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

Discuss the two Sherlock Holmes stories and say which you think is the more effective detective story

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the two Sherlock Holmes stories and say which you think is the more effective detective story 'The Sussex Vampire' and 'The Speckled Band' are two Sherlock Holmes detective stories, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The two stories have a few differences, but both have the qualities expected of a detective story. In this essay I will explain what these qualities are, talk about the two stories and say how they match the criteria. Finally, I will explain the choice of my preferred story, which, from the two, is 'The Speckled Band'. For a detective story to be entertaining and engrossing, it needs to incorporate certain qualities. The first feature of a detective story is a blend of true and false clues. This keeps the readers guessing as to what will happen next and makes it harder for them to work out the solution to the mystery, as they are often led astray. Another important feature of a compelling detective story is that the reader must always receive the same clues as the detective. This is essential because the reader will feel let down and cheated if the detective has access to information that we do not, as it prevents them from solving the case themselves. ...read more.


This leaves no doubt in the reader's mind that that the woman has hurt her child and there appears to be no other explanation. Another example of a false clue is the mention of different cultures and the way the atmosphere helps create a certain impression. We find out that the woman is from Peru and is of a different 'alien' religion. This gives a feeling of the unknown and it seems that the woman is quite mysterious and different. Couple this with the fact that the atmosphere and description is built up to be quite eerie, the reader really suspects something supernatural. "An odour of age and decay pervaded the whole crumbling building." This is also an example of interesting use of language as it paints a very clear picture of an old frail building on the verge of falling down. This is often the kind of house associated with horror stories of vampires. The reader receives the same clues as the detective in the story, but the detective sometimes sees slightly more. For example, we understand that Holmes stares at the window with supreme concentration, but it is only he who sees the reflection of Jack with hatred on his face. ...read more.


This is a very effective description, because it builds up tension and makes the reader think that something exciting is about to happen. It also suggests that Roylott is a wicked man and it makes the reader suspicious of him. My main reason for preferring 'The Speckled Band' over 'The Sussex Vampire' is due to the fact that 'The Speckled Band' is longer, more in depth and builds up to more of a climatic finish. I like the way that the story builds up to the moment when Holmes and Watson are in the pitch black bedroom, when suddenly Holmes lashes out at the snake. I also think that the clues in 'The Speckled Band' fit together better, making the story complete. In addition, I think that 'The Sussex Vampire' was let down by the fact that in two cases, the detective saw more than the reader did. In my opinion, this turned the ending into something of an anti-climax and made me feel rather cheated. Nonetheless, I did enjoy the story, just not as much as 'The Speckled Band'. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alex Mccarrick ...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 Arthur Conan Doyle 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 Arthur Conan Doyle essays

  1. Short Story Essay

    The quote above tells you that he goes out of control, as this quote comes from his stepchildren. Also he is just thinking of him self inside like other criminals. Most of the reader would think that the murderer is Dr Roylott as he is so unpopular.

  2. In the beginning of my second story, written by Charles Dickens, The Signalman, the ...

    Perhaps their weakness was roaming unlimited imaginations', because they lacked knowledge, common sense or instinct to help put events into perspective, disipline their mind, like 'we' are now able to. It's our ancestors' education from experiences that have given the power/knowledge to progress to where we are now.

  1. Is the opening to 'The Empty House' successful in engaging the reader in the ...

    As Watson is the narrator in the stories and not Holmes, it implies to the reader that the stories are not exaggerated or that Holmes is boasting of his achievements. The techniques that Conan Doyle uses to portray his characters make the reader want to continue reading.

  2. Sherlock Holmes - Features of Detective Fiction.

    Arthur Canon Doyle was one of the first men to invent a fictional character, but there were other authors like Agatha Christie who was incredibly famous for her detective stories. Canon Doyle had studied Latin while he was studying medicines; this is shown by the complicated expressions he uses in his sentences.

  1. To what extent do The Speckled Band and The Gatewood Caper fulfil my expectations ...

    together with all the information he has obtained from other sources such as the victim, people who knew the dead person, people who had some sort of relationship with both the person that died and the victim. From all this information the detective then deduces what must have happened and

  2. In this essay I' am going to compare & contrast two detective stories. A ...

    moved, also there was a bell-pull which didn't ring a bell and Holmes noticed it was a dummy instantly. Holmes left that room and investigated Dr Roylott's room. He noticed only a few things but the things he noticed were a safe a saucer of milk and a lash curled up making a loop of whipcord.

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