One of Sue Perkins' favourite books.
T S Eliot called The Moonstone 'the first and greatest of English detective novels'. A fabulous yellow diamond becomes the dangerous inheritance of Rachel Verinder. Outside her Yorkshire country house watch the Hindu priests who have waited for many years to reclaim their ancient talisman, looted from the holy city of Somnauth. When the Moonstone disappears the case looks simple, but in mid-Victorian England no one is what they seem and nothing can be taken for granted. Witnesses, suspects, and detectives take up the story in turn. The bemused butler, the love-stricken housemaid, the enigmatic detective Sergeant Cuff, the drug-addicted scientist, each speculate on the mystery as Collins weaves their narratives into a masterpiece of construction and suspense.
The Moonstone, a priceless yellow diamond, is looted from an Indian temple and maliciously bequeathed to Rachel Verinder. On her eighteenth birthday, her friend and suitor Franklin Blake brings the gift to her. That very night, it is stolen again. No one is above suspicion, as the idiosyncratic Sergeant Cuff and the Franklin piece together a puzzling series of events as mystifying as an opium dream and as deceptive as the nearby Shivering Sand. T. S. Eliot famously described The Moonstone as 'the first, the longest and the best of modern English detective novels', but, as Sandra Kemp discusses in her introduction, it offers many other facets, which reveal Collins' sensibilities as untypical of his era.
An emormous diamond is bequeathed to Miss Rachel Verinder by her uncle Colonel John Herncastle who has recently expired out in the colonies. In anticipation of Miss Verinders eighteenth birthday , the Moonstone is spirited out of India and brought back to England whereupon it goes missing. Stolen in the first place from a Hindu shrine, the ownership and indeed the whereabouts of the sacred diamond is the question around which the plot revolves. Credited with being the first example of detective fiction the tale is told as a series of eyewitness accounts which was partly necessitated by it being published by instalment in All Year Round in 1868. (Kirkus UK)
Publication date: 26/11/1998
Publisher: Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
|Publication date:||26th November 1998|
|Publisher:||Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd|
|Genres:||NewGen - YA Fiction, eBook Favourites, Thriller / Suspense,|
Wilkie Collins was born on 8 January 1824 and died on 23 September 1889. In those 65 years he wrote 27 novels, more than 50 short stories, at least 15 plays, and more than 100 non-fiction pieces. A close friend of Charles Dickens from their meeting in March 1851 until Dickens' death in June 1870, Collins was one of the best known, best loved, and, for a time, best paid of Victorian fiction writers. But after his death, his reputation declined as Dickens's bloomed. Now, Collins is being given more critical and popular attention than he has for fifty years. Almost all his books are in print, he is studied widely, ...More About Wilkie Collins