Spoiler Alert: Franklin Blake steals the moonstone while he's all doped up on opium, given to him as a practical joke. I'll tell you what wasn't a joke, reading this book. Painful! It was 450 pages or so...about 400 pages to long if you ask me and it was divided into different sections with different characters in the books doing their best to unravel the mysterious disappearance of the gem.
I could see myself reading this book if I was stranded on a desert island, unaware that any form of technology excited and had lost the use of my arms prohibiting be from building my dream swiss family robinson home...if I had never heard a radio show, or read any other book of any kind and this was my sole foray into literature...them I might have enjoyed it. Maybe even have found it humorous...that is is I could get all the christian missionary references abandoned on my island.
Ok, to be fair...I had no idea how the book was going to end. I was sure some sort of mission impossible excessive mask use was going to come into play and the people I thought stole the gem consistently died leaving me more and more clueless. But I think the main reason I disliked this book were the long soliloquies suffocating the story. Literally someone would be just about to say something important and then a servant would come in from the hall with an urgent message delaying all closure until a later date...then the protagonist of whatever chapter we were reading would walk along the beach and cast stones into the waves waiting for the discussion to resume and I would continually want to scratch my eyeballs out. I'm pretty sure if someone should be accused of making money from superfluous words I think Wilkie is our man.