Meandering Em's

Passion is books, photography, running and traveling. Also passionate about environmental issues.

The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins, Frederick R. Karl

T. S. Eliot said that The Moonstone "was the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels."  He also said that "everything that is good in the modern story can be found in The Moonstone."  I think he sums up the story nicely.


The Moonstone is an gem from India used in Hindu worship.  It was captured in war and eventually ended up in England.  Three Indians are charged with retrieving the moonstone in whatever means available, including murder.


At the beginning of our story, the gem has been given to Rachel Verinder on her eighteenth birthday.  However, the next morning, it is gone.  Did the Indians take it?  No, they were seen in the nearest town. If it wasn't the Indians, who took it?  A detective comes from London and believes he knows what happened.  But he was wrong.


The story is told by different witnesses ranging from a trusted house servant to a troubled doctor.  I enjoyed reading these varying viewpoints, especially the narrative by Gabriel Betteredge, the house steward of Julia, Lady Verinder.


The author, Wilkie Collins, was a contemporary of Charles Dickens.  However, Collins' characters are real humans that the reader can relate to instead of the caricatures of Dickens.  If you don't like Dickens, but love Agatha Christie's books and the stories about Sherlock Holmes, then you will enjoy reading this book that predates them.



Currently reading

The Waiting Years
Fumiko Enchi
Progress: 94/208 pages
Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock
Derrick Z. Jackson, Stephen W. Kress
Progress: 33/376 pages