Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Moonstone (62nd Book)

I started The Moonstone at the tail end of March as my 7th or 8th book for the month. As such, I decided to chose one of the fluffier ones of the list. This is a traditional British mystery which just so happen to be my favourite type of mystery. This one is particularly clever however because you are passed through the hands of several eye witnesses as they account for their first hand knowledge of the Moonstone (a beautiful diamond from Indian that was stolen from a Hindu temple). The diamond is said to be cursed and to affect any family or individual that is in possession of it. The priest's or Brahmins of the temple also are said to be tracking down the stone, generation upon generation trying to recover it to its rightful place.

I loved listening to the story through a series of eye witnesses, because you could never quite tell who was being honest, or what they hoped to get out of their version of the story. My favourite narrator who both started and stopped the story was the servant Gabriel Betteredge. He was loveable and honest, but faithful to a flaw towards his lady and her daughter. He had a funny quirk of believing that random lines from Robinson Crusoe foretold the future. He mentioned so many obscure references from it that I determined that I needed to read the book immediately upon completion of this novel... but that story is for another review.  My least favourite narrator was Drusilla Clack whose narration is littered with judgemental ramblings about the various people who are in the story, as well as several embarrassing attempts to proselytize her family members. As a Christian she embarrassed me because she presented everything that people hate about the faith. I sadly, have been guilty of behaving like her in my younger years.

The story was fast paced and engaging. I was dying to know what had happened to the Moonstone and was convinced that I knew what it was. Turns out I was wrong (which I usually am in mystery novels). I am too easily lead down the  track of Red Herrings.

The novel also provides an example of how crime has its own punishment. The theft of the Moonstone led to several tragic happenings and those who had done wrong in the novel, were the ones who paid the price. One of the characters stated, "crime brings its own fatality with it". I have always felt that to be true. That even if people do not get caught by the laws of the land, that the crime itself takes its toll on an individual.

Overall, I would say this is an excellent read. It is engaging and a clever twist on detective fiction. I was guessing right up until the last page, and enjoyed the process immensely.

No comments: