Both The Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter share somecharacteristics of the detective stories. Consider how they fit intothe genre of the detective stories and the similarities anddifferences between the two.
The first detective story was written in 1841 by Edgar Allen Poe, thisstory was called ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue.’ Since the Murder inthe Rue Morgue was published they have been one of the most populargenre of books. There have been many other famous detective storiessuch as Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Hercule Poirotstories by Agatha Christie which are quite similar to the SherlockHolmes stories as both writers were writing for the upper classreaders of the time and at the end of both stories the detectivesexplain to the readers what crime was committed and the detectives hadfound the evidence to support there suspicions. Ruth Rendell beganwriting themes which included corrupt police and murderer notconvicted. 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 noloose endings, which the readers of that period liked. But now therehave been twists and endings that lead your imaginations running wildand your brain working over time trying to think of the ending to thestory and I believe that this is how we like it! However the typicalfeatures of detective stories still remain, such as the victim(s), thevillain(s), crime and the detectives.
Both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie wrote for the upperclass readers. Most Agatha Christie stories had a detective calledHercule Poirot in them and as she was writing for upper class readers,she assumed that they had travelled as she wrote a book called ‘Murderon The Orient Express’. Also in some of her books she wrote words orphases in French as she assumed again that as her readers were of theupper class they would be able to understand French.
The detectives in the Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter are verydifferent as Sherlock Holmes (detectives in the Speckled Band) was aprivate detective with a sidekick called Dr Watson. Sherlock Holmesworked because he loves what he does and isn’t bothered about themoney “working as he did rather for the love of his art than for theacquirement of wealth.” As a private detective he was very selectiveto what work he did, as he would only work if the case interested him.