Welcome to Michael Stanley Books

Email: michaelstanley@michaelstanleybooks.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/michaelstanleybooks

Twitter: @detectivekubu

Blog: murderiseverywhere.blogspot.com

Facets of Death now available everywhere!

Facets of Death is now available outside North America, published by Orenda Books. We love the new UK cover! The ebook is available from February 27, 2021, and the paperback will be out in the UK on April 15. An audio book is also planned. It’s been a long wait, but we’re very excited to have Facets of Death out worldwide.

Watch a short trailer of Facets of Death.


‘FACETS OF DEATH is easily one of the best heist novels I’ve read since Gerald Browne’s classic 11 Harrowhouse’ – BookPage starred review.

Facets of Death is set in the late 1990s when Kubu first joins the Botswana CID as a raw detective. While he’s trying to be accepted by the current staff and to make a role for himself in the CID, a massive diamond heist takes place on the road from Jwaneng — home of the world’s richest diamond mine.

It’s immediately clear that this is no opportunistic robbery. The mine has a complicated security scheme in place, and Kubu and his boss, Assistant Superintendent Mabaku, immediately suspect an inside job. The robbers systematically eliminate all the witnesses, and then they are killed by the South African police, leaving the detectives with nothing to go on.

Kubu and Mabaku are sure they can solve the case if only their contacts can stay alive long enough to point them in the right direction. However, when one of the mine’s senior managers becomes the next victim, they are forced to set a trap for the crime’s mastermind. If it fails, their careers are over – in Kubu’s case before it’s even begun.

Click here to read Chapter 1 of Facets of Death


Mary Ann Grossmann in Pioneer Press, St. Paul, summed up Facets of Death wonderfully: ‘Besides being an exciting police procedural, this book helps us understand this big, likable detective… It should send readers unfamiliar with the series right to the bookstore.’

We were thrilled to get a starred review from Bruce Tierney in BookPage, who wrote: ‘Facets of Death is easily one of the best heist novels I’ve read since Gerald Browne’s classic 11 Harrowhouse.’

Cathy Cole said in Kittling Books ‘I’d no more miss a Detective Kubu mystery than I would forget to brush my teeth in the morning. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting David “Kubu” Bengu, get your hands on a copy of Facets of Death. You can thank me later.’

Adam Woog wrote in The Seattle Times ‘Parallels to Alexander McCall Smith … are clear, but Kubu’s distinctive personality, juxtaposed against scenes of his country’s darker sides, help his adventures stand out.’

And Joe Hartlaub in Bookreporter ‘Those who are familiar with Kubu will rejoice over this latest entry…  As for readers who are new to Kubu and Botswana, Facets of Death functions as the perfect place to jump on. Every fan of mystery novels already should be reading and enjoying this series, and not just because of the ending, which has quickly and quietly become my favorite in recent memory.’

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New paperback editions

 Our fifth and sixth Detective Kubu mysteries, A Death in the Family and Dying to Live, have never been released as paperbacks in North America, and the hardcovers were really expensive. We’ve now obtained the rights back from the publisher and have published both books as paperbacks and as ebooks in all formats.


To celebrate the release, we’ve cut the price on all formats of Dying to Live. The paperback, available at Amazon, is now $11.59 down from $14.99; and the ebook, available at all online outlets in all ebook formats, is now $4.99, down from $9.99. These sale prices will last until March 15. 

Here are some reviews for Dying To Live.

One of The Strand Magazine’s Top 25 Books of the Year

‘Stanley keeps the intriguing plot twists coming.’
Publishers Weekly starred review

‘…the best yet, with both an ingenious mystery and a deeper and more textured depiction of modern Botswana and Kubu’s piece of it.’
Kirkus Reviews

‘Stanley once again mixes strongly developed characters, puzzling plot twists, and a textured African setting in an international police procedural with heart and soul.’
Library Journal starred review

‘Beautifully constructed and wonderfully told… What propels the book, and wondrously so, is the mystery at the heart of it and the deep uniqueness of the personalities who move through the story, some from its beginning to its end and others momentarily, never to be seen again. The result is more than a great mystery. It is a tale for anyone and everyone who finds joy in reading that is well-written and lovingly so. This volume, like its companions, is a must for your bookshelf.’

And here are a few for A Death in the Family

‘Under the African sun, Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu investigates crimes as dark as the darkest of Nordic Noir. Call it Sunshine Noir, if you will – a must read.’
– Yrsa Sigurdardottir, best-selling author of I Remember You

‘Kubu returns with a vengeance – but what is prowling in the darkness of Botswana is more dangerous than the four-legged predators. Then there are the Chinese who just may be the most dangerous of all … I love it!’
– Charles Todd, award-winning author of the Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford mysteries

‘The fifth rip-roaring mystery in the Detective Kubu series. If you haven’t read the others, the lovable return characters, exceptional police procedural plot and close-to-home Botswana setting will make you want to.’
– South African Sunday Times

‘This fifth mystery featuring Detective Kubu is another fast-moving procedural notable for its warm characterizations and vivid sense of place. A natural for fans of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.’       Booklist

The next Detective Kubu mystery

We’ve made progress on the next Detective Kubu mystery, set in the northwest of Botswana where the Kavango River spreads out into the Okavango Delta, then disappears into the Kalahari Desert.

While trenching for a new pipeline, a contractor unearths a human skeleton. Pathologist Ian MacGregor and Kubu are sent to investigate. They expect a cold case, because the skeleton is likely ancient. However, they discover much more than they bargained for.

Dead of Night (U.K. & South Africa) a.k.a. Shoot The Bastards (U.S.)

C J Box writes about it: “From Minnesota to South Africa to Mozambique to Vietnam, Michael Stanley’s SHOOT THE BASTARDS is an extraordinary tale of the extreme measures taken to combat international poaching and smuggling.”

Dead of Night / Shoot the Bastards

When her friend Michael Davidson goes missing while researching a National Geographic story on rhino poaching and rhino-horn smuggling, investigative journalist Crystal Nguyen heads to Africa to try to find him and to finish his story. But within a week she’s been hunting poachers, been hunted by their bosses, and been arrested in connection with a murder. And everyone is after a briefcase full of money that she doesn’t want, but can’t safely get rid of. She comes to realise how little she knows about Africa and war between the poachers and the conservation officers.

What she does know is that she’s determined to find Michael and that she’s committed to preventing a planned major operation in South Africa to secure a huge number of rhino horns. She goes undercover in Vietnam, trying to discover the truth before she’s exposed by the local mafia. Discovering the plot behind the money is only half the battle. Now she must convince the South African authorities to take action before it’s too late, both for the rhinos and for her.

In this stand-alone thriller, Michael Stanley, author of the award-winning Detective Kubu mystery series, introduces an intriguing new protagonist, and at the same time exposes one of the most vicious conflicts of southern Africa with its Asian puppet-masters.


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Dead of Night is a book the world needs. It’s a crime novel with a difference. Unlike your usual crime novel, where you can usually figure out who’s committed the crime towards the end, Dead of Night throws you off at every turn. Drawing you into a sea of deceit that, by the tie you realise you’re fully submerged, the darkness has you firmly in its grasp.” — Dan Stubbings, The Dimension Between Worlds blog

‘…an entertaining page-turner. Readers will look forward to the sequel.” — Publishers Weekly

“I love Crys Nguyen, an intrepid environmentalist, quick thinking and fearless. Although tiny, she fights way above her weight. With a bit of karate and a deep commitment to yoga and meditation, she is a young woman after my own heart. I can’t wait to see what she gets herself mixed up in next time out.” — Susan Hoover, reviewingtheevidence.com

“It’s an enthralling, immersive read that won’t disappoint.” — Promoting Crime Fiction

“This story is brutal, brilliant and utterly breath-taking, my favourite of this writing duo so far…..Totally stunning in every sense of the word.” — Books from Dusk Till Dawn

I don’t think I caught my breath properly the whole time I was reading it. It is the best thriller that I have read in a long while.” — A Little Book Problem blog