This book was suggested for the September book of the month, and is said to be the first and longest English detective story.
Rachel Verinder, a young Englishwoman, inherits a large Indian diamond on her eighteenth birthday. It is a legacy from her uncle, a corrupt English army officer who served in India. The diamond is of great religious significance as well as being extremely valuable, and three Hindu priests have dedicated their lives to recovering it. The story incorporates elements of the legendary origins of the Hope Diamond (or perhaps the Orloff Diamond).
Rachel's eighteenth birthday is celebrated with a large party, whose guests include her cousin Franklin Blake. She wears the Moonstone on her dress that evening for all to see, including some Indian jugglers who have called at the house. Later that night, the diamond is stolen from Rachel's bedroom, and a period of turmoil, unhappiness, misunderstandings and ill-luck ensues. Told by a series of narratives from some of the main characters, the complex plot traces the subsequent efforts to explain the theft, identify the thief, trace the stone and recover it.
Like The Woman in White
the story is told as a series of narratives by different characters, and the narratives reflect the personalities of the characters. One of the characters treats Robinson Crusoe
almost as scripture, and that will be my next ebook upload.
The book has two illustrations from the Chatto and Windus 1875 edition, but I have been unable to track down the other five illustrations. If anyone knows where they can be found please let me know.
Version 2 has some typos fixed, and a better content.opf file
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