A book that i loved that even counts for 3 challenges? That's a reading home run!
Critics consider The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins, the first real detective novel. While not a murder, it does have a locked room, English country house cozy mystery at the center. An English colonel in India steals a large diamond which the locals hold sacred. Ostracized from his family as another family member saw the crime, the colonel leaves the diamond, called the Moonstone, to a niece, in the hope she will be cursed as he feels he was. The niece, Rachel Verinder, is a headstrong young lady. A cousin, Franklin Blake, related to both Rachel and the Colonel, is to deliver the diamond to Rachel on her birthday. He notices a trio of Indians following him and worries about the safety of the household, especially once he falls in love with Rachel. On the night of the birthday party, Rachel gets the diamond, but by the next morning it has disappeared!
I did wonder why the Indians didn't just get a crew together to rob one of the banks the Moonstone is held in at various times! other than that bit, i loved the story with the twists and turns, false leads and high drama. I loved Betteredge, the house-steward of Lady Verinder, who tells the first half of the story. The detective, Sergeant Cuff, is obsessed with roses and makes brilliant deductions while whistling.
a 7 from me. Counts for the 1% Challenge, RIP Challenge and the Classics Challenge. Whew!