Title: The Castafiore Emerald.
Genre: Fiction, graphic novel, humour, adventure, mystery.
Publication Date: 1963.
Summary: When Tintin and Captain Haddock happen across a community of gypsies they invite them home... just as Bianca Castafiore, the famous opera singer, decides to visit Tintin. It's chaos at Marlinspike Hall, and then a precious emerald goes missing!
My rating: 7.5/10.
My preview: A cute and fun romp, as most Tintin volumes tend to be! The grouchy, crude Captain Haddock is my favourite Tintin character (aside from the ever-witty Snowy, of course!), and he is at his very grouchiest in this one. His interactions with the fabulous Bianca Castafiore, who continuously challenges the Captain's old-school misogynist views on women, are hilarious and endearing both in his helplessness and her complete ignorance of his sentiments. I really like how, like in many of his other novels, Hergé addresses discrimination and ostracizing minorities, this time dealing with the Romani. The novel opens with Tintin and Captain Haddock finding a group of gypsies camping on a dump pile because the city refuses to allow them to camp anywhere else, and the Captrain invites them to camp on a field that is a part of his property. For the rest of the novel, Hergé highlights the discrimination of the Romani by having absolutely everyone jump to the conclusion that they are guilty of the crime, with no reason or evidence, with only Tintin constantly standing up for them, and reminding everyone that "the gypsies did it because they're gypsies" is neither a valid, nor a civilized argument. I also quite enjoyed the "crime without a culprit" resolution of the mystery. The only reason I may not like this volume as much as I have enjoyed the other ones is because this is apparently the only Tintin book where they stay home, and do not travel to a different country (or planet), which, considering the exploration part is a big part of the Tintin appeal for me, kind of lets me down. I think perhaps I do not like the Tintin cast enough on their own merit to want to read simple whodunits about them.