Dying to Live, A Detective Kubu Mystery by Michael Stanley #Blog Tour @OrendaBooks

Firstly I wish to thank Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to take part on this Blog Tour for Dying to Live by Michael Stanley



Book 6 in the Detective Kubu Series

ISBN: 978-1-910633-76-2

LAUNCHING: 30 JULY 2017 £8.99

‘Richly atmospheric … a gritty depiction of corruption and deception’ Publishers Weekly


The body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles … but where is the entry wound? When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case becomes… A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane detectives.

‘Saturated with local colour … Readers may be lured to Africa by the landscape, but it takes a great character like Kubu to win our loyalty’ Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review



This is the first Detective Kubu book that I have read and although I would love to read the ones that have gone before I didn’t feel out of my depth at all. It really was easy slotting everyone into their positions in the story without it feeling like a who is who walk through.

The opening scene of a body of an old bushman being found dead on the edge of the Central Kalahari game Reserve, didn’t seem very remarkable until what was found inside him was discovered. In fact it was quite impossible or at least it had been up until now. The internal organs of this seventy year old looking man were more of a man of forty and an old bullet that was found lodged in the body had  no scarring of an entry wound.

Detective Kubu Bengu and his young partner Samantha Khama make a perfect combination for a cracking investing team that I liked straight away. Kubu was torn between work and hospital where his daughter Nono was very ill. I got the feeling that normally Kubu is a detective that is very clear minded but this case would give him some very tough choices, fuzz up his head and act out of character.

I have gained a love of reading about Africa this year so I thought that I would love this book too. I wasn’t wrong although it took me to a much darker side of the Africa than I had read about so far. The one with witch doctors, spells and potions, where I have only skimmed the top but have a great respect and fear of in equal measures. This story made me want to know more as it made my head spin with possibilities.

Someone definitely wants these secrets to disappear and it becomes a bit of a hide and seek for the dead with more clues and false trails been dug up. It makes for super page turning perfection.

This is very much of story of old meets new with a timeless thread that is always constant, one of greed and corruption where money can be made but this story really throws a spanner in the works because it could hold a secret that all the money in the world couldn’t buy.

I wish to thank Anne Cater and Orenda Books for this ARC which I have chosen to review.





Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award, and book 5, A Death in the Family, was an international bestseller.










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