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Deadly Harvest

(Detective Kubu #4)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  620 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Deadly Harvest in Michael Stanley’s beloved Detective Kubu series tracks a series of murders and a mysterious witch doctor whose nefarious potions might hold the key to a web of missing persons.

When young girls start to go missing, Samantha, a new detective on the Botswana police force suspects that muti, a traditional African medicine, is the reason. She and Detective
Paperback, 496 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Harper Paperbacks
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Miriam Smith
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orenda
Having read the third in the intelligent Detective Kubu series written by Michael Stanley and absolutely loving it, I couldn't wait to read book four "Deadly Harvest" - this time published by Orenda books.
I wasn't disappointed, if anything my interest in this series has gone up even higher, such was the well thought out gritty subject of witchcraft, political corruption and man's obsession with power. I'm learning a lot about Botswana and South African cultures throughout this series and it is
Liz Barnsley
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deadly Harvest was brilliant and captivating, very haunting in places and absolutely captured my imagination, I read it in one sitting whilst gulping huge amounts of coffee.

The setting for a start was so beautifully described you could almost taste the air – I know nothing relatively speaking about Botswana, Deadly Harvest was a bit of an education for me in that respect and the authors here manage to convey that sense of place with some wonderfully descriptive prose that digs deep. The
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Deadly Harvest – A Hot Thriller

The writing duo who make up Michael Stanley have written a hot thriller based out under the hot sky of Botswana where the Police have to combat corruption and the belief in witch doctors. This Sunshine Noir has all the darkness of Nordic Noir but at a more relaxed approach, with some excellent characters.

When a young girl goes missing, and then not long after another girl disappears in to thin air, the police seem slow to react and show very little interest. It is
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like an international flavour to my books; a little escapism to a far away land where life is different to mine. In a literary sense, I feel well travelled. So why can’t I think of a single book I’ve read that’s set in Africa? Probably because Deadly Harvest was my first visit to the vast continent (how is that possible?!). But what an introduction! This was no gentle easing into the customs and the climate, oh no! This was a smack-you-between-the-eyes visit to Botswana with body parts galore! ...more
Nerdish Mum
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, read-2016
I mentioned it last time, but I'll mention it again this time, but you would never know that there are two authors writing these books. The whole thing is so well written and it flows beautifully. There aren't sections that you can tell that are written by one person or the other which is what I've found when reading other books by more than one author.

The story itself is wonderfully crafted and is full of the twists and turns that I now expect from a Michael Stanley book. I don't want to say
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Deadly Harvest is my introduction to The Detective Kubu series, set in Botswana. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the rest and devouring them. Detective Kubu is wonderful and it’s eye opening discovering a rich African culture! The writing team of Michael Stanley (Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip) are at their fourth adventure for Assistant Superintendent David Benga, known as Kubu.

The story is fascinating, dark and beautifully written. Botswana is a modern country, that still clings
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really like these Detective Kubu books about a portly ("Kubu" means "hippo") police detective in Botswana, who solves crimes and is a funny, lovable character.
* * * * *
Oops, I apologize for noting in an earlier post that this series is set in India; I was thinking about another, similar detective series I enjoy (Tarquin Hall's Vish Puri series)! These two authors known collectively as Michael Stanley have written another very well-crafted story which proceeds at a stately, nuanced pace which
Crime mystery set in Botswana

This review first appeared on our blog where we also chat to the author(s):

A well paced mystery that circles around as the clues come together, the darkness of illicit practices unfurls like the smoke from a witch’s cauldron. There is more than a nod to Macbeth in the book, set against a rich Botswana background.

Intriguingly behind the story is writer duo, Stanley Trollip and Michael Sears, combining to make Michael Stanley. I
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Some of the very best crime fiction explores issues that are relevant to the society in which it is set. Michael Stanley's Kubu series, set in Botswana seems to have really hit its straps in that department in the last couple of books, with DEADLY HARVEST reaching a particular high. The fourth book in the Detective Kubu series, here the author(s) are exploring the disappearance of a number of young girls. The suspicion is that these girls are the victims of a powerful, unknown witchdoctor, ...more
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
When I started I had no idea what to expect! However, once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop as I was drawn in immediately!

Opening with the abduction of a young girl, the book definitely starts with a twist as the reader is made to question who would take a child, and why? And why did the girl go with them so easily?

Set in Botswana, the location gives a fabulous backdrop to the story. I am so used to reading books set in colder climes, that Deadly Harvest was a welcome change to the norm.
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deadly Harvest is an excellent police procedural!

It is set in, Botswana, and you really get a feel for the place with the authors descriptions and the wondeful dialogue.

The characters are strong and believable with Assistant Superintendent David 'Kubu' Bengu leading the investigation into the disappearance of two young girls. Working with him on the investigation is, Samantha Khama - a new recruit to the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. They are both at different ends of the spectrum
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
The fourth book in a series about a Botswanan detective named David Bengu, nicknamed Kubu (Hippo) because of his large body and easy going nature. Kubu is drawn into local politics when a dog is slaughtered at a candidate's house, and the candidate is then killed a few days later in what is alleged to be a politically motivated murder. Meanwhile, the first female detective on the Botswana Criminal Investigative Division, Samantha Khama, aske Kubu to help her investigate the disapperance of ...more
Janet Emson
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books, reviewed
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and this is my honest opinion of the book.

A young girl goes missing on her way home from shopping. The police do little to find her and she vanishes without a trace. Months later another girl disappears, her father taking it upon himself to find out what happened to her. New detective Samatha Khama is dealing with the cases and believes the girls were taken to be used in muti, African traditional medicine. Calling on the help of Assistant
Rachel Hall
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deadly Harvest was my first encounter with the writing duo of Michael Stanley (Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip) and the two have combined superbly to deliver an utterly fascinating portrayal of a very modern Botswana. Deadly Harvest immerses the reader amidst the landscape, culture and politics of the region whilst tackling head on the contentious topic of witch doctors and their place in the hearts and minds of the natives. Whilst I wouldn't normally have contemplated reading a novel which ...more
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Deadly Harvest is a novel written by two authors, Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. It’s a crime series following Detective Kuba.

Set in Botswana the authors very much brings to life what life is like there and how diseases like Aids and HIV are still sadly very rife there.

This didn’t feel like your typical fast paced crime book. I think this is to do with the way of life there is quite laid back and even quite a lot of the police force are not interested in the crimes that are going on and are
Dark yet colourful, this is crime fiction with a brilliant flavouring of Botswanan culture and life, sprinkled with a healthy dose of grit.

Superintendent Kubu’s help is enlisted by Samantha Khama, a new police recruit intent on solving crimes against women and children, in a case of missing girls. Throw in a revenge-seeking father, political intrigue and an ‘invisible witch doctor’, and the pieces are in place for a thrilling crime novel…

The characterisation was strong, the pace tense and
Friederike Knabe
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa, african-lit
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 ...more
Jackie Law
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deadly Harvest, by Michael Stanley, is a crime thriller set in Botswana, a country that is modernising yet struggling to shake off the superstitions and prejudices of its traditional past. The story takes the reader to the heart of this struggle. Young girls are going missing, vanishing in broad daylight close to their homes. They leave no trace. The concern is that they are being taken for their body parts, believed by many to enhance the strength of potions known as muti which are created by ...more
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: no-longer-own
Back on Thursday, September 22, 2011, I was lamenting the fact that I found myself falling into a pattern. Back then I was agreeing to review books that sounded so good, I wouldn't do my diligent research into the book. Over and over again, I found myself agreeing to review a book that was actually in the middle of a series that I've never heard of before. On that day, I was reviewing Death of the Mantis, the book that precedes this one. Back then I was picking book after book, series after ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Deadly Harvest is (I think) the fourth book in the Detective Kubu series written by Michael Stanley (writing duo Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip), but it can easily be read as a standalone novel without any kind of confusion or background history. The mystery is straightforward but intriguing; the story flows nicely from point to point, but it isn’t immediately apparent whodunit. Stanley kept me guessing for at least two-thirds of the book–which is important to me when I’m reading a mystery– ...more
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Deadly Harvest is the fourth in the series that features 'Kubu'. I've not read the earlier books but after reading this fabulous one I plan on doing so very soon.
There was so much about it that I enjoyed. The very first thing was the little sketch on the back of book of the hippo, the mammal which gives Kubu his nickname. And then there is his love of cookies, like him I don't need much of an excuse to have an extra one! And I loved that each part of the novel takes its name from a quote from
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dikeledi’s sister Lesego has not come home from school. It has been hours. Dikeledi fears something has happened to her sister. She tries to get the police to search for her but they think that Lesego is a runaway. No one takes an interest until another girl goes missing and her father gets involved.

Detective Kudu and his new partner, Samantha Khama investigate the disappearances of the two girls. What they find is a witch doctor that is making muti out of human remains.

Deadly Harvest is my
Oct 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm afraid I did not enjoy reading this much, though based on the average readings I guess I am in a minority -- actually, a minority of one after the first 29 reviews.

My objections....(1) I found the plot distasteful, even if it is based on reality. Murders used to harvest organs for witchcraft is pretty grim stuff, and I found it hard to read about; (2) Almost 500 pages is way too long (even though there are fewer words per page than in most books). There is not enough of a story here to
Ted Lehmann
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of International detective fiction, people interested in Africa, Botswana
Deadly Harvest (Harper Collins, 2013, 496 pages, Paperbound, $14.99) by Michael Stanley, a pen name for South African authors Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, is the fourth in the fine series of detetective fiction focued on Detective David “Kubu” Bengu, Assistant Superintendent in the Criminal Investigation Division of the Botswana Police Department. The story is a gripping and grisly tale of murder and political corruption within the conflict between traditional and contemporary lifestyles ...more
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
The partnership behind "Michael Stanley" keeps getting better and better. Their creation of Detective Kubu is a real classic - he's completely adorable and a great centerpiece for the novels which can be decidedly on the dark side. Set in Botswana, they are steeped in African culture and landscape - this one finds Kubu on the trail of a witch doctor and unraveling a horrible trail of deaths and the reason behind them. A page turner as well as an original and (it must be said) heartbreaking ...more
Melanie Lewis
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is fantastic. The best book I've read in a long time. I was furious with myself for falling asleep when I was desperate to continue reading. I loved the story, the writing, the characters, everything about it. Michael Stanley has created a wonderful character in Assistant Superintendent David 'Kubu' Bengu and I am so thrilled to know that there are more books in the series. 5 stars doesn't begin to do it justice. If you only read one book this year, make sure it's this one
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty good story. And a grown man only pouted once. (None in the last book)

I liked the way the authors dealt with the ambivalence that so many (most) people have about witchcraft, spells and muti - things of that nature. We believe we're modern and educated and so on, but at times there can still be a niggling question "What if . . .?"
A. Lieberson
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was the best of the "Kubu" books. Kubu and a new female detective Samantha Khama have to solve the disappearance of two young girls who they fear were killed for muti. Muti is a witch doctor's potion that is made of plants and animals and can be made more potent with human remains.
The characters are strong with a well-organized plot.
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Carrion Death; The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu, and Death of the Mantis have all been excellent books. Deadly Harvest is a very good book and I'm waiting for the next one in the series.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, africa, botswana
Young girls are disappearing. It is thought that the witch doctors are behind it to use the body parts for muti - substances in the potions. New detective Samantha Khama is on the case, under the mentoring of Kubu. About the same time, a key political figure is murdered and Kubu is put on that case. It seems somehow that the cases are related. Can Kubu and Samantha solve the case when no one wants to talk about witch doctors and their powers?
As with the others, there is a lot going on and I
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Michael Stanley is the writing partnership of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Michael lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Stanley in Minneapolis.
We have travelled extensively in southern Africa and have a special love of Botswana, where our detective novels are set.
Detective Kubu investigates complex murders in his native land, justifying his nickname by his size and tenacity (Kubu is

Other books in the series

Detective Kubu (7 books)
  • A Carrion Death (Detective Kubu, #1)
  • The Second Death Of Goodluck Tinubu (Detective Kubu, #2)
  • Death of the Mantis (Detective Kubu, #3)
  • A Death in the Family (Detective Kubu #5)
  • Dying to Live (Detective Kubu #6)
  • Facets of Death