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Debra Hamel is the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

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Blog stats:
BOOK REVIEWS: 624
BOOK NOTICES: 258
2003: 50
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Updated 2-6-24. [Reviews are longer and have ratings. Notices do not have ratings.]

Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



Book Notices | The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone

  Amazon  

On June 25, 2003 (less than a month after my first blog post here), I ordered three books from Amazon. I read and reviewed two of them pretty quickly, Greg Iles' 24 Hours and Paul Hoffman's Wings of Madness. The third book was Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone, which I was interested in because it's one of the first detective novels ever published. But my interest in its subject didn't lead to action on my part, and the book sat on my shelves for twenty years. I measure the enormity of that time mostly by the yardstick of my children's ages—the then 7-year-old is finishing up her MSW, and the 1-year-old is graduating from college in the spring—although God knows a lot else has changed besides.

Anyway, clearly, I've finally gotten around to reading Wilkie Collins' book! It's been a while since I've dived into a sprawling 19th-century novel. I'd almost forgotten the pleasure of it. The mystery here has to do with the disappearance of a priceless diamond, the titular Moonstone, which was bequeathed to Rachel Verinder by an unsavory uncle and delivered to her on her 18th birthday. That very night, it goes missing from the Verinders' country estate. A police investigation follows, and thereafter investigations by private actors. The story is told as a series of accounts contributed by various concerned parties, all part of a project undertaken some two years after the stone's disappearance to record what happened as a matter of historical interest. My main impressions upon leaving the book are simply, first, that the mystery held my interest, such that I was quite riveted when approaching the resolution of it; and second, that with the luxury afforded by a high word count, Collins has created a handful of very well-realized characters. For me, the most memorable of them among the much larger cast are Gabriel Betteridge, the Verinders' long-time steward and resolute fan of Robinson Crusoe; the sanctimonious, religious-tract-thumping Miss Clack; and the tragic outcast-cum-physician's assistant Ezra Jennings. I'm happy to have finally read this one. (And holy cow! [That's an apt interjection given this book, as it happens]. There's a comic book version of The Moonstone coming soon!)

Comments

1.

Collins is one of my favorite authors, and this is definitely one of his best!

2.

Thanks for commenting, Gypsi! I'm not surprised that you'd be drawn to this one.

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