Hello and welcome to my stop of the Facets Of Death Random Things Tours blog tour! A huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I’ve been meaning to try this series for quite some time, and I thought this prequel was an excellent opportunity to finally meet Detective Kubu. And I’m definitely kicking myself for not introducing myself to this series sooner now! Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: Facets Of Death
(Detective Kubu #0.1)
Author: Michael Stanley
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: January 7th 2020
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: April 9th 2021
Pages: 400

“It doesn’t matter what you think; it’s what other people believe that’s important.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


Even though this series has been on my radar for quite some time, somehow it has managed to slip between the cracks of my TBR mountain until now… And I’m definitely kicking myself for not finding time for this series sooner now that I have had the chance to read this prequel! Although I guess Facets Of Death also ended up being a great way to finally introduce myself to Detective Kubu right at the beginning of his career. And I will most definitely come back for more in the future!

The first thing that stands out in Facets Of Death is of course the setting. I love a book that takes me to a different country or even continent, so having this story take place in Botswana (and to a lesser extent in South Africa) was a huge bonus for me. The descriptions of the different settings were thorough, vivid and really made them come alive for me. The addition of words and phrases in the local languages gave the story an original touch, and really spoke to my inner philologist. It was also great to test my (I confess limited) knowledge of Afrikaans along the way, but no worries: the story provides you with a glossary in case you cannot deduce the meaning of the foreign elements from the context.

Detective Kubu is definitely the star of the show, and I knew Kubu and me were going to get along almost from the moment I met him. There is just something about his character that is extremely likeable, and both his personality and way of investigating things definitely helped turning Facets Of Death into a success for me. I like how the story not only focuses on the missing diamonds and investigation, but also gives us information about Kubu’s personal life as well as hints of growth in his character. I will most definitely be looking forward to see how he will evolve in the rest of the series!

The plot itself of Facets Of Death is likewise a big success. We have a multiple murder investigation, we have a huge amount of missing diamonds, we have a witch doctor angle, we have a possible international connection… And lots of intrigue, action, plot twists and hidden facts along the way. Due to the nature of the case, there are a lot of people involved in the investigation, but new detective Kubu is very present along the way and I really liked his contributions to the case. And there were definitely a few twists I didn’t see coming either!

In short, Facets Of Death turned out to be a more than successful introduction to Detective Kubu and I will most definitely be starting the rest of the series very soon. If you enjoy a well written and suspenseful detective thriller with an original setting and a likeable main character, I can recommend giving this series a go.


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 specialised in image processing and remote sensing and taught 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 David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original mystery and was shortlisted for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award. They have also written a thriller, Dead of Night, following the investigative journalist, Crystal Nguyen, who gets caught up in the war against rhino poaching and rhino-horn smuggling.

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