I was very pleased to get this, the last book in the Grandville series, for Christmas - and my Young Man had also managed to get me a signed copy, from Forbidden Planet.
This is a graphic novel series about a badger who is an Inspector at Scotland Yard - the characters are all anthropomorphic animals, like Rupert the Bear, or the Blacksad graphic novels. It's also rather Steampunk in design, with steam carriages and Victorian-style costuming. And big guns.
My Young Man had very carefully read up to the anti-spoiler wrapper around the last 50 pages (so browsers couldn't flick to the back to see how the story ended), so he was very keen to find out what happened next. I had restrained myself when the parcel arrived, until Christmas morning.
I settled down in a comfy chair, with a bottle of good beer (Wiper and True Plum Pudding, since it was Christmas), and took my time over the book, savouring every panel. There are lots of jokes and puns hidden in the background, including characters from old British comics. The book is dedicated to Les Baxendale, comic artist, and Bryan Talbot has used some of his old characters, like Korky the Cat.
There's plenty of room in this book to tell a more complex story - it's twice the length of the previous Grandville books - so we get LeBrock's backstory as he tells Billie about his mentor at Scotland Yard (a thinly disguised Sherlock Holmes) and some of the cases they worked on together, as well as how he rose through the ranks to be an Inspector despite his working class background.
And on top of that, another part of LeBrock's past is catching up with him and Billie, in the shape of crime boss Tiberius Koenig, who is out for revenge for what LeBrock did to his brother in a previous story.
And then there's an Italian badger called Tasso, fresh off the ship from a long voyage....
This will be the last of the Grandville books - they're very time consuming to produce (the art work is gorgeous), and it wraps up all the loose ends from previous stories very nicely.
And now I'm going to binge read all five of them again.