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The Moonstone
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2016/17 Group Reads - Archives > The Moonstone - First Period Chapters 11-18

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message 1: by Pip (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pip | 468 comments Hi everyone,

Just posting the Section 2 thread quickly as I'm travelling at the moment. When I get home in the next couple of days, I'll post all the remaining threads so people can read and comment at their own pace.

In this section, we meet Cuff. Impressions? Can anyone see similarities with later detective works where an expert is contrasted with the amateur detective?


message 2: by Lori, Moderator (last edited Oct 11, 2016 07:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1369 comments Mod
Well, I just got myself hooked on Sherlock, so I can't help but draw a few similarities and differences there.

1. Cuff believes that Rachel stole (well, hid) her own diamond. Why would she do it? Had she found out that Mr. Franklin was planning to advise her (counting on her mother's help as well, after telling her of the situation) to give up her diamond? Is that why she was angry with him?
2. The diamond seems to have changed Rachel, as well as anyone else who gets hold of it. Do we have a "precious" here? It seems the tone and introductory parts of the book give us permission to believe in supernatural powers and curses.
3. Do you think there is anything suspicious about Mr. Murthwaite and/or Dr. Candy? They SEEM to be mostly out of the picture for now, but Betteredge drew our attention to them early on.
4. Cuff asked to shake Betteredge's hand after asking him a question (the answer of which was a lie). Is Cuff a human polygraph test?
5. Why would Rosanna help Rachel to steal/hide the diamond. Rosanna has a lot of loyalty to Lady Verinder, and doesn't seem to have any particular relationship to Rachel. She could even have reason to be jealous of Rachel if she is in love with Mr. Franklin.
6. Betteredge is very observant, but not intuitive, especially with women.

Off to read the next section!


message 3: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2889 comments Mod
Superintendant Seagrave made a real mess of the investigation by alienating all the female servants. Sergeant Cuff has a harder job doing the investigating because of that.
I like it when Gabriel gets the detecting bug. He thinks he is being shrewd, but Sergeant Cuff sees right through him.
I agree that Rachel is behaving in a strange manner. Is it the Moonstone, or is it something else entirely that we know nothing about yet?


Renee M | 751 comments I love this example of flawed narrator. I'm listening to an audio book done by Recorded Books with Patruck Tull as Betteridge. It's a favorite. I heard it some 20 years ago and sought it purposefully when I joined Audible this year. (They seem to have bought up every novel recording ever done.)


message 5: by Cindy (new) - added it

Cindy Newton | 32 comments Renee wrote: "I love this example of flawed narrator. I'm listening to an audio book done by Recorded Books with Patruck Tull as Betteridge. It's a favorite. I heard it some 20 years ago and sought it purposeful..."

Thanks for the tip, Renee. I'm running behind (as usual) and haven't started this yet. Maybe I'll try it as an audiobook--so far my forays into those have been with lighter fare, but that often proves disappointing. I don't think reading Collins could be disappointing in any format!


message 6: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2889 comments Mod
Cindy, I agree with you about Collins. This book was a lot of fun to read--with an intriguing mystery and interesting characters.


Roxane Does anyone remember the TV series "Columbo" with Peter Falk? Cuff reminds me of this detective.

Cuff is good at finding everyone's weak points and exploiting them for his own benefit. In my mind, this does not make him a likeable character, however he is quite shrewd and successful at eliciting the information he is after.

I do not have much experience with mysteries as it is not a genre I often choose to read, so I have little to compare it to. However, I am thoroughly enjoying this read!

A side note: I LOVE the subtle humor in this book! Is that typical of Collins?


message 8: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2889 comments Mod
I am glad you are enjoying the book. It is one of the first of this type of mysteries, but I think the different narratives make the book more interesting and fun, with his touches of humour, and of course, the mystery of the missing moonstone itself.


Renee M | 751 comments He uses a similar kind of humor in No Name, but less of it in Armadale. Although it's still there. I can't remember with Woman in White. I read that so long ago.


Roxane Renee wrote: "He uses a similar kind of humor in No Name, but less of it in Armadale. Although it's still there. I can't remember with Woman in White. I read that so long ago."

Thanks Renee! I am surprising myself with this read in so many ways. I have always steered away from reading Collins, thinking his work difficult and inaccessible. Where did I get that idea?What a fun discovery to find the reverse to be true. I am so glad I joined this reading group!


message 11: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2889 comments Mod
We are glad as well.


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