Please welcome Jeanne of the BPL back to the blog today….
I picked up this graphic novel from a review that ran on the Bristol Public Library’s Bookblog, so Ambrea did a good job of selling this book!
The short description is that this is a sort of The Great Detective Meets The Great Cuthulu but of course there’s a twist. As the story opens, a veteran of the campaign in Afghanistan finds lodging with an idiosyncratic detective—does this sound familiar?—and the two of them are soon called to the scene of a shocking murder. Lestrad, the policeman, is suitable astounded by the swift deductions by the consulting detective and soon they are called to an audience with a Royal Personage who wants the case solved quickly.
In Gaiman’s story, we soon learn that The Great Old Ones of Lovecraft conquered Earth and have become rulers of their various human countries, maintaining the Royal bloodlines. Let’s just say I won’t ever quite look at Queen Victoria in the same way.
The graphic novel is based on a Hugo Award winning short story by Gaiman and now I really want to read the original just to see how some things are handled. For example, the graphic novel boasts advertisements for various things, such as Doctor Jekyll’s Powders which are “Guaranteed to Release the Inner You!”
It’s this sense of playfulness amid the grim investigation and all the little inside jokes that made this such a hit with me. I am more of a Holmes fan than Lovecraft so I’m sure I missed some things there, but the little fannish Easter eggs delighted me. From some other things I’ve read, I have wondered if some reviewers missed a crucial plot point, but that certainly didn’t seem to mar their appreciation.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have actually read it over a couple of times, finding some new little tidbit each time. For that reason, I highly recommend it.