ligne claire how To guide about being a detective
January 10, 2007 9:39 AM   Subscribe

I was reading Tintin and I remembered an illustrated How To guide about being a detective in a similar ligne claire style that I loved as a kid.

I bought a couple of these detective books in the 80s at the school book fair. They were definitely French or Belgian, and about 4"x5" like the size of a field guide. They had short bits of information, like how to prevent the assassination of an African ambassador by having him dressed as a bodyguard, and one of the bodyguards dressed as him. It was completely illustrated, and didn't have a central character, but did have a character in a trench coat who would explain how to collect fingerprints, and how to keep a notebook of observations (with a pen attached by a string, and no spaces so that your records couldn't be altered). Any ideas? I would love to find this book.
posted by andrewzipp to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sounds like the Usborne 'Knowhow' Spycraft manuals.

The ones I owned weren't in French, though.
posted by the cuban at 10:00 AM on January 10, 2007

I remember this book, too. I'm almost certain it was published by Hayes-Usborne, but I've never been able to track it down. "Hayes-Usborne" might have been part of the title, too, like "The Hayes-Usborne Book of Detection" or something like that.

I have something similar around here, done in the same style, but I can't find it right now.
posted by interrobang at 10:03 AM on January 10, 2007

posted by interrobang at 10:04 AM on January 10, 2007

Yeah, sounds like The Usborne Detective's Handbook. Surprisingly hard to to find on Google. I don't know if non-English editions were ever published, though.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:06 AM on January 10, 2007

The illustrator is Colin King. The Usborne website lets you search by illustrator. Searching for "King" turns up a number of books, but the Spy Guides and Detective Handbooks appear to be out of print.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:14 AM on January 10, 2007

I remember reading "Le manuel du petit espion" and "Le manuel du petit détective" in french when I was young. According to my library, it is a translation of The Usborne spy's guidebook.
posted by racingjs at 10:27 AM on January 10, 2007

Response by poster: Cool! I had that one too, but it’s bigger, like A4 size. I think there was another series that was smaller. I’m going to try to track down a copy. The illustrations don’t look as good as I remember, but so it goes :)
posted by andrewzipp at 10:38 AM on January 10, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks so much, I've ordered the Detective one from Amazon. It looks like the Spy one is a little harder to find if you don't want a CD-ROM on the cover, but I'm glad I've found them.
posted by andrewzipp at 11:01 AM on January 10, 2007

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