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Deadly Harvest: A Detective Kubu Mystery    by Michael Stanley order for
Deadly Harvest
by Michael Stanley
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Deadly Harvest continues the delightful cozy Detective Kubu mystery series set in Botswana and written by Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. It stars portly Assistant Superintendant David Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department, in the country's capital, Gaborone. The officer's nickname 'Kubu' is Setswana for hippo, alluding to his size, love of food, and determination.

As the story opens, Kubu's boss Mabaku has asked him to mentor a new female officer, Detective Samantha Khama. She requested the cooling case of a child who disappeared four months before. Samantha believes the girl was taken by a witch doctor for muti (a potion made from the body parts of children or albinos) and is passionate about solving this and similar cases. She's soon warned about the risks of going after the powerful men who use muti, given the pervasive fear of witch doctors.

In the meantime, Kubu is asked to look into threats to charismatic politician Bill Marumo (supported by Kubu's wife Joy and her sister, but distrusted by Kubu himself). When the man is murdered by the crazed father of a missing girl, the two cases converge and a senior police officer is implicated. On the home front, Kubu and Joy adopt a small girl who is HIV positive, and worry about the increasing dementia of Kubu's father.

Though it's a charmingly cozy series (Kubu's home life is heartwarming), the authors do take on serious topic - after enjoying the mystery, don't miss their note at the end about muti murders in Botswana.

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