A novel by Wilkie Collins, published 1868.
The moonstone, an enormous diamond originally stolen from an Indian shrine, is given to an English girl, Rachel Verrinder, on her eighteenth birthday, but disappears the same night. Under suspicion of stealing it are Rosanna Spearman, a hunchbacked housemaid, formerly a thief; a troop of Indian jugglers; Franklin Blake, Rachel's cousin; and Rachel herself. A detective, Sergeant Cuff, is called in to solve the mystery, and is aided by the house steward Gabriel Betteredge, principal narrator of the story, but thwarted by Rachel's reticence and by the tragic suicide of Rosanna. It is eventually discovered that Franklin Blake was seen by Rachel to take the diamond, that at the time he was sleep‐walking under the influence of opium, that it was taken from him by Rachel's other suitor, Godfrey Ablewhite, a sanctimonious hypocrite, and finally secured (by the murder of Ablewhite) and returned to the shrine by the Indian jugglers, who were high‐caste Brahmins in disguise.
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Wilkie Collins (1824—1889) writer