by Terry Pratchett
Harper, 2004. 471 pages. Fantasy.
The book starts with Moist Van Litwig, an accomplished con man, thief, swindler, etc., waiting for his own execution. Just after he is hanged, he wakes up to find Lord Ventinari, the ruler of Ankh-Morpork, offering him job--a government job. Always the swindler, Moist decides that a job that might lead to his freedom is a far better choice than death and so he becomes the Postmaster. Ventinari tasks Moist with restoring the the post office (a once grand institution) to its former glory, especially because the Grand Trunk, a communication company that uses light to pass messages between towers, has started to shut down so often it's like they don't exist. Somewhere in the process of getting the position, Moist does what he does best, cons himself into actually achieving more than anyone would have thought from an already dead conman.
Despite this being book 33 of 40 Discworld novels, it is a great place to start if you want to get used to Pratchet's comedic timing and writing style before starting the trek from book 1 to 40.