by Wilkie Collins
First sentence: “I address these lines — written in India — to my relatives in England.”
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Ten things about this classic mystery:
1. Basic plot summary: sacred diamond taken from India, gets bequeathed to flighty high-class (Victorian) girl, gets stolen same night. Who done it?
2. I did like this book a LOT better than I liked Woman in White.
3. Though, I think it had some similar problems — it was too slow for almost too long, and all the characters were pretty one-sided. But…
4. About 2/3 of the way through, it takes a sharp left turn which, no matter how clever you are, you will most likely not see coming.
5. And that totally makes the novel.
6. As for characters: I liked Sargent Cuff: he was very clever, though Collins didn’t let us know how much Cuff knew until the very end.
7. Which is kind of cheating, you think?
8. However, Betteredge was a HILARIOUS narrator. As was Miss Clack.
9. In fact, this one was funnier overall than Woman in White. (Which means it really wasn’t all that suspenseful.)
10. That said, it lacks the good baddies that Woman in White had. There really wasn’t a real bad guy in this one, and I felt that loss. One wants a good bad guy to hate.
Overall, though: a fun mystery. Glad I read it.