Wilkie Collins is a master storyteller, but like his other masterpiece, THE WOMAN IN WHITE, THE MOONSTONE would have been improved with a bit of editing. The Moonstone is riveting and wonderful, as the butler, Gabriel Betteridge,unfolds his version of the yellow diamond's disappearance.For the reader, the story bogs down as Miss Clack picks up the tale with her tiresome religious view of life. Action all but stands still, as there is not much in Miss Clack's lengthy prose to move the story forward to its conclusion. The reader is left yearning for more of the plot to be revealed, more details to cling to until the tale's final revealation.I felt more than a bit let down at Collins' ending to an otherwise fabulous story. Alas,the culprit was our hero, who had not purloined the stone, but had taken it with pure intent to save it, while under the stuporous influence of an opiate.Luckily, they all lived happily ever after--the stone went back to India and Frank and Julia tied the knot, and the secretly evil bad guy died.Happy ending!