#BlogTour #Review ~ Dying To Live by Michael Stanley @OrendaBooks @detectivekubu

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

About the Authors

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.




My Review

This is part of a series but the first I have read by the Michael Stanley. Reading the blurb it felt completely out of my comfort zone but I trust Orenda to provide excellent novels that will capture my imagination and it’s a wonderful way to explore new writers. So once again a big thumbs up to Orenda Books! 

I found this totally absorbing from the start. Set in Botswana it makes for a fascinating trip into the darker side of the area. Detective Kubu Bengu is an absolute delight and I took to him immediately, he and his partner  Samantha Khama make a formidable team.

The body of a bushman is discovered, it should just be another murder case until the autopsy reveals a peculiarity. While the man is elderly his organs resemble that of a much younger person. There was also a bullet lodged with no sign of scarring .. the investigation takes many twists and turns which involves Witch doctors and their Muti (alternative medicines).

Not only are we taken on a journey to solve the mystery but also into Kubo’s personal life. Family life is difficult when his young daughter becomes very poorly when she reacts to the HIV medicine. The emotions run high as he is torn between work and family. I found some of this highly tense but an essential part of the book. 

There is so much to learn about Africa, it’s customs and I’m intrigued by witch doctors so Dying To Live has opened my mind to research.

This is a well written mystery which will entertain and intrigue you in equal measures. I’m thrilled that I have discovered Kubo and will endeavour to catch up with the previous books for my pleasure, it certainly didn’t feel necessary to read them prior to this one because it is all explained. It may be a complex subject but certainly an interesting one.

My thanks to the authors, Orenda and Anne Cater for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

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