Pirates. A curse. A mysterious key and an encoded message. Thus begins an adventure in the mail from Mail Order Mystery.
The tween years can be a challenge to both buy gifts for and also entertain. So the team at Mail Order Mystery have put together a unique puzzle that arrives in the mail and gets them thinking and figuring out answers.
To kick off their business, the company has one story – a pirate treasure mystery. It starts off with a handwritten letter from a lady in England who happened to find a letter from your ancestor – a pirate – with information about a hidden treasure. She sends you the letter, along with a key, because she is scared of the mention of a pirate curse. On the back of this pirate letter is a mysterious code.
At first the boys thought it was some wacky game that I had put together, but soon and then they were concerned about this pirate treasure curse and whether or not that was real they were trying to figure out if the care of the ancestor that’s in apparently had was a true ancestor and if this was just a made up game or something real that would happen
My three older kids loved having something special arrive in the mail. This first cipher sent them all off to research, studying codes and ciphers so they could solve it. They researched on Google, they tried to figure it out based on the most popular words and letters in the English language but didn’t actually figure out the solution solution until the next step of the puzzle showed up in the mail about a week later. There were a few other times they curiously went off researching for clues on their own too – I even caught the three of them heads together looking on Google Earth to see if they could find a location.
Each week for about 6 weeks you get another clue in the mail that’s another part of the story. They aren’t just “here’s a clue,” but letters from somebody involved with the storyline, or a mysterious key, or another discovery that the original people have found, or a news article – and full of interesting plot line twists along the way. By the time we were at the third or fourth clue or letter we were completely stumped about who to believe what was going on what we need to do next.
There is a lot of reading involved with each of the letters, which unfortunately ended up boring some of the younger of my crowd. However, they still loved getting packages in the mail and my oldest son (who is 11) was still curious and completely into it. He eagerly opened each letter and got to seeing if there was another cipher or puzzle or thing to ponder.
As for me, I really enjoyed the mystery as well. It certainly piqued my interest and got all of us chatting about a lot of things to do with ciphers, codes, history of the pirate world, etc.
I don’t want to give away the ending because I think that is kind of an important part of the adventure however I will say that my kids were thrilled by the last piece of mail that arrived. It was neat to see how the whole mystery was wrapped up.
It looks like the company has plans to expand and create more mail order mysteries. We look forward to checking them out and see what they are like!
Find out more or order your own Mail Order Mystery!