A(nother) Year Of Orenda – Facets of Death by Michael Stanley

Mandie has been enjoying catching up with Kubu just as much as I have and now reaches the end of the journey … for now at least . We both love reading this sunshine noir and Facets of Death brings readers right back to the start of Kubu’s career. If you’d like to read my thoughts on the book, you can find them right here. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Owner Copy
Release Date: 29 April 2021
Publisher: Orenda Books

About the Book

When a Botswana mine is robbed of 100,000 carats of diamonds and the thieves are murdered execution-style, Botswana’s Detective Kubu begins a terrifying international investigation in the prequel to the award-winning Detective Kubu series.

Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove…

When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and then the thieves are killed, execution-style, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself. But where are the diamonds? And what role does a witch doctor and his son play? Does this young detective have the skill – and integrity – to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything, including his life…?

A riveting, chilling prequel to the award-winning Detective Kubu series, Facets of Death introduces the beloved Kubu and his richly described native Botswana, in a dark, sophisticated thriller that will leave you breathless.

Mandie’s Thoughts

I am not going to lie I have been so enjoying catching up with the Detective Kubu series that I completely forgot that this was a prequel, and I spent the first couple of minutes trying to work out what was going on. Once I had got over my forgetfulness I soon had my head well and truly immersed in the story.

Facets of Death takes the reader back to the start of Detective Bengu’s career in the Botswana CID. Its not an easy start for him as there is a lot of resentment as he has not followed the usual progression within the force. Initially put on a seemingly unimportant case of missing luggage he soon finds that thanks to his boss his skills are put to the test after a diamond robbery leads to murder.

This is a book that is certainly full of twists and turns as investigations don’t initially go the way that they hope, and the new detective finds himself slightly out of his depth to begin with. I think what I love most about this book is that we get to see Kubu forming into the character that we now know and love. You can see that the dogged determination is there right from the start as is the knack he seems to have to get his colleagues on side even if they do resent him. His distrust of the old ways and beliefs are in evidence, but he is not averse to using them to his advantage when he believes that they will help to crack the case.

With so many people being less than cooperative with Kubu and his colleagues you are at times left wondering if the case will ever be solved. There are still the glimpses into his family life too with both his interactions with his parents and the blossoming relationship with Joy who works in the records department in the station. It is only through his interactions with her that we see the usual confident nature disappear as he is not sure why she would be interesting in someone like him.

Michael Stanley have once again produced the perfect blend of crime and mystery as they transport the reader to Botswana with descriptions that open up the story and at times add just that little bit of a different edge to it. Having read the other books in the series before this one it has just made me appreciate Kubu more, but if you pick this one up first then you will have the enjoyment of seeing how the shy, sometimes uncertain Detective becomes someone to be reckoned with.

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. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialises in image processing and remote sensing, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. 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.

Books by the Authors

4 thoughts on “A(nother) Year Of Orenda – Facets of Death by Michael Stanley

  1. Thanks once again Mandie and Jen for your wonderful reviews of the Kubu series. Much appreciated. We are in the final days of polishing Kubu #8 – as yet untitled. Publication date unknown as of now.


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