The 100 best novels: No 19 – The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868) | Books | The Observer

Greg Wise and Keeley Hawes in the 1996 TV adaptation of The Moonstone. Photograph: ITV/ Rex Features

The Moonstone is often said to be the godfather of the classic English detective story, its founding text. TS Eliot, claiming that the genre was “invented by Collins and not by Poe”, declared it to be “the first, the longest and the best of modern English detective novels”. Dorothy L Sayers, a queen of crime in the 1930s and 40s, echoing Eliot, pronounced it “probably the finest detective story ever written”. Its influence continues to animate the work of crime writers such as PD James.

via The 100 best novels: No 19 – The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868) | Books | The Observer.