Death of the MantisAuthor Michael Stanley visited Bookwagon on October 7. Michael Stanley is actually two people, Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, who have coauthored three mysteries set in the southern African nation of Botswana. The two are retired professors who now manage to write 24 hours a day—since they live in different time zones, one emails work to the other at the end of his day and the other can pick it right up seconds later, first thing in his morning.

Harper Collins published A Carrion Death in 2008 and The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu in 2009, police procedurals featuring Gaborone Detective Kubu—that’s hippo in Setswana.

Michael and Stanley talked about their series and their latest book Death of the Mantis, set in the Kalahari Desert. They gave us the backstory, including a brief history of the Bushmen, and also gave the audience a look at Stan’s museum-quality collection of Bushmania—poison-tipped arrows, rattles, sandals, trowels, and clubs.

They also got to see The African Company Performs Richard III, courtesy of the Friends of the Ashland Public Library.

Thanks also to Ashland’s Michael Niemann (who is just one person, but one who did his PhD research in Botswana). His October 2 talk Botswana: Diamonds are a State’s Best Friend at the Ashland Public Library provided a crash course in Botswana history.

About Ed Battistella

Edwin Battistella’s latest book Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels was released by Oxford University Press in March of 2020.
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