HarperCollins, Oct 2004, 24.95, 384 pp.
Moist von Lipwig is a thief, a con-man, and an embezzler and the law finally catches up to Moist von Lipwig when is arrested. He refuses to tell anyone where he hid the $150,000 in ill-gotten gains. He is hung, but awakens in the Patrician Lord Vetinari's office. The despot had the hangman cut off the criminal's air supply so that everyone would think he died and now he has a proposition for Moist. The postal system in Ankh Morpark does not work; if Moist wants to live, he will make the post office a viable enterprise.
His parole officer, Pump the golem, makes sure that Moist works at the post office. The post office is a mess with decades of undelivered mail. Then there is the successful rival, the almost instantaneous communication service clacks run by Mr. Gilt, who has let the system deteriorate with many delays while prices have astronomically inflated. Mr. Gilt tries to drive Moist out of business, but the felon has become a hero to the common folks. Moist challenges his opponent to a delivery duel to see who can bring the mail faster to a specific spot. Of course this is Moist's game but the antagonist is no ignorant fool when it comes to illegal activity.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner