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Authors Discussion & Signing with Michael Stanley

Death in the Family: The Fifth Botswana Mystery with Detective Kubu


The continent of Africa has been carved up by many talented mystery writers, as we shall see in future posts. Botswana has been laid claim to by Michael Stanley–the writing team of  Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both are retired professors who have worked in academia and business. Sears is a mathematician, specializing in geological remote sensing. Trollip is an educational psychologist, specializing in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and a pilot. They were both born in South Africa.

They have been on a number of flying safaris to Botswana and Zimbabwe, where they have had many adventures, including tracking lions at night, fighting bush fires on the Savuti plains in northern Botswana, being charged by an elephant, and having their plane’s door pop open over the Kalahari, scattering navigation maps over the desert. These trips have fed their love both for the bush, and for Botswana.

It was on one of these trips that the idea surfaced for a novel set in Botswana. The first book in the series, featuring Detective David “Kubu” Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department, A Carrion Death, was set in the deserts of Botswana, where the world’s richest diamond mines are located. The story dealt with greed, power, lust, and the conflict between modern views and traditional values. Booklist compared this book to The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agencyseries, and recommended it to “Henning Mankell fans, who will respond to the complex plots and palpable sense of place.” A New York Times Book Review contributor noted of this book, “Kubu is … hugely appealing – big and solid and smart enough to grasp all angles of this mystery… Readers may be lured to Africa by the landscape, but it takes a great character like Kubu to win our loyalty.” And Kirkus Reviews found it a “stately debut.”

The second book, The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu (USA) or A Deadly Trade(elsewhere), is set in the very north of Botswana, which contrasts vividly with the dry rest of the country.

Death of the Mantis, the third book in the series, was shortlisted for the Anthony and Edgar awards and won the Barry Award for best paperback original mystery.

Deadly Harvest, the fourth mystery in the beloved and critically acclaimed Detective Kubu series tracks a series of murders and the mysterious witch doctor whose nefarious potions might hold the key to a web of missing persons. A young girl goes missing after getting into a car with a mysterious man. Soon after, a second girl disappears, and her devastated father, Witness, sets out to seek revenge.

A Death in the Family is the fifth book in this exceptional series and begins with a bang when Kubu's elderly father is murdered. Kubu is ordered away from the case, but as usual, he has trouble following orders. Meanwhile, in the small town of Shoshong, the local Chinese-owned mine wants to take over part of the village. A week later, a senior official in the Department of Mines is found dead. Kubu becomes convinced that the official was murdered. As always, Michael Stanley creates a seamless and complex mystery with a fascinating look at modern-day Africa.

Event date: 
Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
7419 Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130
Staff Pick Logo
A Death in the Family Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250070890
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Minotaur Books - October 27th, 2015

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A Carrion Death: Introducing Detective Kubu (Detective Kubu Series #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061252419
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - March 31st, 2009

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The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061252501
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - June 1st, 2010

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Death of the Mantis: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062000378
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper Perennial - September 6th, 2011

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Deadly Harvest: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series #4) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062221520
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper Paperbacks - April 30th, 2013

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