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The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century British epistolary novel, generally considered the first detective novel in the English language. The story was originally serialized in Charles Dickens’ magazine All the Year Round. The Moonstone and The Woman in White are considered Wilkie Collins’ best novels. The Moonstone has several archetypal features of modern detective fiction and created many of the ground rules for the genre. Several incidents in the story are taken from the real life Constance Kent Road Case and the plot is Collins at his intricate best. Collins adapted The Moonstone for the stage during 1877, but the production was performed for only two months.
T. S. Eliot called it “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels.. in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe”