In Stanley's fine second mystery to feature Botswana police detective David Bengu (after 2008's A Carrion Death), Bengu, an overweight gourmet aptly nicknamed Kubu (Setswana for hippopotamus), investigates the murders of two male guests at an isolated bush camp. One victim was a black South African tourist; the other, according to his fingerprints, was Goodluck Tinubu, supposedly killed 29 years earlier in the Rhodesian civil war. A third camp guest, who's disappeared, becomes the prime suspect. While the local police want to blame the country's lucrative drug trade for the murders, Bengu believes the key lies in Goodluck's background, though many people, including Bengu's father, knew Goodluck as a thoughtful, devoted teacher. The story runs on a little too long, as though Stanley, the South African writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, couldn't bear to leave this evocative setting. Readers will feel the same way. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
When two guests at the remote Jackalberry bush camp in northern Botswana are murdered, police discover that one of the dead men, Zimbabwean teacher Goodluck Tinubu, was already dead. Assistant Superintendent Kubu Bengu is sent to oversee the investigation, which gets more complicated when Joy, Bengu's beloved wife, is attacked in their home and he receives threatening phone calls. Following his spectacular debut, A Carrion Death, Stanley comes roaring back with an even better tale. Bringing a love of Africa similar to Alexander McCall Smith's popular "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series, the author has created an excellent new venue for those who love to read about other cultures while enjoying a good mystery. Highly recommended. [Stanley is actually the writing team of South Africans Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip.-Ed.]
Jo Ann Vicarel
All the evidence in a double murder points in one direction. But Detective Kubu isn't so sure. Staff at the remote Jackalberry Camp in northern Botswana are horrified to discover the body of former Zimbabwean Goodluck Tinubu, murdered in his tent, his throat slit. Two other guests, the South African Sipho Langa and the Zimbabwean Ishmael Zondo, have gone missing. When Langa is found at the bottom of a cliff on the edge of the camp, his skull bashed in, Zondo, driven to the closest airstrip early in the morning by camp manager Dupie after reporting a family emergency, becomes the prime suspect. Enter David "Kubu" Bengu, of Botswana's Criminal Investigation Department. Huge both of person and of personality (his nickname means "hippo"), Detective Kubu takes firm control. His methodical investigation provides Stanley ample opportunity for local color and an important domestic revelation when his wife Joy shares the ecstatic news that she's pregnant with their first child. Upon learning that Zondo's real name is Peter Jabulani and that he was traveling with a fake passport, everyone but Kubu rushes to judgment. As the title hints, however, the solution to the complex mystery is rooted in an unusual incident from Tinubu's past as a teacher in Zimbabwe. Kubu's second case is as leisurely and well-appointed as the first (A Carrion Death, 2008), with maps, glossary and a helpful cast of characters. Stanley-actually the South African team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip-should satisfy all armchair travelers and most mystery fans.
"Together, Stanley and Prebble weave the threads of history, politics, culture, and murder into a tale that will intrigue fans of The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency and those who enjoy mysteries with exotic settings." AudioFile