Moonstone Whodunit?

The Moonstone Whodunit? Logs (50 x 50 x 50 = 150 points)

One of the reasons Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone has so consistently been a gripping page-turner is the novel spends hundreds of pages trying to figure out, and lead its readers to, the person(s) who, as the saying goes, done it.

At the end of each week as we read The Moonstone, jot down and then post here, as responses below, your ideas of who’s responsible for the crime(s) related in the text, based on what the text reveals to us each week. (If you’ve already read the novel and already know who done it, attend instead to the ways in which Collins seeks to cast suspicion on different characters at different points of the narrative.) Avoid seeking spoilers online–try to enjoy Collins’s creation of suspense and uncertainty, as his first audience did.

As your sense shifts (or doesn’t) week to week, post subsequent responses as replies to your original, so we can chart the manner in which The Moonstone offers conflicting and changing evidence in order to keep its audience grasping for the answer until the ending.


24 thoughts on “Moonstone Whodunit?”

  1. From the reading we have read thus far, I believe that Rosana Spearman is to blame for the theft of the Moonstone. I think that her characteristic described by Collins of her, she is an easy target for being a suspect. But the fact that she seems so suspicious, it makes me second guess myself about claiming her as a suspect. The clear evidence of her having paint stain on her dress is very, very suspicious, however, her running away and acting very strange whenever Franklin enters the scene makes me question if they are together in the crime or if it was just Franklin and she knows about it and feel guilty by association? I’m stuck between Rosana and Franklin at this point in the novel and we shall see what happens next.


  2. My first strong suspicion was on the Ablewhites. The manner in which they were presented draws so much attention to themselves – the ninth chapter ends with their names, while the narrator hastens to tell us that they’re irrelevant – that they seem like they must have a purpose in the story. By contrast, Rosanna clearly has suspicion pointed at her early on, acting strangely and saying things to Franklin that make her sound guilty, but given how early in the novel that happens, it’s almost certainly a mislead.

    Lady Verinder has a very strong motive for stealing the stone. She is worried for her daughter’s safety, and she asks several times for Rachel to let her hold the stone. She herself would like to destroy the stone, rather than let it imperil her daughter, and she, more than anyone else, has access to the stone. And Rachel may be suspicious of her; she “shrinks[…] from speaking of it, even to” the lady. She has other behaviors which, while they have perfectly reasonable explanations, could also serve as evidence; her refusal to let her servants’ rooms be searched could be due to her guilt.


  3.   While reading I’m having a hard time finding one particular character to trust or at least understand, but to me that feels like a detective novel. Everyone is under suspicion until the guilty is found. When first beginning to read The Moonstone, I felt very strongly about Rosanna being a misunderstood character. I wonder a bit if she stole the diamond to secretly gain attention from Franklin Blake since she does the little schoolgirl show of running away from him often. I have a hard time believing that Blake could have secretly stolen the diamond since he was so open at first about having it, but his want to clear his name is a bit strong and does make me wonder if he has some ulterior motive we don’t know about. I also am very interested in Rachel’s character and what really happened in her bedroom that night. Because of the smudge and paint and refusing to have her wardrobe searched, there are some underlying things I wonder about. So if I had to pick someone I’d say that Rachel has some motive to sell the diamond for money or power, but I really don’t know at this point.


  4. It’s easy, through the first few pages to suspect a few people to have “done it”, as shown from the prologue that plays for us the various crimes that were committed when the British troops were in India. Immediately we suspect General Herncastle, portrayed as a liar to us because he refuses to announce any knowledge as to who may have mortally wounded the Indian man who was pleading at their feet. Yet, as we continue through the text, I found myself questioning other people rather than the General. It seemed to me that Gabriel Betteredge, Mr. Franklin Blake and even Rosanna the housemaid may have done something that will be even more wrongful in the grand scheme of things. Betteredge’s propensity to see things through a light that is out of character for someone of his class level gives him away as a contradiction. Contradictions and subjective view points create suspicion for a person who is known by everyone as genuine. However, Mr. Franklin Blake, the coddled and educated male heir, seems suspicious thanks to the narrative throwing him into the story randomly without warning. So too is his character inconsistent as even Betteredge, his longtime, faithful servant, questions which Mr. Franklin we are meeting: the one that was educated in France, Italy or Germany. But I think the most suspicious about him was his exchange with Betteredge when they’re discussing objectivity and how he constantly is correcting Betteredge’s ideas about what it means to be objective; this opens up a interesting idea as to how we’re supposed to see the world — through which sense we should be seeing each other. However, I don’t know if any of this means they could have committed a crime. But if I had to pick someone, I think I’d have to believe that Mr. Franklin Blake is hiding something that he wants Betteredge to help him with.


  5. It is too early to say with certainty whodunit, I can however, given my interpretation of events, relieve those whom I believe to be innocent from further suspicion. Rosanna Spearman, although a former thief, early became central to the reconstructed stories that lead up to the loss of the diamond. Haunted by her past, the reader could easily assume her misfortunes to be attributed to the curse of the stone. She seems to be a perfect candidate for blame to be placed upon, but how often is the first suspect the guilty party? Never, case closed, she’s innocent. Betteredge and Franklin, however are very suspect. Each sees the potential value of the stone, and in assessing its worth, each disregards the value of the stone as a relic and as a possible carrier of curse. Although Betteredge does show signs of uncertainty regarding the danger in handling the stone, either of these characters could be guilty of its plundering, although, as you read along, the true nature of the suspicious Indians can no longer be ignored. What can be ignored in my opinion, is any suspicion that Rachel is responsible for the theft. She is questioned due to her moodiness and because she is uncooperative, but what eighteen year old is not moody and uncooperative? She is not the thief. It was not Rosanna, and it was not Rachel, that leaves the following suspects: Franklin Blake, Betteredge, and the Indian fellows. More suspicion always builds surrounding Rosanna’s guilt, until she commits suicide further alleviating her from investigation. Betteredge has worked his way up into a place of trust among investigators by this point, and for that reason I believe, He done it.

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    Thus far in the reading I think the obvious suspects are Miss Rachel and Rosanna Spearman. Miss Rachel leads the suspicion based on she was the last one to have the diamond in her possession. She is followed in suspicion in the reading by Rosanna the housemaid who has a history described including time in prison for theft. I feel however that this would be too easy of a solve and the author wouldn’t make it this easy for the reader to solve. Based on this I definitely exclude Rosanna from being a suspect at all. I also question if she is dead based only on footprints that lead to the sands. She had previously showed skill in hiding her footprints on her trip from Cobb’s Hole. I think that she may still be alive somewhere.

    So, my main suspects are firstly Mr. Franklin Blake. Mainly because he is described in different self’s as in his German, Italian, English self. This was the first alarm for me that he is definitely involved with the removal of the diamond. He has been to foreign lands and I read as he has knowledge of the stone based in the East. And is present throughout part one, and is the main focus of the “setup man” Rosanna. Rosanna has a liking of Franklin from when she first sees him. However the main reason I suspect him has to do with his interaction with the Indian visitors on the night of the party. Mr. Murthwaite speaks to them in a foreign language that no body knows other than them. Not too uncommon however Mr. Murthwaite and Franklin are the ones who escort the unwanted visitors off the grounds. Time with the most suspicious characters alone and unaccounted for what were they doing was it possible they talked they must have? Also after this Mr. Murthwaite shares he has a lot of knowledge on the stone and things after. Also since he’s involved with Murthwaite this way I suspect him because Murthwaite’s name reminds me of “must wait” and “muerte” and the three Brahmins have been waiting to recover the stone for years. And muerte is death in Spanish.

    My second suspect is Mr. Ablewhite. Mr. Ablewhite was on my radar from the get go of the diamond being presented. He was the only one not impressed with it. He described it as just Carbon. While the stone entranced everyone else, he stood apart in this manner. Also the idea that Mr. Ablewhite’s dad was working at the bank where the stone was prior to Lady Verinder’s. So he could have the motive of knowing the money value of the stone.

    With Blake being my prime choice for the suspect. I am still skeptical and don’t want to Eliminate Lady Verinder either the mother. She is the head of the residence. And has access to anything in the house, including the manipulation possibly of her daughter.

    Bryan Baker.

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  7. After reading up to chapter 19 in Wilkie Collins’s, “The Moonstone,” I am still at this point unable to know “without reasonable doubt” who I am sure is the guilty thief. However, based on what I have read I can make some fairly educated guesses on whodunit.

    My first suspicion would sit with Rossana. First off, we know off the bat that Rossana was hired even though she was an ex-thief. Therefore, she is depicted by Franklin as having acted oddly after the theft of the moonstone. Also, when Betteredge goes to look for Franklin, as he describes it, “To my utterable astonishment, just as my hand was on the door, it was suddenly opened from the inside, and out walked Rossana Spearman!” (Collins p. 89-90). When Rosanna is confronted by Betteredge, she answers in a suspicious way. Betteredge asks her what she was doing in the library, and she responds by saying that she was looking for one of Mr. Franklin’s lost rings. However, as Betteredge put it, “The girl’s face was all in a flush as she made me that answer; and she walked away with a toss of her head and a look of self-importance which I was quite at a loss to account for” (Collins p. 90). Rosanna is also found later to have went to the water late at night, to as some think it, wash away some possible evidence of a paint mark on her dress. This would, in the characters eyes, explain the paint smudge found on the door. In all, the flushing of the face and the overall odd demeanor would suggest to most, as it did to me, that Rossana has something to hide.

    My second suspicion lies with a slightly more obvious potential culprit: the Indians. We already know from what we have read that the Indians hold this stone as a sacred religious artifact, and believe that the curse that is supposed to befall any potential thief is real. Whether or not the Indians care what befalls the holder of their stone, they most certainly want it back. Betteredge sees mysterious Indians outside of the house grounds, and later reports this to Franklin. Also, at Rachel’s birthday dinner, she sits next to an Indian explorer named Mr. Murthwaite. He claims that the Indian performers are not to be trusted, as they were faking being poor performers. Murthwaite explains “In the country those men came from, they care just as much about killing a man, as you care about emptying the asked out of your pipe. If a thousand lives stood between them and the getting back of their Diamond-and if they thought they could destroy those lives without discovery-they would take them all. The sacrifice of caste is a serious thing in India, if you like. The sacrifice of life is nothing at all” (Collins p. 73). These rather haunting words bring to light exactly how far the Indians will go to get the stone back. If the thief was not indeed seen, then Murthwaite’s words remain true.

    These are my suspicions so far, and I look forward to seeing if they turn out to be correct!


  8. Thus far into the story, Rosanna Spearman seems most likely to have taken the stone—which obviously means she is innocent. With so many cases pointing towards her, it is easy for other character to fly under the radar. As far as I see, anyone could have taken the stone, but because Rosanna is being exposed so guilty, it must mean that someone else is behind it. My next thoughts were of Mr. Franklin and Betteredge, specifically from their suspicious discussion of the world and how to view it. This seems to be a rationality from something that perhaps does not sit well within their conscious. However, much like my assumption of Rosanna Spearman, I think it is better to cross Mr. Franklin and Betteredge off the list of suspects because what author what create such a suspicion right off the start in a mystery novel. This leads me to Lady Verinder and Rachel. Lady Verinder seems to be hiding something, however I think that most of her suspicious behavior comes from protecting her daughter. His leads me to believe up to the point in the novel thus far, that Rachel may be the one responsible—due to the fact that she is farthest from seeming to take it.


  9. Moonstone Whodunit Entry #1
    (To “The Loss of The Diamond”)
    When it comes to reading works of fiction, especially realistic fiction, I always ask myself one question: is our main character, the one telling the story (in the very first part, Gabriel Betteredge) an unreliable narrator? I ask this knowing how important it is on the story and the perceptions of the audience if the story is told by an unreliable narrator. Nevertheless, while he is only human and comes off as an unreliable narrator, we have to, for now, give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is explaining the events as they happen, just as he hopes to. However, I expect there to be evidence that we will not come to until we hear testimony from someone else.
    My first guess is Lady Verinder, whose obvious motives are her bad relationship with its previous owner, John Herncastle, and her desire to protect her daughter from any harm the jewel might bring. After all, Herncastle was considered a sordid character with a possible opium addiction, a sort of person a mother would not want her young daughter around. We also know Lady Verinder is not cooperating with Cuff’s investigation fully, which is interesting as it is clear that he is capable and is a likely candidate in finding the diamond.
    My second guess would be the Yolands. While the cousin said the jewel was merely copper, his inquiry does not change the value of its worth. In fact, it is his snide comment that leads me to think he is guilty. Why not fool people of your desires by acting in an opposing manner? Sadly, I feel it is too soon to make an inquiry as to their motive, but as to the method, it may tie in with my last guess.
    My last guess is that Rachel stole her own diamond. We all are aware that she is acting suspiciously and she says there is a good reason for it. If I were to guess, I would say she stole it for someone she is working with, who is at this point in current possession of the diamond. After all, she did decide to leave it in her room instead of locking it up the night it was stolen. At the very least she is just a red herring who knows something crucial to the case, unbeknownst to her or anyone else, especially Betteredge and her mother. This is partly why I said what I did in the first paragraph. Of course, I am not sure entirely what her motive could be or if she was working alone. Either way, we see that Betteredge and Franklin, unlike Cuff, do not think she is involved, which I think is a mistake.


  10. After some thought, I suspect that Rosanna is responsible for the loss of the diamond. I realize that she dies, but that doesn’t mean no one else is involved. She could’ve easily passed it off to someone, or perhaps stashed it away somewhere. It seems to me like the former is more likely to have happened, specifically with Franklin Blake. I think that because Franklin is in love with Rachel, he cannot simply take the diamond and is thus part of a larger conspiracy. Knowing (or at least suspecting) that Rosanna is in love with him, I think it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to believe that he probably convinced her somehow to return to her old ways. I think that Rosanna’s lovesickness over Franklin right after the disappearance of the diamond might be more over her guilt for having stolen the diamond. Possibly remorse for having stolen it for a man who does not love her, especially after Franklin’s confirmation of said lack of feelings to Cuff in front of her.

    I do potentially see some flaws with my conclusion, such as Rosanna having vowed off thievery and Franklin being in love with Rachel and beginning the search for the diamond – but I am choosing to view this as guilty until proven otherwise! Though Franklin immediately responds to the theft of the diamond, it does not mean he’s just playing the part. I don’t know how much of stretch this is, but perhaps Franklin was getting nervous when Betteredge reports to him that Rosanna is possibly guilty. It is my belief that Franklin probably wanted to report it immediately so as to free himself of any blame or the search going any further into him; because of Rosanna’s love for Franklin, it would not be long before Cuff began to speculate Franklin’s involvement.


  11. The Butler did it! No just kidding, I don’t really know. My immediate suspicion ran to Franklin for the exact reason that Gabriel Betteredge pardons him. He says he couldn’t possibly have done it for he was the one to bring the diamond into the house. Now how on Earth does that not make him under suspicion? And another interesting thing is the way in which Betteredge goes about introducing us to Franklin’s character, by giving us the history of his shady father. Is this Collin’s attempt to cast doubt upon his character by his history? I also suspect Gabriel Betteredge himself. Knowing that I am reading the first British detective novel, that old saying of “the Butler did it” comes to me and I think he has the best edge of everyone. He has access to everywhere. He has eyes behind all the scenes. His name itself is “Better- Edge”. He could easily get away with it because he is such a composed and trustworthy person among the Verinder family. Rachel might have stolen her own diamond, but I don’t see the point. I think she is just a brat. I think Franklin wanted the money and wanted to be able to get the diamond since it was not left to him in his Uncle’s will. So he romanced his cousin, got her trust and made himself less the suspect. It’s him or Betteredge. I always thought Rosanna was innocent or a pawn. Bummer about her fate.

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  12. After reading the first period of the novel, I am ONE HUNDRED percent sure it was Franklin who stole the diamond. Either that or Rachel. Still one hundred percent though.

    The author is clearly trying to push us in the direction of believing that Rosanna is the thief, but it’s just too obvious.
    I have a few theories as to why Franklin would “steal” the diamond.
    Firstly, we know that Rachel and Franklin are pretty close at the beginning of the book. They paint Rachel’s door, enjoy each other’s company, and Franklin even temporarily quits smoking for her. Secondly, we know that Rachel is suspected to be in some sort of dept. So here are my theories that are most likely correct:

    Theory # 1
    Franklin has the diamond. Rachel has given it to him when he offers to pay off her dept. Perhaps she confessed this to him during some wild sexual escapade in her room. Perhaps he could have even threatened to not marry her unless she paid off her dept, and that selling the diamonds back to the Indians would be the only way to do this. This would explain why she acts so angry with Franklin. This theory is also strengthened by the fact that he knows Mr Murthwaite and is well traveled. He and Mr Murthwaite were the ones who escorted the Indians out and most likely spoke of the plot to sell them the diamond. To help take the blame off of him, he takes Rosanna’s gown and smudges it with paint so to frame her. Franklin is also very “helpful” during the investigation, trying to frame both Rosanne and Rachel. It would also explain why he leaves for London, pretending that he is upset that Rachel is mad at him.

    Theory # 2
    Franklin has still stolen the diamond, and all the scenarios I have described above are still in play, only this time, Rachel is in on it, and is acting as some sort of accomplice. They plan to use the money from the diamond to run away together because Rachel does not like Lady Verinder. They pretend to be angry at each other so to help shake some of the suspicion off of each other. Franklin tries to put the blame on Rachel because he knows that Cuff will not find the diamond on her. He leaves for London and pretends to be upset when in reality everything is going according to plan. Rachel is a character who is described to never lie, but to also never tell on a friend as illustrated in the middle paragraph on page 53. Although this information may be meant to be misleading, it further supports my theory that she a perfect accomplice for Franklin.

    There is a lot more that could definitely strengthen these theories, such as Rosanne’s suicide and how she may have discovered information about the theft and decided to kill herself because it upset her. She may have also discovered that she had been framed by Franklin and that she was going to be blamed no matter what.

    I’m telling you though…I am sold on it being Franklin and nobody is going to convince me otherwise!


  13. I get the feeling that the dinner party, the night the Moonstone is lifted, is an extremely important scene in this book. This scene has all the qualities of a classic mystery, where all the suspects are under one roof, but nobody seems to have a tell. The thing that Collins is able to do so well, is make every character seem innocent of the offense. He does this by expertly framing this pivotal scene within the point of view of the butler, Gabriel Betteredge, who is far more concerned with the trivialities of the party. Although he astutely pays attention to seemingly everyone present, his focus is on matters that would typically concern a “House Steward,” like the quality of the meal and the conversation. What’s so frustrating about all this, is I know that there has to be some clue in the minutia of this seemingly innocent scene. Here we have a group of characters, all equally guilty seeming in their innocence. It’s my instinct to try and blame just one of these people, and typically that would be the person Collins makes seem the least likely. This is a mystery novel isn’t it? Anything obvious gets thrown out the window!

    That being said, there could easily be more than one culprit, which throws everything into question. One villain is bad enough, even without considering the possibility of two, or three of them working together to steal the diamond. With this in mind I’ll begin to talk about who I think could possibly be to blame, instead of dwelling on the reality that I have no clue whatsoever. One thing I’m pretty sure of though, is that someone eating (or serving) at that table is to blame.

    My number one suspect is Mr. Candy, the doctor. Although he has the same name as one of my favorite all time actors (John), I can’t trust him for the same reason. Mr. Candy? Common it sounds like he’s Professor Plum’s brother in law. Plus I just don’t trust his character. He’s described by Betteredge as “pleasant, companionable little man” who’s one drawback is constantly putting his foot in his mouth. He’s described in such an unassuming way that I just feel like it has to be him.

    My number two suspect is actually two people. The “Bouncers” as Betteredge describes them. These two women that Mr. Godfrey brings along to dinner are just too amiable for my liking, and have almost no chance of being guilty, which is precisely why I suspect them so much. The one scene that gives it all away, is when the Moonstone is first revealed to Miss Rachel. The Bouncers scream with delight when they see the massive diamond and are obviously struck by it. Although this seems like a logical reaction considering their temperament, it seems like Betteredge deliberately justifies their scream as the only natural reaction to the discovery of the diamond in Miss Rachel’s possession. Betteredge slips in the quote, “no wonder her cousins screamed,” in reference to the Bouncers (Ablewhite sisters). Why justify their behavior right here. I may be reaching, but I’m trying to focus on the “trifles” which my bear fruit.

    We’ll see where it goes from here.


  14. After a long introduction explaining the history of the Moonstone diamond, the setting of the story, introducing the narrator and a little of his history, the story begins to introduce the potential suspects and their motives for the crime. Collins’s spends much of the novel going through each character, having them blamed, giving them a motive, presenting evidence against them and in the end clearly them. It reminds me of the ending of an Agatha Christie’s novel when Poirot list the suspects and their motives before getting to the real culprit. To begin with Collins’s gives us the obvious suspects of the three Indians whom Mr. Murthwaite identifies for the reader as high-caste Brahmins who are disguised as low-class jugglers. Early on in the story Betteredge believes he sees these Indians seeking around the grounds of the house. Murthwaite believes that these Indians will kill for the Moonstone and that the house need to be guarded at night the by dogs. When the Moonstone in stolen all three Indians are already in police custody for other offenses. The three Indians are too obvious of suspects to be believed to be the actually thieves. After proving the Indians’ innocence, Collins brings in the story’s detective and moves on to the next set of obvious suspects Rosanna Spearman, a deformed ex-thief turned housemaid for Lady Verinder and Rachel Verinder owner of the Moonstone. After her party, Rachel decides to keep the jewel with her instead of locking it up so it is easily stolen. After the diamond’s theft Rachel end up making a nuisance of herself and further directs the blame on to herself. She does not want to talk to any of the investigators, family or friends giving everyone she the belief that she has a guilty consciences. Also with Rosanna acting strangely, Sargent Cuff believes that the two women are acting together. As Rosanna returns from her mysterious absences from the house and Rachel deciding she wants to go to Frizinghall at roughly the same time means their working together. At this piece of evidence Cuff has a colleague follow Rachel while she goes to London. The other piece of evidence that points to Rosanna’s guilt besides her behavior, former occupation, is the smudge paint from the door. Even though Cuff suggest it was smudge the night before instead of in the morning by the conjugated servants there is still no way of connecting the smudge paint to the thief of the diamond. In the story Cuff does do some interesting deductive reasoning when it comes to the foot prints in the beach sand but still he tries to bend the evidence to suspects. There is really no concrete evidence that those girls did anything wrong except they are acting strangely. It feels like that Collins is jumping from the most obvious of suspects while along the finding proof of their guilt. At this point there has not been one person who truly stands out as a suspect for the crime.


  15. My initial suspicions fell on Rosanna after she showed such an odd reaction to Franklin when she encounters him (And shortly before he demonstrates to Betteredge that he is the one who possesses the Moonstone). She also “constantly put herself” in Franklin’s way, although he never noticed her, and seemed to have an odd obsession with following or preceding him around the house.

    Of course, I started to doubt myself when the narrator mentions both Penelope’s suggestion (That Rosanna merely fell in love with Franklin) and the suspected presence of the Indians within the same chapter! Hardly a coincidence, I thought.

    What finally settled it for me was Mr. Godfrey’s apathetic reaction to the Moonstone; I’ve seen enough police procedurals to automatically assume that the least likely suspect is always the actual culprit, and Godfrey is noteworthy as being the only one who did not seem overtly interested in the diamond.


    1. As soon as Cuff fingered Rosanna as a former thief the cynic in me instantly discounted her as the actual thief; it seems too simple to be true. The amount of effort Cuff goes through to determine Rosanna’s guilt only cements this belief in my mind, as it seems an obvious attempt by Collins to distract the reader from hypothesizing about the true culprit. This was confirmed following her unfortunate suicide.

      I also dismissed the suggestion that Rachel stole her own diamond, as it was not quite late enough in the story for such a suggestion to be dramatic enough (I realize it is probably misguided of me to operate based on intuition of 21st century writing but I’m trying to be honest in my reasoning here).

      By this point the Indians remained a possibility, but I felt that they too were a bit obvious as the thieves (Having a clear and reasonable claim to the Moonstone) and thus discounted them as well.

      Despite his limited appearances (Or perhaps in part because of them) my suspicions remained with Godfrey; conventional wisdom when writing a mystery novel is to have the culprit in plain sight, but not in the foreground. Ultimately my suspicions proved correct, but what I did not anticipate was the Indians then stealing the diamond from Godfrey after murdering him; this I was both correct and wrong, or half right (Whichever makes me sound cleverer).


  16. At this point in the novel I am completely stumped on who done it. Every time I think its someone, something else happens that turns me over and over within my thoughts. However, even with the confusion and mass amounts of suspicious activity, I still believe Rachel had something to do with it. I feel like there’s always something not particularly right in her choice of diction. I believe that her and Rosanna were both in on stealing the moonstone and now that Rosanna has passed, Rachel is the only one left that knows the truth about the moonstone. I’m expecting her to do something very rash and probably sneaky—soon.


  17. Well it’s hard to squeeze blood from a turnip. And it’s hard to make dead men talk. But somehow detectives find a way. Rosana bought the farm. Not literally of course, and with her to her sand-swallowing grave went all her secrets. Limping Lucy, which, I gotta say, is by far my favorite character name ever, is making a very hard case for Franklin, going so far as to call him a murderer. And of course Rachel is off in London living it up in high society, while Lucy ominously warns that “the day is not far off when the poor will rise up against the rich” at Betteredge. I found this moment fascinating as this novel is doing more than creating mystery. It is creating chaos among class systems in England. In a world where servants are not allotted time for such things as sorrow or grief, as I believe Betteredge states. I still think it has to be a least likely suspect scenario and for me that is Betteredge. He also does something interesting when passing the torch over to the next narrative. He warns the reader. That if a Miss Clack should be speaking to us next, “in that case, just do me the favor of not believing a word she says, if she speaks of your humble servant” (Collins, 188). Curious! First of all, who the hell is this Miss Clack? Secondly, since when would someone have cause or reason to speak ill of Betteredge? He seemed to be the most level-headed, guarded, in control person of the lot. Though a bit of a chauvinist yes. However, we realize too, as readers, we are only seeing a story from one point of view and now we must suddenly shift our seats from the lower class to the upper class, from male to female. Interesting indeed! I think Franklin is innocent because he is too obvious a suspect. Rachel is just annoying and a brat. Lady Verinder pops up on my radar, but I really think it has to be someone you wouldn’t think of, like Betteredge or I don’t know, like Godfrey. Who the hell is he anyway? And what’s with all the cousin kissing? Ew! I know I know it was a different time. But upper class also liked to keep it in the family. That’s why Prince Charles looks the way he does.


  18. Alas this entire time Collins has me fooled into thinking bratty, ignorant Rachel had enough brains to steal the Moonstone. Opium induced Franklin being taken advantage by Godfrey was a turn I had no idea that was coming! Well done in making the end a spectacular surprise! And of course the Moonstone ends up in, my opinion, the rightful place. Although the Moonstone was considered stolen the entire time, Mr. Franklin’s intentions were not intended to manipulate or sabotage anyone, Godfrey, however, is the guilty culprit having intentions to sell the stone off piece by piece. This classic mystery novel in unwinds by sending the Moonstone back to its origin with the Indians. I love how Collins used so many characters to distract and trick readers page by page.


  19. Wow, PLOT TWIST! The Butler…well, the Butler just Butled. Butlered? Are those words? Does IT matter? But everything wasn’t for not. Rosanna Spearman really DID see Franklin take the diamond in a drug induced haze. And I am left with a feeling that the overall message is “hugs not drugs” and “snuggling not smuggling”. As we see Ablewhite dies in disguise trying to get the precious gem out, and Dr. Candy, aptly and humorously named, should probably have his license revoked. If they even operated in that function back then. Because of people’s negligence and idiocy, other people die, misunderstandings happen and we get a birdseye view into the worlds of the lower-class, middle-class, and upper class. None of which really seem to be content. My interest really began to wane in that first shift in narrative toMiss Clack, but she proved to actually be quite humorous in the end, especially with her tight pants brigade of seamstress’s and the correspondence with Franklin. Her quote about “sorrow and sympathy” being pagan emotions, I thought was pretty poignant. It spoke for her, her self-righteousness and the group of women and society who so adored Godfrey Ablewhite’s character. F0or me, the most enjoyable and ingenious part of the plot is the recreation of the event. You see I once got a pair of ruby earrings for my birthday. Standing by a very full bookcase I dropped one of the small earrings and looked for hours for it. Until it finally dawned on me. I stood back up with the other earring in the same exact spot and allowed it to drop. Watching closely where it dropped and bounced I followed it with my eyes as it landed, right next to the other earring! The other one had fallen, bounced significantly high and fallen in the spine of a book resting on the shelf. I don’t know, I guess maybe I should be a genius detective. Or maybe perhaps people should own up to the fact that they maybe were huffing some serious fumes at their girlfriend’s birthday party. The thing about this book is no one is who they seem to be. Nobody acts like an innocent or a guilty person would act. And that is important because in prosecution and assigning guilt, we often decide people should act a certain way under a certain set of circumstances. This book looks at that, at class issues, at past histories, and says “don’t judge too quickly, you haven’t all the facts!”


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Associate Professor of Literature :: Yale-NUS College

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