A Winston Churchill biography caught the eye of pensioner Peter Dodds at he thumbed through a pile of books at a charity shop and he happily handed over 50p.
Later, as he settled down to begin reading it a faded postcard fell out from the pages and 70-year-old Mr Dodds picked it up.
He was lost for words when he recognised the address and discovered the postcard was sent by his brother to his mother 25 years ago.
By some quirk of fate the book, which Mr Dodds believes once belonged to his father, had found its way into a shop and against all the odds he had bought it.
His brother Ian, now 65, a retired head teacher, was on holiday in Washington DC when he sent the postcard to their mother Nellie in 1988.
She died at her Chesterfield nursing home 11 years later. After her death the brothers donated some of her books to her nursing home’s library and somehow the biography, simply called Churchill and written by Martin Gilbert, found its way to the town’s Ashgate Croft charity shop.
Mr Dodds, a retired store manager who lives with his wife Lorna, also 70, in Loundsley Green, Chesterfield, said: “I pass the charity shop every day and I often call in to browse through the books. I hadn’t seen that one before so it must have been delivered just before I called in. It’s as if it was meant to be.
“My brother lives nearby in Newbold. I phoned him up straightaway and said ‘I’ve had a postcard from you but it’s 25 years late.’ He was absolutely amazed.”