Book Reviews

Dearest Milton James by N.R. Walker

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Humor/Comedy
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 09-September-2021

Book Blurb

Malachi Keogh finds himself in a job he neither wanted nor asked for when his father, boss of Sydney’s postal service, sends him to the end of the business line, aka The Dead Letter Office. Malachi expects tedious and boring but instead discovers a warehouse with a quirky bunch of misfit co-workers, including a stoic and nerdy boss, Julian Pollard.


Malachi’s intrigued by Julian at first, and he soon learns there’s more to the man than his boring clothes of beige, tan, and brown; a far cry from Malachi’s hot pink, lilac, and electric blue. Where Julian is calm and ordered, Malachi is chaos personified, but despite their outward differences, there’s an immediate chemistry between them that sends Malachi’s head—and heart—into a spin.


To keep his father happy, Malachi needs to keep this job. He also needs to solve the mystery of the pile of old letters that sits in Julian’s office and maybe get to the bottom of what makes Julian tick. Like everything that goes through the mail centre, only time will tell if Malachi has found his intended destination or if he’ll find himself returned to sender.


Book Review

"You were like sunshine and rain begetting rainbows, full of contradictions, like the intervals between light and shadow." ~ Michael R. Burch


No matter how hard he tries, Malachi, of ‘Dear Milton James’ by N.R. Walker, has never fit in. He has had several jobs, but none have inspired him, so he has always done something outrageous that got him fired. Malachi expects the latest job his father has for him to be no different. Malachi couldn’t have been more wrong.


As he and his father walk up to the building, Malachi assesses it. His first reaction is how great it would be for a studio. When they go in, Malachi notices almost everything is beige. When his new supervisor, Julian, walks out to greet them, his clothes are beige too. It shouldn’t be a turn-on, but Malachi admits to himself that it is. After his father leaves, Julian takes Malachi around to introduce him to his coworkers. Instead of the dull, pencil-pushing nerds he expects, from the goth girl to the creepy-truck-driver-serial killer-looking guy, each staff member is eccentric in their particular way. Still, Malachi figures he won’t be there long enough for them to get to know him, so they don’t need to put too much effort into learning about him. They all stare at him, then go to work.


Instead of being bored, Malachi finds that working at the “dead letter office” is like searching for pieces of a gigantic puzzle, then putting them together. It challenges his mind and, when Malachi “reunites” a stray letter or parcel with its rightful owner, he feels a great deal of satisfaction. It surprises him as much as anyone that he likes the job and looks forward to going to work. Things become even better when Julian shows him letters that have been in the office for over forty years that everyone calls the “Dear Milton James” letters. Beautifully written by a gay man to his lover during the Vietnam War period, they portray the beauty and frustration of a forbidden love affair. As they read through the letters together, the poetic simplicity of the words and the passion bring Malachi to tears. He is more determined than ever to find the person who wrote them.


“Dearest Milton James” is a brilliant book that is a love story within a love story. It takes what could have been mundane and turns that into an intriguing mystery with a delightful cast of outcasts who make up a spectacular team of “detectives”. I loved Malachi and Julian. They were such an unexpected but perfect couple, balancing each other out and providing support and unconditional love neither had before but so deserved. The suspense built up in finding out who Milton James was and how the story ended almost did me in, but I “forced” myself to let the dilemma play out. Thanks, N.R., for giving me another couple to love.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book was purchased by the reviewer.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 193 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-August-2021
Price $4.95 ebook, $15.00 paperback
Buy Link