Mystery and Suspense In The Landlady & The Adventure of The Speckled Band

Mystery and Suspense In The Landlady & The Adventure of The Speckled Band

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How Do Roald Dahl And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Create Mystery And
Suspense In The Landlady & The Adventure Of The Speckled Band?

The two stories "The Landlady" & "The Adventure Of The Speckled Band"
both create a lot of mystery and suspense. "The Landlady " is a story
about a 17-year-old boy who has recently been hired by a firm based in
London and the boy is placed in Bath. The story starts with Billy
arriving at a train station in Bath. As he has only recently arrived
he inquires about accommodation and The Bell & Dragon Inn is
recommended. On his way he sees a Bed & Breakfast in a run down area.
As he is walking past he debates with himself about which place he
should reside at and decides to stay at The Bell & Dragon, as it would
be more fun and probably cheaper. But as he starts walking away a
strange thing happens the sign draws him in. Before he knows he is
ringing the doorbell. This is the first mysterious thing that happens
as the sign almost magically draws him in and he suddenly finds
himself on the doorstep pushing the doorbell which he does not get to
take his finger off before the door is opened.

Where as in the adventure of the speckled band it starts of with Dr
Watson creating suspense and mystery by saying it's the weirdest case
he's ever investigated. Then he goes to the story which starts when he
is awakened by Holmes. Which is unusual as Holmes is a late riser. As
it happens a new client has arrived in considerable excitement which
turns out to be fear. These two beginnings are very different as 'The
Landlady' starts out with an almost ordinary day and then starts
getting mysterious but 'The Speckled Band' starts out with mystery.

'The Landlady' introduces Billy Weaver a boy just starting work in
Bath. Then introduces the landlady a forty-five to fifty year old
woman who appears to Billy to be slightly dotty but harmless and may
yet be as the story is open ended, but this woman does not seem to be
the type of person to be a murderer, and it is only by the clues you
can guess that murder is going on. 'The Speckled band introduce Dr
Watson assistant to Mr Holmes, Mr Holmes himself, the client Helen
Stoner who turns out to be sister to a murdered woman. And later
introduces Dr Grimesby Roylott a big intimidating violent man who is
also step father to Helen and her deceased sister Julia.

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Dr Roylott
seems to be the type to be a murderer though it is still hard to
believe that someone would murder someone else.

'The Landlady' is set in the city of Bath in a dilapidated area of
houses that looked to be once very swanky. 'The Speckled Band' is
similar but on a larger scale it takes place in an old country manor
that is falling into disrepair that is the home of Helen Stoner & Dr

'The Landlady' gives clues but almost in a discrete manner but leaves
only one answer if the clues are followed. The clues aren't really
clues for example one of the "clues" is that the landlady stuffs her
'little pets'. The landlady also keeps looking at Billy as though she
was appraising him. When Billy went to sign the guest book he noticed
only two previous names one was Christopher Mullholland And Gregory
Temple, but these entries where two and three years old. The landlady
also kept talking about these two in the past tense and comparing
Billy to them. The last clue was the tea which the landlady had
offered to Billy Weaver, it tasted faintly of bitter almonds which is
also what the poison cyanide tastes like, although Billy does not
appear to realise this.

The clues in 'The Speckled Band' are very different they can lead down
many paths and the true path is a very unobvious one. Unlike 'The

'The Speckled Band' has a motive for Dr Roylott to commit the murders
that is money which Helens mother left to her in her will to be given
when she was married. This was money which Dr Roylott would not then
have. Helen Stoner has come to ask Sherlock Holmes to investigate the
murder of her sister as now she is also to be married she fears the
same fate. On the night of her sisters death Julia came into Helens
room and complained that she could smell cigarette smoke from Dr
Roylott. She also said that about three o'clock the past few nights
she had been hearing a whistling noise which woke her. Julia went back
to her room, at roughly three o'clock Helen Stoner was awakened by her
sisters scream. Then a sharp whistling and a metallic bang.

She ran to her sisters room and all she could whisper before she
passed out & died was 'Oh my god Helen, it was the band. The speckled
band!' Julia was in her nightdress and the windows were barred, the
door was locked from the inside. And the fireplace is barred. The
doctor from when he worked in India has exotic animals including a
cheetah and a baboon. He also allows gypsies onto the estate. At first
it seems that the speckled band could be one of the gypsies
neckerchiefs. Then Holmes actually goes to see the manor house and
finds that because off repair work Helen is sleeping in Julia's
bedroom. When he goes into the bedroom the bed is bolted to the floor,
there is a ventilator between Dr Roylott's room and Julia's room and a
fake bell pull not far from the ventilator or bed.

What actually had happened was that Dr Roylott had a poisonous snake
in his bedroom locked in a safe, which he let out at night to try and
kill Julia because if she got married she would get his money. He then
called the snake back by a whistle explaining the whistling sound.
Then Dr Roylott would shut the safe explaining the metallic bang.
There are several lines of clues in this story like the gypsies
murdered Julia which is the obvious one but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
disguises the small clues to the true line which creates mystery as
certain bits do not fall into place.

These two stories are set 100 years apart so the language is very
different. But even 'The Landlady' uses very different language to
today. For example the author describes Billy wearing a 'Trilby Hat'
that I have never heard of. But most of the language is similar. In
'The Speckled Band' the language is very descriptive unlike in 'The
Landlady' where it is less descriptive and feels more like the real

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Roald Dahl use every device they can to fill
these books with mystery. But although 'The Landlady' has some
suspense it has little compared to 'The Adventure Of The Speckled
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