A Coffee and Crime Vintage Mystery Gift Box

Well, there I was, grumbling at missing out on a couple of John Rhode titles on eBay, due to the fact that there is only so much money that I’m willing to spend on things made out of paper, and I thought to myself, “Puzzle Doctor, what else could you be spending your hard-earned cash on?” And the thought came to me, why not finally get off your backside and support my friend and fellow blogger Kate’s business, the Coffee and Crime Vintage Mystery Gift Box?

And I couldn’t think of a reason why not – given that tea is offered as an alternative, due to coffee coming straight from one of Hades’ orifices – so I put my order in and it arrived the other day. But was it worth it? Let’s see…

First of all, packaging:

Everything packaged up well, arrived safe and sound. A good start.

Let’s see what was in the box.

First of all, this well-put together newsletter, with some quotes, a quiz, some recommendations for me to mildly disagree with (Bodies 2 is slightly better than Bodies 1 imho) – really nicely put together. And the quiz wasn’t too hard, so everyone could have a go.

Now what else was in the box?

A quarantine bag containing a bar of chocolate, a tea bag and a bookmark. I’ll admit, as this is a review based on something that I’ve bought and I’m being honest, that if I’d bought it expecting some exotic style of tea, then a solitary Twinings Earl Grey tea-bag would have been a disappointment. I have, however, no idea what sort of coffee you get, but if you are a tea connoisseur, then don’t get your hopes up. But let’s face it, I didn’t buy it for the tea. The chocolate bar (Galaxy Caramel) was very nice though. And I’m definitely finding a use for the bag.

Right, what else?

Well, I wasn’t expecting a Cluedo tea towel. Not entirely sure what I’m going to do with that, but it’s very good quality.

And now the vintage crime books? Nope, not yet…

A bonus puzzle book – this is definitely going to get some use in my (remote) classroom over the next few weeks. Much appreciated. And now, the classic crime books. Every box has two classic mystery novels, beautifully wrapped, and Kate is more than willing to listen to reasonable requests. Disappointing, she chose not to provide me with The Edge Of Terror by Brian Flynn, given that the only copy available is currently just over £1000 online, but instead, I received these. First of all:

I’ve not come across Helen Reilly before, but probably should have, given she wrote thirty-odd mysteries featuring Inspector McKee, of which this is the fifth, from 1936. No idea what to expect from this, but looking forward to trying a new author.

Second of all was this:

This is the second of five books from the author – I reviewed and enjoyed Death’s Bright Dart a while ago, and have a second book upstairs when I get round to it, but luckily it wasn’t this one. So well done to Kate for finding two books that seem right up my street that I didn’t have, and indeed, weren’t even on my radar.

All in all, this was a great package, well worth it and I’ve got two more on the way. For fans of crime fiction, or as a present for such a fan, I can highly recommend it. Just click here to find out more…


  1. Seeing the Clinton-Baddeley title brought to mind a question – who is the oldest fictional detective? (I can’t bring to mind how old the one in Nedra Tyre’s “Everyone Suspect” is, having read it longer ago than I care to remember.)


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