cover image Rebecca & Lucie in the Case of the Missing Neighbor

Rebecca & Lucie in the Case of the Missing Neighbor

Pascal Girard, trans. from the French by Aleshia Jensen. Drawn & Quarterly, $21.95 (100p) ISBN 978-1-77046-464-3

This winsome comics mystery from Girard (Petty Theft) introduces an unconventional detective duo: Rebecca, a new mom on maternity leave, and Lucie, her eight-month-old daughter. Though a schedule of childcare, checkups, day care interviews, and baby yoga keeps Rebecca on her toes, she craves intellectual stimulation. She finds plenty of it when, during a late-night feeding, she witnesses something shady out her window, involving a man loading something into an unmarked van. Soon she’s off, investigating the suspicious disappearance of her neighbor Eduardo. Trying on aliases and talking her way into offices and apartments, she uncovers a web of crime. Lucie, with her mop of golden curls, assists in opening up conversation via cuteness, though one source snarls, “I certainly don’t have time to babysit an amateur detective and her child!” The languid pace gives equal time to a stroller fitness class and the hunt for spots where a murderer might dump a body. Loose, squiggly art, tinted in bright watercolors, imbues a friendly feel that belies the dark undercurrents Rebecca discovers running through her sunny Quebecois community. Despite an abrupt ending, the foray succeeds as both a mystery and a chronicle of day-to-day parenthood. Readers won’t be disappointed if this evolves into a series of offbeat mother-daughter mysteries. (June)