Mail Order Mystery sent us a free mystery to review, but all opinions are my own. And the girl’s.
Over the summer, Barnes & Noble did a summer reading program promotion where you could go into the store, answer some questions about reading and get a free book. The book the girl picked was Detective Camp, a book in the A to Z mysteries series by Ron Roy.
In it, the kids go to a camp where they are supposed to be learning about solving crimes and actually end up solving a real mystery.
Ever since she read that book, she’s been sad that detective camp isn’t a real thing.
The closest I could get was Mail Order Mystery, and it may not be a week away at camp, but it’s still pretty darn fun.
What is Mail Order Mystery?
Mail Order Mystery is a company based in Canada that has developed (as of this writing) three mystery stories for kids ages 8 to 13 or so that arrive in installments through the mail. They arrive once a week for six weeks, giving the kids clues to decipher and items to examine as they try to solve the mystery. Younger kids can of course do this with help, and it’s not really necessary to solve the puzzles in order to enjoy the story.
The mysteries that are available now include:
- Treasure Hunt: a woman finds a key and a note from a long-dead pirate who happens to be your (kid’s) distant relation. Clues expand the mystery as you try to find and protect the treasure.
- Enchanted Sleep: a princess has been under an enchanted sleep for 699 years, but she’ll disappear if the makes it to year 700. Can you and a riddle-loving troll figure out how to wake her up?
- Spies, Lies and Serious Bad Guys: You’ve been accepted to Spy Academy, but before your training begins a secret agent goes missing and you have to help find them.
We were sent the Enchanted Sleep story for the girl’s birthday, and I have to say, it was really fun. There’s a secret code to decipher, riddles to solve, fun pendants that serve as clues and a fun ending surprise (I won’t spoil it for you).
The girl loved getting mysterious mail and enjoyed the story, though I think even though she’s a great reader and quite imaginative she might have enjoyed it more if she were a little older (we got it for her seventh birthday, and she just wasn’t that into figuring out the secret codes).
That said it was still really fun for the whole family and we would definitely order another one when she’s a little older.
If you have — or know — a kid who loves mysteries, puzzles, mail and adventures, not to mention pirates, princesses or spies, this is an amazingly cool gift idea. It will put you on the nice list with your kid, for sure.
On Ordering for the Holidays
Because of the time of year I’m writing this I know you’ll want to know that you can still order for Christmas or Hanukkah. Orders are shipped on Tuesdays, and they come from Canada (we always got ours here in Arkansas on Saturdays), so choose a ship day with that in mind, and remember that mail can be unpredictable this time of year.
They have a gift note that you can print out so the recipient will know some special mail is coming, and when it arrives will just add to the surprise.
Wouldn’t you have loved a gift like this when you were a kid? Who would you buy one of these for? I’d love to hear your thoughts.