Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Origianl Who-Dun-It

I can pretty much guarantee that most of you have never heard of Wilkie Collin's "The Moonstone" before. That's okay. I hadn't until I saw it on a table in a bookstore. What sets this book apart from others is that this is the original who-dun-it. Literally.

"The Moonstone" was first published in 1868, making it the first mystery to be written in the English language as well as the model for mystery novels that were to follow. Think of your cliche mystery novel scenarios: someone is murdered, someone is missing, something valuable has been stolen. Yep, it's all here.

"The Moonstone" is the story of a legendary Indian diamond called The Moonstone. The night it is given to a colonel's niece for her birthday, it mysteriously disappears from the drawer she kept it in, the only clue being a smear in the fresh paint on the walls of her bedroom. In one novel there is theft, murder, romance, and death by quicksand. There isn't anything like this anywhere else.

I have read a lot of mystery books and none of them have been quite like "The Moonstone." Arthur Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" is one of the most famous mystery novel series, but even the cases of the ingenious sleuth do not seem quite as suspenseful as the case of the missing Moonstone.

So who stole the diamond? Read for yourself. I'm not telling.

1 comment:

Mary Campbell said...

I haven't read of it, but I have heard of it, but only because we read The Lady In White, by Wilkie Collins for bookclub. Loved The Lady in White - I bet you'd like it too. Now I'm interested in The Moonstone.