Having been browsing on Etsy for a while, it’s become my go to website for when I’m bored recently, I found a subscription box that looked like it was perfect for me.
I love a good detective novel, I can go through them so fast, but I have found I end up sticking to the same authors. I like the escapism, especially when they’re ones written and based in the past, I may have multiple copies of Sherlock Holmes books and can go through Agatha Christie’s in a day. I also have a love of subscription boxes, though I haven’t actually bought any as a subscription because so many of them are beauty ones and I really don’t need to add to my stash that never seems to shrink!
I guess that’s one long way to introduce the Coffee and Crime box from the Etsy store with the same name. It’s a subscription box that mixes coffee (or hot chocolate if you message) and some vintage crime novels as well as a few extras. It’s available as a one off or a subscription with a few options available.
I feel like I have to start off this by saying about the packaging, which may sound boring but I do love it when stores pay attention to details on this. The address label on the front had a stamp of an old style detective with his magnifying glass and the two books inside were wrapped so neatly. I loved the addition of the evidence stickers that describe each of the books before you unwrap the parcel.
I love the added extras in this box, though one of them feels too big to be called an added extra as it’s one of the books included. There’s a sheet of paper with some trivia on crime novels, some fun use of quotes from various books, a list of publications due out and a wordsearch. I like this little extra as it’s more than just a sheet of paper saying what’s in the box, it’s like a mini newsletter.
The other extras were a Galaxy ripple bar that just about survived to have its photo taken, a galaxy hot chocolate, a postcard, bookmark and what I think are rice paper things for the top of cakes or temporary tattoos (I’m tempted to lick one and see, though I haven’t been brave enough yet) I like the images on it anyway!
I like the postcard has a little trivia fact about a movie and it’s one that I’ll probably use as another bookmark at some point. It would be good to send to another classic crime fan though. The bookmark is already in use and has some classic images, mainly horse or flower based, and has a nice vintage feel to it.
The final extra is my favourite, and may have been flicked through and read quite a bit already. I’ll definitely be doing a proper review of this one some time as it’s such a great idea for a book. It brings together a load of authors and their books, it has some of their best books with a rating system and a section that compares crime in real life to how it’s written in books as well as the history of crime writing and a section with some of the more well known detectives (though I’ve never heard of most of them). It’s Whodunit? A Guide to Crime, Suspense & Spy Fiction by H. R. F. Keating and it has given me a list of authors and novels to check out. As it was published in 1980 there’s a lot in there that have since become TV shows, it’s interesting to see the comparison between the illustration and the characters I know. Anyway, enough on this. As I said, I’ll do a proper review so if you’re interested check back for that!
The books themselves are wrapped so well, it felt a bit mean to unwrap them! I’ve never heard of either of these and I’m really looking forward to reading them. Have any of you heard of these books? I’ll do a short summary from what I’ve read on them and the label.
The Girl in the Cellar by Patricia Wentworth – apparently she was a well known crime writer when she was writing, and her character Miss Silver seems to be one that reviewers knew and loved already, a bit like picking up a Poirot and you know the kind of things to expect. The blurb says it’s about a girl who wakes up in a cellar, has no idea who she is or how she got there but does know that there’s a dead girl at the bottom of the stairs. It seems like it’s one where the past gradually gets revealed in a flashback style rather than seeing everything as it happens but this might be wrong. Either way, I’m looking forward to reading it.
Havoc By Accident by Simenon – This one is even more intriguing to me as it’s two stories in this book and both of them are about accidents as opposed to full murders. The first story it’s unclear if anyone actually dies in the blurb but it’s about a French man living in the Belgian Congo (I have no idea where that is now or if it’s still called that) who lived alone until a plan was forced to land on his property and an English peeress found him. No idea what will happen but I want to find out! The second story is about a man who hit a boy with his car and spends his life trying to make up for this fact to the family. They both sound like they could be interesting stories to read and very different from the standard detective novels I think of. I’ll read it and report back on what it’s like.
Overall I think this is a great box for any fans of classic crime and detective novels. It’s great if you want to broaden your horizons and try new books that you’d never have heard of and you get some detective themes extras thrown in. I did add in a message to ask for the hot chocolate and not to include any Sherlock Holmes if possible, and they were quick to reply and really nice. The price for one off box is £19.99 (though it says £17.99 at the moment) and you get your money’s worth in this. I’d say looking at other reviews who have got different extras I’d be happy to get them for this price.
Basically, if you, or someone you know, likes curling up with a vintage detective or crime novel and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate this is worth getting. I’m very tempted to get it as a subscription and build up my classic crime library a bit more!
As a side note, they also have a blog on WordPress that’s worth checking out if you like vintage crime novels. I’ve read a few posts and have a feeling it’s one I may lose some time reading and add a few more books onto my to read list! You can find it here and it’s called Cross Examining Crime.
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