Book Review of The Moonstone

The Moonstone
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Helpful Score: 1


On the surface, this classic mystery novel about a missing gemstone doesn't seem all that interesting. But don't let those assumptions fool you. T.S. Eliot knew what he was talking about when he called The Moonstone, "The first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels."

It would seem impossible to make a Sherlock Holmes type of mystery last for upwards of 500 pages without the story becoming tedious and without the readers crying for it to hurry up and end already, but somehow The Moonstone pulls this off brilliantly.

The entire book is a fluid exchange of events and clues that are never stagnant and serve to keep the reader engaged, entertained, and (in my case at least) totally surprised once everything manages to unfold. There is so much in this book that I did not see coming, and I devoured the ending with surprise and wonder as I was let in on the last big secret and was finally allowed to say, "So THAT'S who did it!"

In a historical context, it was interesting to see the parallel drawn between The Moonstone (published 1868) and the protracted case of the Road Hill Murders in 1860 that launched an all-consuming 'detective fever' within the collective English consciousness. The novel's plot is obviously inspired by real life events, and the novel's Sargeant Cuff is an fitting homage to the real life Scotland Yard detective, Jonathan Whicher, who was in charge of the Road Hill investigation.

This is an incredibly entertaining and satisfying adventure. It is very well written, well thought out, and will truly leave you guessing until the very end. This book is truly a classic and it is more than deserving of such a distinction.