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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

Considered the first full-length detective story in the English language, T.S. Eliot described The Moonstone as 'the first and greatest English detective novel'.

The stone of the title is an enormous yellow diamond plundered from an Indian shrine after the Siege of Seringapatam. Given to Miss Verinder on her 18th birthday, it mysteriously disappears that very night. Suspicion falls on three Indian jugglers who have been seen in the neighbourhood. Sergeant Cuff is assigned to the case and though it looks simple nothing can be taken for granted.

The story is recounted by several narrators including the bemused butler, the love-sick housemaid, the enigmatic detective Sergeant Cuff and the drug-addicted scientist, who in turn, speculate on the mystery.

This enthralling tale of romance, theft, and murder inspired the detective genre. In a sense, Collins wrote the rulebook on detective stories as many features of The Moonstone have become conventions in the literature of others.

Charles Dickens was a close friend and mentor of Collins, and the two collaborated together on drama and fiction. The Moonstone, as well as some of his other work, was first published in Dickens' journals.

Narrator Biography

Beginning his career on stage, Peter Jeffrey became a recognisable face on British television while enjoying thirty years with the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as working with all the other great British theatre companies. He was soon in demand for television character parts, playing roles in shows such as The Saint (1964-1965), The Avengers (1966-1968) and Doctor Who (1967 and 1978) as well as being involved in many BBC Radio 4 audio dramas such as The Pickwick Papers. Though a versatile actor, he was often cast in roles of authority such as Inspector Carter in Dixon of Dock Green (1966) but occasionally guest starred in comedy roles such as "Napper" Wainwright in Porridge (1975). He continued to act during his final years, with roles in the BBC adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper (1996), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1999) and Where the Heart Is (1999).

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Lucie
  • hudson, NH, USA
  • 01-03-09

An engrossing detective novel

I was attracted to THE MOONSTONE after reading (Hearing) Wilkie Collins" THE WOMAN IN WHITE. What is fascinating to me is how a book written over 140 years ago can be read eaily without footnotes to explain the significance of the events of the time. The characters and the action brought me into that time period with ease.

I plan to sownload every Wilkie Collins book that is available in

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book wonderfully read!!!

I read this book years ago & loved it, but it is very long, so I have not read it since. I am VERY glad that I invested the time to listen to it now. The book is even better than I remember it. The author was a great talent & the reader's skill makes it a truely amazing listening experience. I whole-heartedly recommend this book & this reader to anyone who wants a quality, intelligent listen.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Surprisingly good

I probably never would have read this on paper - too old-fashioned, too long - but with it narrated (and done so well by Jeffrey!) I was able to hear the voices of the characters and be entertained by the different perspectives as each one tells the story from their point of view. I thought this was a masterfully crafted story, with parts that made me laugh out loud. Had to be able to concentrate when listening to keep track of the plot and characters.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 03-19-11

So perfect for these looonnnng winter evenings

First, I'm a fan of Charles Dickens' novels, so historical fiction doesn't challenge me in the slightest, provided it has a plot. And The Moonstone has plot in spades, along with one of the most adorable characters I've ever encountered in all of literature (Gabriel Betteredge), and a wonderfully involved, somewhat gothic, mystery. If films like Gosford Park send you screaming, don't even dream of taking on this novel. But if you love English historical and gothic fiction, and enjoy an occasional mystery, this atmospheric gem will provide hours of guilty pleasure. Wilkie Collins was a contemporary (and friend) of Dickens, so expect similar pacing. Peter Jeffrey's narration was superb!

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Cheryl
  • Des Moines, WA, USA
  • 04-18-10

One of my favorite Audiobooks

The narrator was wonderful and the story was interesting and highly enjoyable. The plot might be a bit slow and verbose for some people, but if you like a well turned phrase and detailed character depictions, you will like this aspect as much as I did. The narrator's reading and distinctive voices for the different characters was outstanding.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Caroline
  • Stoneham, QC, Canada
  • 04-26-12

The First Detective Novel Ever Written: A Gem!

Many consider the Moonstone to be the first detective novel ever written. And it's, in my opinion, one of the best. The plot is riveting, the story full of surprises. Even when Collins seems to be losing his way in a subplot, he always manage to enrich the main mystery: what happened to the Moonstone, a huge diamond discovered in India and sent to a young woman from her uncle. Almost as soon as she comes into possession of this magnificient jewel, it mysteriously disappears. What happened to the Moonstone, who took it, why and how? The how is especially puzzling. One thing is for sure, you will be entertained all the way to the final solution to this puzzle. It's a must read for true mystery fans.

The narration done by Peter Jeffrey is first class. I could listen to him telling stories all day long. Enjoy!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • laurence
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 02-04-11

Delightful novel & first-rate narration

Peter Jeffrey does the various voices with great skill and character. The humor of the novel comes through strongly. I wish Peter Jeffrey would do more narration, he's really fabulous.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Beau
  • St. George, UT, United States
  • 03-11-12

Splendid Discovery

This is one of the best audible listens yet. I am very particular in choosing my audio books and it took me sometime to settle on this one - I don't regret it in the least. It was a marvelous and keen story. Very perceptive and subtly witty. It is not a fast paced or a short book, but I was happy to return to it every time I had the chance to listen. I am looking forward to reading other works by Wilkie Collins and I thought Peter Jeffery captured the emotion and flavor of the work beautifully.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Sandra
  • Coppell, TX, USA
  • 07-12-08

i like this book

i enjoyed this book and the reader...i have read the hard copy before and wanted this to listen to while i did its job well! and his accent is so much better than mine!

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • Cary, New Caledonia
  • 07-12-09

Good - if you are not in a hurry

When I first started listening to the book I had to keep restarting it to get used to the accents and sentence structure. Even though this is written in English I felt challenged to understand the train of thought of the writer.

At about one third into the book the perspective changed. The story narration was taken over by another character and I realized that the first narrative was intentionally written in a "wandering" style to reflect the personality of that character.

Subsequent narratives were much easier to understand and to the point of the story. It is easy to see why one might stop listening to the first wordy and tedious narrative.

If you like stories to proceed at quick pace I would recommend the abridged version which I would expect to be more concise.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Joanne
  • 06-29-08

An absolute gem

Please excuse the pun! This is the best audiobook I have ever listened to. Peter Jeffrey's reading is superb, bringing each character to life - from the trusted family butler Betteridge to the faintly ridiculous religous spunster Miss Clack. In terms of the story - it is superb piece of Victorian derring-do with a spirited young hero and heroine, a conspiracy involving mysterious foreigners, a lovelorn housemaid and opiuos use of laudanum. The writing is witty and sympathetic. The plot is complex, and though perhaps not as tightly plotted as a modern day thriller this would be enjoyed by lovers of detection fiction as well as fans of victorina.

Highly reccommended!!

46 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Choosy
  • 01-20-11

good listening

Wilkie Collins' best book, beautifully read by Peter Jeffrey. I had to look again at the description to double-check that it wasn't a dramatisation, so consistent and well-differentiated are his voices. A delight to listen to.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jenny
  • 02-04-10

The original detective story brought to life

This is the first audiobook I've listened to for a long time. In the past I'd always found them inferior to "the real thing" but this one has totally changed my mind. Wonderfully narrated in a way that transmits the pace and energy of the story, this audiobook is excellent. I don't know whether books written in the Victorian era especially lend themselves to this format, I suspect that they do. I'm going to test my theory with some Dickens next!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Tei
  • 08-21-09


This recording of a fabulous classic is an absolute joy. Peter Jeffrey, the reader, is a superb interpreter of Collins' writing. I longed to hear more. Thank you Peter Jeffrey!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • H
  • 04-14-09


This is yet another wonderful audio book - Peter Jeffrey's brilliant reading of a book that keeps one guessing till the end gave me great enjoyment. I did not think there could be a narrator that could match Stephen Fry but I think Peter Jeffrey does!! Highly recommended

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Nick
  • 10-08-08

Excellent Reading

Not only is this a compelling and masterful story, but the narrator Peter Jeffrey brings the book alive with a most accomplished reading. Each character and textual narrator is given a unique and highly sympathetic voice that captivates the listener with a flawlessness that can only add to the magic of the book itself.
Highly recommended.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nadia
  • 09-09-08


I'm loving this. I read it years ago and didn't remember the details. The story is great, the reading fantastic. I'm about half way through, listening whilst commuting, and it has turned the drive into a real pleasure.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr.
  • 07-08-14

Hard to beat.

I don't usually listen to fiction, being much more of a narrative history fan. However, I was an admirer of the late Peter Jeffrey and bought the Moonstone because of his narration. I could not be happier with this audiobook. The story, one of the earliest examples of detective fiction, fully deserves its high reputation among the great British classics, and Peter Jeffrey's handling of the epistolary nature of the narrative is magnificent. Old or young, male or female, Yorkshireman or Indian, he voices each with skill, taste and intelligence creating a wonderful recording. Highly recommended, my only regret is that Peter Jeffrey didn't leave more of a legacy for us to enjoy.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms. Kay Fenton
  • 01-01-14

Compulsive listening

What did you like most about The Moonstone?

Exciting mystery well read.

Any additional comments?

Old fashioned language which still grips. Little bit long winded on some chapters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • SnapWriter
  • 09-07-16

A brilliant performance of the famous mystery

This is a brilliantly performed edition of the great mystery novel. Peter Jeffrey brings all the characters off the page. One of the best downloads I’ve chosen in a long while.

Immensely enjoyable, and thoroughly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kimberley
  • 06-27-16

Wonderful reading of a classic detective novel

Would you listen to The Moonstone again? Why?

Absolutely. The Moonstone, set in 1848, tells the story of the famous yellow diamond, reputed to be cursed, that goes missing on the night Miss Rachel Verinder receives it as a gift on her eighteenth birthday. When Sergeant Cuff arrives to investigate the loss of the diamond, it soon becomes apparent that nobody in the house is above suspicion. It is a fine example of the classic detective novel, and was very enjoyable to read in audiobook format.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Gabriel Betteredge, particularly given Peter Jeffrey's reading. I felt like I had an old grandfather sitting beside me while he told the story of an interesting episode from his life while frequently meandering off track with entertaining asides. I also thought the inimitable Miss Clack's narrative was hilarious, even though she would be horrified to hear it and would no doubt force a religious tract (or ten) on me for such blasphemy.

What does Peter Jeffrey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I originally read The Moonstone as a physical book several years ago and rated it around 3.5 stars. When I came to listen to the audiobook, however, I upgraded my rating to a full 5 stars, thanks largely to Peter Jeffrey's reading. An epistolary novel written entirely in first person, the text lends itself well to being read aloud and Peter Jeffrey does an excellent job of bringing out the humour that Wilkie Collins infuses into his narratives. His use of different voices for different characters (including Miss Clack) was very successful.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Beware, reader -- in taking up company with Sergeant Cuff there is a good chance you will catch a highly contagious ailment for which there is no cure: the detective fever!

Any additional comments?

Readers should be aware that The Moonstone is far more slow moving than Wilkie Collins' other well-known "sensation" novel, The Woman in White. If you are looking for something fast moving, perhaps try The Woman in White first. However, if you are looking for a great detective novel (in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie), this is an excellent and enjoyable offering from a master storyteller.