Mysteries and Writing

The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins

Posted on: March 12th, 2014 by Sylvia Sarno No Comments

the-moonstone[1]When the Moonstone, the legendary yellow diamond and crowning jewel of the Hindu god of the Moon is gifted to young  Rachel Verinder, and stolen that same night, the first detective in western literature, Sergeant Cuff, investigates the theft.What makes this seemingly unsolvable jewel heist different from any other? By contrast to his literary heirs, Christie and Doyle, Collins develops his characters in great depth. This rich characterization takes much space in the story but is also necessary for the full Collins experience. Collins can be very funny. Ample dry  humor directed at Drusilla Clack, a meddlesome Christian missionary and Collins' depiction of Clack’s pious hypocrisy is dead on. She reads like a modern annoying evangelical.Puzzling the theft of the diamond while trying to figure out the marriage question kept me turning pages until the very end. Will Rachel Verinder choose pompous philanthropist Godfrey Ablewhite for a husband? Or does she secretly want her other cousin, carefree Franklin Blake, whom she outwardly despises?Ironically and with much theatric fanfare, the solution to the theft of the diamond is spearheaded not by Sergeant Cuff, but by Ezra Jennings, an eccentric character reminiscent of Count Fosco in The Woman in White.The Moonstone, the first modern detective novel ever written, is worth rediscovering again.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply