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The novel that T. S. Eliot called “the first, the longest, and the best of the modern English detective novels”

Guarded by three Brahmin priests, the Moonstone is a religious relic, the centerpiece in a sacred statue of the Hindu god of the moon. It is also a giant yellow diamond of enormous value, and its temptation is irresistible to the corrupt John Herncastle, a colonel in the British Army in India. After murdering the three guardian priests and bringing the diamond back to England with him, Herncastle bequeaths it to his niece, Rachel, knowing full well that danger will follow. True to its enigmatic nature, the Moonstone disappears from Rachel’s room on the night of her eighteenth birthday, igniting a mystery so intricate and thrilling it has set the standard for every crime novel of the past one hundred fifty years.

Widely recognized, alongside the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, as establishing many of the most enduring conventions of detective fiction, The Moonstone is Wilkie Collins’s masterwork and one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century.

This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.

Topics: Theft, Victorian Era, Gripping, Dramatic, Hinduism, and England

Published: Open Road Media an imprint of Open Road Integrated Media on
ISBN: 9781480484160
List price: $0.99
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True story of a diamond and its curse more
The one word which comes to mind when I think of this novel is mesmerising. Slow and steady in its pace, the suspense builds almost inperceptibly until it becomes a page turner. I love the technique of using different narrators and I love how my perception of characters underwent shifts as those characters in turn becamse narrators and got to tell their own part of the story. This is a novel of mystery, romance, comedy, drama and tragedy. It's not a novel for a reader who wants instant gratification. Still less is it a novel for a reader whose idea of a good novel is one involving non-stop action. But I found it truly one to savour.more
Well after being a mystery aficionado for years it was about time I read the seminal piece. It was well worth it. It just flowed. It was not at all hard to read like much of the literature written at that time by Collins' contemporaries like Dickens.more
Read all 63 reviews

Reviews

True story of a diamond and its curse more
The one word which comes to mind when I think of this novel is mesmerising. Slow and steady in its pace, the suspense builds almost inperceptibly until it becomes a page turner. I love the technique of using different narrators and I love how my perception of characters underwent shifts as those characters in turn becamse narrators and got to tell their own part of the story. This is a novel of mystery, romance, comedy, drama and tragedy. It's not a novel for a reader who wants instant gratification. Still less is it a novel for a reader whose idea of a good novel is one involving non-stop action. But I found it truly one to savour.more
Well after being a mystery aficionado for years it was about time I read the seminal piece. It was well worth it. It just flowed. It was not at all hard to read like much of the literature written at that time by Collins' contemporaries like Dickens.more
The Moonstone is credited with being one of (if not the) first detective mystery novels, and I wanted to read it because another book I plan to read references it.

I liked it. It is the proverbial English country house mystery. Nice little dead ends, twists and fun stuff. Unlikely (and likely) suspects, a little of the paranormal-ish... I think it was the first to really feature a twist at the end, but nowadays we're so used to twists, it wasn't one to me (seriously, it was easy to figure out, but fun).

The story is a little long. It takes place through several narrators, from the house-manager to the aristocratic guest, the lady's religious niece, the opium addicted doctor, and the retired, rose-growing detective.

There is not a lot of overlap in the narratives, and the narratives follow the story chronologically, making them a wee bit less tedious than if we had to read about the same event from 5 viewpoints. There's a lot of thought, introspection, distractions, and human frailties in the narratives that make them interesting.

I also think it has held up well over time. Not bad. I'd recommend it to anyone that likes to read these kinds of novels or even watch these kinds of movies/shows.more
I seem to be going through a phase of re-reading books, and this is certainly one of my favourites - indeed, probably my favourite "classic".First published in 1868, it is certainly notable for its innovative approach to story telling. Nowadays we are familiar with novels written from more than one character's perspective, but I imagine that such an approach was probably very daring back in the 1860s. Collins handles this device, which could so easily have backfired, with great deftness, and the reader gleans a deep insight into the various characters as the successive narratives unfold.The "Moonstone" of the title is a diamond stolen from the head of a revered statue in a Hindu temple by John Herncastle, a British Officer serving in India. Over the following years stories about the lost jewel abounded, along with a growing belief that the stone might be cursed. Having subsided into illness Herncastle bequeathed the jewel to his niece Rachel Verinder, to be given to her on her eighteenth birthday.The Moonstone is to be delivered to Rachel by her cousin Franklin Blake, formerly a great favourite of the Verinder family, who has been travelling the world for the last few years. He arranges to visit the Verinder household in Yorkshire, arriving a few days ahead of Rachel's birthday. On the day that he is expected three itinerant Indian "jugglers" turn up and perform some odd tricks in the neighbourhood, and seem to be "casing" the Verinder house. Franklin Blake arrives a little earlier and, after consulting with Betteredge (the butler and wryly sage narrator of the opening section of the story), departs to the nearby town in order to lodge the jewel in its strongroom. Before he goes he bumps in to Rosanna Spearman, one of the domestic servants in the Verinder household. We subsequently learn that she had previously been in prison after having turned to crime to escape a life of deep deprivation down in London. Mr Verinder, aware of this background but also swayed by good reports of Rosanna's reform, had employed her some months previously. In that chance encounter with Franklin Blake Rosanna immediately falls madly in love with him.The day of the birthday arrives, and various other friends and relatives attend a special dinner. Rachel, who had known nothing about the Moonstone, is delighted by her special birthday present, and cannot be dissuaded from wearing it at the dinner table. Almost inevitably, the jewel is stolen from Rachel's room that night. Rachel herself is clearly disturbed by its loss and starts to behave in an uncharacteristically aggressive and bad-tempered manner. It soon becomes evident that she is particularly angry towards Franklin Blake.The local Superintendent of police is called in but achieves little. Meanwhile, Franklin Blake has communicated by telegraph with his father, an MP in London, who commissions the lugubrious Sergeant Cuff to travel up to take over the investigation. Cuff is generally credited as the first great detective in English literature and he certainly comes across as an awesome character. Like so many of his modern day successors, he has his oddities and his querulous side. In Cuff's case it is gardening, and particularly the rearing of roses, that dominates his thoughts away from his job.Cuff becomes convinced that Rachel Verinder herself is involved in the loss of the diamond, and speculates that she might somehow have incurred extensive debts, and then recruited Rosanna to help conceal the diamond and then smuggle it out of the house and down to London where it could be pawned or otherwise converted into much needed cash.Various other misadventures befall the characters, and one year on the mystery has not yet been resolved. It is at this point that, in what was to became a tradition in whodunnit stories, the scene is recreated, and a startling yet also convincing denouement is achieved.Collins was a close friend of Charles Dickens, and they collaborated on various publications. In The Moonstone, however, Collins displayed a fluidity and clarity of prose that Dickens never achieves. His satirical touch is light but more telling because of that. Nearly one hundred and fifty years on this novel remains fresh, accessible and immensely enjoyable.more
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