When Rachel Verinder turns eighteen she inherits a spectacular diamond known as The Moonstone from an uncle who had served in the British Army in India.
Unaware of its religious significance in the Hindu religion, Rachel sports her new prize on her gown at her birthday celebration. But when Indian performers spot the diamond, Rachel and her cousin Franklin, are pulled into a complex web of mystery and suspense as complications ensue.
The Moonstone introduces all the ingredients: an English country setting, a colorfully exotic background in colonial India; the theft of a fabulous diamond from the lovely heroine; a bloody murder and tragic suicide; a poor hero in love with the heroine but suspected of the crime, who can’t remember anything about the night the jewel was stolen; and, most essentially, a bumbling policeman and a brilliant but eccentric London detective.
The Moonstone is often cited as being one of the very first detective novels in the English language and was a precursor to the mystery novels of Agatha Christie in the twentieth century.
WILKIE COLLINS (1824-1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories. His best-known works are The Woman in White, The Moonstone, and Armadale. Alongside Edgar Allan Poe in America, Britain’s Wilkie Collins is regarded as the inventor of the modern detective story.