Collins, Wilkie "The Moonstone" - 1868
"The Moonstone" is said to be the first detective language in English. I'm not a huge fan of detective novels, however, I love English classic epistolary novels, and this is an outstanding one. His “multi-narration" method, the way all the different characters tell their part of the story, just fascinating. This way he can tell you every aspect of the story without revealing it all. Great style, captivating way to keep your eye on the ball, uhm, the diamond.
I couldn't put this down.
From the back cover: "A fabulous yellow diamond becomes the dangerous inheritance of Rachel Verinder. Outside her Yorkshire country house watch the Hindu priests who have waited for many years to reclaim their ancient talisman, looted from the holy city of Somnauth. When the Moonstone disappears the case looks simple, but in mid-Victorian England no one is what they seem, and nothing can be taken for granted. Witnesses, suspects, and detectives take up the story in turn. The bemused butler, the love-stricken housemaid, the enigmatic detective Sergeant Cuff, the drug-addicted scientist, each speculate on the mystery as Collins weaves their narratives into a masterpiece of construction and suspense."
I also read “The Woman in White” and "Armadale", they are just as great.