Signet Classics
by Wilkie Collins, Lillian Nayder (Afterword), Frederick Karl (Introduction)
Publisher: Oxford University
Current Retail Price: $9.95
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When Rachel Verinder inherits the Moonstone, an Indian diamond with a mysterious history, she dismisses the warnings that surround it as mere legend. But when the Moonstone disappears from a locked room the next day, a legendary investigation begins into its disappearance that will collapse alibis, span months and locations, and shake up the quiet world of the English countryside.

This epistolary detective novel, which T. S. Eliot claimed to be the first and greatest of its kind, is nothing short of brilliant. It's written from the perspective of several different characters, each of whom have a completely different voice and perspective, from steadfast butler Gabriel Betteredge to hilarious proselytizing cousin Drusilla Clack, to gentleman-turned-amateur-detective Franklin Blake, to actual professional detective Sergeant Cuff.

The genius of the Moonstone is that it's a slow burner with a big pay off. The pay off, of course, isn't in how the Moonstone actually disappeared, but in seeing all the pieces come together as alliances, long-held grudges, and ultimately people's true characters are brought to light. It's by no means a conventional detective novel. Once groundbreaking, it still remains exciting, humorous, and well worth the read.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Violence, Language
Summary: The Moonstone goes missing from Rachel Verinder's bedroom, and a tangled plot surrounds its disappearance.

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