What’s it about?
The Moonstone, a yellow diamond looted from an Indian temple and believed to bring bad luck to its owner, is bequeathed to Rachel Verinder on her eighteenth birthday. That very night the priceless stone is stolen again and when Sergeant Cuff is brought in to investigate the crime, he soon realizes that no one in Rachel’s household is above suspicion.
This was our book club read for July and oh my it took me 3 weeks to read, yes 3 WEEKS which is unprecedented. It wasn’t even because the storyline was dull or boring, I actually found it quite interesting it’s just that to make a very small point in fact, it’s written in such a way that it takes a chapter to get there. Longwinded is an understatement. I thought it was fairly modern in its language, there’s just so much of it…Miss Marple would probably have had it wrapped up in 200 pages less 😉
On the list as one of the top 100 novels of all time and billed as the first detective novel this is essentially a locked room mystery. The investigation into the missing diamond is recalled by various narrators; some more enjoyable than others but one big plus is the narrative by the aged butler Betteredge which is class. I loved the way he addressed the reader, his humour and the way he spins a yarn. Very clever storytelling.
Ideally, this is a book you need to read when you have plenty of time so you can truly appreciate the story and fully absorb yourself in the language, the setting, the social history and decorum to fully grasp what the author is portraying.