Comparing the Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter
The Speckled Band was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. Lamb to the Slaughter was written by Roald Dahl in 1954. Detective stories mainly base themselves around solving murder cases; the reader is taken on a journey to find who is guilty and their motive which is normally along the lines of greed, loneliness and hatred.
‘The Speckled Band’ is written in 1st person and the story is narrated by Dr Watson, Sherlock Holmes’ partner. Helen Stoner’s sister passes away two weeks before her wedding and Helen is worried the same is going to happen to her, so she goes to Sherlock Holmes to ask for his help. He stays in her room and he finds out that her stepfather killed her with a snake bite.
In Lamb to the Slaughter, the wife Mrs Maloney hits her husband over the head with a leg of lamb because he’s leaving her for another woman. She then feeds the lamb to the police so there is no evidence left. In the end Mrs Maloney doesn’t get caught. Also Dahl gives us so many details because he is trying to throw us off the scent that Mary Maloney could be the murderer.
In Lamb to the Slaughter, the wife, Mary Maloney, is the typical perfect wife but in the Speckled Band, the stepdad, Dr Grimesby Roylott, is a typical villain and in the end we see that they are both actually psychopaths.
There are a few similarities between the Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter like; they’re both inside jobs and they’re both psychopath killers. On the other hand there are a lot of differences between them; for example in the Speckled Band the detective solved the murder, the mood is dark and sinister and Helen is a victim, but in Lamb to the Slaughter the detective is murdered and the case is unsolved, the mood is calm and warm and Mary is controlling the situation.
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