The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins
A clever combination of detective and ghost story set in Venice, a city of grim waterways, dark shadows and death. The action takes place in an ancient palazzo coverted into a modern hotel that houses a grisly secret. The supernatural horror, relentless pace, tight narrative, and a doomed countess characterise and distinguish this powerful tale.
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone, a priceless Indian diamond which had been brought to England as spoils of war, is given to Rachel Verrinder on her eighteenth birthday. That very night, the stone is stolen. Suspicion then falls on a hunchbacked housemaid, on Rachel's cousin Franklin Blake, on a troupe of mysterious Indian jugglers, and on Rachel herself. The phlegmatic Sergeant Cuff is...