Rachel Verinder has inherited a priceless diamond from her uncle, a corrupt and misliked British officer who had been stationed in India when he died. But shortly after she wears it for the first time, the diamond goes missing from her bedroom. A search for the missing diamond, and for its thief, ensues.
The Moonstone is the progenitor of the modern detective novel. It is, as T.S. Eliot described, “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels.” This isn’t, of course, your average poolside detective fic. The Moonstone is filled with social commentary (some of it truly hilarious, such as Drusilla Clack reverse thievery of religious tracts). Collins’s treatment of Hindus is years ahead of its time.
The novel is memorable. Franklin Blake’s mad rant about the objective versus the subjective is still oft quoted in this household. Highly recommended for fans of Victorian literature who also enjoy a good whodunnit.
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