The Mystery Box

Frederick Highland

Published by Ana Libri Press, 1998
ISBN 10: 0965940969 / ISBN 13: 9780965940962
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Synopsis: An illustrated collection of twenty tales of suspense, adventure, and history. Bringing together education and entertainment, each story is followed by a well researched discussion on the historical, cultural, or philatelic items in the story. There are also 5 non-fictional essays the author calls Engimas, mysteries of the real world dealing with subjects as diverse as symbols that speak to us from the past nearly unimaginable events in history and, in the case of the stamps in The Philatelic Hall of Shame, the seemingly quixotic process of selecting what goes into the stamp image. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title

From the Inside Flap: A vanished ship and a fabulous cargo await the reader in The Mystery Box. Drawing upon a real-life encounter with a tantalizing legend, Frederick Highlands' The Mystery Box offers an illustrated story collection that carries us to exotic places and across the boundaries of time. Each mystery tale is inspired by images from world wide postage stamps discovered by the author in a mystery box while in the Portuguese colony of Macao during the Vietnam War. This box has a curious link with the 1851 disappearance of a merchant vessel belonging to Sir James Brooke, the legendary White Rajah of Sarawak, a remote and fabled kingdom on the north coast of Borneo. I held onto the mystery box through many years of sailoring and travel, and I would go back to ponder the curiosities it contained. Each time I would linger longer, for it seemed these arresting images from places as remote as Nyasaland and Aden, from the Maldives and Paraguay, were instilled with a curious hold on me, a power to transport me to different lands and climes Each stamp was a miniature puzzle with a mystery inside, adds the author. It was as if the strange box had been placed in my hands to write down the stories it contained. The stories are as diverse as the postage stamps that inspired them. A murderous alter ego pursues his victim across time in Chain Letter. An escaped slave makes a plea for freedom in Never, a story that takes us to the African nation of Sierra Leone and the conundrum of nineteenth century abolitionist law. In The Emperor's Tomb, a former Maoist Red Guard has a terrifying encounter with the past. Included with the collection are several non-fiction pieces, or enigmas, based on provocative images collected in the Mystery box from Macao. Enter the legend. With fine repro-ductions of the stamps in each story, and commentary on the stamps themselves, The Mystery Box is an original blend of memorable writing and evocative imagery that will be treasured by all those who enjoy well-told tales.

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Title: The Mystery Box
Publisher: Ana Libri Press
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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