• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Both lamb to the slaughter by Roald Dahl and the speckled band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are books of the murder mystery genre.

Extracts from this document...


Both lamb to the slaughter by Roald Dahl and the speckled band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are books of the murder mystery genre. However, despite the fact that they are both of the same genre, along with many similarities between the two stories, there are many differences. Most murder mystery stories have a set of typical features or guidelines which the stories of that genre use and follow. The speckled band is a typical murder mystery story as it incorporates many of the features, which apply to a typical murder mystery story. Lamb to the slaughter however, is not a typical murder mystery story as it deviates from these features numerous times. Most murder mysteries have a murder committed at the beginning and throughout the story, the detective tries to solve it. At the end, the mystery is revealed and the criminal is brought to justice. In the opening of lamb to the slaughter, we are introduced to the criminal, Mary Maloney. ...read more.


This helps us get into his character better and feel more involved in the story. The speckled band is set in more of a typical location for a book of this genre, in an old house in the country. Lamb to the slaughter is set in a modern house in present times which is very unusual for a murder mystery book as it doesn't give as much of a feeling of tension and horror. Mary Maloney, who is the criminal in lamb to the slaughter, is actually more like a typical victim. Her initial description is one of a loving, caring housewife. We know that she deeply loves her husband as she waits anxiously for his return. Although she does commit a murder, the author downplays this. Her crime is a crime of passion; she doesn't plan it in any way. She was severely provoked by her husband which caused her reaction. The fact that she killed him with a leg of lamb emphasis the fact that the author is trying to make her murder seem almost comical and cartoon like. ...read more.


We know that he physically abused Helen Stoner and that she was terrified of him. His physical description also highlights his evil nature. In fact, the first time we meet Grimsby Roylott, he acts in a very violent and aggressive manner towards Holmes. All of these features give us the impression of his stereotypical character. The detective in Lamb to the slaughter is Jack Noonan. He is far less thorough, observant and effective as Sherlock Holmes. He does investigate Mary Maloney's alibi but they seem to dismiss her as a suspect far too quickly. He knows her and allows this to cloud his judgement. The author ends the story making them seem stupid. The ironic ending makes the reader laugh at their inadequacy and gullibility. Sherlock Holmes is the archetypal detective. He is the role model for future criminal detectives. He is intelligent, witty, observant, brave, and courageous and he always solves the crime. From reading these two stories, I've learnt that murder mystery stories can be very exciting and tense. I'd say I enjoyed the speckled band more than lamb to the slaughter, as I was more familiar with its features and themes. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Roald Dahl section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Roald Dahl essays

  1. Both Lamb to the slaughter and the Speckled Band share some characteristics of murder ...

    'How clear her mind became', 'She rehearsed it several times', 'And if . . . she happened to find anything unusual or tragic . . . naturally it would be a shock'. The last quote in particular is sarcastic and when coupled with the other quotes I feel Mary is

  2. 'As a murder mystery story, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle's 'The Speckled Band' is far more ...

    a mention of a blacksmith which were very common at that time. Also the mention of Waterloo Station and that the trees and hedges were just sending out their first shoots concluded that the story was set in England at springtime.

  1. Comparing Roald Dahl's 'Lamb to the Slaughter' 1954 and 'The Speckled Band' by Sir ...

    This is a traditional characteristic of a victim, especially in the era during which Conan Doyle was writing. I found the victims of the two books completely different. At no point did I suspect Helen of being the murderer, as I did Mr Maloney in 'Lamb to the Slaughter'.

  2. With reference to 'The Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'Lamb To ...

    Tension is first created when Mr Maloney comes home and their routine is disrupted by them not going out for dinner as they usually do. Then Mr Maloney reveals that he has something to tell his wife.

  1. A Detailed Comparison of 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan ...

    Suddenly this strange headband began to move, and rearing itself up from his hair was the diamond-shaped head and puffed neck of a snake!' (page 13). Whereas in 'A Lamb to the Slaughter', the murder weapon was a leg of a lamb, which was frozen solid.

  2. A comparison of two short stories from the murder mystery genre

    This quotation shows the passion Holmes had for his art. He was an amateur whom in Victorian times was given a great deal of respect and was regarded highly of. He had a desire to help and he had the sufficient funds to pursue his passion.

  1. Compare the Two Short Stories, 'The Speckled Band' And 'Lamb To The Slaughter'.

    We are told that Helen has been troubled for a long time, 'Her features and face were those of a young woman of thirty but her hair was shot with premature grey.' Dr Roylott is apparent as the obvious villain of the story.

  2. Comparison between Murder Mystery stories - " Lamb to the slaughter" and "Speckled Band".

    'swung the big frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought in down as hard as she could on the back of his head' - here we get a vivid description of the murder and can see that the writer really wants us to have a clear picture of this crime in are heads.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work