To what extent does The Speckled and fulfil the traditional characteristics of a typical detective story and build up suspense to sustain the readers interest?

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        Speckled Band

To what extent does “The Speckled and” fulfil the traditional

characteristics of a typical detective story and build up

suspense to sustain the reader’s interest?

The speckled band detective story was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In order to show to what extent the speckled band fulfils the traditional characteristics of a typical detective story and keep the reader’s interest, in my essay, it will explain the structure of a typical detective story and how the story builds up suspense. It will also explain what the typical Victorian reader would expect from a detective story.

Detective stories have kept to the same structure for many years, but more recently, in more modern detective structures, there have been changes in order and outcome of structure. Firstly the story will introduce the crime or detective. For example, the speckled band starts with Dr Watson introducing Sherlock Holmes shortly and then straightaway introducing one of the crime victims. Then suspects and motives are explained or discovered, in the speckled band, Helen stoner explains her story, unravelling motives, clues and suspects.

Clues have to be laid out for the reader and also the detective equally. The detective must make his own hypothesis or have ideas about solving the crime. “Would cripple him to a serious extent…since it has proved he has the strongest motives”. This quote shows that Holmes has come to the conclusion that Dr Grimesby Rowlett is the main suspect for having good motives for the crime. Nearing the end of the story, the crime will be solved. In the speckled band, they find out Dr Roylott is sending the snake through the ventilator shaft of Helen stoner’s room. The last part of the structure is rarely missed out of detective stories; this is the punishment/reward. In the speckled band Dr Roylott is punished by his own snake being scared by Sherlock Holmes and coming back to attack him, which kills him instantly. The speckled band sticks to the typical detective story very well throughout the book yet it is not predictable.

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Detective stories written in the Victorian era, of course, had to appeal to the typical Victorian reader and their expectations. in the 1920’s a writer called S.S Van Dine wrote an article called “Twenty rules for writing a detective story” for “American Magazine”. I will examine some of these rules and see if the speckled band meets them. One of his rules was that the reader must have equal opportunity with the detective for solving the mystery; all clues must be plainly stated and described. The way the speckled band has kept to this is by describing all details ...

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