Author(s): Wilkie Collins
When Rachel Verinder receives a gift of an astonishing yellow diamond from her bitter old uncle for her eighteenth birthday, she has no idea that the stone brings great danger with it. When the diamond goes missing during the night the ensuing investigations gradually bring to light the sinister history of the jewel and the passions and plots of those close to Rachel.
'The first... and the best of modern English detective novels' T S Eliot
A whodunit about a lost jewel with several different narrators 'the first English detective story' is so ingenious, so melodramatically rational, so druggy and glittery and cleverly elusive, that it triumphs over all its impersonators Observer A great, bold, theatrical mystery story which never falters, written with huge confidence and style Wilkie Collins, along with Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens is generally acknowledged to be the great-great-grandfather of the modern mystery, but it's hard to think of many modern mysteries as skillfully shaped and psychologically keen as this one. The story flirts with the conventions of Victorian melodrama, but the characters that people it are truly vivid No wonder 21st-century novelists are influenced by the great Victorian serial writers with their rip-roaring plots. A twisting detective thriller Independent The Moonstone is the first detective yarn with, in Sergeant Cuff, the original maverick detective Independent Perfect for long, cold, winter evenings The Times
Wilkie Collins was born in London on 8 January 1824. His father was the landscape painter William Collins. After school he worked for a tea merchant before studying to become a lawyer. In 1848 he published a biography of his father and his first novel, Antonina, followed in 1850. In 1851 he met Charles Dickens who would later edit and publish some of his novels. Collins's novels were extremely popular in his own time as well as now. The Woman in White (1859), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866) and The Moonstone (1868) are his best known works. Collins was linked with two women (one of whom bore him three children) but he never married. He died on 23 September 1889.