The strange lives of our forefathers

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Had not heard of Caleb Williams before. It's much much earlier (1794 vs 1868 for Moonstone). Having read about it now, I'd say it's probably not really a mystery/detective thing, more a political tract disguised as a thrillerish novel.

The Moonstone is fun, and a little weird, and definitely worth the read. Or so I thought.

Funny aside: we saw a portrait of William Godwin in the Nat'l Portrait Gallery in London. Husband pointed it out as that of the father of Mary Shelley. I didn't notice that he was also a tedious novelist!
I think Watson would have read the Moonstone. Although well read Watson liked popular sea tales, so I do not think he would have read Huck Finn either. Don't ask me to find the story that iit says that though.

But in the second chapter of in Study in Scarlet Watson asks Holmes if he is like Edgar Allan Poe's Dupin, from Murders in the Rue Morgue. So if you looking for a known author Watson read that Giles might have too that could be it.