Bookhunter, by Jason Shiga (20 June)

These graphic novel things are starting to grow on me. I don’t think I’m ready for any big-kid books, like Watchmen and the like, but I’m getting there!

So this is a nice, short, simple-drawing book about the library police. No, really. I saw this description of it while plowing through the Unshelved archives (excellent comic, p.s., you should also go plow through the archives), and I was, to say the least, intrigued. Library police? Concentric locked-room mysteries?? Library police??? How can I join?

And, happily, it was a good time. We get what seems to be a cold open with the library police tracking down a guy who is stealing all the copies of one particular book from the Oakland Public Library. Agent Bay and his team bust in and totally get the guy, but then we don’t care about him anymore and we move on to the main story. In this, there’s a Bible missing and the OPL needs Bay to recover it before it has to be returned to the Library of Congress. Only… it was stolen from a safe that has not been obviously cracked. And the book is only in the safe at night, but there’s also no sign that the thief broke into or out of the library. Which means the book must have left during the day, but without triggering the anti-theft alarms at the doors. An exhausting riddle!

Best of all, the book is set in 1973, so Bay solves the mystery with the help of microfilm and a giant card catalog. Can’t go wrong with that.

Rating: 8/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2007)

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