REVIEW: The Dead Letter Office – Gillian St. Kevern

The Dead Letter Office - Gillian St. Kevern

Genre: Gothic Paranormal Romance, Historical Paranormal, Occult Mystery, Gaslamp Fantasy, Ghost Story

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

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.

The Review

Gillian St. Kevern left me intrigued with the “Read By Candlelight” series and I will definitely be reading more of the novels that make up this haunting series.

Jasper Carruthers works for Her Majesty’s Postal Service in the Dead Letter Office. He takes his position seriously and even though the workload is heavy, he takes pride in getting lost mail to the right places. He has two assistants that help him in this busy day-to-day job, Baxter Lea and Nora Conway.

Captain Candy Rudyard lives in the same boarding house as Jasper. Most of the boarders find Candy to be brash and very loud. As much as he seems to annoy Jasper, he becomes a very intriguing character with secrets of his own.

When a mysterious crate and a strange cat keep showing up in the dead letter office, Jasper decides to investigate. He does some things that can certainly put his position even more at risk with the new postmaster Nigel Carruthers, his estranged son.

The deeper Jasper gets into the cat mystery, the more he finds himself teaming up with the knowledgeable Candy. They find themselves at Foxwood Court and meet the Lord of Foxwood, Thomas Cross, and the amateur phasmatologist and investigator of the occult, Pip Leighton.  Jasper and Cross discover that Leighton has a collection that’s both amazing and frightening. 

Besides his own personal issues with his son Nigel and ex-wife Patience, will Jasper, with the support of Candy, be able to also solve the mystery of the cat?  

I liked the gradual connection that develops between Jasper and Candy, as it opens up secrets about both of them.  I hope there’s another appearance for them in a future story. 

I was also very intrigued with Lord Cross and Pip Leighton. They have their own story in “The Secretary and the Ghost”, which I plan to read. Even though the novels can be read as “standalones,” I felt “The Secretary and the Ghost” needed to be read first.  From my brief research of the “Read By Candlelight” series, there’s seems to be a connection in all the novels with Cross and Leighton.

“The Dead Letter Office” is a first time read for me by St. Kevern. She melds the paranormal, an Egyptian artifact, historical context, family drama and a budding relationship into a gothic mystery with lots of twists and turns.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

Leave a Comment