Book Filter: I got one that may stump you. The gauntlet has been thrown.
June 27, 2006 1:42 AM   Subscribe

Man, this is a long shot. But I see so many "Book Filters" get answered and well, one never knows. I apologize now for how vague I'm about to be. But an image has haunted me for years...

It's an black ink sketch. An illustration in a Young Adult book...I think I read it around the same time as "The Ghost and the Whirligig" if that helps any. But that doesn't mean they were published around the same time, just trying to give a gist of what I was reading around then.

It's of a woman wearing a black bonnet (with a veil?) and she carries a basket of flowers. She has a smile that's something quite like Mona Lisa's (in my memory anyway). But maybe a little happier.

It's only a drawing of her shoulders up. And on the copy of the book I had, it was located on the bottom half of the left page. (or so I recall).

She's the eccentric woman in the book, a peripheral character at first but I think -maybe- she's got something to do with how the book ends. She's like the neighbor who lives up the street and sells daisies door to door or something. Ah, just now I remember she had some sort of expression for saying 'hello'. Strange.

And, because this is me, it was probably having to do with solving a mystery surrounding a ghost or some such thing. I ate that stuff up as a kid. Still do.

I don't know why it stuck with me. I just wish I could remember the title and more of the story (I read it probably about 20 years ago). Weird that I remember the other details and not the most important ones. Ah well, par for the course.

Like I said, I know its a long shot. But it doesn't hurt to ask. Thanks!
posted by ryecatcher to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It sounds like one of Edward Gorey's illustrations of a John Bellairs novel, though I don't know which one it might be. These were ghost/detective stories for young adults.

Here's a bibliography and some examples of Gorey's illustration style.
posted by mbrubeck at 6:33 AM on June 27, 2006

(My first link was supposed to go to Wikipedia.)
posted by mbrubeck at 6:41 AM on June 27, 2006

Yeah, I think it may have been Bellairs. I'll get on the case and check it out. Thanks so much for the feedback.
posted by ryecatcher at 9:09 AM on June 27, 2006

All the illustrations in John Bellairs books I've read were either full page or small illustrations above the chapter headings. So the "located on the bottom half of the left page" doesn't sound like Bellairs to me...
posted by frenetic at 10:49 AM on June 27, 2006

If it is Bellairs, it might be The Letter, the Witch and the Ring or The Ghost in the Mirror -- both of these feature Mrs. Zimmerman, a neighbor who is a witch, as a supporting character who is significant in the ending of the book.
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:37 PM on June 28, 2006

Whoops. That's: The Letter, the Witch and the Ring
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:39 PM on June 28, 2006

Margalo!!! That's it!! Thank you so much.

Unbelievable this MeFi.
posted by ryecatcher at 1:51 AM on June 29, 2006

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