Carrion Death: Introducing Detective Kubu: 1 Paperback – Illustrated, 31 March 2009
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- Paperback : 467 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061252417
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061252419
- Dimensions : 13.49 x 2.08 x 20.32 cm
- Publisher : Harper Perennial; Illustrated edition (31 March 2009)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 437,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"More smart than bloody. . . . A marvelous debut."--Boston Globe
"A first novel saturated with local color. . . . 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
"Delightful. . . . Plot twists are fair and well-paced, the Botswana setting has room to breathe and take shape as its own entity, and Stanley's writing style is equal parts sprightly and grave."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
About the Author
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Sears was born in Johannesburg, grew up in Cape Town and Nairobi, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. Trollip was also born in Johannesburg and has been on the faculty of the universities of Illinois, Minnesota, and North Dakota, and at Capella University. He divides his time between Knysna, South Africa, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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Kubu is a charming protagonist. He is smart and intuitive with a happy home life and it is a joy to read about him. The plots in both novels are convoluted and involved and they held my attention throughout. It is always interesting to read novels set in foreign countries as they give you a picture of different cultures and the authors manage this very well. Apart from the food and scenery they manage to describe a Botswana which is modern and relatively prosperous but which still has traces of an older way of life, the same as any other country. It has changed my perception of the country.
I think this is a great anthology. I thoroughly enjoyed reading both books and will be looking out for more books in the series.
But Kubu — which means hippo in the Setswana language — keeps picking at the case and comes across more mysteries happenings involving an oil company that is being inherited by a friend of his. Soon there are more bodies and details that just don't add up. It makes for an interesting, detailed mystery that is just a bit too long (450 pages!)
I enjoyed the story and thought the author did a masterful job of reflecting the setting, its people, culture and challenges. But there seemed to be far too many things going on that weren't part of the mystery making it a bit of an overly long book and the dialogue 'felt' simple — if that makes sense to anyone else. Hopefully, its because it is the first book in the series.
The reason I am giving this book four stars instead of five is because the authors decided to have Detective Kubu explain what happened at the end of the book. I didn't understand it because if you had read the book you should know what happened. I felt it was insult to the reader's intelligence.
I also felt that the book sometimes seemed clumsy as though two people compromised while writing it. Something like, "If you let me keep this paragraph in the book I will let you keep that paragraph in the book.
Despite the little annoyances above I found this book an excellent and interesting beginning to what I hope turns out to be a fascinating series. I have the second book and hope to be able to read it soon.