Monday, September 26, 2011

The Wonderful Wilkie Collins

I absolutely love reading mystery stories. The great Sherlock Holmes, the humble but clever Fr Brown, and the teen detective Trixie Belden, are all old friends. I've stripped the library shelves bare of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. But my favourite mystery books are by Wilkie Collins.

The Moonstone was recommended to me by my brother Callum. I picked the book up doubtfully. It looked dreadfully like Charles Dickens' huge books, which daunted me. How was I ever supposed to get through this book?

I started reading The Moonstone for school work, but the story soon drew me in. What had happened to the legendary stone, the Moonstone? Who took it? How? I was absorbed in the book. It may have been school work, but I couldn't put the story down. It held me captive until the few last page, when the mystery was finally cleared up.

I felt I had made a wonderful discovery in Wilkie Collins. Eagerly I picked up another of his books, The Law and the Lady, in the hopes that it might be as good as The Moonstone. It didn't fail me. It proved to be another riveting mystery. Wilkie Collins was cemented in my mind as a fantastic writer.

Soon I found yet another of his books, The Woman in White. I didn't worry about whether it was going to be a good book. It was by Wilkie Collins, of course it was good. And it was.

Then I made another brilliant discovery. The free ebook site Manybooks had his books as ebooks. I recognised The Moonstone, The Woman in White, and The Law and the Lady, but there were so many more I'd never heard over. Eagerly I downloaded some to my ebook reader and prepared for more discoveries.

I'm currently enjoying his book No Name. As ever, I'm sure that it's going to turn out as a mystery. And I know I'll love it as I loved the rest of his books. I've created another enthusiast. Just as Callum recommended his books to me, now I've introduces my sister Charlotte to the wonders of Wilkie Collins. She loves his books as much as I do. We now have yet another author to share.

Have you ever read any of Wilkie Collins' books? Do you enjoy mystery stories? What mystery writers do you like?


  1. Imogen,
    you have been taged:
    please join in!
    Sara xox

  2. I've seen Wilkie Collin's books before, but I was never sure if it was something I'd like or not. You've inspired me to at least check them out again.

    My favorite mystery writer is definitely Agatha Christie. I don't know what it is about her books, but they just pull me in and don't let me go. Perhaps it's the lovely vintage 20's and 30's feel to her style, or the extremely lifelike characters, or perhaps it's the wonderfully tangled mysteries themselves. Probably it's a combination of all three. :) Oh, and I also appreciate the fact that Agatha Christie was a Catholic and that it shows through sometimes in her writing.

    I've read quite a few Nancy Drew mysteries as well, and I guess they're pretty good, just a bit juvenile. I loved them when I was ten, but even then I would think "Oh, I wish I'd had these when I was a little girl!" (Isn't it funny how, no matter what our age, we always think we're so much more mature than we were a couple years ago?)

    Imogen, you don't like Charles Dickens?? I'm surprised. Which of his books have you read?

    *end of very long comment*

    - Victoria (

  3. Interesting... maybe I should look these up... I like Fr. Brown... (btw, concerning the book list tag, film versions would be appreciated)

  4. Thanks Sara, I'll get onto it as soon as possible. Though who'd make me patron saint of anything? Haha.

  5. Victoria, I've only read one of Agatha Christie's books, but I'm very interested in read some more of her works. If I remember correctly she wrote two main series didn't she?

    I have to admit that Charles Dickens is not my most favourite author, but that's mainly based on the length of his books. He writes brilliant descriptions, but sometimes I get so bogged down in the descriptions that I get lost as to where we are in the story.

    So far I've only finished Oliver Twist, which I read some years ago and didn't really understand. I guess I might have been a little too young. Right now I'm reading Nicholas Nickleby and Mum, Charlotte and I are reading Bleak House together. Despite the length of the books and all the descriptions, I'm starting to enjoy reading Dickens' books, so don't despair of me yet!

    I don't read many Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, or Trixie Belden's now, except when I want some light reading. But they've all been good friends to me in the past.

    Well, this is rather a long comment to answer your lovely long comment. Thanks for stopping to comment.

  6. JT, I'm working on the list, though I might start by just doing a top ten, and then posting the rest. 25 books at once might be a few too many for my readers to stomach all at once.

    I'll add the film versions of the books if I actually know about them/have seen them, but I'm not sure about all the books.

    Another Fr Brown lover! Most people I know say that the Fr Brown stories are too dry. I beg to differ from them and I'm glad to see that someone else does too.

  7. I adore mysterie novels! agatha christie is my ultimnate favourite. Love them. I have also read The Hardy Boys, Nancy DrEw , Sherlock Holmes and The Complete Father Brown Mysteries. Mysteries are soooo fun to read.

  8. Wow Autumn, we seem to have read all the same books! I love reading well thought out mysteries, where you can reason out the ending if you are incredibly smart. Have you ever read any Wilkie Collins?