Sherlock Holmes also follows clues in “The Speckled Band”. The first clue is that a fraction of Dr Roylott’s money would go to Helen Stoner if she got married. Dr Roylott was very in need of money. He is also a very bad-tempered character so we are led to believe that he could do something terrible. Sherlock Holmes also inspected the house to find clues in Helen’s room, which were the bell-rope, which wasn’t connected to a wire and a ventilator, which couldn’t ventilate because it led into Dr Roylott’s room.
This led Holmes to think that the thing that killed Julia must have been small enough to fit through a ventilator and then it would climb back up the rope and through the ventilator into Dr Roylott’s room. Then when Holmes examined Dr Roylott’s room he found a safe and a small saucer of milk. This led Holmes to believe that there has to be a small creature in the safe, which drinks the milk out of the saucer.
So Holmes could predict that an unknown creature caused the death of Julia Stoner, maybe a creature Dr Roylott brought back with him from India, who’s poison the doctors couldn’t detect.
Red herrings are used to lead the detective into the wrong direction. There are no red herrings in “The Red Headed League” but in “The Speckled Band” there are a few. The first red herring in “The Speckled Band” is that at first Sherlock Holmes is led to believe that the gypsies killed Julia Stoner but he soon realised that Dr Roylott had a strong motive.
Also at first Holmes was led to believe that the mystery was a lock room mystery, but after further investigation he realised that that’s not the case.
These clues make the reader involved in the story because they can themselves try to solve the mystery by following the clues. This aspect would appeal to a modern reader a lot because there aren’t many modern detective stories around now which have the clues so clearly explained. The language used in the Sherlock Holmes’ stories is very different from the language used today because the stories were written over 100 years ago and language has developed a lot since then. For example instead of “erroneous” we would now say wrong and instead of saying “cordially” we would say in a friendly way.
A lot of the old words used in the stories is very different from the language we use now therefore some parts are extremely difficult for a modern reader to read, but the reader can always guess what things mean or look then up in a dictionary. The use of language in the two stories shows that people a Victorian society were very different. There were some people who were very rich and some extremely poor. Only the richest people could be educated so the people who were showed everyone that they were educated through the use of posh language.
So the difference in language between different classes in Victorian England was very big. The suspects in the two stories are John Clay and Dr Roylott. Suspects play the main role in mystery short stories because they provide the mystery/murder and the storyline, without them there would be no story. The characters of the suspects are created through very detailed descriptions of them. The description of the suspects makes the reader think that the suspects are very evil and makes the reader dislike the characters. The victims in the two stories are Jabez Wilson and Helen and Julia Stoner.
The victims are very innocent which makes the reader feel very sorry for them, and shows us that people were very trusting in the Victorian society. Each suspect must have a motive in order to commit a crime. John Clay’s motive for making up the Red Headed League was to distract Jabez Wilson while digging the tunnel and then rob the bank. Dr Roylott’s motive for killing Julia Stoner and trying to kill Helen Stoner was to keep getting the full amount of money. These motives make us fell less sympathy for the suspects because they seem very greedy wanting lots of money.
In contrast, Sherlock Holmes seems very generous because he doesn’t even want to accept money for his service, he said that his “profession is the reward” so he obviously really enjoys what he does. These motives reveal that Victorian society people were very worried about money, and people had money problems just like today. So, in conclusion, I think that the Sherlock Holmes stories are some of the best detective stories ever written and I really recommend then to everyone, especially people who like pre 1900s stories and people who like the detective genre.
I think the key parts of the stories that would appeal to a modern reader are the denouements in the two stories, because it is very interesting at the end to find out how Sherlock Holmes solved the mystery or crime. These are the parts where the suspect is revealed and the reader is told how Sherlock Holmes solved the mystery. Out of the two stories I think I preferred the Speckled Band because it has many twists and red herrings in it, which makes it very interesting. I would also very strongly recommend “The Man With The Twisted Lip”, because it is a great story with a very big twist at the end, I really enjoyed reading it.