Wednesday, August 12, 2009
This is the second book in the series, and I'm off to find the first quickly. Set in Botswana, a setting many of us are now familiar with thanks to the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, author(s) Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip co-authored this under the Michael Stanley name. Inspector David "Kubu" Benbu is sent to investigate the murders of two people at a bush camp. There are a variety of campers (suspects) and staff (more suspects), including a cook with a live bird attached to his shoulder. There are survivors of rebellions years past, British bird watchers, a pair of sisters claiming to be British journalists, cops who are scared to death of crocodiles, bad guys galore, lots of hippos (in fact "kubu" means hippopatamous--the nickname was given to the detective due to his size). Family members help to humanize Kubu and give us an eye into his motivations. I don't like to do spoilers in reviewing mysteries, so no plot review here, but the characters are delightful, the setting is beautifully portrayed, and the plot is definitely one with twists, turns, and lots of clues. When Goodluck is murdered and his fingerprints indicate he has been officially dead for over 30 years........well as you can see, the plot thickens quickly. It is fascinating to watch the thought processes of the various detectives as they try to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The book also contains a glossary of African terms, a map and a drawing of the layout of the camp. I found myself referring to them occasionally, and while they were helpful, this isn't a book where you're going to have to constantly keep referring to them. As we read, we are treated to a mini-history/politics lesson about Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe intertwined with the story. The culture, customs, and geography of the area are lovingly painted. It's a marvelous read...grab it and sink in.
Posted by Tina at 11:12 AM