Tintin: King Ottokar's Sceptre by Herge
Tintin takes Snowy for a walk in the park and discovers a briefcase. Looking inside for whose it is, he discovers the owner, Professor Alembick, lives nearby. Alembick is a sigillography expert. He collects and studies seals, like those used in medieval times to seal important documents. He has found a rare seal of Ottokar IV, a king of Syldavia. Alembick will travel there and do research at the national archives. Something odd is afoot--when Tintin leaves, someone secretly takes his picture. Tintin follows the man to a Syldavian restaurant where more suspicious events happen. A mysterious conspiracy revolves around Alembick. Tintin decides to travel with him to Syldavia. At the national archive, King Ottokar's Sceptre, symbol of the Syldavian king's authority, is stolen. It's up to Tintin (with bumbling help from Thomson and Thompson) to aid current King Muskar XII in recovering the sceptre.
This adventure is fun and well plotted. The action proceeds through several localities and gives Herge a chance to draw bigger, more detailed towns, cities, and castles. The back of the book has about twenty pages of supplemental material on Herge's life and inspirations for the story (including some fascinating guess work on where Syldavia is in Europe). The editor includes photographs from Herge's collection that match drawings in this book. The book is a fun adventure and is educational!