The Moonstone is a stunning yellow diamond the size of a bird's egg that glows like the harvest moon and harbors a flaw in its brilliant depths. Inherited by the beautiful young Englishwoman Rachel Verinder, it is also a sacred talisman to the Hindu priests who hope to bring it back to their holy city in India, from which it was looted long ago. The diamond's disappearance sets in motion an intricately plotted mystery. Wilkie Collins gives the reader all the necessary pieces to the puzzle, but they are so cleverly disguised that his surprise ending takes the breath away.
The elements that make up The Moonstone—a purloined jewel that carries a mysterious curse, an indefatigable British police sergeant, a drama of theft and murder in a spacious country house—have been repeated, in varying guises, throughout much of the avalanche of detective fiction that followed Collins's immensely popular 1868 novel. But none of those books has surpassed the richness and suspense of the storytelling of The Moonstone, the first detective novel and the continuing standard of its genre.
Introduction by Catherine Peters
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
English novelist and playwright Wilkie Collins was a prolific writer with a body of work comprising thirty novels, over sixty short stories, more than a dozen plays, and a wide range of non-fiction pieces. Collins is best known for his novels The Woman in White, an early sensation novel--a genre combining shocking gothic horror with everyday domestic settings--and The Moonstone, which is credited as one of the first modern mystery novels. In the 1850s Collins met Charles Dickens and the two struck up a friendship, which lead to Collins becoming a frequent contributor to Dickens's journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Many of his stories have been adapted for film, including Basil, A Terribly Strange Bed, The Moonstone and The Woman in White. Collins died in 1889 at the age of 65.
"The first and greatest of English detective novels."
--T. S. Eliot