This was a great romp from Wilkie Collins, a mix of mystery, gothic terror and swapped identities.The real hero of it for me was Marian Halcombe, who must be a prototype female took-a-course-in-badass. She spends half the night listening from a rooftop, in the rain, just in case someone is up to no good. What a girl! Unfortunately, since she isn't the protaganist or the love interest, she has to be ugly (at least to a Victorian audience) so our hero Mr Hartright won't be tempted to fall in love with her. I'd take her over Laura Fairlie (who is supposed to be our heroine, and is useless!) anyday. I actually wanted Hartright to come to his senses and marry Marian instead, but alas! It was not to be.There are some great characters in this book, Marian being one of them and the other the wonderfully devious Count Fosco. They really carry the book more than anyone else, and the story flags when they aren't around.There's even a quote I'm considering adopting as a motto: My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody.Great stuff.