The Crime Readers' Association

Michael Stanley

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Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip.

Both are retired professors who have worked in academia and business. Sears is a mathematician, specializing in geological remote sensing. Trollip is an educational psychologist, specializing in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and a pilot. They were both born in South Africa.

They have been on a number of flying safaris to Botswana and Zimbabwe, where it was always exciting to buzz a dirt airstrip to shoo the elephants off. They have had many adventures on these trips including tracking lions at night, fighting bush fires on the Savuti plains in northern Botswana, being charged by an elephant, and having their plane’s door pop open over the Kalahari, scattering navigation maps over the desert. These trips have fed their love both for the bush, and for Botswana.

It was on one of these trips that the idea surfaced for a novel set in Botswana.

Michael Sears

Michael Sears

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and grew up in Cape Town and Nairobi, Kenya. In the worst of the apartheid era, my family emigrated to Australia, but Africa drew me back.

I have traveled widely in Southern and Central Africa. Botswana has always been a special favorite with its magnificent conservation areas, dramatic scenery, and varied peoples. A long-held ambition was to capture the flavor of the country as the canvass of a novel.

I enjoy research, project work, and writing most when I’m working with other people.

I now live in Knysna on the south coast, but my mind is often in the African bush, and the rest of me follows as often as possible.

Stanley Trollip

Stan Trollip

I was born in Johannesburg where I did all my schooling up to and including an undergraduate degree (in Statistics). My undergraduate time was checkered, taking twice as long as usual, mainly due to participation in a variety of sports (cricket, rugby, and field hockey) and involvement in the anti-apartheid movement.

In 1971, I went to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where I received a PhD in Educational Psychology. For the most part, I was always a professor with an interest in how computers can facilitate teaching and learning. I’ve co-authored three editions of a widely-used book, Multimedia for Learning: Methods and Development (Allyn and Bacon).

I split my time between Minneapolis, Denmark, and Cape Town. In my leisure, I golf, bike, play tennis, and hike. On dark and stormy nights I play with my collection of stamps from German South West Africa/South West Africa/Namibia.

Our Books

We write a police procedural series set in Botswana. The protagonist is David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Gaborone CID. Kubu means hippopotamus in the local Setswana language, and Kubu is a very large and rather overweight detective. But hippos can be smart and dangerous too.

Each of the Kubu books has as a contemporary southern African issue as backstory: blood diamonds, the aftermath of the war in Zimbabwe, the plight of the Bushman peoples of the Kalahari, muti murders for human body parts for witchcraft, the developing Chinese influence, biopiracy, and corruption. Kubu has his work cut out for him!

We have also written a stand-alone thriller titled Dead of Night around the rhino poaching and horn smuggling in South Africa, featuring an investigative journalist, Crystal Nguyen from Minnesota.

We have three small collections of short stories available as ebooks as samplers of our work.



Debut - Finalist

Other Awards

Death of the Mantis won the Barry Award for best paperback original mystery 2011, and was a finalist for three other awards including the Edgar Award from Mystery Writers of America.

A Carrion Death was short listed for five awards for best debut novel on both sides of the Atlantic. It was also in the top ten mysteries chosen by the Los Angeles Times.

Deadly Harvest was a finalist for the International Thriller Writers best thriller award in 2013.

Books by Michael Stanley

  • A Deadly Covenant A Deadly Covenant


  • Detective Kubu Investigates Detective Kubu Investigates


  • Detective Kubu Investigates II Detective Kubu Investigates II


  • African Mysteries African Mysteries


  • A Death in the Family A Death in the Family

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  • Deadly Harvest Deadly Harvest

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  • Death of the Mantis Death of the Mantis

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  • A Carrion Death A Carrion Death

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  • Facets of Death Facets of Death

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  • Dying to Live Dying to Live

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