Detective Kubu Investigates 2, by Michael Stanley

Detective Kubu Investigates 2 by Michael Stanley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was supposed to be another “filler” till I found my “next big read” and it all started well enough.

“Shoot to Kill” is an interesting short story featuring Kubu investigating the death of an informant among poachers. It had exactly the right “Kubu vibes” and was a quick and pleasant read. Had all the short stories been this good, the collection would have easily garnered four stars.

“The Case of the Missing Tuba” was amusing. It lacked any real crime (and, sadly, it also lacked Kubu!) but it was still nice enough. (Despite featuring a manipulative ass-hat husband.)

“The Con” has petty crime but it also has the main ingredient – Kubu! And a believable, likeable Kubu at that. His family also features prominently and I was truly amused and thought this short story collection was headed to four stars.

Then came the “Parlor Game”, though. A confusing and utterly failed attempt at imitating Edgar Allan Poe. This short story also lacked Kubu. Even worse, though: It was devoid of any logic. Or original ideas. Or decent human beings.
“Parlor Game” could have been the product of a drunken stupor.

Lastly, “Spirits” came along: Yet another short story extremely thin in terms of actual story. Much spirit/ghost/shaman/you-name-it rubbish and an ending that felt like Michael Stanley hadn’t read anything that came before it…

And that was already all! After about 85% of the entire book, an excerpt from “Facets of Death” followed. So we don’t even actually get a book of Kubu short stories but lots of self-promotion.

Considering all that and the highly unimaginative title, I think two stars out of five are still rather generous…

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