I’m choosing a classic today to take to the desert island.
The Moonstone was written by British author Wilkie Collins
in 1868. It could possible be the best mystery novel you’ll
ever read . . .
First line: “I address these lines — written in India — to my
relatives in England.” Ring a bell? Ever read it?
I’ve read it three times and I think I could read it a couple
more times as I munch on pineapples and coconuts on the island.
Wilkie Collins met Dickens and they became good friends. Wouldn’t it
have been fun to pal around with them in London? They shared
theatrical stunts and published their weekly stories in journals
together. People supposedly stood around in the streets waiting
for the next installment of The Moonstone–that’s how gripping the
story was for them.
A huge yellow diamond is stolen. Three Hindus are in pursuit of
the gem. They travel from India to England to find it—to the family
of a wealthy young woman who has received the diamond for her
eighteenth birthday. . . While they’re sneaking around corners, there
is a romantic interest between the young woman and Mr. Franklin
Blake, four people die and the suspense begins to creep along the
pages and up your spine.
There is almost an Upstairs, Downstairs feeling about the book, though,
with my favorite character being Betteredge, the butler, for his humor.
Years ago, my brother played in a high school production of The
Moonstone and his character fell out of a closet, face down, dead.
Every time I read The Moonstone I look for that part, but I
can’t find it–maybe the play differed a bit from the book.
Dorothy L. Sayers was quoted as saying about The Moonstone:
“probably the very finest detective story ever written.”
Why not have some fun in March and read The Moonstone?