic problem was not the only one with Clarice Kobe’s life. Lena Jones learns that the enemies of Kobe far outnumbered her friends and that behind her beauty and money, there was a darker side. As Lena searches for the killer of Clarice Kobe through a long list of suspects, her own life gets exposed to violence. But, it also helps her in getting closer to the solution of finding her real identity. Overall, the intriguing novel is set against the backdrop of the art scene of Arizona and heralds the beginning of a detective’s attempts at getting past her own demons as well as helping others in getting over theirs.

The next novel of the series is titled as ‘Desert Wives’. Once again the Poisoned Pen publishers released the book in the year 2003. The story is set by author Betty in Utah, United States. In the opening scene, Lena Jones is depicted as helping a 13 year old Rebecca to escape from a polygamy compound called Purity that was hidden in a remote area near the Arizona-Utah border. Soon, it is learned from Lena that Rebecca’s mother has been arrested for the murder of Rebecca’s intended husband named Prophet Solomon Royal. In order to find the real killer, Lena decides to enter Purity by disguising as a polygamist wife. After reaching there, she finds that she has landed herself in a great trouble, which she had never imagined. She comes across a shocking secret for which the keepers could kill to keep it hidden. As she continues with the investigation, she also finds many more things about her past life. After getting shot when she was 4 years old, she lost her memory. This caused her to forget her real name as well as parents. But, after going through the sinful environment of Purity, she seems to have been able to reexamine the fewer memories that she had about her mother, the one who fired the bullet at her.

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