The Moonstone

A Romance

Cover image for


Author: Wilkie Collins
Published: 1868
Language: English
Wordcount: 195,977 / 546 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 74.7
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 24,723
Added to site: 2006.01.13 12522

Widely regarded as the precursor of the modern mystery and suspense novels, The Moonstone tells of the events surrounding the disappearance of a mysterious (and cursed) yellow diamond. T. S. Eliot called it 'the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels'. It contains a number of ideas which became common tropes of the genre, including a crime being investigated by talented amateurs who happen to be present when it is committed, and two police officers who exemplify respectively the 'Scotland Yard bungler' and the skilled, professional detective.

Show Excerpt

to take it, if you please, as the saying of an ignorant man, when I express my opinion that such a book as ROBINSON CRUSOE never was written, and never will be written again. I have tried that book for years--generally in combination with a pipe of tobacco--and I have found it my friend in need in all the necessities of this mortal life. When my spirits are bad--ROBINSON CRUSOE. When I want advice--ROBINSON CRUSOE. In past times when my wife plagued me; in present times when I have had a drop too much--ROBINSON CRUSOE. I have worn out six stout ROBINSON CRUSOES with hard work in my service. On my lady's last birthday she gave me a seventh. I took a drop too much on the strength of it; and ROBINSON CRUSOE put me right again. Price four shillings and sixpence, bound in blue, with a picture into the bargain.

Still, this don't look much like starting the story of the Diamond--does it? I seem to be wandering off in search of Lord knows what, Lord knows where. We will take a new sheet of paper, if you pleas


Average Rating of 4.8 from 12 reviews: *****

I love this book so so much. i am had this book more than 15 times since from 2000 june. and i recommand all who love to read books


Highly recommended to those who enjoy an extremely intricate mystery.


one of the best detective novels,
I read this when I was a small girl and lost the book, very very happy to find this copy, I would say its a must read for every reader who loves suspense!!!


This book is certainly worth reading. The writing is excellent and the characters are wonderfully wrought and very entertaining, especially the pathetic and unlikeable spinster with the great name (which sadly I do not recall). Although long the plot moves along well. My only complaint is that the twist at the end is somewhat unbelievable, although very clever. If you like mysteries with great characters you will enjoy this\"

A diamond is stolen in India. It has religious significance. It comes with a curse.

Later, back in England. A dying villainous old man leaves a diamond to his niece to spite an unloving sister.

Then, in a house containing; this lovely but iron-willed niece, her two suitors, a forlorn woman with a criminal past, her aunt, numerous servants and a doctor ...the diamond is stolen.

Outside, three mysterious Indians lurk, silently.

Then, the story unwinds, twisting and writhing like a venomous snake while the silent, shadowy Indians continue to loiter about.

Who did it and why? Can't tell's a mystery.

Allan H. Clark

Modern readers may find this just a tad slow, with less mystery than the length of the book justifies, but it is still a very good read.

One unusual feature is the shift in "point of view" from one narrator to another, each giving only the part of the story in which s/he is a participant.

Miriam Trzok

Excellent, a definite must read, a definite cliff hanger,


With an apparently cliched backdrop of a jewel stolen from an idol, Indian religious fanatics and theft/death at an English country house, this is a magnificent and unputdownable novel. The plot twists, red herrings and rich characters embody a sophistication that rivals and even surpasses that in more contemporary mystery fiction.


this story is a must read for suspense,thriller and detective novel fans
it's full of suspense,although sherlock holmes fans may be unfamiliar with the style of writting.
dont read this if your english has not up to a certain level


"Moonstone" is brilliant, if not exactly brief. If you like it, check out Collins' "The Woman in White," which might be even better.

Leo Kudrin

On the one hand- beyond the borders of sensibility murderously tedious (just like a soap opera), on the other- extremely well written novel.


This is one of the best books ever. A must read.

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