Review Detail

The Dead Letter Office, by Gillian St. Kevern
Books EW Elaine White October 02, 2020 722
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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