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593 books of Wilkie Collins

Exactly 150 years since its publication in 1868, this reissue of Collins' popular Detective Club edition of The Moonstone offers crime fiction fans the chance to read the book that is acclaimed as the very first detective novel in the English language. At a party celebrating her eighteenth birthday, Rachel Verinder wears the stunning yellow diamond she unexpectedly inherited from her uncle, unaware that it was plundered from a sacred Indian shrine fifty years earlier. When the jewel goes missing later that night, suspicions are raised and accusations fly in all directions. Sifting through divergent accounts of what happened, the indomitable Sergeant Cuff must find the Moonstone and the truth about its mysterious disappearance. Recognised as the very first detective novel in the English language, The Moonstone (1868) earned Wilkie Collins the reputation of the godfather of the classic English detective story, with Dorothy L. Sayers declaring, 'Nothing human is perfection, but The...

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Condemned by Victorian critics as immoral, but regarded today as a novel of outstanding social insight, No Name shows William Wilkie Collins at the height of his literary powers. It is the story of two sisters, Magdalen and Norah, who discover after the deaths of their dearly beloved parents that their parents were not married at the time of their births. Disinherited and ousted from their estate, they must fend for themselves and either resign themselves to their fate or determine to recover their wealth by whatever means.

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Valeria Woodville's first act as a married woman is to sign her name in the marriage register incorrectly, and this slip is followed by the gradual disclosure of a series of secrets about her husband's earlier life, each of which leads on to another set of questions and enigmas. Her discoveries prompt her to defy her husband's authority, to take the law into into a labyrinthine maze of false clues and deceptive identities, in which the exploration of the tangled workings of the mind becomes linked to an investigation into the masquerades of femininity. Probably the first full-­length novel with a woman detective as its heroine, The Law and the Lady is a fascinating example of Collins's later fiction. First published in 1875, it employs many of the techniques used in The Moonstone, developing them in bizarre and unexpected ways, and in its Gothic and fantastic elements The Law and the Lady adds a significant dimension to the history of detective fiction.

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Ce que peut supporter la patience d’une femme, ce que peuvent accomplir le courage et la constance d’un homme, cette histoire le dira.
Si tout événement qui prête aux soupçons pouvait être éclairci par les engins compliqués de la loi, et si ces instruments réguliers
pouvaient être mis en jeu pour conduire l’enquête jusqu’à son terme, grâce à l’influence lubricante de l’huile d’or, employée avec
modération, les incidents racontés dans les pages qui vont suivre auraient déjà été signalés à l’attention publique, volontiers éveillée
par un débat devant les tribunaux...

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When the elderly Allan Armadale makes a terrible confession on his death-­bed, he has little idea of the repercussions to come, for the secret he reveals involves the mysterious Lydia Gwilt: flame-­haired temptress, bigamist, laudanum addict and husband-­poisoner. Her malicious intrigues fuel the plot of this gripping melodrama: a tale of confused identities, inherited curses, romantic rivalries, espionage, money – and murder. The character of Lydia Gwilt horrified contemporary critics, with one reviewer describing her as 'One of the most hardened female villains whose devices and desires have ever blackened fiction'. She remains among the most enigmatic and fascinating women in nineteenth-­century literature and the dark heart of this most sensational of Victorian 'sensation novels'.

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In the year 1860, the reputation of Doctor Wybrow as a London physician reached its highest point. It was reported on good authority that he was in receipt of one of the largest incomes derived from the practice of medicine in modern times. One afternoon, towards the close of the London season, the Doctor had just taken his luncheon after a specially hard morning's work in his consulting-­room, and with a formidable list of visits to patients at their own houses to fill up the rest of his day-- when the servant announced that a lady wished to speak to him. 'Who is she?­' the Doctor asked. 'A stranger?­' 'Yes, sir.­' 'I see no strangers out of consulting-­hours. Tell her what the hours are, and send her away.­' 'I have told her, sir.­' 'Well?­' 'And she won't go.­' 'Won't go?­' The Doctor smiled as he repeated the words. He was a humourist in his way; and there was an absurd side to the situation which rather amused him. 'Has this obstinate lady given you her name?­' he inquired. 'No, sir. . . .

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Looking for a short but thoroughly enjoyable read? Check out by Wilkie Collins, who was a collaborator with Charles Dickens and one of the most popular storytellers of the late nineteenth century. With elements of mystery, adventure, romance, and a heroic canine companion, this engaging story is a great way to while away an afternoon.

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A tale of criminality, almost revolting from its domestic horrors.

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At a time when French readers were altogether unaware of the existence of any books of my writing, a critical examination of my novels appeared under your signature in the _­Revue des Deux Moudes_. I read that article, at the time of its appearance, with sincere pleasure and sincere gratitude to the writer, and I have honestly done my best to profit by it ever since. At a later period, when arrangements were made for the publication of my novels in Paris, you kindly undertook, at some sacrifice of your own convenience, to give the first of the series--­"The Dead Secret"--­the great advantage of being rendered into French by your pen. Your excellent translation of "The Lighthouse" had already taught me how to appreciate the value of your assistance; and when "The Dead Secret" appeared in its French form, although I was sensibly gratified, I was by no means surprised to find my fortunate work of fiction, not translated, in the mechanical sense of the word, but transformed from a novel . . .

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Books of Wilkie Collins