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The Dead Letter Office, by Gillian St. Kevern

The Dead Letter Office, by Gillian St. Kevern

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The Dead Letter Office, by Gillian St. Kevern

Book Info

Book Series
Read by Candlelight, Book 12
About the Author
Gillian St. Kevern is spending Christmas in her native New Zealand, where the seasonal festivities include pavlovas, walks on the beach, and a distinct lack of sweaters, seasonal or otherwise. She will almost certainly get sunburnt at some stage.

Gillian reads and writes a variety of genres. She’s a huge fan of paranormal with an emphasis on vampires. The third and fourth books in her vampire series, Thorns and Fangs, are due for release in January and February 2018. She also explores Welsh Mythology in the on-going Deep Magic series. In 2018, she plans to explore another beloved genre―vintage mysteries. She loves discovering new books and authors, so please get in touch if you have any good book recommendations to share!
Publication Date
October 03, 2020
Available Formats
Kindle, KU
Content Warning
mentions of violence, murder and curses
Look what the mailman dragged in…

Jasper Carruthers has turned deciphering smudged addresses and avoiding conflict into a fine art. A crate from Egypt contains a problem he cannot return to sender: a mummified cat sought by a desperate thief. Failure to deliver the cat will give the Postmaster General—Jasper’s vengeful son—the excuse he needs to oust Jasper from the postal service.

Jasper’s attempts to deliver the package attract the interest of Captain Candy, an insufferable bore under the mistaken impression that Jasper tolerates him. Even worse: the cat does not seem to realise she’s dead. Jasper’s not sure if he needs an Egyptologist or an exorcist. There’s only one thing he’s certain of: he needs help.

Forced to trust Candy with his secret, Jasper may at last have found something worth fighting for—but can he deliver the package before the cat lets herself out of the bag?

The Dead Letter Office is book twelve in the Read by Candlelight series of standalone Gothic novellas featuring an expanding cast of LGBTQIA+ characters. Pairs well with a hot pot of tea and a biscuit.

Editor review

1 review
Brilliant Mystery!
 POV: 3rd person

 With a mad dash to hide a ghost cat, reclaim a lost jewel, and divert a haughty son who is set on exposing all of Jasper's last remaining secrets, The Dead Letter Office combines romance, Ancient Egypt, mummies, and a touch of military brash to a brand new mystery. One that I fell madly in love with, from page one.

 Our two MC's – Captain Candy, a cook with a brash personality, and Jasper, a mailman with a dark past and fear of violence – come together to solve the mystery of a ghost cat, a lost jewel, and a haughty son who holds a grudge. By forming an unlikely alliance, sharing secrets, and forming an unexpected bond with each other, Candy and Jasper find their way to a happier future.

 Both characters were brilliant. Jasper as the stuck-up, too-proper man who didn't know how to live life, with more secrets than friends; and Candy as the man who lived a double-life and lived the full to every minute. Both were intriguing in their own way, both had a journey to travel and a few secrets to share, along the way. Bringing them together was adorable, with a slow burn and close quarter exploration of their personalities.

 Minor characters include the new faces: Baxter, Nora, Nigel and Patience. Recurring characters include John, Cross, Pip and Julian.
 It was brilliant to see more of Pip, Cross and Julian. To see Julian's collection, and how they explored it throughout the main plot. But the new characters were also interesting. Nigel, the abandoned, wounded son. Patience, the force of nature and strong woman with a possible dark past. Nora, the fighter and independent woman, and Baxter, the hero and clerk-ish young man. I'd particularly love to see more of The Dead Letter Office, and of Baxter and/or Nora and/or Nigel again. I see a big change in Nigel's future, due to the ending of the book, that I'd love to see more of, but I won't deny Baxter intrigues me more.

 As for the plot...I can't say too much, because it would give it away. But the ghost cat is brilliant, and I fell in love with Jasper's unassuming personality, his polite professionalism, and Candy's exuberance. It reminded me of the TV movies, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, aka Lost Letter Mysteries. The combination of a mystery to solve, a touch of romance, and the excitement of making a discovery. Add in the historical context, the extensive world building that has gone into the Read by Candlelight series, and it's a sure-fire hit. Add Egyptian ancient history and I'm a goner.

 P.S. Timeline
 Considering the mention of the staff being spooked by the ghost cat, and Julian's age, I'd place this book in the reading order as somewhere either after The Disturbance at Foxwood Court but before The Worst Behaved Werewolf, or after The Lady of the Bog but before The Collector. It all depends on whether Julian has met, and is tutored by, Scott at this point in time. As there's no mention, I'd probably put it in the first category, pre-tutoring.


 Favourite Quotes

 “His heart soared, elation in his veins. He felt as though he were a lost letter at last returned to sender.”
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