Readersforum's Blog

September 12, 2011

‘Death of the Mantis’ is an African thriller with Minnesota roots

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By Euan Kerr

“Death of the Mantis,” the third book in the internationally successful Detective Kubu mystery series, arrives in bookstores this week.

Like the other Michael Stanley novels it’s set in Botswana. This time the detective tries to solve a series of murders on the edge of the Kalihari desert. While the books are distinctively African, there is an important Minnesota connection.

Michael Stanley introduces himself.

“Michael Stanley is two of us actually,” said one of the two men sitting at the table. “I’m Stan Trollip and I write with my friend Michael Sears.”

Trollip and Sears combined their first names to create a nome de plume after writing their first novel “A Carrion Death.”

They are both South African, and both have had long careers as university professors. Sears lives in Johannesburg, but Trollip taught at the University of Minnesota, UND, and at Capella University. He still lives here part of the year.

Sears traces their writing career together back to an incident decades ago when they were traveling in Botswana.

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