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Deadly Harvest: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series) Paperback – April 30, 2013

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Deadly Harvest: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series) + Death of the Mantis: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series) + The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Detective Kubu Series (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Original edition (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062221523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062221520
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This popular whodunit series created by the South African writing team of Stanley Trollip and Michael Sears shares its Botswana backdrop with McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe mysteries, though the similarities between the two largely end there. These darker, grittier entries featuring the portly and perceptive Detective Kubu blend intricate plotting and a compelling cast. In this fourth offering (after Death of the Mantis,2011), Detective Kubu and new recruit Samantha (the first woman on the Botswana police force) investigate the disappearance of two young girls they fear were killed for a muti, a traditional African medicine rendered by witch doctors. (Though muti typically contains animal and plant parts, the two detectives suspect that the powerful potions in question have human remains.) Meanwhile, the father of one of the missing girls pegs a prickly politician as his daughter’s abductor and seeks immediate—and deadly—revenge. Though the cat-and-mouse chase that ensues propels the novel ever forward, Stanley also peppers the tale with richly detailed descriptions of Botswana and the spirited lives of its citizens. --Allison Block


“Kubu is also hugely appealing—big and solid and smart enough to grasp all angles of this mystery. Readers may be lured to Africa by the landscape, but it takes a great character like Kubu to win our loyalty.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Assistant Superintendent Kubu is back....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.” (Charles Todd, New York times bestselling author of A Matter of Justice)

“[Kubu is] the African Columbo.” (Entertainment Weekly)

Deadly Harvest is number four in this fascinating crime series. Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu is a wonderful creation, complex and beguiling…Compelling and deceptively written, it’s the perfect summer read.” (New York Journal of Books)

“These darker, grittier entries featuring the portly and perceptive Detective Kubu blend intricate plotting and a compelling cast.” (Booklist)

“Grisly murders and heart-wrenching societal issues mark… fascinating police procedural [Deadly Harvest]…. Sears and Trollip write so seamlessly…. An intricate crime puzzle.” (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

“Believable and utterly menacing…. Tight plotting is seasoned with African culture.” (Steve Steinbock, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

“One of the finest crime thrillers of 2013.” (SHOTS Crime & Thriller Ezine)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 48 customer reviews
I love all the Detective Kubu mysteries.
Lynne Stevens
As a woman, she feels she is up against a lot of prejudice in the criminal justice world, and so she is rather angry and determined as well as very bright.
Booker G
The stories are well-plotted, and the characters are interesting.
B. L. Waldschmidt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sherry Price on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The fourth Detective Kubu mystery Deadly Harvest was not a disappointment. From the beginning to the end, I did not want to put it down. I have read all four of the Kubu mysteries and each successive book was better than the previous one. The characters are interesting, lovable and keep you coming back for more. Kubu is a great representative of policemen world wide who are dedicated to protecting the innocent, regardless of the recognition they receive or lack of it. Thanks to the duo, Michael Stanley for consistently good reads.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By misplaced cajun on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
When Lesego Betse goes missing, her sister Dikeledi knows that something terrible has happened. She tries to get the police interested but no one is convinced it's anything other than a simple runaway case. It's not until four months later that Samantha Khama, new to CID (and their first female detective), takes an active interest. The case reminds her of another, a friend of hers who was killed for muti years ago. Samantha knows this may not be the case with Lesego but feels the investigation deserves more attention than it's gotten. Then another girl disappears. Shortly thereafter, a rising politician is murdered and evidence of muti is discovered in his home. While much muti is made from plants, herbs, and even animals, the muti found in the politician's home contains human remains. It soon becomes clear that the murder is connected to Samantha's case, but can she and Kubu find the person responsible for this heinous crime?

I love the setting in this series. The authors, both of whom grew up in - and still reside in - South Africa, are clearly knowledgeable about the place and culture and are able to convey this both subtly and wonderfully. What I mean by this is that the book isn't overwhelmed by explanation simply for the benefit of the reader, nor is it a case where the setting is simply a gimmick. The details are a part of the story and the plot is very reliant on the culture. You have muti - the medicine or spells made by witch doctors - as well as political and other social aspects, both as part of the overall plot and as pieces of the characters' personal lives.

The characters are realistic and the mystery is very well plotted - though others have said they figured out the "whodunit," I was left guessing until the end.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cathy G. Cole TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
First Line: As she walked home, Lesego's head was full of Christmas.

Assistant Superintendent David Bengu of the Gaborone Criminal Investigation Department (known by everyone as "Kubu") has barely had time to make the acquaintance of the CID's first woman detective, Samantha Khama, when his superior tells him he needs to devote his time to a death threat on a popular political candidate. Samantha seems to be a bright, very intense young woman who's determined to focus on crimes against women. Since Kubu now has very little time to mentor her, he agrees when she asks to be put in charge of a cold case concerning missing women and children. In quick succession two young girls go missing after being seen getting into cars, and the political candidate is murdered. Kubu and Samantha have their hands full-- and what neither of them realizes is that their cases will entwine. There is a powerful, and very deadly, witch doctor at the heart of both their investigations.

Every voracious crime fiction reader loves to be in at the start of an excellent series and watch it improve and flourish with each subsequent book. That's exactly what's happened with the Detective Kubu series penned by the talented writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip.

Their series is set in the fascinating country of Botswana, familiar yet so very different from the Botswana of Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe. As Kubu interacts with other characters, we learn of the traditions, customs, foods, and land in which the books are set.

During the investigations of Deadly Harvest, we become more familiar with the political climate as well as muti, a type of traditional medicine widespread in southern Africa.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Friederike Knabe VINE VOICE on July 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Since their first book in the Kubu series, South African writing team "Michael Stanley" (Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip) have effectively integrated social, political and cultural concerns among people in Botswana into captivating fast-paced, personally engaging detective stories, centred on the music-loving family man and hard working friendly detective. In DEADLY HARVEST, the fourth book in the Michael Stanley Detective Kubu series, weighty issues dampen the detective's usually cheerful and upbeat spirit. Despite his deep love for opera, he even loses his desire for singing arias while driving or spending time enjoying his food.

Assistant Superintendent David 'Kubu' Bengu is in a preoccupied and worried mood. As if it were not enough to have to deal with the politics of important appointments in the Botswana Police force that will likely impact him and his boss, Director Mabaku, the recruitment of the first female detective on the force, Samantha Khama, creates a stir. She has been assigned, at her request it turns out, to dig into several cold cases of young girls who had disappeared without a trace on their way from school. A new case of such disappearance brings Samantha's work into the spotlight. Is there a connection between the cases, somehow?

The circumstances of Tombi's disappearance resemble the earlier one of Lesego in another town and Samantha is on the case as best as she can, considering the lack of evidence. Kubu's role in mentoring Samantha opens up a new level of cooperation and understanding. With her work and his new case of a gruesome physical "message" at the door of a popular politician, concern grows that the work of one or more witchdoctors may be involved in some way. The question is why and for whose apparent benefit?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Michael Stanley is the writing name of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both natives of Africa, we have traveled regularly together to Botswana and Zimbabwe over the past twenty years to experience the country with its wide diversity and interesting peoples. Our books reflect the authentic Africa of the 21st century: not merely the politically unstable, desperately poor Africa of the nightly news, but also the emotional conflicts of people with one foot in traditional culture and the other in Western-instigated globalism. The new Africa is not the safari jungle, but a collection of diverse groups and nations struggling to find their way in a rapidly changing context.

It was at the lion research center in the Savuti, an ancient dried-up lake in Botswana's Chobe National Park, that we realized how to conceal a perfect murder. We watched hyenas team up to drive lions off their fresh kills, then devour everything in sight, bones and all. By the next morning, no evidence remained of the carcass. Botswana offered the ideal setting for such a literary revelation. This was the kernel of the idea that led to our first book, A CARRION DEATH.

Our detective is Assistant Superintendent David Bengu of the Botswana criminal Investigation Department. His nickname is Kubu because of his size - "kubu" being the Setswana word for hippopotamus. Hippos in the wild spend most of the day in pools or rivers, with all but their eyes and ears under water; they look deceptively docile, belying the fact that they kill more people in Africa than any other mammal, trampling whatever lies between them and their objective. So with Kubu. On the surface he appears harmless; a convivial man with a sly sense of humor who loves his wife, and is passionate about wine and music. But Kubu is a capable, wily policeman determined to rid Botswana of crime, no matter what gets in his way.

In A CARRION DEATH, Kubu is faced with a vicious plot involving blood diamonds, greed, and corruption, with a touch of the supernatural. The book is set in the arid south of Botswana and in the capital city, Gaborone.

A CARRION DEATH was shortlisted for best debut mystery novel for the BARRY, MACAVITY and STRAND MAGAZINE CRITICS' awards. It was also shortlisted for the UK's Crime Writers Association DEBUT DAGGER award, and for the Minnesota Book Awards Genre Fiction.

In THE SECOND DEATH OF GOODLUCK TINUBU, Kubu has to investigate the murder of two supposed tourists at a camp in the lush north of the country along the beautiful Linyanti river. Across the river lie Namibia and Zimbabwe. Kubu has to delve into the past and the Rhodesian Bush War to unravel the mystery of the modern day killings.

DEATH OF THE MANTIS is set in the Kalahari and the back story is the plight of the Bushman (or San) peoples of the area. When a game ranger is found dead in a dry ravine, his corpse surrounded by three Bushmen, the local police arrest the nomads. Kubu investigates the case and is reunited with his old school friend Khumanego, a Bushman and advocate for his people. Khumanego claims the nomads are innocent and the arrests motivated by racist antagonism. The Bushmen are released, but soon after, another man is murdered in similar circumstances. Are the Bushmen to blame, or is it a copycat murder? Then there is a third murder. Again it points to the Bushmen. Kubu journeys into the depths of the Kalahari to find the truth. All his powers of detection are tested as well as his ability to stay alive...

DEATH OF THE MANTIS has been shortlisted for the ANTHONY and EDGAR awards for best paperback original mystery of 2011, as well as for Minnesota Book Awards Genre Fiction. The book won the BARRY Award for best paperback original mystery.

DEADLY HARVEST - the fourth Detective Kubu mystery - revolves around the pervasive belief in black magic in southern Africa and the potions of witch doctors who still produce great fear in many of the local people.

We enjoy both a local and transglobal collaboration, mainly via e-mail and Skype. Michael lives in Johannesburg, South Africa; Stanley spends half the year in coastal South Africa and half in Minnesota.

For more about us, our books and Botswana, see

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Deadly Harvest: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series)
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