Regular price: $24.51

Free with 30-day trial Membership
Membership details Membership details
  • 30 days of membership free - plus an audiobook, on us.
  • 1 credit a month after trial - good for any title.
  • Easy exchange. Don't love book? swap it for free.
  • Exchange books you don't like
  • After your free trial, Audible is $14.95 a month
OR
In Cart

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

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    238
  • 4 Stars
    174
  • 3 Stars
    102
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    32

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    199
  • 4 Stars
    113
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    13

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    149
  • 4 Stars
    126
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    18
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good Story Line but really long

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, the book is too long

Which character – as performed by Peter Jeffrey – was your favorite?

The humble house servant who like Robinson Crusoe.

Was The Moonstone worth the listening time?

no

Any additional comments?

not a bad book, just really long

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Quite the Intrigue

Would you listen to The Moonstone again? Why?

I do plan to listen again. It was a fantastically woven story. I have to say, it really had me guessing and reevaluating right up until near the end. There were so many threads to follow, and many interesting characters to try to figure out. It was quite the tangled intrigue. It's almost difficult to talk about without many spoilers, so without divulging, let it suffice that it kept me gripped. I thought I'd been developing a knack for cracking whodunits pre-reveal, but this one was well beyond my powers. As it turns out, this is probably the earliest of what I'd deem a detective novel, and was distinct in character from my usual mystery favorites by the later writers like Conan Doyle and Christie. Some aspects struck me as a bit sensational, too fantastic, like the myth surrounding the stone and deadly foreigners come for revenge and to return their relic... but other parts of the story-line were perfectly down to earth and believable, like the maid's story of unrequited love. Not my usual type of mystery novel at all, but well worth the read.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Definitely the detective. I felt rather sorry for Inspector Cuff, how things were turning out, after all of his work and sound theories.

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

I don't know if I could have tackled this book in print form, it might have been a bit tedious. With the narration, it helped keep track of players, and brought it more to life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Well, I might have if I could, but it was too long, and there weren't enough free hours in my day.

Any additional comments?

I recently read the non-fictional Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, which tells the story of a sensationalized murder in 1860 and the investigation and fallout. Remarkably, as I was reading, the thought occurred to me that many of the events, characters, and suggestions sounded familiar, like a plot out of a book- like the Moonstone. "Suspicions" later went on to mention the author Collins and his writings, and how his novel and many other new "detective" stories of the day were drawing from the headlines and that crime. Gave an interesting new perspective. I liked the fictionalized goings-on better, in the end.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Janet
  • Casper, WY, United States
  • 04-06-14

Intriguing story, fine performance

Would you consider the audio edition of The Moonstone to be better than the print version?

The audio gave a real flavor of the different characters' speech patterns and dialects, and added to their sense of personality.

Which character – as performed by Peter Jeffrey – was your favorite?

Mr. Jeffrey did a marvelous job with all the characters. This was vital to this story, since it is told from different people's points of view. Each character sounded totally genuine.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A few characters certainly made me laugh, mostly because they were so totally unaware of their flaws and foibles. This humor made a nice break from the suspense, while adding to the depth of the story. But at the same time, a few characters lead almost tragic lives, and Collins shed light on how hard it is when we feel genuine sympathy but are unable to help.

Any additional comments?

A terrific story, with lots of plot twists and cliff hangers from it's original serial format. Although some characters voiced typical Victorian attitudes, overall Collins shared a remarkably modern sensibility, enouraging us to never judge people by their background or appearances.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Wonderful Mystery

I was to read this book in college, got through a piece of it, but failed to finish it at the time. It's so nice to come back to it now, with the added patience and wisdom of adulthood, so that I now can appreciate it fully. Aside from being one of the first examples of the mystery/detective novel (one can easily see the Sgt. Cuff/Betteredge dynamic emulated later by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), it is incredibly funny and satirical, also. Drusilla Clack is one of the most hilarious, well-meaning buffoons in all of English literature!

I can't say enough about the narration of British actor Peter Jeffrey. He was so insightful in illuminating all the novel's great characters. There's a temptation with an epistolary novel to get a full cast together to read it, as when I read Dracula a few weeks ago. But this man was amazing at voicing all characters, male and female, old and young. I was confounded in trying to guess his age at the time of the recording!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Old, But Still Unexpected

Although the book was originally published in the 1800s, the story is just as enjoyable today. I have a hard time believing I had never heard of this book until recently.

I found the storyline great fun, keeping me guessing throughout the course of the book. The reader did a great job giving a distinct voice, including varying the accents, to the many different narrators who take their turns telling their tales.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a more classic style of mystery novel.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • S.
  • 03-26-13

Great Author - Great Performance

I am a huge Dickens fan, and given their similar writing styles how I missed this author all these years I do not know. But I am happy now to have found him now, and this performer is fantastic. I am not in love with the ending - and his other book "The Woman In White" is a better story - but this is definitely worth the time. The man could really write ~

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Glorianne
  • BOULDER, CO, United States
  • 03-04-13

Engaging old-fashioned mystery

Wilkie Collins, also author of The Woman in White, is a 19th-century British author I have just recently discovered, thanks in large part to the 1000 Books to Read Before You Die list. Think Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes. The mystery is ever-evolving, and the detectives, unlike Holmes, are not infallible. Indeed, it is difficult to tell who to trust (the mark of any good detective story), and the shifting narrators make for another layer of character development.

All in all, the book is good fun. Not only was I interested to see how the plot developed, but I also developed a genuine affection for many of the characters, one of whom has ensured I will never think of Robinson Crusoe the same way again.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Didn't want to put it down

What made the experience of listening to The Moonstone the most enjoyable?

The character development and story intrigue. Mr Jeffrey's narration was first class.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Moonstone?

Ahhh, Rachel and her mother during the investigation, Any moment with Sergeant Cuff (?).

Which scene was your favorite?

Every scene with the butler and his daughter Penelope was fun. Of course, I love a happy ending.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was too long for one sitting, but I was always anxious to get back to the story each morning during my walk.

Any additional comments?

Some reviewers felt it was over-long, but I don't know how the fascinating story could have been told in fewer words,

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tom
  • Dahlonega, Georgia, United States
  • 01-03-13

Another great Wilkie Collins Book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Outstanding use of the English language, read beautifully.

Any additional comments?

Outstanding use of the English language, read beautifully.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amy
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 12-27-12

Tedious

What would have made The Moonstone better?

I know this is a genre classic but it has subsequently been improved upon. The characters lack depth and the story drags like a dray hauling stone blocks on a skiff. What would have made it better would have been characters not chaicatures.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Perhaps a re-listen to the Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

What about Peter Jeffrey’s performance did you like?

There appear to be about half a dozen audio versions and I chose Mr. Jeffrey's because I liked his voice and cadence.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

A desire to check my watch

Any additional comments?

When there is more than one version of a book it would be nice if the sample read might be the same for each author so one might compare apples with apples.

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Katy Skelton
  • 08-26-17

exceptional narration! best yet....

story very slow in parts but narration makes up for it, good twist enjoyed it

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sarah Merrick
  • 06-04-17

Fabulous and atmospheric.

The narrator is excellent and the story, while of its time, is still gripping and entertaining. The portrayals of characters through first person narratives is, at times, highly entertaining. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • danleighton
  • 03-29-17

Very good indeed apart from the final seconds!

Really. Audible. You've got to get narrators to say 'The End' and put a proper space at the end to give us a chance to not have the ending ruined by your 'Audible hopes you enjoyed this programme' speech. Yes. I enjoyed the programme, right up to the point where you ruined it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David Poole
  • 02-01-17

Disappointing

Overly long mystery that could have been a tenth as long. Wasn't much of a mystery either

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-20-16

Long Time Coming

waited years to get to grips with this book. should have started years ago. A fine listen

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Elizabeth
  • 11-30-16

Stunning narration of a wonderful story

This was a truly superb narration of a good old fashioned Story (perhaps not literary fiction as is so praised nowadays, but a great story line, really quite a riveting listen). I highly recommend this excellent audible book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-26-16

Great narration, story promises a lot....

firstly I really liked the narrator. don't know what the other versions of the moonstone are like on audible but this "fitted the bill" for me. the first third of the story is steeped in mystery and intrigue. sadly I felt the last part of the book didn't quite deliver. but im still glad I read it. like the moonstone itself it is likely to remain famous and rightly so.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Katja
  • 11-19-16

A gripping story very well told.

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. The story has many twists and is told by lively characters. The narrator is excellent.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Cliente Kindle1
  • 11-09-16

fantastic performance

What did you like most about The Moonstone?

the prformer fas very good, humorous, offended, happy, desperate.. loved it!

What did you like best about this story?

The way it is told in 1st person by different characters in the book. Very original

What about Peter Jeffrey’s performance did you like?

Everything. He really managed to make every character unique.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no, it is too long. But the story is quite linear and clear, did not need to backtrack to remember where I was.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Molly
  • 11-02-16

Twists and turns, a proper who-dunnit

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

His characterisation is so good you forget it is one man. From old ladies to young men he captures exactly the nuances and makes you believe you are listening to a host of people.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it is too long for one sitting but great to dip in and out of and it is not so complicated that you can't drift off a bit.

Any additional comments?

If you like a good old-fashioned yarn you will enjoy this. I love Wilkie Collins ability to lead you down a path and then you realise it's a dead end. Keeps you guessing right up to the finish. I loved the character of Betteridge, the old family retainer.
It is a good and comforting listen.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.