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Send Bygraves
by Martha Grimes | Poetry
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 10/2/2009
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Dancesports): reserved


4 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, October 02, 2009

8 out of 10

I'd already released one copy of this book, but had been looking for another one, so when I found this good-condition hardcover at a bookstore in Portsmouth NH I was very happy.

The book's a very interesting twist on the typical murder mystery: Grimes wrote this one in rhyme. A series of poems, in many different forms, from the points of view of different characters, sets up the crime(s), reveals or rejects clues, and imparts a delicious sense of mystery and Vague Unease. [It should have been illustrated by Edward Gorey; that's the sort of feeling it conveys. But artist Devis Grebu did quite well.]

The "Bygraves" of the title is a mysterious detective whom no one appears to have actually met in person, and who communicates by means of notes left here and there: "A Note From Bygraves Found Under a Malt Vinegar Jug - The dark suspicions of a winter's night: The missing hands of clocks. The poisoned chocolates in the heart-shaped box."

I found it very entertaining, combining little jabs at the many mystery-novel conventions with an intriguing puzzle (which I failed to solve - I never read mysteries with any idea that I'll figure them out).

And since I read Stephen Fry's wonderful (and very funny) book about poetry, The Ode Less Travelled, I have more of an appreciation for the different styles of poems included here. Fry's examples of villanelles, sestinas, and pantoums helped me to better appreciate Grimes' examples of those forms. [I strongly recommend Fry's book if you have any interest in poetry at all - but if you're reading Send Bygraves and want to know more about the specific forms, you can find 'em in Wikipedia {grin}.]

The "Murderpantoum" from this book is one of my favorites, and was even before I realized that the rhyme-scheme had a name. The text itself is deft and chilling, and the change-ringing rhythm of the poetic form adds a sense of inexorable doom:

Down the wrong paths to the wrong answers lie
Clues that are planted to mislead the eye.
On Spectre Hill, a coach is passing by.
It will stop in your courtyard presently.


Clues that are planted to mislead the eye:
The gun, the knife, the bloodstain on the floor.
It will stop in your courtyard presently,
The driver will step down and try the door.


The gun, the knife, the bloodstain on the floor,
They are not what they seem to be at first.
The driver will step down and try the door.
As in an ending cleverly reversed,


They are not what they seem to be at first.
In silence sometimes lies the only hope.
As in an ending cleverly reversed,
Beware. Be Still. Be Patient. Let him grope.


In silence sometimes lies the only hope.
Some say there is an answer in the sky.
Beware. Be Still. Be Patient. Let him grope
Down the wrong paths to the wrong answers. Lie.


Another favorite is "Lodgings":

These are Bygraves' rooms.
Do not touch a thing.
Stuff out of his pockets -
Notebook, change, ky ring.
Careful. If he comes
Back and finds us at it...
Do not think about it.
Do not touch a thing.


And that's just the beginning - it gets really creepy after that! 


Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I thought I'd offer this rather unusual book for a book ray; see the forum post here.

The book is a small hardcover weighing about 9 ounces. I'll accomodate individual mailing preferences as best I can; if I get enough participants who are willing to handle the necessary postage/customs-forms requirements, I'll make it an international ray. Please post a reply in the forum thread or PM me if you'd like to participate, and include any mailing restrictions you may have.

Bookray instructions:

When you receive the book, please journal it, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the book.

Note: even if you've sent books to that person before, please PM them before mailing this one, to confirm that the address is correct and that they're able to take on a book ray at this time.
Try and read the book promptly - ideally, within a month of receiving it. If you expect to take longer, you can request to be put at the end of the list. If you find you're swamped with other books when the person before you contacts you about the bookring, you can ask to be skipped, and then let me know whether you'd like to be moved down the list or dropped entirely. If you receive the book and find it's taking longer than you'd planned to get through it, I'd appreciate an update in its journal entries or on your profile, just to let me and the other participants know you haven't forgotten it.

When you're ready to pass the book along, please add your comments about the book and indicate where you're sending it, either through a journal entry or through the controlled-release-note option. [If you make controlled release notes with your country/state/city as the location, the book will have a lovely map of its travels by the time it gets home.]

If you find that you're having problems contacting the next person in line, or don't think you can manage to mail the book as originally agreed, please let me know; I'll be glad to try to work something out!

Participants in mailing order:
Megi53 [VA - USA]
mafarrimond [Wales]
Dancesports [Australia] 


Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, October 22, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (10/22/2009 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I'm sending this to BCer Megi53 in Virginia to kick off the book ray. Hope you enjoy it! 


Journal Entry 4 by Megi53 from Danville, Virginia USA on Monday, October 26, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Just got this -- appears delightful!

I'm probably going to read the entire thing while waiting for trick-or-treaters this Saturday evening. It seems very seasonal (in fact, when I flipped through it as I do with all new ring/ray books, I noticed the word "October" on the very last page).

ETA: (Nov. 2) Well, I ended up reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for Halloween instead. This is now back to #3 on Mt. TBR but since the other two are quite short, I should get to it by this weekend. 


Journal Entry 5 by Megi53 from Danville, Virginia USA on Friday, November 06, 2009

9 out of 10

What a strange and marvelous book! The opening chapter was confusing -- Mum couldn't afford to hire an assassin? Many references are on my To-Be-Pondered-Further list (from little things like "dreadnaught" to unique observations such as "Old Trev ... Went mad from witnessing too many wills.")

I soon gave up trying to follow any plot with the goal of finding a solution; I just enjoyed the lyrical turns of phrase, the fabulous characters, and the excellent illustrations.

By itself the drawing of Fiona and Millie at the Cobweb Tearooms on page 54* would be worth the price of the book. Whistleby the poet looked languid and sexy as he lounged on the humpback bridge in another nice portrait. Chapter 23, "Why Don't We Kill Them Off and Be Done With It?", featured "Bobby and Bunch (The Honorable Smeel-Carruthers twins, And staples of the Puddley social scene)". Very amusing!

Happy I signed up for this one; reading it made a perfect Friday night treat. Mailing to the UK tomorrow morning.

*P.S. This is my first attempt at uploading a journal entry picture since the process got fixed for Internet Explorer -- if you click on the thumbnail to enlarge it, you can get a vague idea of Grebu's style. 


Journal Entry 6 by Megi53 at Danville, Virginia USA on Saturday, November 07, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (11/7/2009 UTC) at Danville, Virginia USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed at the Teal Court post office.

 


Journal Entry 7 by mafarrimond from Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, November 30, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Book has arrived safely today!! Just glancing through the book, I love the illustrations. I will enjoy this. 


Journal Entry 8 by mafarrimond from Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Friday, December 11, 2009

10 out of 10

What a delight of a book! The poetry was unusual, charming and very very clever.

The illustrations were wonderful and time needed to look at them fully.

pm sent to dancesports and reply received. I will post the book onwards tomorrow. 


Journal Entry 9 by mafarrimond at Petcheys Bay, Tasmania Australia on Friday, December 11, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (12/12/2009 UTC) at Petcheys Bay, Tasmania Australia

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sending the book on its journey to Australia. 


Journal Entry 10 by Dancesports from Petcheys Bay, Tasmania Australia on Monday, January 04, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Book arrived last week, sometime between Wednesday and Friday. We collected the mail on Saturday and there were four bookcrossing parcels and some labels as well. 


Journal Entry 11 by Dancesports from Petcheys Bay, Tasmania Australia on Monday, January 04, 2010

8 out of 10

I read the book the day it arrived, (Saturday), I thoroughly enjoyed it, very clever and easy to read. My mum has read the book today and my dad wants to read it too. We are all on holidays at our seaside shack at Surveyors Bay in southern Tasmania. 


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