Ok, Drood was bad in all kinds of ways, but one of its more unforgivable offences was that it was narrated by Wilkie Collins, who was all, I’m writing a mystery called The Moonstone, and in the end Bruce Willis will have been dead all along! So, sorrow, I totally knew who stole The Moonstone from the get-go.
Ok, once upon a time there was an enormous yellow diamond. But the diamond was cursed! But it came with a free frogurt! But the frogurt was also cursed. Anyway, this guy who is important only in that he first ‘acquired’ (read: thieved) the Moonstone, leaves the diamond to his niece in his will. Did he do it to get REVENGE on his sister for having cut him, hoping that the curse would fall on her daughter? Or did he do it in all forgiveness to his sister for aforementioned cutting? OR did he do it to REVENGE himself by forgiving her on his deathbed and leaving her high and dry and unable to forgive him back? Such are the complexities of family.
Anyway, the niece has the stone for about eight seconds before its stolen. Some Hindoo Indians (oh Victorians, so hampered by corsets but so unimpeded by political correctness) had been hanging around the house earlier, but the house was securely locked up and the only people inside were respectables. Two of whom are in love with the niece, which complicates things horribly.
Enter literature’s first detective, Sergeant Cuff, who honestly doesn’t do much but come on. THE FIRST!!! Get back to your grass roots, chilluns. The novel is told in typical Collins style, with everyone from the hilarious butler to the Very Serious Sergeant narrating their piece, and while the solution may not blow your mind, it will make you go Hmmm. Also, it will make you wish for simpler days when Science was a much looser term.
Oh Wilkie, you may be my new favorite Victorian. Don’t tell Charles.