Collins var en nær ven af Dickens - men ikke på højde med denne. Han var "opfinderen" af den første egentlige kriminalroman, nemlig Månestenen (The Moonstone) - Armadale kan ligeledes kaldes en kriminalroman.
Collins was a close friend of Dickens - but not on par with this. He was the "inventor" of the first true detective novel, namely Moon Stone (The Moonstone) - This novel has a convoluted plot about two distant cousins both named Allan Armadale. The father of one had murdered the father of the other (the two fathers are also named Allan Armadale). The story starts with a deathbed confession by the murderer in the form of a letter to be given to his baby son when he grows up. Many years pass.