Death of the Mantis (Detective Kubu Series #3)

Death of the Mantis (Detective Kubu Series #3)

4.4 9
by Michael Stanley
     
 

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“The best book yet in one of the best series going: a serious novel with a mystery at its core that takes us places we’ve never been.”
—Timothy Hallinan, author of The Queen of Patpong

Mystery readers who have not yet made the acquaintance of larger than life African investigator Detective David “Kubu” Bengu

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Overview

“The best book yet in one of the best series going: a serious novel with a mystery at its core that takes us places we’ve never been.”
—Timothy Hallinan, author of The Queen of Patpong

Mystery readers who have not yet made the acquaintance of larger than life African investigator Detective David “Kubu” Bengu are doing themselves a great disservice. Death of the Mantis is the third Kubu novel from author Michael Stanley—following the critically acclaimed A Carrion Death and The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu—and it plunges the robust manhunter into the chaotic center of a murder case involving nomadic Bushmen that is stoking the fires of prejudice and tribal hatred. Set in Botswana—the fascinating equatorial country also explored by Alexander McCall Smith in his #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels—Death of the Mantis is a book alive with the sights and sounds of an exotic and breathtaking land. The exploits of Stanley’s singularly captivating policeman protagonist will delight you and keep you guessing.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alexander McCall Smith fans interested in a different take on modern-day Botswana will find it in the intriguing third mystery from the team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, who write under the Stanley pseudonym (after 2009's The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu). Khumanego, a Bushman, asks his police detective friend, David "Kubu" Bengu, to intervene to prevent an injustice. Three fellow Bushmen have been charged with the bludgeoning murder of game ranger Tawana Monzo, despite the absence of solid evidence against them. Much to Kubu's satisfaction, his discovery of traces of an unknown other at the crime scene leads to the release of the accused Bushmen from custody. But the gourmand sleuth, who's adjusting to new fatherhood, soon feels less satisfied after another man is beaten to death in a similar manner. The cultural conflict between the Bushmen and their fellow countrymen lends color. (Sept.)
Louise Penny
“DEATH OF THE MANTIS is the best book I’ve read in a very long time. A fantastic read. Brilliant!”
Timothy Hallinan
“DEATH OF THE MANTIS is the best book yet in one of the best series going: a serious novel with a mystery at its core that takes us places we’ve never been, thrills and informs us, and leaves us changed by the experience. I loved this book.”
Charles Todd
“Assistant Superintendent Kubu is back! A page-turner from start to finish. Michael Stanley’s enthralling series is a must-read for anyone who enjoys clever plotting, terrific writing, and a fascinating glimpse of today’s Africa. Kubu—DEATH OF THE MANTIS—Michael Stanley: the perfect mystery trifecta for any crime fan.”
Library Journal
When his childhood friend Khumanego, a member of the nomadic first peoples of Botswana, begs for his help, Detective David "Kubu" Bengu (The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu) responds eagerly. A local park ranger has been killed in the Kalahari, and three nomads are being held for the murder. Kubu convinces the local authorities to free the trio, but he wonders what he's missing when a second murder—this one involving a Namibian PI—is discovered in the same region. As the secret lives of the victims are revealed, the variety of possible motives expands at a dizzying pace. Kubu is forced to reevaluate the evidence and make hard choices. VERDICT Impossible to put down, this immensely readable third entry from the duo of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip (who write under their combined first names) delivers the goods. Kubu's painstaking detecting skills make him a sort of Hercule Poirot of the desert. Grimmer than Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe mysteries but not oppressively violent, this series can be recommended to a wide gamut of readers.
Kirkus Reviews

A dedicated Botswana detective finds himself in the middle of simmering tensions between police and nomadic Bushmen.

A prologue set in the 1950s reveals a cave atop several desert hills as The Place, where one can meet "the spirits." In the present, rangers Ndoli and Vusi find their colleague Monzo dead in the desert at the bottom of a dry riverbed, a place well out of his bailiwick. The body is surrounded by Bushmen who vault to the top of the suspect list and are arrested. (A few weeks earlier, two University of Botswana students were found dead at a campground, and local gossip blames witchcraft.) Detective Sergeant Phinda Lerako, known to local natives as "Detective Stone Wall," won't listen to educated Bushman Khumanego's warnings against a rush to judgment. So Khumanego appeals to his old friend David "Kubu" Bengu, Lerako's subordinate in the department. The big boss, Mabaku, allows Kubu to investigate as long as he doesn't "stir things up." Unfortunately, evidence leads in a different direction, and the more Kubu follows the real trail, the harder Lerako comes down on him. Monzo's secret mistress provides some key clues, but before Kubu can put all the pieces together, a second, very similar murder raises the stakes and puts the pressure on the usually ebullient detective.

Kubu's third recorded case(The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu, 2009, etc.) is again alive with localcolor and detail and, refreshingly, offers his fullest mystery plot yet, along with a glossary, maps and a helpful list of characters.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062000378
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/06/2011
Series:
Detective Kubu Series, #3
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
955,467
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Sears was born in Johannesburg, grew up in Cape Town and Nairobi, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. Trollip was also born in Johannesburg and has been on the faculty of the universities of Illinois, Minnesota, and North Dakota, and at Capella University. He divides his time between Knysna, South Africa, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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