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Facets of Death

(Detective Kubu)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  20 reviews
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
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Poisoned Pen Press
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have always meant to read this critically acclaimed series set in Botswana by the authors Michael Stanley, and find myself introduced to it with this prequel, which goes back to David 'Kubu' Bengu start in the police. Kubu is his nickname, acquired at school, the Setswana word for hippopotamus, often underestimated in just how deadly an animal it can be. Walking into Botswana's Police Criminal Investigation Department on his first day on the 30th November 1998, he is aware that he will face ...more
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
In this prequel to Kubu Bengu series, a heist at the world's largest diamond mine sends the straight-out-of-the-university Bengu and CID colleagues into investigation mode, especially when the robbers are killed but the diamonds remain missing. Suspicion falls to a local witch doctor, but the young officer comes up with a plan to solve the case. Will he succeed or fail? The novel felt disjointed to me because the chapters were so short. Ultimately the mystery itself was gratifying, but the ...more Mystery & Thriller
It is so nice to see David Bengu back in action. Bengu, who is better known as “Kubu” in the fictitious world he inhabits, is a police detective in the Botswana CID. This mystery series has been one of my favorites since its inception, in large part due to its principal character. Kubu is quietly loyal, deeply dedicated and good-natured to a fault --- the term “gentle giant” comes to mind --- while being possessed of a keen and sharp intellect that serves him well in his investigative tasks.

Elite Group
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My new most favourite detective – “Kubu” Bengu

If like me you’ve read the previous books in this series, you are going to absolutely relish reading each and every page of this, the latest book, because it introduces Detective Sergeant Bengu to us on his first day as a newly qualified Detective Sergeant, fast-tracked from university. The other members of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department are not happy with this interloper – they’ve all had to work hard for their positions and make it
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Facets of Death is the 7th book in the Detective Kubu mysteries by Michael Stanley. Due out 7th Jan 2020 from Poisoned Pen Press, it's 336 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

This is a fun departure from the rest of the strongly chronological series in the form of a prequel including David ("Kubu") Bengu's very earliest days as a detective in the Botswana police. I really enjoyed reading about his earliest days with his
Marilyn Watson
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Michael Stanley is the writing team of retired Professors Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. They clearly have a love of Botswana which is in every page of these mysteries. The fear of a Witch Doctor and his gruesome packages adds an eerie touch to the book. Their writing style is an odd mix of gentle pacing, with the unusual mix of dogged police work. All in all this adds up to a very winning combination for a mystery.

The main Character Sgt. Kabu is working very hard to make a name for himself
Jacqui Huntley
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable story with a lovely detective - young, enthusiastic in his first job. and who has a supportive senior officer. His first case involves missing luggage by dint of exchanging luggage tags; he works it out although it is quite convoluted. He is also part of the team investigating a major diamond heist with as many red herrings as one could hope for. The descriptions of the landscape and towns are well-written and you can certainly smell the heat. The young detective, David ...more
Cathy Cole
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Longtime fans of Michael Stanley's wonderful Detective Kubu series should love this prequel. Readers who've never met the wily detective before can easily start with Facets of Death, find themselves hooked, and move on to the rest of the series.

We meet Kubu on his very first day on the job, and we also get to see him meet the woman who will become his wife. We see how Kubu deals with jealousy in the workforce, and-- heavens above-- does this young man soak up knowledge like the proverbial
Colored Ink
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the new prequel to an established series of books, set in Botswana, and featuring David ‘Kobu’ Benga, fresh out of University, and a brand-new police detective. It’s the first book of this series that I’ve read, and I thought I’d like it more than I did.
Kobu is a good character, with a lot of potential and there’s an interesting, possible love interest. But for me the story dragged a little - there were too many police characters that were difficult to differentiate, and a convoluted
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have read most of the Detective Kubu series and they just get better and better. So I was delighted to see that this was a prequel to the series that introduces Kubu when he first became a detective. David Bengu, or "Kubu", a nickname that means Hippopotamus, is a detective straight out of university which does not make him popular with the beat cops, but he doesn't really mind. He wants to work more than be popular, and he wants to learn from his superiors, so he's thrilled when a big case ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Welcome to Botswana! This was my first visit and I really enjoyed it, though the heat can be a bit much at times.This story has a clever plot with intriguing twists and turns. But the best part about this book is the characters. They each have unique personalities and as Kubu joins the force his fellow officers are less than thrilled by his presence. But it is these somewhat fractious interactions that make the story so much fun. The main story involves the investigation into a diamond heist but ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
An Inspector Kubu Mystery. I loved this book. Very fast read, never boring. Only 2 small criticisms ... the reader is never told what year it is taking place until some clues at almost the end. And this book really needed a list of characters. I could not keep all the titles separate to know who the author was referring to. First book I've read by these authors. Copyright January 2020 but story took place in 1998.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's the first book I read in this series and won't surely be the last as I found it gripping and entertaining.
I loved the vivid descriptions of Africa, the well thought cast of characters, and the well crafted plot.
The mystery is solid and it kept me guessing till the end.
I look forward to reading other stories in this series.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Leyla Johnson
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great mystery set in Africa with a fun team of very nice detectives. It is interesting to read detective story that is not set in the US or England, I really enjoy the journey, and the nuances that make this a different style of story.
A major robbery from a large shipment of diamonds, a witch doctor and a new detective with the nickname of Kubu, meaning "hippopotamus," sets the scene for this enjoyable book, that couldn't be easily be put down.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 plus stars for this prequel. It was fun reading about a young Kubu just out of university and starting his career with the police. The crimes were interesting with lots of suspects and lots of good solid policing.

This could be a good place to start the series.
J.D. DeHart
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not always attracted to mysteries, but the setting and description behind this book made me hopeful. I wasn’t disappointed in what I found — suspense, action, rich descriptions of places and people. I would put this book forefront on my shelf.
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I got an advance copy of this book to do a review of it for Mystery Scene magazine. I will update this with the review link when it goes online.

I can say that I did like this book.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Definitely the best Kubu book so far!
If it seems strange I say that and it only gets a 3 star, you can see my rating scheme on my profile.
Marsha Valance
A newly graduated Kubu joins the Botswana police.
Bill Berger
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A prequel, the arrival of Kudu to the Botswana police department from university and the introduction of all the characters we’ve come come to enjoy over the series run. Wonderful read.
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Nov 03, 2019
John D
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Jan 18, 2020
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Feb 04, 2020
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Feb 05, 2020
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Jan 28, 2020
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Jan 08, 2020
John Dombrowski
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Jan 20, 2020
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Feb 12, 2020
Karen Loos
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Feb 11, 2020
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Feb 15, 2020
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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)
  • Deadly Harvest (Detective Kubu, #4)
  • A Death in the Family (Detective Kubu #5)
  • Dying to Live (Detective Kubu #6)