Title: The Moonstone
Author: Wilkie Collins
Release Date: September 11, 2001
Publisher: Modern Library
Genre: Classics, Mystery
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Moonstone is the story of a large and beautiful diamond that was taken from India by one Herncastle and willed to his niece, Rachel Verinder. On the night it is given to Rachel, the Moonstone disappears, and no one is certain who is responsible for the theft. This is a book of coincidences, intrigue, and the fascinating mystery of what happened to the Moonstone.
I’ve been wanting to read The Moonstone ever since I read and loved Wilkie Collins’ The Woman In White. I’ve heard wonderful things about it, so my expectations were pretty high. I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed. Though I have to admit I actually liked The Woman In White a bit better, The Moonstone was an extremely satisfying mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
The mystery in The Moonstone was absolutely wonderful. It’s funny, Collins has the most convoluted way of writing at times. You’ll be reading and wonder how in the world the thing he’s describing relates to the overarching mystery. But somehow, he manages to connect it back, and in a flash of brilliance, the reader realizes where he is going with the whole thing. I couldn’t believe how intricate and well-crafted this mystery was. Collins was simply one of the best (if not the best) mystery writers out there.
Additionally, there was so much in The Moonstone I did not see coming. Collins had so many twists and turns, so many different angles from which to view the theft. I had many different theories about what had happened to the Moonstone at different points in the book, all of which were completely wrong. Collins has a way of introducing game-changing facts almost arbitrarily. This novel must have taken a lot of time and effort to plan out; it really makes me admire Collins’ brilliance!
I do have to say, the reason I enjoyed The Woman in White slightly more than The Moonstone was because The Woman in White was a gothic mystery. I thought The Moonstone would be one as well. I still enjoyed it immensely even though it wasn’t, but since I absolutely adore gothic mysteries, those pesky expectations got in the way.
Though this novel is considered a “classic”, it’s nothing like what you picture when you think of that genre. The Moonstone is engaging, expertly written, and will keep you up late into the night with its ridiculously intriguing plot. It’s a wonderful read that I can’t recommend highly enough, whether you’re looking for a mystery or a classic novel!