I went into the book cold, no knowing it was one of the first detective stories - and when the detective showed up, I expected him to solve the crime. Rather pleasingly, he didn't, although he gave it a stab worthy of Holmes.For the first 80% of the book, I couldn't lose myself enough into the characters to see where it was all going; then for the last 20%, the book switches to the actual resolution of the main plot (Who stole the Moonstone?) and it barrels along when the mystery is solved......but, ah, that's merely another red herring in a book full of them...In the end, I found the characters too flat and too similar for most of the book, the humour in them forced; for the most part they didn't seem to work. I did like the wonderful Sergeant Cuff, and the power he held over strangers by merely announcing his name. Ezra Jennings was a surprise late addition, a definite plus point for the book, a driver for the plot when it was starting to sag and circle back to its subplots.If I ever re-read it, I'd probably enjoy it more. Perhaps I'll go and see what Robinson Crusoe has to say on the matter.