Friday, February 17, 2012

The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins

This a wonderful, engaging British mystery. It deals with the Moonstone, a valuable Indian diamond. The diamond is originally stolen from an Indian shrine by a British soldier, and later, it is stolen. The story is related by a great cast of characters, a hilarious house steward named Gabriel Betteredge, the detective, Sergeant Cuff, a lovesick housemaid, and a strange band of Indian jugglers. It was really great that the author included these different narrators; it gave different perspectives on the mystery. Published in the late 19th century, it does have some elements of that period of writing; in other words, unlike some mysteries, you won't speed through it. Once you get interested though, you will be eager to discover what happens. Also, just when you think the mystery is about to be solved, something unexpected happens. The only real criticism I have of The Moonstone is that at time it drags on a bit too much. Oh, and the edition that I was reading had the most boring cover ever. I would never have read it had it not been for a review on another blog. If you're a fan of mystery, you should definitely read this book- according to the back cover, it inspired the hugely popular genre of the detective mystery. I don't know if that claim is true, but it certainly was a great, exciting book to read. 473 pages, 4.5 stars.

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