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"Silver Blaze" by Arthur Conan Doyle.

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Liam Baxter Silver Blaze The story "Silver Blaze" by Arthur Conan Doyle is set in Tavistock, Dartmoor. Silver Blaze is the name of the favourite for the Wessex Cup, a horse owned by Colonel Ross that had never lost a single race. After Silver Blaze was kidnapped his trainer, John Straker, was found dead holding the cravat of a stranger who had been lurking around the stables the night before. Straker had suffered a heavy blow to the head and a stab wound to the leg. Although he had had the horse with him, it was nowhere to be seen. Suspicion fell upon the stranger, Fitzroy Simpson, but Holmes was never convinced that he was the murderer. He proves that, having lead a lifestyle beyond his means, Straker had planned to spoil the horse's chances by making him lame. In the process, the horse had reared up on him and kicked him in the head. He also injured himself with his own knife as he fell. ...read more.


He does not rush into things but checks out his hunches and theories before sharing them with others. Rather than jump to conclusions, he pieces together the jigsaw bit by bit until he is able to see the whole picture and then enjoys presenting the whole story to others. The motive for the crime in "Silver Blaze" is financial, a very common one in detective stories. In this story, John Straker is leading a double life and needs money to maintain his lifestyle; he bets against Silver Blaze and tries to harm him so he goes lame. When he is first found, the reader has sympathy with him, as he has stayed loyal to the owner of the stables since his days as a jockey racing in Colonel Ross's colours. However, when the reader discovers the truth about what happened there is a feeling that Straker got what he deserved and there is no sadness. Another typical ingredient of this genre is the unravelling at the end of the story where the mystery is solved and everything is clear. ...read more.


opinion, did not have Simpson as the murderer as it would have been too obvious as he was at the stables earlier in the night of the murder. So, by him not being the killer, it adds a sense of mystery, as he is the main suspect. Another character that could have been the murderer is Silas Brown. If Silas Brown were the murderer there would be a clear motive. Desborough, Silas' horse, is second favourite and, like any other horse owner, he wants it to win. The story is told in the view of Watson, as this creates suspense as you do not find out the information and relevance of clues at the same time as Holmes does. My favourite part of the story is the summing up told by Holmes as all the different parts of the story are brought together with relevance to make sense. My least favourite part of the story was that there is not enough depth into the knowledge of some of the characters such as Colonel Ross and Silas Brown. ...read more.

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  1. Silver Blaze

    The clues are misleading, and the saying don't judge a book by its covers comes to mind. The villain is surprising as John Straker was supposed to be a good person as he was the horses carer.

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