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A Letter from Munich

(Jack Bailey #3)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  350 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Two distinct voices emerge: one, a jaded ex-cop, the other, an aging, but spirited German lady, telling her story of love, war, ethics, and redemption.

Germany, 1930s. In the peaceful village of Dachau, Ariana lives with her family, ordinary German citizens, during the Third Reich. Ariana and her sister, Renate, come of age amidst the growing horrors.

Munich, 2012. Hard-nose
Paperback, 171 pages
Published April 9th 2020 by Black Rose Writing
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Bonnie DeMoss
May 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Jack finds a letter written to his deceased, abusive father that raises a mystery and sends him on a journey to Germany. Jack is trying to find an answer as to why his father was so abusive. What he finds is a woman with a secret and a story.

This book dragged on at times but had some brilliant moments such as the well done description of the horrors of a concentration camp. There is a surprise in the book which is pretty predictable. Overall it’s a good story.

If you like World War II fiction and
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
184 pages

4 stars

This story is told in two timelines: 1930's Germany and the present.

At the beginning of this book the character Jack has a 'tude. Although to be fair the ex-cop has plenty to about which to have a chip on his shoulder.

He and his former partner and now friend Sherk travel to Germany to visit Sherk's family. Jack has another motive for going, however, and waits until they get there to spring it on Sherk. He has found a letter in his now deceased father's things and Jack and his b
Shirley McAllister
Can a letter change your life?

Jack and Tommy were going through their late father's possessions when they found a letter to him from a German woman. It was sent to him just after the war ended.

Jack decides to go to Germany and find the lady that had written the letter in hopes he would find out about his father's time in the war.

What he finds not only changes how he thinks about his father, but how he thinks of the war and the German people. He finds the woman that wrote the letter, although she
Kate Anthony
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
"What do I know about memory? When you become old and used up like me, it’s easy to allow the past to take over."

This is my first time reading Meg Lelvis, and I'm jumping in by having read her third instalment of the Jack Bailey series.

I was immediately drawn to this book and it's dual timeline, 1930's Germany and present day. As the book begins, Jack, a determined ex-cop, is looking to uncover the mystery surrounding a love letter from WWII sent to his now deceased father many years ago. This l
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"A Letter From Munich"
Meg Lelvis

What a gripping page turner!

"A Letter From Munich" by Meg Lelvis was a great story that starts out in 2012, where two brothers found a letter to their father at the end of WWII from a women in Munich. Will this letter explain why their dad was a different man when he came back home from the war. The letter held questions that needed to be answered. The only way to find the answers was to go to Germany and find Ariane. What will Jack Bailey find in Germany? Wha
Clazzzer C
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this read. It was full of hope for what might have been, and heartbreak for what happened, the suffering that was endured and the routes some took to try blot out the past, unsuccessfully at times, and try to move on as best they can. The truths that Jack Bailey uncovered during his trip to Munich were horrific but the author built in Bailey, a strong and credible led protagonist who undoubtedly contributed considerably to this novel. While so many books about the holocaust have ...more
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1u2-weltkrieg, arc
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the type of book I love. But I had a very hard time with it for several reasons. The top two:

An overwhelming amount of unnecessary detail. It doesn’t add anything and it often confuses and bogs down the story line.

It suffers from an identity crisis. In several parts it reads like an educational piece for middle schoolers. Describing Hitler’s rise to power, how ordinary Germans did/didn’t know the Holocaust was going on, et
John Hazen
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this fine book, Jack Bailey takes a physical, temporal and emotional journey. Through this journey, he learns not only about his family’s past but he uncovers some truths about himself. This well-written and thoughtful book, which can be tough reading at times because of the subject matter, is a poignant character study. It highlights the importance of family and friends and the relationships we all have with the people we know and love. It also presents a believable study of how people react ...more
Sublime Book Review
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall Rating = 4.08

Storyline & Concept = 3.75

Writing & Delivery = 4

Editorial = 4.5

A Letter from Munich, set mostly in Germany, both in present time and during World War II, tells the story of a love affair between an American soldier and a young German woman during the war. Instigated by the discovery of a decades-old letter, the main character, Jack Bailey, a hardened ex-cop, searches for the source of the letter and an understanding of his father’s cruel nature.

Historical fiction is one of
JM Spade
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-books
If you found a letter after a loved one passed away, would you attempt to find the sender?

Munich was one of the favorite places I traveled to during my trip across Germany and thus, this book sucked me in from the beginning. The author does a fabulous job at weaving the two timelines together - the present and the past. The characters are deep and relatable and I found myself wanting to know more about the letter as much as Jack does.

While there weren't any surprises, I genuinely enjoyed solvin
What do I know about memory? When you become old and used up like me, it’s easy to allow the past to take over. Some memories are sharp as teeth, others like gauzy clouds floating in your brain. Others flutter around like a trapped moth; others are right on the edge of remembrance. Like a familiar melody you can’t identify.

In 1945 John Bailey was one of the American soldiers sent to liberate Dachau after Germany surrendered. The horrors he witnessed there: the mass graves, the dead people an
Thank you to the publisher & Netgalley for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This... was not the book for me. I adore historical fiction, WWII fiction especially, and will never forget the pictures and memories regarding Dachau and the war from visiting the 45th Infantry Thunderbirds Museum in OKC. With all of this, it seemed like this was the perfect book to read but unfortunately, I just couldn’t connect with it.

I didn’t realize this was part of a series when I requested
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wartime romance. Forbidden love. Buried secrets.

Retired Chicago detective Jack Bailey has a “missing persons” case that’s a doozie. It’s also intensely personal. Stretching back to World War II, the case involves a cryptic one-page letter to his late father. The family finds it when sorting through Dad's belongings after his death. Can it shed any light on who Dad was and why?

When Jack's former partner’s ailing wife is unable to travel, “Sherk” invites Jack to join him for a visit to the old f
Mar 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Two brothers in Chicago come across a letter buried in their late alcoholic, abusive fathers’ WWII memorabilia. The romantically-worded letter from 1946 points to him having had an affair with the female author of the letter while in Germany. One brother goes to Germany to try and find her and get the whole story. He manages to do that, and could finally attribute his father’s behavior to having been one of the first to walk through the doors of Dachau in the liberation. He finds another ghost f ...more
Jennifer Young
Jun 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I love a mystery, I love a historical connection and I love a dual timeline story. The blurb for Meg Lelvis’s A Letter from Munich ticked all of those boxes and, while I did enjoy it, it somehow failed to deliver.

The book is the story of ex-Chicago cop Jack Bailey, who travels to Munich to seek out the story behind a letter written to his father at the end of the Second Word War. Jack has a back story of violent bereavement, in the loss of his wife and daughter 12 years earlier, and he’s travel
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jack Bailey is an ex-cop. His father has died. Jack and Tommy, his younger brother have gone through their dad’s possessions finding a letter written and sent from Munich. Though they can’t read German, there is a thought that perhaps it would lend them some understanding off their father’s brutality. Jack’s friend and ex-partner, Sherk invites him on his yearly trip to Munich where he visits his family. Jack accepts as he wants to see if he can find he woman that wrote his dad’s letter. Sherk i ...more
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
A Letter from Munich is the third book in the Jack Bailey series. If I knew that before I came across it on Netgalley I wouldn't have requested it. Mainly because I prefer to read a series in order. I thought it could be one of those stand alone cases but it wasn't and for that reason I believe my review is bias on those grounds so please take it with a grain of salt.

This novel had incredible potential. I really enjoyed the flashback into the past but the present days were rough. I did not like
Cheryl Sokoloff
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Letter from Munich, as the title suggests, is about a "forgotten" letter, that resurfaces when John Bailey's family sorts through his belongings, after his death. The forgotten letter was from a woman, and since their Dad kept it for 66 years, John's sons Jack and Tommy, (the ones who found it), thought, that maybe, there could be a story behind the letter. Jack, one of John's 5 children, was actually planning a trip to Munich with his German and now X-partner from the police force (Jack is re ...more
Giselle Roeder
The title intrigued me to read this book.
I am not familiar with any of Me L.'s previous books. Since I have a vivid imagination and am familiar with the setting in Germany, I had no problems getting 'deeply' involved in the story. I didn't like Jack at the beginning since he seemed a bit rude and not always nice to his friend Sherk, who invited him to come along to visit Germany. Jack did not tell his friend that he had a special reason to accompany him. After I learned of the tragic loss of hi
carolyn Thorman
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Historians debate how much ordinary German citizens knew of the existence of Hitler's,s death camps. Lelvis does not give a verdict, but instead presents an objective depiction of thr daily life of a Munich family, their everyday routines and pedestrian concerns. As if Dachau were not down the road. Through the eyes of the characters we see the unspoken phenomenon of wide spread social denial. Then lelvis shows us denial at the individual level-jack baily.s reluctance to delve into his father,s ...more
Jamie Jack
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: p-2020
A Sharp Departure from Police Procedurals

Although this is a part of the Jack Bailey mystery series, it is a sharp departure from the two other books in that series, which are police procedurals. Jack does have a mystery to solve, but this time it's personal. He finds a letter in his late father's belongings from a German woman just after World War II. He and his partner and friend, Sherk, go to Germany to visit Sherk's family and also to dig into the mystery. Jack comes away with not only a grea
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow. I really enjoyed this book. I read it in one night. Jack and his brother find an old letter in their Dad's stuff for WWII with a woman's name. Jack heads to German with his friend, Sherk, to see if he can uncover who the woman is. As the two search we learn about their relationship and why they are friends. The two take us around Munich and the German country side. The author gives good descriptions of historic places. It made me feel as if I was there. I really enjoyed this. love Jack's ch ...more
R J Mckay
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I feel that I need to start this review with the comment that I haven’t read the first two ‘Jack Bailey’ books in the series. That being said, I was able to slip into this book without any problems.

Jack Bailey discovers a letter among his late father’s possessions. Jack’s father was a hard man, and Jack wasn’t particularly close to him, but the old letter reveals a whole different man, and Jack seems puled to discover this side of his father. When his friend Shrek offers him the opportunity to
Susan Hayes-Brauner
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of getting to read this book before it was published. I thank Meg very much for that.
I always enjoy Jack, even though he was a little testy in the beginning of the book, we all have our days.
I struggled personally with the book because my mother-in-law was an Auschwitz survivor, somethings she rarely talked about, so it kind of put it in my face. The more I read and after I finished the book and had time to think about it, I was grateful for the insight.

The book lets us foll
Mark Pople
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another gem from Meg Lelvis, this time with an unexpected, yet welcome, twist. In A Letter from Munich, Lelvis has taken crusty detective Jack Bailey out of his comfort zone, a comfort zone characterized by denial and a lack of vulnerability that he’d used to shield himself from a tragic past event. It’s an absolute pleasure to witness Jack confront his demons and, in so doing, evolve and embrace understanding, acceptance, and love. A Letter from Munich turns out to be not only a journey across ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This DEBUT novel speaks to many parts of WWII and Germany, but none so eloquently as the fact that part of it is set in Dachau, "a peaceful village near Munich". On a trip to Germany several years ago, I was with a group that visited Dachau, the camp. I was absolutely shocked to find out that there was a town within walking distance, bearing the same name. How could people not realize what was happening to the Jews and the other so-called undesirables?

This is the story of two brothers who disco
Sharon Middleton
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Lelvis knocked it out of the ballpark with this one!
Lelvis hit it out of the ballpark with this thought provoking book. If you have read her other Jack Bailey books, you know Jack is a flawed human. This book explores the sources of more of Jack’s flaws. It also deals with the horrors of war, living in Nazi Germany and the aftermath of the war. It gives the reader insights into the human condition that caused and allowed those horrors to exist, and helps the reader realize not everyone is evil.

May 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
When a 1930's love letter from an Ariana Schroder is discovered in his father's belongings, ex-cop Jack Bailey is determined to figure out if she holds the answers to why his father was so abusive.

I thought the flashbacks to WWII were very well written and I loved hearing their stories. The present day stories were painful to read. I didn't like Jack at all. His friend, Sherk, was the only redeeming character, and I felt he wasn't given a fair shake. While this had a lot of potential, I didn't
Melissa Cheney
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a super fast read! I was drawn to this novel due to the subject matter, as I try and read anything I can get my hands on relating to the time period. I found this book to be one of the few, maybe the only one (that I have read)?? that deals with the holocaust and telling about how the Germans felt... and theie feelings about the war even into today's time period. DO not get me wrong...this book does not focus its entirety on the germans side, but it does address it and I found that to b ...more
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Meg Lelvis grew up in northern Minnesota and taught English and psychology in Houston and Dallas. Her fiction and poetry have won awards from Houston Writers Guild and Houston Writers House. Her first novel, Bailey's Law, won the 2017 Maxy Award for best mystery. Her short story featuring Bailey's Law character, Jack Bailey, was published in Houston Writers Guild mystery anthology, Waves of Suspen ...more

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