Friday, June 27, 2014
Book of the Month - The Cephalopod Coffe House
It's the end of the month and that means it's time for the Cephalopod Coffeehouse in which we talk about a book we've read. This month I read The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins.
The Moonstone was first published in 1868 and "is generally considered the first detective novel in the English language...Besides creating many of the ground rules of the detective novel, The Moonstone also reflected Collins' enlightened social attitudes in his treatment of the servants in the novel."
The plot is as follows: Rachel Verinder, a young English woman, inherits a large Indian diamond on her eighteenth birthday. It is a legacy from her uncle, a corrupt British army officer. The diamond is of great religious significance as well as being extremely valuable, and three Hindu priests have dedicated their lives to recovering it. 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.
My opinion: Although this book was written in a style that many people today would find tedious (it's very wordy), I still enjoyed it and found myself up late more than a few nights in the hopes of discovering who stole that pesky diamond and why was Rachel acting like a you know what. This is a perfect book for anyone who likes mysteries, and/or anyone who likes to read the genre. It also paints an interesting picture of the time for any history buffs :)
Have you read this book? Do you like mysteries? I don't read many but I always enjoy them when I do!