Dying to Live by Michael Stanley **Blog Tour Review**

Michael Stanley's 'Sunshine Noir' novel: Dying to Live is being published on July 12th by the wonderful Orenda Books  and it is my pleasure to be the latest stop on its celebration Blog Tour, alongside the excellent P.Turners Book Blog.

The body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles … but where is the entry wound? When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case becomes… 

A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane detectives.

‘Saturated with local colour … Readers may be lured to Africa by the landscape, but it takes a great character like Kubu to win our loyalty’ 

 Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

My Thoughts 

I loved this book from the first page. I think it's the matter of fact writing which I liked. Detective Kubu  and his colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, are great foils for each other. The opening premise of the mysterious body is sure to get your attention. When I started to read the book,  I quickly grasped that it was reminiscent of Alexander McCall Smith's writing. For any lovers of those African detective stories, the style of writing takes you straight there.

    Detective Kubu is such a likeable, family -led character that you cannot help but feel involved. It is a twist turney plot which keeps you hooked up to the end. I also appreciated how the old ideas melded with the new. The old African customs spread out for skeptical eyes to look upon. As the mystery is uncovered, it keeps your attention to the end. If you like to untangle an intriguing mystery, this one is for you!

In short: A mesmerising detective story set in the African sun.

About the Authors

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. 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 ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award, and book 5, A Death in the Family, was an international bestseller. 

Thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater at Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the blog tour.

Don't forget to catch up with the rest of the Blog Tour!



  1. Thank you for this delightful review. Much appreciated.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your book.


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