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Wednesday, November 22

Secret Agent Man (Johnny Rivers)


We’re always looking for fun, unplugged activities that are both entertaining and educational, so when we stumbled across a photo for Mail Order Mystery, it immediately struck a chord.  We showed it to the children, who were pretty excited about the prospect of receiving something in the mail (what kid isn’t?), and allowed them to choose the theme they were most interested in.  The winner?  Spies, Lies, and Serious Bad Guys!

Mail Order Mystery is a fabulous company who has come up with an absolutely brilliant and FUN idea for kids! They create incredible, ‘top secret’ mysteries. For each mystery a series of letters, documents and curious objects will arrive by mail and each one is connected to an ongoing mystery. The story arrives in six installments with a final larger mailing.

Ten Reasons Why Your Family Will LOVE this Mystery
  1. It’s unplugged.  There is an area where you can choose to use a website, but it’s not required and doesn’t add to the story.  The only tools required are pencil, paper, and a thinking cap.
  2. Puzzles, ciphers, adventure, and a plot to catch some bad guys!  (This was a big draw for the kids, and I loved the puzzles and ciphers aspect.)
  3. The kids get real mail addressed to them…and it’s not even their birthdays.
  4. It feels so real!  We completed the mystery within a week because of how excited they were to keep going.  The old letters, clues, maps, de-coding;  it’s an elaborate, impressive game that had a lot of work put into it.
  5. Code wheels, mystery boxes, and other trinkets that they get to keep when the puzzle is solved.  You can keep everything together (number the envelopes) and reuse at a later date, or with younger siblings when they are older.
  6. You have the option of receiving six separate packages (over six weeks) or one lump package and parceling out on your own timeline.  (This is great for families on the go.)
  7. Appropriate for ages nine and up, but just as engaging for older kids, too.  Our older son (well into his teens) enjoyed it the most!  Of course, he loves all things codes…but our younger son enjoyed catching the bad guy and getting to learn how to be a spy.
  8. If you get stuck, there is a way to get help solving the puzzles.  The customer service is great about helping out, but without giving you the answer right away.  First, you get a nudge in the right direction.  If you’re still stuck, then they’ll help more.
  9. It fosters sibling relationships.  My boys worked together really well, with the common goal of stopping the bad guys.  There were stretches of hours with no bickering or tackling as they solved the puzzles together.
  10. The final package contains a locked box full of goodies!  But you have to crack the code to access them.


How it works


  • Choose your Mail Order Mystery and order it.
  • Let us know who the mystery is for and when you would like it to begin.
  • Receive an order confirmation and download a gift note for the recipient.
  • Parent(s) or guardian(s) get an email announcing the beginning of the mystery and explaining the process.
  • A series of letters, documents and curious objects begin to arrive in the mail, all connected to an ongoing mystery.
  • After several weeks the story comes to its exciting conclusion. All is resolved. The final mailing contains an artifact or collection of keepsakes related to the mystery.
The price of this Mail Order Mystery is $85, plus about $9 shipping. While it may seem steep, the quality of the materials they send is very nice, both the paper and non-paper items. Also, the experience lasts for six weeks (more, if you choose to reuse it).  

* Note :  The company is based in Canada, so if you see $109 in the checkout cart - that is Canadian dollars.  It is $85 USD, but the cart automatically converts. *

If you have questions, check out the Mail OrderMystery FAQ page.
Find out more about Spies, Lies, and Serious Bad Guys.

 My children received this product in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are our own.
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