The Guardian named Moonstone one of the 100 Best Novels. It is certainly one of the more unique, especially for its time. A famous Indian diamond with a curse is stolen. The gem has tremendous religious significance, three Hindu priests travel to England to recover the jewel. Rachel, a beautiful young English rose is bequeathed the gem by her nefarious Uncle. It will be stolen again. The story encompasses theft, love, betrayal, drugs, and all sorts of themes that were considered very racy in 1868. Then again, Wilkie Collins was a man unconcerned by conforming to societal norms. Moonstone was a huge success when first published and is still in print over a century later.— Deon Stonehouse
The Moonstone is one of the most famous suspense novels of all time: a masterpiece of construction and the ultimate page-turner, it introduced one of the world’s most beloved genres, the detective story.
At a party celebrating her eighteenth birthday, Rachel Verinder wears the stunning yellow diamond she unexpectedly inherited from her uncle, Colonel John Herncastle.
She is not aware that the precious gem, known as the Moonstone, has been missing since it was plundered from a sacred Hindu shrine in southern India where her uncle had served with the British army fifty years ago.
But someone knows the secret of the Moonstone and will go to desperate measures to retrieve it. When it goes missing later that night, suspicions are raised and accusations fly. Could it be a trio of mysterious Indian jugglers seen near the house? Or a love-struck housemaid suddenly behaving strangely? And there is Rachel herself, who becomes furious when her paramour, Franklin Blake, directs attempts to find it.
As divergent accounts reveal more details, the diamond’s recovery is complicated by unexpected twists and turns. Sifting through a compelling list of suspects, the indomitable Sergeant Cuff must find the truth about the Moonstone and its mysterious disappearance.
The Moonstone features 66 black and-white woodcut illustrations throughout.
About the Author
Wilkie Collins (January 8, 1824-September 23, 1889) was the author of thirty novels, more than sixty short stories, fourteen plays (including an adaptation of The Moonstone), and more than one hundred nonfiction pieces. His best-known works are The Woman in White, The Moonstone, Armadale, and No Name.
“The first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe.”
— T.S. Eliot, author of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
“Probably the very finest detective story ever written.”
— Dorothy L. Sayers
“Probably the best detective tale in the world.”
— G. K. Chesterton, author of The Victorian Age in Literature