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How far do "the speckled band" and "lamb to the slaughter" fit the expectations of a traditional murder mystery?

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Wide reading Coursework How far do "the speckled band" and "lamb to the slaughter" fit the expectations of a traditional murder mystery? Detective stories are a type of mystery story that features a private detective or a police officer as the prime solver of a crime, usually a murder case. The detective questions the suspects, digs out clues, and tracks down the murderer. To make the case difficult for the detective and interesting to the reader, the author puts complications such as several suspects, additional murders, false clues that lead to wrong conclusions, and, often threats of violence, in the detective's way. The detective story, often called a whodunit, did not spring into being in this form. It developed early in the 20th century, from stories about detectives in which the reader was not a participant, but a witness, looking over the detective's shoulder. The originator of these stories was the American short-story writer Edgar Allan Poe, creator of the world's first fictional detective, C. Auguste Dupin. Dupin's methods of deduction and his bizarre personal habits provided the model that most detective storywriters have since followed. Dupin first appeared in April 1841, when Graham's Magazine published Poe's classic horror story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." ...read more.


In the United States, the Ellery Queen series was begun, and S. S. Van Dine (false name of Willard Huntington Wright) wrote about the amateur detective Philo Vance. Meanwhile, another American writer, Earl Derr Biggers, was creating his famed Chinese detective, Charlie Chan. Other authors who emerged in the 1930s include the American Rex Stout with his famous gourmet detective, Nero Wolfe. The educated English writer Dorothy Sayers, whose detective hero was an aristocrat, Lord Peter Wimsey, and the creative French writer Georges Simenon, who created Inspector Jules Maigret. Detective stories are enjoyed because they have a pleasurable excitement and satisfaction. They deal with evil, which can be fascinating, and at the same time promises that good will triumph, that all loose threads will be tied and that the ending will be happy and complete. There are certain expectations the reader has for traditional murder mystery stories such as a murderer, a murder weapon, a detective, suspense and tension and a victim. The Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a traditional detective story, containing all the expectations of the reader. In story the murderer is Dr Grimsby Roylott, a very violent and bad tempered man. He had already committed another murder before, in India. ...read more.


This murder was "perfect murder" because there is no way her steps can be traced. Mary's motive for the murder was revenge. Her husband had just told her that he wanted a divorce, and she was 6 months pregnant. There were some points in the story where suspense and tension had been created like when we were waiting for the police to eat the leg of lamb - their only evidence. Sergeant Jack Noonan was the detective in this story, but he wasn't a good one as he ate the evidence. Jack Noonan was not at all successful in solving the mystery. He and his team did not find any clues nor did they put any pieces together. This story is not set in a traditional setting. It is just set in an everyday house. Nor is this storyline traditional. It is more modern, nothing like the traditional detective story. The speckled band fits the expectations of a traditional detective / murder mystery story. Lamb to the slaughter however did not fit the expectations of a traditional detective / murder mystery story at all. I think this could be because of the different times they were written in. It could also be the different styles of both authors. Roald Dahl is known to write children's stories that are generally humorous, whereas Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is known to be a serious writer, who writes books for mainly adults and older children. ...read more.

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