Sherlock Holmes stories - Sample Essay

Compare and contrast at least three of the Sherlock Holmes stories you have read, how typical are they of the murder mystery genre? Are they relevant to a modern audience? Within the Murder Mystery Genre there are many elements which are included. A murder is always committed, with some kind of weapon, which can be eccentric or sometimes the murder can be committed by the victim being poisoned.

There are villains in a murder story; these can be anything from a horrible family relative, like Dr Grimsbey Roylott in The Speckled Band, to an average everyday person. Red Herrings are also included to throw the reader of the trail of the murder. There is also a mysterious setting, which could be added in there to scare the reader. A motive is also in the story, like in Shoscombe Old Place; the motive is to get money so Sir Robert Norberton can pay off his debts. All these should be included in a good murder story, to engage the reader’s curiosity.

The Man with the Twisted Lip is one of a few of the Sherlock Holmes mystery that does not fulfil all the elements of a Murder Mystery Genre, no murder is committed. It has mystery and a twist like all Conan Doyle stories. With this story we think that a murder has been committed right up until the end when it is mystery has unfolded and the truth is revealed. The story in question is about a missing man who turns out to have two identities. He is both Neville St.Clair an affluent family man, and Mr Boon a professional beggar.

In the story, The Man with the Twisted Lip, there are a lot of clues and evidence to suggest that something untoward has become of Mr St. Clair; “The window was open, and she distinctly saw his face, which she describes as being terribly agitated. He waved his hands frantically to her and the vanished from the window so suddenly that it seemed to her that he had been plucked back by some irresistible force from behind.” This quote shows that different aspects and different conclusions can be drawn. The first one is that Neville wanted his wife to look at him, so he could act out his own disappearance from the window, which would make his wife think he was in grave danger. Another possible conclusion would be that he was quite surprised to see his wife, and quickly moved away from the window, so that she wouldn’t suspect his double life.

“Convinced that something was amiss from him, she rushed down the steps-for the house was none other than the opium den in which you found me to-night-and running through the front room, she attempted to ascend the stairs which led to the first floor. At the foot of the stairs, however, she met this Lascar scoundrel of whom I have spoken, who thrust her back and, aided by a Dane, who acts as assistant there, pushed her out into the street.”

This quote shows that there was obviously something upstairs that Lascar and Dane did not want Mrs St. Clair to see, this was her husband. After she got pushed out, she went and got the police so they could look upstairs. When she got the police and looked upstairs all that was up there was Mr Boon. Mr St. Clair’s clothes were on the floor; this suggests that he was there. Shoscombe Old Place is another Sherlock Holmes story which doesn’t follow all the elements in a Murder Mystery Genre, like The Man with the Twisted Lip we think that a murder or something peculiar has happened, but we don’t find out what has actually happened until the end of the story. In the Speckled Band, Sherlock Holmes is portrayed as a serious and caring character. He has got a lot of respect for his partner Dr. Watson, as supported by this quote,

“Very sorry to knock you up, Watson,” said he, “but it’s the common lot this morning. Mrs. Hudson has been knocked up, she retorted upon me, and I on you.” When Miss Stoner came to see Sherlock Holmes, she says “It is fear, Mr. Holmes. It is terror.” With this Holmes said “You must not fear,” said he soothingly, bending forward and patting her forearm.” This shows that he is a caring person and likes to reassure his clients. This quote is also comforting to know that there is someone looking out for you.

With Miss Stoner arriving at a very early hour, then Holmes knew something was up. He was always very observative. Miss Stoner has mud on her left arm, splattered in several places, and had a second half of a return ticket in the palm of her left glove. No other detective would have noticed these things so quickly, if even at all. This shows that Holmes took great care at looking and analysing things. Most stuff is seen as clues to Sherlock. Holmes knows what he is talking about. In the Speckled Band, a murder is committed. This murder is of Julia Stoner, she gets murdered by her evil step-father, who later on dies. The murder is committed with a deadly Indian swamp adder.