The Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter

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Both The Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter share some

characteristics of the detective stories. Consider how they fit into

the genre of the detective stories and the similarities and

differences between the two.

The first detective story was written in 1841 by Edgar Allen Poe, this

story was called 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue.' Since the Murder in

the Rue Morgue was published they have been one of the most popular

genre of books. There have been many other famous detective stories

such as Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Hercule Poirot

stories by Agatha Christie which are quite similar to the Sherlock

Holmes stories as both writers were writing for the upper class

readers of the time and at the end of both stories the detectives

explain to the readers what crime was committed and the detectives had

found the evidence to support there suspicions. Ruth Rendell began

writing themes which included corrupt police and murderer not

convicted. Also there are now lots of TV series/films in the genre,

such as 'The Bill', 'A Touch of Frost', 'Midsummer Murders' and

'Inspector Morse'. Until recently detective stories have always had

'neat and tidy' endings as everything was explained so there were no

loose endings, which the readers of that period liked. But now there

have been twists and endings that lead your imaginations running wild

and your brain working over time trying to think of the ending to the

story and I believe that this is how we like it! However the typical

features of detective stories still remain, such as the victim(s), the

villain(s), crime and the detectives.

Both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie wrote for the upper

class readers. Most Agatha Christie stories had a detective called

Hercule Poirot in them and as she was writing for upper class readers,

she assumed that they had travelled as she wrote a book called 'Murder

on The Orient Express'. Also in some of her books she wrote words or

phases in French as she assumed again that as her readers were of the

upper class they would be able to understand French.

The detectives in the Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter are very

different as Sherlock Holmes (detectives in the Speckled Band) was a

private detective with a sidekick called Dr Watson. Sherlock Holmes

worked because he loves what he does and isn't bothered about the

money "working as he did rather for the love of his art than for the

acquirement of wealth." As a private detective he was very selective

to what work he did, as he would only work if the case interested him.
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