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Facets of Death
Cover of Facets of Death
Facets of Death

A prequel to the award-winning Detective Kubu series

David Bengu has always stood out from the crowd. His personality and his physique match his nickname, Kubu—Setswana for "hippopotamus"—a seemingly docile creature, but one of the deadliest in Africa. His keen mind and famous persistence have seen him rise in the Botswana CID. But how did he get his start?

His resentful new colleagues are suspicious of a detective who has entered the CID straight from university, skipping the usual beat cop phase.

Shortly after he joins the CID, the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats of diamonds in transit. The robbery is well-executed and brutal. Police immediately suspect an inside job, but there is no evidence of who it could be.

When the robbers are killed execution-style in South Africa and the diamonds are still missing, the game changes, and suspicion focuses on a witch doctor and his son. Does "Kubu" have the skill and the integrity to engineer an international trap and catch those responsible, or will the biggest risk of his life end in disaster?

A prequel to the award-winning Detective Kubu series

David Bengu has always stood out from the crowd. His personality and his physique match his nickname, Kubu—Setswana for "hippopotamus"—a seemingly docile creature, but one of the deadliest in Africa. His keen mind and famous persistence have seen him rise in the Botswana CID. But how did he get his start?

His resentful new colleagues are suspicious of a detective who has entered the CID straight from university, skipping the usual beat cop phase.

Shortly after he joins the CID, the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats of diamonds in transit. The robbery is well-executed and brutal. Police immediately suspect an inside job, but there is no evidence of who it could be.

When the robbers are killed execution-style in South Africa and the diamonds are still missing, the game changes, and suspicion focuses on a witch doctor and his son. Does "Kubu" have the skill and the integrity to engineer an international trap and catch those responsible, or will the biggest risk of his life end in disaster?

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About the Author-
  • Michael Stanley is 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 it was always exciting to buzz a dirt airstrip to shoo the elephants off. They have had many adventures on these trips 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.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 18, 2019
    Thriller Award–finalist Stanley’s entertaining seventh mystery featuring policeman David “Kubu” Bengu (after 2017’s Dying to Live), a prequel, focuses on Bengu’s early days with the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. In 1998, Bengu, who’s earned the nickname Kubu (meaning hippo) because of his girth, has been hired as a detective sergeant straight out of university, despite lacking experience as a beat cop. That special status makes his new colleagues jealous, even as Kubu dives into two baffling cases. One involves tourist luggage that keeps disappearing on flights from Botswana to Europe and that provides Bengu an opportunity to display his cleverness. The other, more important case involves identifying the mastermind behind an attack on an armored vehicle carrying diamonds that left numerous guards dead. Series followers will enjoy the backstory to a significant personal relationship for the endearing lead. Stanley (the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip) should win fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, likewise set in Botswana, with this outing. Agent: Jacques de Spoelberch, J. de S. Assoc.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2019
    New challenges and a baffling mystery face a charismatic detective when he joins the CID. David Bengu, nicknamed Kubu--that is, "hippo" in Setswana--for the size of both his person and his personality, beams with joy on being appointed a DS with Botswana's Criminal Investigative Division. But Kubu (Dying To Live, 2017, etc.) learns immediately that his expansive manner is not appreciated in the regimented, by-the-book CID. His first case is a baffling one that concerns disappearing luggage on a transcontinental flight. Kubu is sent back to headquarters to track missing items while senior officials get the more glamorous job on the scene. Lax security allowed the robbers to pull off the crime. The case becomes more urgent when three guards are killed, giving Kubu his chance at the limelight. Might one of the guards have been among the robbers? The stolen baggage contained diamonds, and the complex scheme to steal them involves multiple airports, a polishing facility near the airport, and operatives in Botswana's capital city of Gaborone. How did the robbers even know which box contained the diamonds? Kubu takes the lead in questioning witnesses, from the head of security at the diamond mine to the plane's pilot. Meanwhile, Stanley also takes the reader inside the thieves' den, where paranoia and discord grow in tandem with the investigation. While the veteran CID detectives express pessimism about the case, an invigorated Kubu is optimistic and determined to unravel it. Series fans take note: This seventh Kubu mystery is set at the beginning of the detective's storied career. Stanley's 95 short chapters underscore the hypereagerness of the charismatic young detective.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publishers Weekly "Entertaining...Series followers will enjoy the backstory.
    "
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Facets of Death
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Michael Stanley
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