October’s book


The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

This is a classic novel, written in 1868 and declared to be the first detective story. It is number 19 in the 100 best books on the Guardian list.

To quote Carolyn G Heilbrun from Goodreads. “The Moonstone unfolds its amazing story through the recounting of several narrators, all of them enticing and singular. Wilkie Collin’s spellbinding tale of romance, theft, and murder inspired a hugely popular genre – the detective mystery. Hanging on the theft of an enormous diamond originally stolen from an Indian shrine, the novel features the innovative Sgt Cuff, the hilarious house steward Gabriel Betteridge, a lovesick housemaid and a mysterious band of Indian jugglers.”

The majority of us thoroughly enjoyed it. Our descriptions were:- Each character really well drawn; intricate, fascinating with its old use of language; style of different narrators interesting. At times it felt too wordy and simplistic but the humour was good and the weaving of detail was excellent. There is a happy ending, always heartening. It has all the ingredients for a good read: wit, romance, theft, murder, a bit fanciful and lovely language.

There were 2 dissenters who felt their heart wasn’t in it, it was slow, verbose and difficult to get through to the end.

Our scores were mainly good, we had one 9, the overall score came out as 7. That is definitely a recommended read. The Moonstone was made into a film in 1934 and a BBC TV film was made in 1997 starring Greg Wise and Keeley Hawes so good reading or good viewing ahead!.