Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dying to Meet You: 43 Old Cemetery Road

Klise, Kate. 2009. Dying to Meet You: 43 Old Cemetery Road: Book One. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Here’s a new genre for you – “graphic epistolary mystery!” Not sure what that is? Fans of Kate Klise’s, Regarding the …, series will know and so you will you after reading this first in a new series, 43 Old Cemetery Road. Kate Klise and her sister, illustrator M. Sarah Klise, return to their signature format of illustrated, mystery novels written in the form of letters.

Similar to their previous collaborations, Regarding the Fountain, Regarding the Sink, and subsequent titles in that series, Dying to Meet You unfolds through a series of letters. This time, penned by a boy, a ghost, a real estate agent, a literary agent, a writer, and a lawyer, the letters seek to unravel the story of the peculiar circumstances regarding the old Victorian mansion at 43 Old Cemetery Road. Writer, Ignatius Grumply, has rented the mansion for the summer but is unaware that it is already inhabited by the young boy, Seymour Hope and a ghost, Olive C. Spence. Humor abounds in the simple black and white sketches, the characters’ names (Anita Sale, real estate agent, Fay Tality and her dog Mort), and of course, in the epistles,

"P.S. I recognize the name Olive C. Spence. Isn’t she the woman listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for receiving the most rejection slips in history? If memory serves, she wrote something called graphic epistolary mysteries – or some such unmarketable nonsense."

Sometimes profound,

"All I’m saying is that your life is a story, and that you are the main character
of that story. Is your story a comedy or a tragedy? Is it dull? Or is it a
compelling, spine-tingling drama? …each of us is the author of his or her own
life,...if you're telling me that you've changed, I'm pleased at your authorship."

but mostly light-hearted, the new 43 Cemetery Road series will appeal to 4th-6th graders, boys, and especially fans of the Regarding the… series.

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