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Atmosphere and Tension in The Speckled Band by Air Arthur Conan Doyle and Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

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Atmosphere and Tension in The Speckled Band by Air Arthur Conan Doyle and Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

Both the stories I am analysing are murder mysteries and they are set

in very different time periods.

Summary of stories "lamb to the slaughter"

The lamb to the slaughter was a murder mystery story based on a

troubled couple. Mary Malone is a keen housewife who is deeply in love

with her husband and will do nearly anything to please him. Her

husband is a police detective and a man of real authority.

The story begins with Mary's husband coming home from work, she is

fussing around her husband but he is unusually quiet. After a while he

breaks news to his wife that he is leaving her. Mary tries to ignore

the situation and asks her husband what he would like for supper, he

doesn't reply. She gets up and gets some lamb out of the freezer and

without thinking runs up and hits her husband over the head.

After this Mary begins to think of a cover up plan, she touches up her

make up and makes an appearance at her local grocery acting as natural

as possible. On her return home she makes out that she has only just

found her husband dead and phones the police, she sobs to make out

that it was a brutal murder and to defend her innocence.

The police arrived and began searching the house for clues and a

possible murder weapon. (They didn't suspect Mary was the murderer.)

Mary knew she had to get rid of the murder weapon and so offered the

investigation team the lamb at which she killed her husband with. The

inspectors ate the lamb and the murder weapon had gone.

Summary of stories "The speckled band"

The speckled band wa...

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This was a very popular pre 20th century style of living and you would

find that in the mid 20th century this style of living was mostly done

by the top end of society.

The two narratives do have a similarity. The writing styles in which

the two authors have undertaken are similar. Atmosphere, tension,

clues to the ending and suspending disbelief are prominent features in

both narratives. This is the case as those four aspects are the best

way of making a narrative fit into the murder mystery genre.

Overall I found the Speckled band a more interesting narrative, Sir

Arthur Conan Doyle was brilliant in the way he gave us clues to the

ending and used intelligent styles to keep us on edge throughout. I

also enjoyed the way the author made me believe things that didn't

quite fit within the context of the narrative.
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