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

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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.

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