Notorious con man Moist von Lipwig has a choice. The unusual ruler of Ankh-Morpork has offered him the job of Postmaster General instead of the expected trip to the gallows. Moist faces a haunted post office, decrepit mail carriers and the task of delivering a 50-year backlog of mail.
Come rain, dogs, dark of night, the Post Office Workers Friendly and Benevolent Society, and the evil chairman of the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company, Moist sometimes thinks fondly of the hangman's noose.
A new Discworld adventure is always a treat to be savored. The city of Ankh-Morpork is populated with appealingly wacky characters, like the junior post officer who collects pins; the most unsuitably named Adora Belle Dearheart, champion of golems' rights; and Moist, a charming trickster with a heart of gold even he didn't suspect existed.
Laugh-out-loud funny in places, this book also has hidden, unexpected depths. By the time you get to the end, you'll be cheering for a very unlikely group of heroes who just want to make sure the mail gets through. (Oct., 384 pp., $24.95)
Jen Talley Exum