Book Box Unboxing: The Mystery Book Box (gunpowder, treason & plot)

Yesterday marked the arrival of my second book box from The Mystery Book Box (TMBB), I was so intrigued by this month’s theme, I had to give this box another go! If you missed last months unboxing, you can find it here. If you are currently still waiting for your November box, please note: major spoilers follow. Everyone receives the same bookish items, but the book differs (due to them being preloved). One of the new changes to this box, which I really like, is when you purchase a box/subscribe, you can now let the TMBB team know what genre of book you would like, or if there’s any specific genre you don’t want. This filled me with great joy – anything crime, mystery, thriller please! I purchased this box, it was not given to me in exchange for a review….

The theme for this month was: Gunpowder, Treason & Plot

As you can see from the above picture, the box contents list came in a lovely envelope, it even had a wax seal. A little touch, which I really liked! All the bookish items in this box are handmade.

So what was inside:

Starting with my favourite item, and I’d be more than happy if it was law that every month, every single box had to include a candle. This gorgeous candle smells of cold evenings, fire embers and wood – a delightful scent it truly is. I can’t wait to burn it, especially as it has a wooden wick that crackles as it burns! It fits perfectly with this month’s theme but more importantly, it fits perfectly with Janel.

When I was debating whether to purchase this box for a second month, I saw a spoiler picture for this ring holder on Instagram and it swayed me towards buying this box. Made from modelling clay, this is something I actually really need. In all honesty, this will be used as an earring holder, I have 4 piercing in 1 one ear, 3 in the other – so while I’m styling and profiling when I go out, it’s not most comfortable when I’m trying to sleep so I tend to take out my earrings and they take up residence on the carpet. Well not anymore, now I have this beauty. A simple item but very welcomed. Oh… I should state, the ring is mine, it didn’t come with the box.

Next up, is this wooden bookmark based on The Night Circus, decorated using paint and ink. Now we all know a wooden bookmark is not the most practical but they are pretty. I haven’t read The Night Circus, it’s not a book I’ve any desire to read (but never say never) so there’s no fangirling over this item but I’m sure for a lot of people getting this months box, this item will be a win.

Last up, we have art made using ink, featuring a V for Vendetta quote – so fitting for the theme. And a notebook, handmade using watercolours and ink. Sadly these two items just weren’t for me.

The Book


I was so nervous to unwrap this…in last month’s box, I received a book I already owned (and didn’t enjoy) so I was holding my breath unwrapping this.

I needn’t have worried.


Deity by Steven Dunne

When four Derby College students are reported missing, few in Derby CID, least of all DI Damen Brook, pay much attention. But then a film on the internet is discovered purporting to show the students committing mass suicide. If it’s real, why did they kill themselves when they had such bright futures ahead of them? If the suicides are faked, why the set up and where are the students? And if they’re dead and have been murdered, who on earth could have planned such a bizarre and tragic end to their promising lives? Combining intricate forensics with meticulous detection and the warped psychology of a psychopath, DEITY is a serial killer thriller of the highest order to rival the very best of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Peter Robinson.

I don’t own this book, I hadn’t even heard of it until now, and from the above blurb, it sounds right up my alley – the genre was spot on! This is book 3 in the Damen Brook series. Now, as a sucker for a backstory, can I jump into this one straight at book 3 or do I need to buy books 1 and 2 first? Do you think book boxes, as a general rule, should only give standalone books or #1 in the series or am I too fussy?

Shipping and Cost

Boxes are sent out between the 10th and 14th of every month. As well as a monthly subscription, they offer one-off boxes, for a total of £18.99 plus shipping (which is £3 if you’re based in the UK, more for international). Every month the theme is different and you get a preloved book along with 4-6 handmade items.

The theme for December is: Constellations and is inspired by long walks in the cold, early nights, cosy jumpers and hot chocolate.

So would I subscribe?

I do like this box but sadly, I won’t be subscribing. I’m fussy, I accept that, but I cannot justify spending £21.99 a month on a box, if I don’t love every single item. I say this because, the book is preloved, I’m a charity shop surfer so I know the deals you can get on preloved books. Therefore, for me, the value for money with this box is found in the items, but if I’m only loving 2 of the 5 bookish items, I have to ask myself if this box is for me. Everyone has different tastes and if all the items in this box are for you, I’d say go for it. Now you can specify your genre(s), that alleviates the fear of getting a book from a genre you don’t like, each month the box is well presented and delivered on time. Nor this month or last month, have any items been missing or damaged, and on the one occasion, I did contact TMBB team via Instagram, I received a reply in a excellent time frame.


Is this box worth its  buck, I’ve unboxed it, let me know what you think?

More information about TMBB can be found at:




8 thoughts on “Book Box Unboxing: The Mystery Book Box (gunpowder, treason & plot)

  1. Thank you for another review and I’m glad you liked the sound of this month’s book better! I didn’t actually know that it was the 3rd book. I read it on its own a couple of weeks ago and didn’t notice; there wasn’t any missing back story that I noticed. But it was a really good book so you might want to check out the first 2 anyway 😄


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I’ve checked out the reviews on Goodreads and the whole series has good ratings for excellent book choice and a great touch allow people to specify genre. And the candle 😍❤️👍👌


  2. As much as I love the idea of surprises I’m too tight to spend £21.99 a month on a book I might not want/already have and surprises that in all reality I could live without. As my charity shop sells books for 20p or 3 for 50p I’d be hard pushed to justify it for a pre-loved book. But that said, it comes down to disposable income and that differs for us all. I couldn’t justify it but for someone else it might be a great way of trying something new. I have read the first book by Stephen Dunne and loved it, I have one of his later ones as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m adamant the perfect box for me is out there in which I will love the book and every single item thus justifying treating myself each month haha! I think I need a ‘build your own box’ book box. I do like this box but it’s not the perfect fit for me, I don’t have much disposable income so the box has to be perfect to my tastes. The majority of mainstream book boxes seem to only cater to YA readers but I’ve got my eye on another box that slightly cheaper than this one that I might try. And I’ve asked for some of the more expensive ones for Christmas so we’ll see lol

      So glad to hear you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, I will start at book one and work my way through to this one.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m rather fussy about subscription boxes too, I often don’t even like the book (although it’s a great plus that they look at your preferred genre. I’d be happy with this book too!). What I would like is a box where they give like 40 choices of books and goodies and you tick those you like and then you still don’t know what you get but it will be something you like. I love to see others unboxing though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly it – ‘build your own box’, I love getting candles though so every box should include one of them as standard! Haha! They’re a great idea and a great treat. I like that these items are handmade so they’re 100% unique to the box, I doubt I’ll find one where I live every single item but I’ll keep searching. I’m restricted to the UK though as I wouldn’t entertain international shipping

      Liked by 1 person

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